Leaving Care in Massachusetts: Policy and Supports to Facilitate Transition to Adulthood

SSW Investigator(s):

Mary Collins, PhD, Cassandra Clay, MSW

Funding Source:

Youth Transition Task Force

Project Description:

This study is designed to examine the experience of foster care youth who leave care at the age of 18. The study will gather data on the quantity and quality of transitional services youth received or utilized while in care; the outcomes achieved by youth within 1-2 years of leaving custody; and the policy and program responses needed to improve outcomes for these youths. Study components include: 1) a series of interviews with youth and former caregivers regarding the transition experience; 2) analyses of administrative data to understand the scope of the problems and circumstances of youths; and 3) interviews with key stakeholders (policy makers, state agency personnel, program directors, etc.) to understand the strengths and weaknesses of current responses to serving this population.