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May 2014Vol. 15, No. 5Involving Youth in Case Reviews

Noting the importance of youth engagement, the Jim Casey Initiative released an issue brief that guides jurisdictions in establishing quality foster care case review processes for young adults in extended foster care. According to the brief, outcomes for youth transitioning out of foster care improve when they are involved—in developmentally appropriate ways—in their review process and when opportunities for youth to receive the supports and services they need to successfully transition into adulthood are maximized. Information for the brief was obtained, in part, from feedback from young adult leaders from the Jim Casey Initiative sites.

The brief recommends that jurisdictions evaluate current practices and processes for youth ages 14 to 17 years to ensure that they are afforded meaningful, developmentally appropriate involvement in the foster care case review process. The authors outline three core principles that should guide the design and implementation of the case review process, or re-examination of existing processes, for young adults in extended care:

  • Reviews should be conducted in locations that are youth/young adult friendly.
  • Youth should be offered client-directed advocates, in lieu of best-interest advocates, and the chance to speak on their own behalf.
  • Youth should be prepared for the review process, and their involvement should be encouraged and supported.

The issue brief also summarizes the key components of the federally mandated foster care review process.

Success Beyond 18: Re-Examining the Foster Care Review Process: Extended Foster Care as a Catalyst for Improved Practices and Better Outcomes is available on the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative website: (471 KB)

Related Item

The Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative launched Success Beyond 18, a national campaign that develops policies and practices that address the unique needs of young people transitioning from foster care. Children's Bureau Express featured the initiative in the September 2013 article "Success Beyond 18 Campaign":