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The Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth (hereafter referred to as the Midwest Study) originated in response to interest by policy makers regarding the success of state child welfare services receiving federal funds and the well-being of former foster youths age 18 to 21 throughout their first eight years of independent living. The study focused on foster youths, typically considered high risk due to the factors that led to foster care placement, transitioning to adulthood who are discharged from foster care at age 18 in most states (Courtney, Terao, & Bost , 2004, p. 3).
The limited available research suggests that these youths “have limited education and employment experience, relatively poor mental and physical health, and a relatively high likelihood of experiencing unwanted outcomes such as homelessness, incarceration, and non-marital pregnancy (Collins, 2001; McDonald , Allen, Westerfelt, & Piliavin, 1996, (as quoted by Courtney, Terao, & Bost , 2004, p.3)).
By 2008, federal funding to states for transitioning foster youth included post-seconda…