Juvenile Law Center

Pennsylvania Fostering Connections to Success: Research

Note: The following listings are a compilation of the resources and publications of the following organizations: the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, California Fostering Connections, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, and FosteringConnections.org.


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Categories of Resources

Research and Analysis on Outcomes for Youth Aging Out
National Resources and Research
Teleconferences, Webcasts, Webinars, and Powerpoints
Youth With Special Needs
Teen Parents in Foster Care
National Websites
Pennsylvania Websites

Research and Analysis on Outcomes for Youth Aging Out


"Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth," by Mark E. Courtney, Amy Dworsky, Jennifer Hook, Adam Brown, Colleen Cary, Kara Love, Vanessa Vorhies, JoAnn S. Lee, Melissa Raap, Gretchen Ruth Cusick, Thomas Keller, Judy Havlicek, Alfred Perez, Sherri Terao, Noel Bost; 2011.

  • The Midwest Evaluation of Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth (Midwest Study) is a collaborative effort involving Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago; the University of Wisconsin Survey Center; and the public child welfare agencies in Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin. The study follows a sample of young people from Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois as they transition out of foster care into adulthood in order to provide a comprehensive picture of how foster youth are faring during this transition since the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 became law.

Issue Briefs Related to the Larger Midwest Study:

"The Economic Well-Being of LGB Youth Transitioning Out of Foster Care," by Amy Dworsky, Chapin Hall, University of Chicago, January 2013.

  • This issue brief describes the characteristics and economic well-being of young people aging out of foster care who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB). It also compares their economic self-sufficiency to that of their heterosexual peers also aging out of care. 

"Assessing the Impact of Extending Care Beyond Age 18 on Homelessness: Emerging Findings from the Midwest Study," by Amy Dworsky, Mark E. Courtney, 2010.

  • In this brief, the authors address three major questions stemming from their research findings in the Midwest Study: How common is homelessness among young people making the transition from foster care to adulthood do young people become homeless? Is there any evidence that allowing young people to remain in care until 21 reduces homelessness?

"Distinct Subgroups of Former Foster Youth During Young Adulthood: Implications for Policy and Practice," by Mark E. Courtney, Jennifer L. Hook, JoAnn S. Lee; 2010.

  • In this issue brief, the authors use data from their findings to identify subpopulations and generate four distinctive multi-dimensional profiles of transitioning foster youth.

"Does Extending Foster Care Beyond Age 18 Promote Postsecondary Educational Attainment?" by Amy Dworsky, Mark E. Courtney; 2010.

  • This issue brief updates the data from the Midwest Study regarding the relationship between postsecondary educational attainments and extending foster care until age 21.

"Employment of Former Foster Youth as Young Adults: Evidence from the Midwest Study," by Jennifer L. Hook, Mark E. Courtney; 2010.

  • This issue brief explores how former foster youth in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa are faring in the labor market and what explains the variability in employment outcomes for these youth by describing trends in former foster youths' employment from age 17 to 24 and considering how former foster youths' characteristics and experiences are associated with their employment and wages.

"Extending Foster Care to Age 21: Weighing the Costs to Government Against the Benefits of Youth," by Clark M. Peters, Amy Dworsky, Mark E. Courtney, Harold Pollack; June 2009.

  • This issue brief provides some preliminary estimates of those costs and benefits using data from a variety of sources, including the Midwest Study, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), the 1988 National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS), and the U.S. Census Bureau.

"Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study," Casey Family Programs, Harvard Medical School, the State of Washington Office of Children's Administration Research, and the State of Oregon Department of Human Services

  • Few studies have examined how children in foster care have fared as adults, and even fewer studies have identified what changes in foster care services could improve their lives. This study provides new information in both areas.

"Report on Human Rights Watch Interviews with Former Foster Children, Now Homeless," by Elizabeth M. Calvin, Human Rights Watch International; October 2006

  • A report to the California State Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, chronicling the experiences of homeless former foster youth in California. Documents pervasive difficulties across domains of life functioning by providing testimonials in the youths' own words. Contextualizes comments and provides concluding remarks.

"Public Shelter Admission Among Young Adults with Child Welfare Histories by Type of Service and Type of Exit"

  • This study examines the prevalence and associated factors of New York City public shelter use among young adults with histories of out-of-home care or nonplacement preventive services as teenagers. The study finds that 19 percent of former child welfare service users entered public shelters within 10 years of exit from child welfare. Persons with out-ofhome placement histories are twice as likely to enter public shelters (22 percent) as those who received nonplacement preventive services only (11 percent). Persons exiting child welfare through absconding from child welfare have the highest rate of shelter use, followed by those discharged to independent living.

