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  • Tasha Matthews

More than Numbers


The John Burton Advocates for Youth Foundation has just released the 2017 Annual Report on the status of Non-Minor Dependents (NMD's) in California. The John Burton Advocates for Youth provide affordable housing and supportive services to youth transitioning from California’s foster care and juvenile probation systems. The report provides a very comprehensive overview of the state of NMD's in California. We share this information to provide a holistic view and provide a greater understanding of the stories behind the stats.

* We are citing the Annual Report for all information below.

Here is a brief summary of the report:

The Transitional Housing Placement Plus (THP-Plus) program was created by the California State Legislature in 2001 in response to the alarming rate of homelessness among former foster youth. The program was first implemented in 2005. THP-Plus provides safe, affordable housing and supportive services to former foster and probation youth, ages 18 to 24 for up to 24 months.

The number of youth in extended foster care who are placed in THP+FC continues to grow, with 1,661 youth placed in THP+FC as of April 1, 2017. THP-Plus remains an important program for youth as they transition out of the foster care system. Together, these two publicly funded programs are housing and serving over 3,000 transition-age current and former foster youth in California on any given day, and are well-positioned to make a meaningful impact on youth just before they become entirely independent adults.

HOMELESSNESS:

More than half of the youth in THP-Plus have experienced homelessness prior to entering the program, and nearly a third enter the program directly from homelessness or unstable housing. A full 25 percent of youth who exited THP+FC over 2016-17 and 52 percent of youth who exited THP-Plus over 2016-17 had experienced homelessness prior to entering the program.

DEMOGRAPHICS:

Overall, the profile of youth participating in THP-Plus remained relatively consistent with recent years. As in past years, there are more young women participating in THP-Plus than young men (56% vs. 44%) and one in 10 participants self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ). One notable change is an increase in those youth who identify as Hispanic, from 42 percent to 46 percent; an increase in those youth who identify as multi-racial or other, from 36 percent to 44 percent; and a decrease in those youth who identify as White, from 28 percent to 22 percent.

EDUCATION:

Most youth in both programs enter with a high school diploma. Of youth who exited a THP+FC program over 2016-17, 70 percent of youth had completed high school or received their General Education Diploma (GED)/High School Equivalency Certificate when they entered the program. In THP-Plus, this figure is slightly higher, with 78 percent of participants having entered the program with this minimum academic credential or higher.

EMPLOYMENT:

Youth who exited a THP+FC program over 2016-17 experienced an increase in their rate of employment, from 27 percent at entrance to 39 percent at exit. Youth who exited a THP-Plus program over 2016-17 experienced an increase in their rate of employment, from 39 percent at entrance to 50 percent at exit.

CHILDREN & PARENTING:

Of youth who exited a THP+FC program over 2016-17, the proportion who were custodial parents increased from 13 percent at entrance to 21 percent upon exit from the program. This trend was even more profound among THP-Plus participants. Of youth who exited a THP-Plus program, 16 percent were custodial parents upon entrance to the program, and upon exit this figure jumped to 26 percent.

See the full report from John Burton's Advocates for Youth HERE.


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