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ERIC Number: ED500321
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb-26
Pages: 190
Abstractor: ERIC
Youth with Disabilities in the Foster Care System: Barriers to Success and Proposed Policy Solutions
National Council on Disability
The purpose of this report is to provide policymakers, primarily at the federal and state levels, with information about youth with disabilities in foster care, so that policymakers can begin to understand the characteristics of this population; the challenges they face; how they fare with regard to safety, permanency, self-determination and self-sufficiency, enhanced quality of life, and community integration; and how the complex array of existing programs and services could be better designed to improve these outcomes. While the federal investment in the multiple systems with which these youth come in contact is significant, the disconnectedness and lack of coordination across programs and agencies call into question the effectiveness of government efforts. Policy recommendations for improving coordination, holding systems accountable, developing leadership and the capacity of the system to work more effectively with these youth include: (1) Provide increased flexibility to states and communities so programs and services can be most effectively structured to meet the needs of youth with disabilities in foster care; (2) Increase federal support in the departments of Health and Human Services, Education, Justice, and Labor for research and demonstrations to identify effective policies and practices that lead to positive outcomes for youth with disabilities in foster care; (3) Improve training for foster care parents and increase recruitment of individuals willing to foster youth with disabilities; (4) Strengthen secondary and postsecondary educational supports for these youth to improve access and success; (5) Improve access to individualized, comprehensive transition services for youth with disabilities aging out of foster care; (6) Fund the Federal Youth Development Council, authorized by the Federal Youth Coordination Act, as well as similar federal coordinating efforts; (7) Strategically increase collaboration among the education, juvenile justice, child welfare, labor, dependency court, and health and mental health systems; (8) Require states to develop a common youth development approach across multiple systems to improve outcomes for all youth; (9) Improve training of youth professionals across systems; and (10) Provide resources and technical assistance to help states enhance their data collection and reporting systems. Four appendices are included: (1) Glossary; (2) Relevant Federal Programs and Systems; (3) Promising Practices and Exemplary Programs; and (4) Mission of the National Council on Disability. (Contains 450 endnotes.)
National Council on Disability. 1331 F Street NW Suite 850, Washington, DC 20004. Tel: 202-272-2004; Fax: 202-272-2022; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Council on Disability, Washington, DC.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A