"Assessing Outcomes for Youth Transitioning from Foster Care," Utah Department of Human Services

  • The Utah Department of Human Services reviewed the outcomes of 926 youth who aged out of foster care between 1999 and 2004, and comparing outcomes for those who left care before and after implementation of the Transition to Adult Living Initiative in 2003. This report describes those outcomes, which were mixed, and makes recommendations for further improvement.

"Coming of Age: Employment Outcomes for Youth Who Age Out of Foster Care Through Their Middle Twenties"

  • The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) requested this study to examine employment and earnings outcomes for youth, through their mid-twenties, who age out of foster care. The key question and focus of the study is whether foster youth catch up or continue to experience less employment and significantly lower earnings than their peers even into their mid-twenties.

"Employment Outcomes for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care," Chapin Hall Center for Children, March 2002

  • This report provides information on the employment outcomes of children exiting foster care near their eighteenth birthdays in California, Illinois, and South Carolina during the mid-1990s. It describes when they began to have earnings, in how many quarters over a 13-quarter time period they had earned income, and the amount of earned income they received over that time period. These outcomes are compared to those for youth who were reunified with their parents prior to their eighteenth birthday and to low-income youth.

National Resources and Research

"Federal Laws That Increase Educational Opportunities for Older Youth in Out-of-Home Care," American Bar Association Legal Center for Foster Care and Education

  • This brief provides information on three significant federal laws—the Fostering Connections Act, the College Cost Reducation Act, and the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act—that impact educational opportunities for older youth in the foster care system. 

"Extending Support to 21—Details of State Practice," Child Welfare League of America

  • This matrix provides details about five states' policies and practices for retaining eligible youth in foster care beyond age 18. The five states are Connecticut, Massachusetts, Missouri, Minnesota, and New York.

"Designing Foster Care to 21: A Discussion Guide for Policymakers," by Barbara Langford, Margaret Flynn-Khan, and Katherine Gaughen; May 2010.

  • This brief is intended to support state leaders in the decision-making process when considering the opportunities available to their state to extend IV-E eligibility. The brief begins with general consideration for designing foster care and permanency services and supports beyond age 18, lays out a series of design questions to guide state conversations, and includes case studies from two states that have recently undertaken planning processes in consideration of extending IV-E eligibility.

"Number of Youth Aging Out of Foster Care Continues to Rise," by Marci Mc-Coy Roth, Madelyn Freundlich, and Timothy Ross; January 2010.

  • National data on the number of youth aging out of foster care and its impact.

"Number of Youth Aging Out of Foster Care Drops Below 28,000 in 2010," by Marci McCoy-Roth, Kerry DeVooght, and Megan Fletcher; August 2011.

  • Updated national data on the number of youth out of foster care and its impact.

"The Adolescent Brain: New Research and its Implications for Young People Transitioning from Foster Care," by Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative; 2011.

  • A study on the emerging science of adolescent brain development and its implications for young people transitioning out of foster care.

"Foster Care to 21: Doing it Right" and "Social Capital: Building Quality Networks for Young People in Foster Care," by Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative

  • These issue briefs draws from a research base and set of recommendations described more fully in the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative's publication, "The Adolescent Brain." 

"Aging Out and On Their Own," by Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative and Kids Are Waiting; The Pew Charitable Trusts; March 2007.

  • Drawing on findings from focus groups, research studies, and interviews, this report describes how the current foster care system fails to provide a permanent family for every child, the difficulty children have staying connected to family and friends while in foster care, and the problems young adults have when they have to face the future without a permanent family to support.

"Aging Out of Foster Care: Towards a Universal Safety Net for Former Foster Care Youth," by Melinda Atkinson, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, 2008.

  • This article identifies the specific needs and outcomes of youth who age out under current foster care policies, analyzes federal law relating to youth aging out, and surveys various state law attempts to address gaps in federal law and makes policy recommendations, arguing for a universal approach that provides basic services to all former foster care youth.

"2007 Resolution of the American Bar Association," submitted by Dwight L. Smith, August 2007.

