Thursday, January 13, 2022: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Marquis BR Salon 12, ML 2 (Marriott Marquis Washington, DC)
Cluster: Adolescent and Youth Development
Rachel Rosenberg, PhD, Child Trends
The transition to adulthood (ages 14-26) is a time of identity formation, boundary testing, and change. During this time young adults are finishing high school and entering post-secondary education and/or the workforce and often are not financially independent. Young adults rely on their family for financial support well into their twenties. Additionally, the percent of young adults who live at home with their parents has increased dramatically over the last decade. These shifts are due to changes in workforce trends such as many entry-level positions requiring a college degree, lower lifetime earning potential as a result of the Great Recession, and more recent economic instability due to the COVID-19. Unfortunately, this level of familial support is not available to all young people during their transition to adulthood. Young people who are transitioning out of the foster care system are thrust into adulthood sooner than their peers not in foster care and often without a financial or emotional safety net. This symposium is a collection of papers analyzing survey and administrative data from the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative (JCYOI) recently released restricted use dataset. The JCYOI serves young people ages 14-26 who have spent at least one day in foster care after their 14th birthday and operates in 17 states across the country. The flagship features of the JCYOI are their financial education, asset development, and youth engagement programming. Additionally, the JCYOI surveys over 3,000 program participants every April and October since 2003 making it one of the most robust datasets available on young people with foster care experience. While the JCYOI has provided services and collected data since 2001, historically, the data was only available to the JCYOI provider sites for program evaluation and quality improvement. In April 2021, a de-identified subset of the data from consenting respondents became available by request to researchers. The collection of papers in this symposium are focused on increasing racial and ethnic equity and LGBTQ rights. The moderator will provide an overview of the dataset used, methods for data collection, and the unique needs and experiences of young people transitioning to adulthood that merit further study. The first paper focuses on asset development and young adult outcomes to explore whether young people who purchase assets fare better than their peers who do not. The authors will provide an in-depth discussion of the findings and any variation by race/ethnicity. The second paper examines the effects of COVID-19 on young people transitioning out of foster care by contrasting trends in data collected between 2016-2019 to trends in data collected in October 2020 and April 2021. The third paper focuses on adult connection among LGBTQ youth. The fourth paper will focus on housing and health outcomes among LGBTQ youth of color. The symposium will end with a facilitated discussion on the data and findings. These discussion questions will focus on achieving greater racial/ethnic equity and LGBTQ rights among youth transitioning out of foster care.
* noted as presenting author
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