This report by our partners at Child Trends presents an evaluation of progress made toward the Foster Youth program’s objectives in 2020. The report includes an inquiry into the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the lives of youth in foster care and findings suggest that many of the innovative solutions developed to adapt to the pandemic should be sustained into the future. Significant developments arising from the evaluation of 2020 program progress include:
- COVID-19 has created numerous and significant challenges for youth in accessing education and employment services and are expected to be long-lasting. However, grantees played a pivotal role, in partnership with public agencies, in meeting the needs of youth and caregivers during the pandemic, particularly concerning technology. The Foster Youth program has maintained its focus across all six issue areas, while demonstrating creativity and flexibility as it pivoted and invested additional resources in services and advocacy efforts to meet emergent needs.
- Grantees engaged in advocacy efforts at the local, state, and national level, acting quickly to ensure decisionmakers prioritized foster youth in their COVID responses. Public and private funding has been sustained or increased for key youth serving programs, even as the recession resulting from the pandemic threatens public funding streams.
- NYC scaled coaching and tutoring services for youth in foster care through Fair Futures, which by June 2020 matched over 1,500 youth ages 14-20 with a coach to support them in navigating education, employment, housing, and other services on their path to self-sufficiency.
- The program continues to invest in expanding the use of data and evidence to drive program and policy solutions. While some research projects experienced delays due to COVID-19, the Initiative, its grantees, and stakeholders were still able to advance data collection and integration in important ways.
The full report is available for download here and below are links to the individual snapshots, which provide a brief overview of 2020 progress in the following areas:
- Education Snapshot
- Postsecondary Education Snapshot
- Employment Snapshot
- Placement Snapshot
- Focused Interventions Snapshot
- Cross-System Coordination Snapshot
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s Foster Youth program aims to ensure that older youth in foster care in Los Angeles County and New York City become self-sufficient and thriving adults. The program equips transition-age foster youth ages 16 to 24 for career and college success. To help youth in foster care achieve positive educational and career outcomes, the program’s grantees provide a continuum of supports to help all youth in foster care gain the skills and supports they need to thrive. Grantees also provide targeted supports for youth who have historically faced greater challenges, including expectant and parenting foster youth and foster youth who cross over into the juvenile justice system. Across all of our work, the program promotes greater alignment and coordination between systems that serve youth in foster care. Read more about the program here.