  • A resolution by the American Bar Association encouraging legal professionals to lead and promote efforts to create comprehensive support and services for youth who age out of foster care and other former foster youth until at least age 21. Contains extensive synthesis of research into the needs of transition-age youth.

"2002 Resolution of the American Bar Association," submitted by Paige Berntson, August 2001.

  • A resolution by the American Bar Association urging Congress and state and territorial legislatures to enact laws that provide youth in foster care full access, up to age 21, to independent and transitional living services and health care and access to competent counsel who can advocate for necessary services and safeguards. Contains extensive discussion of research, policy, and legal considerations.

"From Foster Care to Young Adulthood: University of Chicago Law School Project's Protocol for Reform," by Emily Buss, et al., University of Chicago Law School, 2008.

  • Provides a detailed and comprehensive vision for reform of the foster care system to better ensure that youth "aging out" are supported through to a healthy, independent adulthood.

"Youth Transitioning from Foster Care: Background, Federal Programs, and Issues for Congress," by Adrienne L. Fernandes, Congressional Research Service, May 2008.

  • Provides a comprehensive summary of the legal and policy context of efforts to extend support for foster youth to age 21; examines different approaches to extending support in light of relevant legal statutes, as well as then-pending legislation.

"Continuing Foster Care Beyond Age 18: How Courts Can Help," by Clark Peters, Katie S. Claussen Bell, Andrew Zinn, Robert M. George, and Mark E. Courtney; Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, July 2008.

  • Provides insight into the many interconnected systemic issues involved in adapting current systems of foster care to serve youth aged 18 to 21.

"Youth in Foster Care: Easing the Transition to Adulthood," by Mark E. Courtney; Society for Research in Child Development, January 2009.

  • This policy brief outlines a number of improvements federal legislators can make to improve HR 2893's ability to support the broadest possible range of transition-age former foster youth in their development into independent adults. Summarizes current research and makes policy recommendations for federal and state policymakers.

"Factors, Characteristics, and Practices Related to Former Foster Youth and Independent Living Programs: A Literature Review," June 2009.

  • It has been well documented that former foster youth are at a distinct advantage in early adulthood in the areas of education, housing, employment, economics, and health. This report, prepared by Northern California Training Academy and sponsored by the California Department of Social Services, reviews the literature on the transition out of the foster care system to independent living. Independent Living Programs (ILPs) have been found to contribute to independence for some former foster youth. However, many limitations have been noted. One suggested approach to administering ILPs is to consider individual differences and design programs using a person-centered approach. Multiple studies suggest that enrollment in ILPs should commence as early as possible as many youth exit the system without the benefit of ILP experiences. Overall, the most common recommendation is to foster and encourage mentor relationships for youth during the transition to independent living and to provide extended aftercare services as necessary. Recommendations for future research are discussed.

"Evidence-Based Programs for Youth Transitioning to Adulthood"

  • The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse has identified programs for young people transitioning to adulthood that can be classified as "acceptable/emerging practices."

"Review of State Policies and Programs to Support Young People Transitioning Out of Foster Care," by Amy Dworsky and Judy Havlicek

  • This report provides a comprehensive review of state efforts to support youth transitioning out of foster care. As part of the review, Chapin Hall administered a web-based survey of state independent living services coordinators that covered a number of domains including conditions under which foster youth can remain in care after turning 18, independent living and transition services provided, opportunities for youth to reenter care, and how state dollars are used to supplement federal funds.

"Aging Out and On Their Own: More Teens Leaving Foster Care Without a Permanent Family," Kids Are Waiting

  • This report presents state-by-state data on the rising numbers of youth aging out without a safe, permanent family, describes the challenges they face, and recommends federal foster care financing reform as a way to reduce these numbers.

"Aging Out of the Foster Care System to Adulthood: Findings, Challenges, and Recommendations," Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies Health Policy Institute

  • This report explores the unmet needs of youth who age out of the nation's foster care systems.

"State Policies to Help Youth Transition Out of Foster Care," National Governor's Association Center for Best Practices

  • This issue brief describes ways that states can strengthen policies, improve coordination across agencies and systems, better utilize resources, and meaningfully engage foster youth to improve the outcomes of youth leaving the foster care system and at-risk youth in general.

"Youth Aging Out of Foster Care: Identifying Strategies and Best Practices"

  • Outlines the current federal framework addressing youth aging out of foster care, identifies general outcomes for these young people, and highlights model county programs and best practices that are addressing the needs of this population in innovative ways.

