The Economic Well-Being of Youth Transitioning From Foster Care: Opportunity Passport Participant Survey Results Show Employment Helps Many Thrive.
Annie E. Casey Foundation. Child Trends. Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative.
Annie E. Casey Foundation
701 St. Paul St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
This research brief presents findings from an evaluation of the Jim Casey Initiative's Opportunity Passport program, a program that provides a matched-savings intervention that is designed to improve youth people’s financial capability as they transition from foster care into adulthood. The evaluation examined employment data from Opportunity Passport participants who were at least 16 years old and completed at least three Opportunity Passport Participant Surveys (OPPS) since 2008. Employment characteristics include rates, full-time status, average hours worked per week, hourly wages, and training experiences. Findings from the program indicate: employment gains for black Opportunity Passport participants trailed those of their white peers from ages 16 to 21; young parents did not achieve the same economic progression as their non-parent peers and parenthood was associated with fewer transitions to employment across all age groups; young people who experienced group placements did not achieve the same economic progression as their peers who did not live in group placements; group placements were associated with lower rates of employment and hourly wages from ages 19 to 21 and from ages 22 to 24; young people with more foster care placements had less economic progression from ages 19 to 21 compared with those with fewer foster care placements; and a higher proportion of Opportunity Passport participants are employed compared with young people in the general population as well as 17- and 19-year-old NYTD respondents. The brief concludes with specific recommendations for how policymakers and service providers should use findings from the evaluation to more effectively support young people. 29 references.
aging out; foster adolescents; financial assistance; employment; group homes; risk factors; economic self sufficiency; family income; placement stability; well being