At the heart of Ninety Days of Love mission is the commitment to serve our youth with love and assist all Age-Out Foster Care and Undocumented Youth. In order for us to provide the highest quality services and advocacy for this population, Ninety Days of Love must draw upon the most current information available regarding youth' well being on national, state, and local levels.
Such indicators of well being include:
- educational attainment
- levels of poverty
- placement in foster care
- juvenile justice system placement
- alcohol and substance use
- mental and physical health
Research conducted over the past decade has revealed strong associations between these indicators and youth homelessness.
The findings in this report can play a pivotal role in determining priorities and developing strategies. This report focuses on the status of youth in Atlanta. It provides a comparative analysis of 24 indicators of well-being on the national, state, and, where available, city or county levels.
While our analysis indicated many areas of need, we have highlighted the following key issues of particular concern.
Key Issues for Georgia
- High percentage of 18-24 year olds without a H.S. diploma or GED (22%) High percentage of 16-19 year olds who do not have a H.S. diploma or GED and are not enrolled in school (10%)
- High percentage of 16-19 year olds who are not enrolled in school and are not working (11%) High rate of unemployment among 20-24 year olds (13.2%)
- High increase from 2002-2006 in the number of individuals emancipating from care (148% increase) and in the percentage of emancipates who represent all discharges from the child welfare system (167% increase)
- High increase from 1997-2006 in the percentage of individuals 18 years of age and older who account for all individuals in juvenile residential placement (125% increase) High birth rates: ages 18-19 (97/1,000) and 20-24 (130/1,000)
- High percentage of 18-24 year olds without health care coverage (36%) Key Issues for Atlanta: High percentage of 18-24 year olds in poverty (25%)
- High rate of unemployment among 20-24 year olds (15.2%)
11 Toro, P. A., Dworsky, A., & Fowler, P. J. (2007). Homeless Youth in the United States: Recent Research Findings and Intervention Approaches. National Symposium on Homelessness Research, 6-1-6-33.
2 Data has been gathered, computed, and extrapolated from various sources. Please note, due to variations in collection times, the data sets differ in years among the indicators. However, data in this report has been provided for the 4-5 most current years in which it is available. National data is used as a baseline from which to make comparisons, where appropriate, between the national and state data sets.
Several programs and services can help youth in transition become independent, self sufficient adults. The delivery and financing of these programs and services varies greatly among state and county governments. States and localities can use different funding sources to help to help youth aging out of foster care, including federal Title IV-E funds, state funds and private funds.
The Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) gives states flexibility to decide what services they will provide with the funds they receive. Although many programs can benefit youth in transition, some of the more common and well documented services that state and county governments are using to improve outcomes for youth aging out of foster care are vocational and educational training, housing and healthcare and employment services.
Education Strategies Education is known to be the leading predictor of adult success. Education supports are essential to facilitating higher graduation rates of foster care youth from high school and post secondary institutions. All 50 states have reported helping youth prepare for or complete education or vocational training, through state or county implemented programs.
States which continue to service youth in transition or those who permit youth to remain in care past age 18 provide extended opportunities for youth to complete high school, attain their GED certificate or begin post secondary education programs.