"Finding Funding: Guide to Federal Funding Sources for Youth Programs"

  • This catalog and guide provides an overview of federal funds that may support youth programming. In addition, the guide highlights youth initiatives that used creative financing strategies to support their programming and offers tips for accessing funds and implementing financing strategies.

"Transitioning from Foster Care: An Experiential Activity Guidebook," University of Southern Maine, Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service, Institute for Public Sector Innovation

  • This guidebook is designed for programs that primarily work with youth in and transitioning from foster care. Specific transition activities and facilitation techniques are provided as a resource for program development and/or the enhancement of current program orientation and training.

AdvoCasey, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Fall 2001/Winter 2002 issue

  • This policy magazine highlights issues and policies that affect the lives of children and families in the United States. The focus of the Fall 2011 issue is "Foster Teens in Transition: Fostered or Forgotten?"

"'Now What?' Leaving the System: A Special Issue on Permanency," Represent magazine, March/April 2008

  • This issue offers stories by young people on adoption, reunification, and independent living. The Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) named this issue a finalist in the category of "Best One-Theme Issue" in this year's Distinguished Achievement Awards.

"Health Care for Adolescents and Young Adults Leaving Foster Care: Policy Options for Improving Access," Center for Adolescent Health & the Law

  • This issue brief describes the young people who are aging out of foster care, their health status, and the barriers to health care they face when leaving foster care. It explains how health care access can be improved for this population by first describing how Medicaid and SCHIP currently reach adolescents and young adults, and how these two programs can be used to help former foster youth. The brief emphasizes, in particular, the important opportunity presented by the Medicaid Expansion Option contained in the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999, and summarizes the policy options that can best improve access to health care for former foster youth.

Teleconferences, Webcasts, Webinars, and Powerpoints

"Fostering Connections Extensions in PA: Act 91 and 80," Juvenile Law Center, December 11, 2012

  • A webinar training on the basics of Acts 91 and 80, highlighting potential strategies for maximizing the legislation's potential. 

"Understanding the Fostering Connections Act: An Introduction for State Policymakers," National Conference of State Legislatures and FosteringConnections.org, May 13, 2011

  • A discussion of the Fostering Connections Act, inviting guests to highlight specific state examples of implementation

"Two Years Since Fostering Connections, Older Youth Provisions," Fostering Connections Resource Center, FosterClub, National Conference of State Legislatures, The Finance Project, John Burton Foundation, and Fostering Media Connections; October 7, 2010

  • A webinar to mark the two-year anniversary of the Fostering Connections Act, with a special emphasis on the older youth provisions.

"New Title IV-E Tools for Tribes to Take Advantage of Opportunities Under Fostering Connections," Fostering Connections Resource Center and National Indian Child Welfare Association, August 10, 2010

  • A slide show presentation from the August 10, 2010 webinar on new Title IV-3 tools for tribes to take advantage of opportunities under Fostering Connections.

"Projecting the Net Fiscal Impact of Extending Foster Care to 21," The Finance Project, National Foster Care Coalition, and Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative; April 27, 2010

  • A webinar on the net fiscal impact of extending foster care to age 21.

"Designing Foster Care to 21," February 8, 2010

  • Presents a variety of design considerations for extending supports and services to youth ages 18 to 21 and highlights experiences of three states.

"Keeping Kids in the Child Welfare System After Age 18," Chapin Hall Center for Children and the National Conference of State Legislatures, March 1, 2006

  • This web seminar presents an overview of research and provides state lawmakers, policymakers, advocates, and others with an opportunity to learn about the experiences of states that allow youth to remain in foster care past their eighteenth birthdays.

"Extending Foster Care to Age 21: Implications for Providers, Impact on Budgets," Chapin Hall Center for Children and Urban Institute, 2011

  • One important provision of the 2008 Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act extended federal support for keeping foster youth in care until age 21. The goal is to improve educational and health-related outcomes. This extension of care has significant implications for service providers as they plan adaptations to their programs for a group of older youth who need services that will help prepare them for independence. It has implications as well for the budgets of state agencies and program providers. This webinar offers a discussion on extending foster care to age 21 and its implications for providers and impact on budgets.

