Youth Subgroups who Receive John F. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program Services
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To date over two billion dollars have been invested in the John F. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) to help youth who are transitioning out of foster care to achieve self-sufficiency through an array of independent living services. Although states are required to report CFCIP service provision to the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD), the degree of heterogeneity of the aging out population from the service receipt perspective and state implementation is unknown. The CFCIP calls for a deeper understanding of the underlying patterns of services receipt to prepare for youth’s successful transition to adulthood. Based on the population of 68,057 first-time youth who received CFCIP services in FY2011-FY2013 from the NYTD, we used multi-level latent class analysis (MLCA) to identify underlying combinations of service receipt that may be influenced by youth-level and state-level characteristics. We identified the most preferred model based on interpretability, fit statistics, and split-half replication. The optimal model was a three-class, MLCA solution characterized by a high-service receipt profile, an independent living assessment and academic support receipt profile, and a limited service receipt profile. Among male and female youth, age, education level, and whether states serve youth aged 18 or above were significant characteristics associated with LCA profile membership. States could benefit from understanding existing service receipt patterns and gaps to optimize decisions on service delivery in order to meet youth needs and to identify specific services that may prepare youth aging out of foster care towards positive outcomes.
KeywordsFoster care Transitional age youth Aging out of care Independent living services Latent class analysis Child welfare policy
The authors would like to thank the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect (NDACAN) Summer Research Institute’s staff and faculty for their assistance with the NYTD data.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
The authors received permission from the NDACAN to use the NYTD data. This study does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.
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