“Many of the former foster youth who participate in the My First Place program may never have had relationships with adults (either paid case managers or family members) who dedicated themselves to helping the young people achieve their goals.”—Public/Private Ventures Evaluation.
Dates of Project: 2005-2011
Field of Work: Young adults transitioning out of foster care
Problem Synopsis: Of the 25,000 youth who age out of foster care in the United States, one-fifth of them are from California. They suffer from many problems, including poor mental and physical health, homelessness, educational delays, unplanned pregnancies, and unemployment.
Synopsis of the Work: First Place for Youth expanded its program, My First Place, which provides intensive case management, subsidized rental housing, limited financial assistance, and education and employment-support services to young adults between 18 and 24 years of age who have aged out of the foster care system in the Bay Area of Northern California. My First Place is built around the trusting relationships that develop between the former foster youth and the youth advocates and employment and education specialists.
First Place for Youth also contracted with Public/Private Ventures—a nonprofit social services research and policy organization—to conduct an independent evaluation of My First Place.
Key Results: From July 1, 2005 to December 31, 2009, My First Place helped 515 young adults with 6,557 monthly rent subsidies, 454 move-in stipends, 4,634 grocery vouchers, and 454 micro loans (which are used to cover security deposits).
Key Evaluation Findings: First Place participants made gains in education, employment, and housing while in the program. Among the 103 participants tracked during the evaluation:
- More than two-thirds (68%) enrolled in education programs
- Nearly three-fourths (72%) found employment
- Nearly all (97%) reported feeling safe within their home; the same percentage rated their home as “very good” or “good enough for me”