Research indicates that youths who exit foster care often become unemployed or hold unstable, low-paying jobs. This report analyzes the research, and concludes that more programs should be implemented to reverse this trend.
To better understand the need for such services, a study was performed using administrative data about youths leaving foster care and participating in the programs, particularly in the state of Illinois. The report highlights data about 298 youth taking advantage of Community Assistance Programs (CAPs), a nonprofit agency that provides employment training and job placement services.
CAPs’ employment training program includes four weeks of classroom instruction and time at “Pretend Town,” an off-site replica of a real community in which youth can practice having jobs, managing money, etc. The agency provides services and support, such as transportation assistance, counseling, and GED classes as needed to alleviate factors that may prevent youth from being able to participate in the program. Eventually, the youth are placed in subsidized jobs.
The authors of this report use CAPs as an example of the type of system they would like to see more of. Nearly all participants in this program were “educationally disadvantaged,” the report says, furthering the importance of this training.