Findings from the California Youth Transitions to Adulthood Study (CalYOUTH)
Recently there has been a fundamental shift toward greater federal responsibility for supporting foster youth during the transition to adulthood. The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (“Fostering Connections Act”) amended Title IV-E to extend the age of Title IV-E eligibility from 18 to 21 years old.
Through the Foster Connections Act, states may now claim federal reimbursement for the costs of foster care maintenance payments made on behalf of Title IV-E-eligible foster youth until they are 21 years old. While states have the option to extend care under the new provisions of the Fostering Connections Act, they are not required to do so. The California Fostering Connections to Success Act and subsequent amendments to state law extended foster care for eligible youth to age 21. Although nearly half of all states have adopted legislation to take up the Fostering Connections option of extending care past age 18 and others are considering doing so, California is arguably the most important early adopter of the new policy.
CalYOUTH (the California Youth Transitions to Adulthood Study) is an evaluation of the impact of the California Fostering Connections to Success Act on outcomes during foster youths’ transition to adulthood.The current CalYOUTH Wave 2 Los Angeles County Report presents findings from the CalYOUTH Wave 2 Youth Survey, focusing on just study participants in Los Angeles County. The CalYOUTH Wave 2 Youth Survey, conducted when the young people participating in CalYOUTH were 19 years old, follows up on a survey of the same young people when they were approaching the age of majority in California’s foster care system. This study is deisgned to provide a rich description of the characteristics and circumstances of young adults who were in California foster care during their late adolescence.