Michigan, Texas Foster Care Alumni Study Technical Reports: Outcomes at age 23 and 24
The State Foster Care Alumni Study examined demographic characteristics, maltreatment history, foster care experiences and outcomes among 23- and 24-year-old alumni in Texas and Michigan. One hundred seventy-three alumni in Texas and 65 alumni in Michigan were interviewed in 2008 and 2009.
In Texas, most youth had experienced at least one mental health problem in their lifetime. At the time of the interview, slightly less than half had graduated high school with a diploma, and slightly less than half were employed at least 10 hours per week. Nearly two in five had experienced homelessness at least once since leaving care.
In addition to reporting demographic characteristics, maltreatment history and foster care experiences, the Texas technical report examines the effects of those characteristics and experiences on outcomes. For example, alumni had better outcomes if they had a smaller total number of placements, a smaller number of placements per year in care and no runaway episodes.
In Michigan, most youth had experienced at least one mental health problem in their lifetime, and about half had a mental health problem in the past year. About one in three alumni had graduated from high school with a diploma, and less than half were employed at least 10 hours per week. Nearly half had experienced homelessness at least once since leaving care.
These reports include details about policy and practice changes that have occurred in Texas and Michigan since the time the alumni were in care. They also include recommendations for further policy and program improvements.