There are a variety of recent and upcoming initiatives driven by the NYC Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) aimed at improving education and career pathways for foster youth aged 14 and older. However, there is limited research examining longer-term education and career outcomes for these youth. This study, funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, will for the first time, enable NYC to understand these long-term educational and employment outcomes and to measure the extent that these outcomes are showing improvements in recent years. Further, it will set in place a structure and methodology to facilitate continued feedback about progress going forward.
By helping understand the degree to which recent and upcoming policy change and initiatives are having the intended positive effects, the results of this project will inform future policy in NYC aimed at supporting foster youth.
The sample will be comprised of youth with DOBs from 1991-2001 who touched the NYC foster care system at any point from age 14-18. The historical foster care data of these youth will be linked to their education data, college data, labor data, and HRA cash assistance data. From these data, a number of outcome measures will be derived: on-time high school graduation, 5-year graduation, college enrollment, earnings from employment, employment stability, and the industries of employment. These outcomes will then be examined for youth involved in foster care at different points in time (i.e., in different calendar years). The results will provide information about trends over time, such as the degree to which on-time high school graduation differed for those youth with foster care involvement a decade ago vs. more recently. Analyses will also distinguish trends between those with different foster care, HRA, and education characteristics.