May 2023Vol. 24, No. 4Rethinking Service Array for Young People Transitioning From Child Welfare
The report Rethinking Service Array for Young People Transitioning From Child Welfare by the Capacity Building Center for States calls for a more comprehensive and collaborative approach to providing services and supports to young people involved in the child welfare system. It focuses on strategies to improve services for housing, health care and mental health, substance use disorder treatment, and postsecondary education. The report also emphasizes the importance of a strengths-based approach to service delivery based on a partnership between young adults and child welfare agencies.
The report outlines several key principles to inform strategies when creating a service array that is authentically youth-focused: proactive, youth-driven, emphasizes normalcy, and future focused. In general, the strategies provided focus on partnering with other organizations, schools, and service providers to provide more holistic and comprehensive services that consider the whole person, make services and information about them more easily accessible, and ensure the voice of the young person receiving services is heard. The report also describes the challenges agencies face when providing adequate and effective services. It also presents federal laws and programs youth and agencies can leverage as well as examples of innovative state, tribal, and local programs.
Overall, the article highlights the need for agencies to rethink how and which services are offered to young people currently and formerly in foster care in order to meet their diverse and complex needs through authentic partnerships to codevelop the services they need.
Read the full report for more details on the suggested strategies for improvement, which were provided by young people with lived experience and expertise.