"Cost Avoidance: Bolstering the Economic Case for Investing in Youth Aging Out of Foster Care"

  • This study bolsters the case for greater investments into the future of youth aging out of foster care. It identifies some of the costs of bad outcomes and estimates the potential savings that could be achieved if youth in foster care were doing as well as others their age. The paper looks at three important areas: education, family formation, and criminal justice.

Youth With Special Needs

"The Mental Health of Vulnerable Youth and Their Transition to Adulthood: Examining the Role of the Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice, and Runaway/Homeless System," Child Trends, August 2009

  • This research brief was prepared by Child Trends under contract to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation/DHHS. The project focused on the mental health of vulnerable youth who have been in contact with service systems, including child welfare, juvenile justice, and runaway and homeless programs. Data for this project come from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). Add Health is a nationally representative study that was designed to examine the causes of health-related behaviors of adolescents and their outcomes in young adulthood.

"Transition Planning for Foster Youth," Journal for Vocational Speech Needs Education

  • This study evaluated the IEPs/Individualized Transition Plans of 45 students who were in special education and foster care and compared them to the plans of 45 students who were in special education only. Results indicate that the transition plans of foster youth with disabilities were poor in quality, both in absolute terms and in comparison to youth who are in special education only. The review of transition plans suggests that foster youth may often go through the transition plan process with no parent advocate or educational surrogate, that professionals have limited expectations for foster youth, and that the transition plan document often does not support accountability or serve as a road map for moving into adulthood. The importance of student-directed, meaningful transition planning and services and supports for youth in foster care with disabilities is emphasized. In addition, the need for collaborative efforts between the child welfare system and special education is discussed.

"Youth with Disabilities in the Foster Care System: Barries to Success and Proposed Policy Solutions"

The purpose of this report is to provide policymakers, primarily at the federal and state levels, with information about youth with disabilities in foster care so that policymakers can begin to understand the characteristics of this population; the challenges they face; how they fare with regard to safety, permanency, self-determination and self-sufficiency, enhanced quality of life, and community integration; and how the complex array of existing programs and services could be better designed to improve these outcomes.

Teen Parents in Foster Care

"ABCs of Working With Young Parents in Out of Home Care: Expectations, Responsibilities, and Resources," NYC Administration for Children's Services

  • This guide outlines considerations for case planners and provides a list of services and resources for pregnant and parenting youth in out of home care. 

"Helping Teens Help Themselves: A National Blueprint for Expanding Access to Supportive Housing Among Pregnant and Parenting Teens Exiting Foster Care," Healthy Teen Network

  • This national blueprint represents a multi-year, multidisciplinary approach to increase supportive housing options for pregnant and parenting teens exiting foster care.

National Websites

National Resource Center for Youth Development

  • The National Resource Center for Youth Development at the University of Oklahoma focuses on increasing the capacity and resources of State, Tribal, and other publicly supported child welfare agencies to effectively meet the needs of youth who will be emancipated from the child welfare system. This will be accomplished by helping adolescents achieve the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 goals of safety, permanency, and well-being through the effective implementation of the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 and other related programs.

Transition from Foster Care to Adulthood Wiki

  • This Wiki has been set up as a space for sharing information about state law and practice regarding foster youths' transition from foster care to adulthood. It allows those with access to information on a specific jurisdiction to make that information easily available to others. This collaborative effort will result in the creation of a convenient, comprehensive, and continually updated resource for finding information on the various legal and practical approaches states have taken regarding the transition from foster care to adulthood.

Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative

  • The Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative is a national foundation whose mission is to help youth in foster care make successful transitions to adulthood. Formed by two foundations focused on child and youth well-being—The Annie E. Casey Foundation and Casey Family Programs—the Initiative brings together the people and resources needed to help youth make the connections they need to education, employment, health care, housing, and supportive personal and community relationships.

Youth Transitions Funders Group

  • The Youth Transition Funders Group was formed in 1995 by advocates from foundations dedicated to improving the lives of our nation's most vulnerable young people. Foundations involved in the YTFG are committed to achieving a common mission - ensuring that this nation's young people are successfully connected by age 25 to institutions and support systems that will enable them to succeed throughout adulthood. The YTFG is focusing explicitly on young people ages 14-24 likely to be disconnected from positive personal, family, community, and/or societal involvement because they dropped out of school; had a baby before age 20 without being married; are deeply involved in the juvenile or adult criminal justice system, and/or dropped out or "aged out" of the foster care system. Visit this website to learn more; check out their collection of papers and reports.

