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March 2021Vol. 22, No. 3Education and Skills Training May Ease the Transition to Adulthood for Youth Exiting Care

Attaining an education and obtaining employment play an important role in the transition to adulthood for most young people. This is especially important for youth in foster care. Compared with their peers who have not been involved with child welfare, youth in care often face lower levels of educational attainment and higher levels of unemployment or underemployment.

According to a recent article from Child Trends, youth who receive educational aid and employment skills training, as well as other needed services and supports, are more likely to achieve their educational and employment goals. The article discusses findings from a recent National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) report to Congress showing that young people transitioning out of foster care at certain time points (ages 17, 19, and 21) reported low rates of employment and educational attainment. Based on these NYTD findings, researchers at Child Trends analyzed how employment and education outcomes are connected over time using the same time points. They found that three-quarters of young people who received educational aid were connected to education and/or employment at all three time points, compared with 41 percent of respondents who did not receive educational aid. In addition, 59 percent of youth who reported receiving employment skills training were connected to better outcomes at all three time points, compared with 47 percent of young people who did not report receiving employment skills training. The article also emphasizes how education and employment attainment can ease the transition to adulthood and boost outcomes for youth exiting foster care.

To learn more about the NYTD study and the Child Trends analysis, read the article "Education and Skills Training May Ease Transition to Adulthood for Young People Involved in Foster Care."