The Conrad N. Hilton Foster Youth Strategic Initiative (FYSI) grew out of an extensive research and synthesis process that included the perspectives of a wide variety of stakeholders. Ultimately, the process helped the Foundation better understand the challenges facing transition-age youth (TAY) and identify successful models for change; this work became the foundation for FYSI. In February 2012, the Board of Directors approved FYSI. The FYSI launched in March 2012; the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) component (or evaluation) began in March 2013.

To address the myriad issues facing TAY, those in care and transitioning out of care, the Foundation provides grants to organizations and entities with the potential to meet the three overarching goals of FYSI: (1) to increase TAY self-sufficiency, (2) to strengthen and increase cross-system collaboration and promote systems change, and (3) to develop and disseminate new knowledge about the needs of TAY and effective strategies for meeting those needs. As of June 2015, the Foundation has awarded $32,772,500 to 39 grantees as part of FYSI.