FYI3.com - Foster Youth Involved, Informed, Independent

  • Fyi3.com provides foster youth between ages 14 and 23 opportunities to become involved, informed and independent in their transitioning journey towards adulthood. The website is a partnership project between FosterClub.com and the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative.

Network on Transitions to Adulthood

  • The Network on the Transitions to Adulthood, supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, examines the changing nature of early adulthood (ages 18-34), and the policies, programs, and institutions that support young people as they move into adulthood.

The Forum for Youth Investment

  • The Forum is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping communities and the nation make sure all young people are Ready by 21™ — ready for college, work and life. This goal requires that young people have the supports, opportunities and services needed to prosper and contribute where they live, learn, work, play and make a difference. The Forum provides youth and adult leaders with the information, technical assistance, training, network support and partnership opportunities needed to increase the quality and quantity of youth investment and youth involvement.

The Finance Project Connected by 25 Information Resource Center for Youth Transitions Initiative

  • This site provides links to resources on research, best practice, policy and funding as well to organizations working on issues affecting youth in care. It includes resources that specifically address youth aging out of foster care, as well as more general youth resources that can inform the development of supports for youth transitioning from care.


  • FindYouthInfo.gov was created by the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs (IWGYP), which is composed of representatives from 12 Federal agencies that support programs and services focusing on youth. Through the Youth Topics series, IWGYP provides information, strategies, tools, and resources for youth, families, schools and community organizations related to a variety of cross-cutting topics that affect youth, including Transition Age Youth.

Solutions Desk: Helping Youth Transition

  • This website, which is a service of the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs., includes the following sections: Collaborative Models Library, Community of Practice, Funding, Transitioning Youth.


  • Foster Club is an online community providing youth a safe place to obtain facts about foster care, read inspirational stories, and find support from their peers. Foster Club produces a website, FYI3.com, designed specifically for older youth in foster care, which inspires young people to become involved in their case plans, informs them about their rights in foster care, and prepares them for independence after they age out of the system. In addition to providing online communities, Foster Club coordinates conferences for teens in care, runs the Foster Club All Stars youth leadership program, develops youth-friendly publications, and infuses youth voices into the child welfare system.

National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections

  • The National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections at the Hunter College School of Social Work is a training, technical assistance, and information services organization dedicated to help strengthen the capacity of State, local, Tribal and other publicly administered or supported child welfare agencies to: institutionalize a safety-focused, family-centered, and community-based approach to meet the needs of children, youth and families.


  • A gathering place of information, training and tools related to furthering the implementation of the Fostering Connections law.  Aims to connect implementers with the latest information and the best experts and advocates working on these issues.

Represent! The Voice of Youth in Foster Care

  • Represent! gives inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff useful insights into teen concerns.

Pennsylvania Websites

Foundations of Independent Living: An Overview

  • This curriculum from the Pennsylvania Child Welfare Training Program prepares participants to: Describe the social issues of unprepared youth and young adults exiting care; Describe the history, philosophy, legislation, and goals of the Pennsylvania Independent Living Program; Recognize the importance of permanent connections for youth within the community; Identify available resources to promote permanency for youth; and Describe the roles of collaborative partners that aid in empowering youth.

The Independent Living Services Continuum: Engaging Youth in Their Transition Process

  • This curriculum from the Pennsylvania Child Welfare Training Program prepares participants to: Understand and implement the Independent Living continuum of services. They will also learn how to engage youth in that continuum; Develop a case plan with youth; Describe the rights of youth in the case planning process; Identify ways to engage youth in the case planning process; and Identify required documentation and its importance to the youth's successful transition.

Dependent Youth Aging Out of Foster Care

  • Designed to aid the court in planning for youth who are aging out of the foster care system and must be equipped to handle the adult world without the support that families often provide.

Know Your Rights: A Guide for Youth in Substitute Care

  • Provides Pennsylvania youth and those who work on their behalf with information on youths' legal rights in the substitute care system and how they can best advocate for themselves.

Independent Living PA

  • The Pennsylvania Youth Advisory Board (YAB) is part of the Independent living project sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh: School of Social Work. YAB is comprised of current and former substitute care youth ages 16-21. Youth leaders on the YAB educate, advocate, and form partnerships to create positive change in the substitute care system. The website provides information for youth in and aging out of foster care.

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