National Clearinghouse on Homeless Youth and Families

Housing experiences of former foster youth: How do they fare in comparison to other youth?

Berzin, S. C.,
Rhodes, A. M.,
Curtis, M. A.
Year Published: 2011
Journal Article
Children and Youth Services Review 33 (2011) 2119-2126

Research indicates that foster youth tend to fare poorly in a number of domains in the transition to adulthood, and the shift to independent living may be particularly challenging. However, it is unclear whether negative housing outcomes are attributable to foster care history or if they are due to other risk factors. In this study, the authors used data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 to compare housing outcomes for foster youth to those for a matched sample of youth who shared similar risk factors and to an unmatched sample. Results indicate that foster youth struggle more in the transition to independent living than youth in both comparison groups, with foster youth showing higher rates of homelessness, less housing stability, poorer neighborhood quality, and more reliance on public housing assistance. The authors explore how factors related to foster care and confounding risk factors that tend to have higher prevalence among foster youth may contribute to these outcomes. Modified Author Abstract.

Correspondence to: E-mail addresses: (S.C. Berzin), (A.M. Rhodes), (M.A. Curtis)
Publication available on the Internet for a fee