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ERIC Number: ED502640
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Pages: 128
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 51
Evaluation of the Life Skills Training Program, Los Angeles County, California: Final Report
Courtney, Mark E.; Zinn, Andrew; Zielewski, Erica H.; Bess, Roseana J.; Malm, Karin E.; Stagner, Matthew; Pergamit, Michael
Administration for Children & Families
This report presents findings from a rigorous evaluation of the Life Skills Training Program (LST) in Los Angeles County. LST provides 30 hours of life skills training over five weeks to foster youths ages 16 and older. The classes are held on community college campuses throughout Los Angeles County. The program is staffed by workers tasked with conducting outreach to youths to engage them in the program and providing some case management. The authors examine the program's implementation and its impact on the youths served with a rigorous random-assignment method with a two-year follow-up. This is one of the impact reports from a four-site study required by the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999, funded by the Children's Bureau and directed by the Children's Bureau and the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The impact evaluation found few impacts on any outcome assessed. After adjusting significance levels to account for the possibility of false positive results, no significant impacts remained. The evaluation calls into question the notion that classroom-based life skills training, in and of itself, is likely to have much impact on the well-being of foster youth in transition to adulthood. Child welfare authorities should not expect classroom-based life skills training to suffice as a strategy to prepare foster youth for adulthood. The evaluation provides strong evidence that foster youth are already getting some of this kind of help from their foster care providers, though there is room for improvement. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the Chafee legislation and the evaluation purpose, as well as site selection for the evaluation and research questions for the study. It also reviews the research design and methodology for both the impact and process studies. Chapter 2 describes the LST program using information obtained as part of the process study component of the evaluation. Chapter 3 provides an overview of the evaluation's implementation, including a discussion of service take-up, sample development, and a description of the sample. Results of the evaluation's impact study are discussed in chapter 4. A discussion of process study findings that shed light on the impact findings is also presented in chapter 4. Finally, chapter 5 provides a discussion of the findings of the evaluation and how it relates to the broader field of independent living programs. The following are appended: (1) Evaluation Methodology and Challenges; (2) Los Angeles County Context; (3) LST Staff Roles and Responsibilities; (4) OA Perspective Form and 10 Tangible Outcomes Form; and (5) Impact Study--Methodology and Additional Data. (Contains 24 tables and 3 figures.) [Contributing authors for this report include: Matthew Stagner and Michael Pergamit. This report was prepared for the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation and the Children's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by The Urban Institute, Chapin Hall Center for Children, and National Opinion Research Center.]
Administration for Children & Families. US Department of Health and Human Services, 380 L'Enfant Promenade SW, Washington, DC 20447. Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Urban Institute; Chapin Hall Center for Children; Administration for Children and Families (DHHS), Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation; Administration on Children, Youth, and Families (DHHS/ACF), Children's Bureau
Identifiers - Location: California