Programs for Foster Youth Transitioning to Adulthood (FYTA) Evaluation

Posted in: News

Posted on January 16, 2024

Every year in New York City, hundreds of young adults exit foster care without legal permanency or “age out.” Over 80 percent are youth of color. Almost all were found by the city’s child welfare agency to have been victims of substantiated maltreatment and experienced the trauma of removal from their families. Historically, the public sector has provided a limited set of services to support foster youth transitioning to adulthood. Though many foster youth transitioning to adulthood (FYTA) overcome challenges to lead independent and fulfilling lives, as a group they experience high rates of homelessness, unemployment, mental health challenges, and involvement with the justice system.

Through funding from the Criminal Justice Investment Initiative (CJII), Graham Windham’s “Graham SLAM (Support, Lead, Achieve, Model)” and The Door’s “Academy,” offer New York City FYTA personalized support through mentorship, coaching, and youth-driven services. The Door started offering specialized programming to foster youth in 2006, while the Graham SLAM program began in 2013. Though the service models in each program differ, experts describe Graham Windham and The Door as two of the leading providers in the field.

To study the programs and the outcomes of the youth who participated, CJII funded Action Research to conducted a mixed methods evaluation. The evaluation included interviews of staff and youth participants, reviews of program materials and data, and an analysis of outcomes reflected in New York City administrative data.

The interviews and program data indicated that both providers succeeded in delivering a wide range of services as described in their program plan and logic models prior to the pandemic and made strong efforts to adapt and continue services after the onset of the pandemic.

See CUNY ISLG’s blog for a look at the services to which The Door and Graham Slam connected over 700 youth.

Download an executive summary of the outcome evaluation here.

Download a PowerPoint of the outcome findings here.

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