Education Support for Foster Care Youth: The Impact of Federal Spending on Employment Outcomes
Doctor of Philosophy
Health Related Sciences
This study examined the extent to which supportive services funded through the federal John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCP) are associated with academic success and employment in foster care youth. Studies suggest that this group experiences poorer employment outcomes (Gypen, Vanderfaeillie, De Maeyer, Belenger, & Van Holen, 2017; Okpych & Courtney, 2014) and earn less money annually (Gypen et al., 2017; Okpych & Courtney, 2014; Pecora, 2012). Despite a 29.4-billion-dollar annual budget for foster care services, individuals with a foster care history struggle after they transition out of care.
The CFCP is intended to help states improve education efforts with foster care youth by providing specific supports to help them earn a GED or High School Diploma, and to obtain employment. This study used 2011-2015 data in the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) Services File and Outcomes File to examine associations between the services listed above, GED/graduation, and employment, through three regression analyses. The study found a positive correlation between education level and education outcomes indicating that the more grades a foster care youth completed, the more likely they were to earn an academic credential. The study also revealed three small correlations between employment skills, foster care status, and highest education certification and employment status. These findings indicate that foster care youth were more likely to be employed if they possessed employment skills and had signed themselves out of foster care.
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