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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 6, 2010

CONTACT
Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287

DHHS Surveying Older Youth Leaving Foster Care

Lincoln – The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) wants to hear from all youth who are state wards and close to becoming independent.

Youth in foster care on or after they turn 17 can complete the online survey, which is available at http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/children_family_services/Pages/nytd_index.aspx and is part of a national effort to gauge the quality of services youth received. 

“We developed this online survey tool to learn how our services have helped our older youth and what we can do better to help others in the future,” said Todd Reckling, director of the Division of Children and Family Services in DHHS.

The survey will occur every three years.  This year, it will begin in October and run through September, 2011.  DHHS will collect information on youth after they leave the state’s foster care system.  Some of these youth will be contacted to complete the same survey when they turn 19 and again at age 21.

The National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) will collect information on youth in care, including services paid for or provided by state agencies that administer the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program, as well as the outcome information on youth who are in or who have aged out of foster care.  The Chafee Foster Care Independence Program offers assistance to help current and former foster care youths achieve self-sufficiency.

States will survey youth regarding six outcomes:  financial self-sufficiency, experience with homelessness, educational attainment, positive connections with adults, high-risk behavior, and access to health insurance.

The federal Administration for Children and Families also requires that states report independent living services and supports they provide to all youth in 11 broad categories such as vocational training, money management and mentoring.

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