Receipt of Independent Living Services Among Older Youth in Foster Care: An Analysis of National Data From the U.S.
Okpych, Nathanael J.
Published: April 2015
Children and Youth Services Review
Vol. 51, No. April , p. 74-86
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Fifteen years has passed since the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program was created under the Social Security Act, which marked an increased role of the U.S. federal government in supporting foster care youth to independence. It was not until the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) was launched in 2010 that all 50 states reported standard data on receipt of the 13 types of Chafee independent living services. This paper, which draws on the first two years of NYTD data, analyzes Chafee service receipt across the U.S. among youth in foster care (ages 16–21). About half of the 131,204 youth included in this analysis received at least one type of Chafee service, and considerable variation existed in the proportion of youth that received each of the 13 specific types of services. Females were more likely than males to receive all but one type of service, and African Americans were less likely to receive most of the services. An interaction effect indicated that Black youth were significantly less likely to receive services in large urban areas than other racial/ethnic groups. Young people with disabilities or medical/psychological conditions were generally more likely to receive services than youth without disabilities. Youth in large urban regions receive fewer services than youth residing in other areas, and substantial variation exists between states in proportions of service recipients. Recommendations are made for targeting services, future data collection, and research, including suggestions on ways to improve measurement of Chafee services. (Author abstract)
foster adolescents; independent living skills; independent living; federal laws; statistics; human sex differences; Racial factors