Making Extended Care Work for Foster Youth in Transition: The State of the Evidence
On April 18 and 19, Silver School Associate Professor Michelle Munson and University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration Professor Mark Courtney co-hosted the Making Extended Care Work for Foster Youth in Transition: The State of the Evidence conference at New York University. 250 attendees heard diverse perspectives from agency heads, policymakers, and young adults on the specific needs of youth aging out of the foster care system. Panelists discussed the context and issues facing this population and suggested evidence-based programs to provide extended care.
The issues that panel conversations covered included finding employment, completing their education, accessing health services, managing pregnancy, engagement efforts to increase the young adult voice, parenting, and social relationships. Panelists highlighted leading research that shows the enormous impact extending services has on improving outcomes for young people transitioning out of the foster care system. Dr. Munson said, "It was very rewarding to bring together a national and international audience for a meaningful discussion about the evidence supporting the current policies, programs and practices aimed at helping this vulnerable population. The conference also supported the development of a new international collective of scholars dedicated to meeting annually to continue to plan strategic efforts for improving the lives of young adults."
NYU Silver School Dean Lynn Videka explained, "Until recently, youth aging out of the foster care system in the US experienced an abrupt transition to living on their own, with little support or services. Thanks to leadership in the field of foster care and the important work of scholars like Dr. Munson, there has been a proliferation of research documenting the needs of this group – prompting federal, state, and local governments to pay more attention to the realities facing these young people."
Making Extended Care Work for Foster Youth in Transition: The State of the Evidence was the first national conference to examine the enormous potential of extending foster care to youths in transition. There are plans for Dr. Munson and Dr. Courtney to host meetings of this group again in 2017.
NYU Silver and the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration co-sponsored this event, which was generously funded by The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.