Campus News

Discussing the Transition From Foster Youth to Adulthood

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 17, 2017) The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment will host a talk with Professor Mark Courtney, of the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago (UC), about his research findings over the past 20 years on the transition to adulthood for foster youth in state care in the U.S. The free public lecture will be held 2-2:50 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, in room 200, of the Funkhouser Building.  

Courtney's lecture, "The Difficult Transition to Adulthood for Foster Youth in the U.S.: Implications for the State as Corporate Parent," will summarize what is known about outcomes for former foster youth during this transition across the nation, risk and protective factors that research has shown to be associated with the outcomes, unique subgroups of youth in need of distinct forms of assistance, and the evidence base for policy and practice innovation.

Research has been drawn from (1) the Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth, which followed and interviewed 732 youths between ages 17 and 26 transitioning from care in three states, (2) the Multi-Site Evaluation of Foster Youth Programs, a series of experimental evaluations of independent living programs for youth in care, and (3) the ongoing California Youth Transitions to Adulthood Study (CalYOUTH), which follows 727 young people transitioning to adulthood from care in California.

Before joining the faculty at University of Chicago, Courtney worked for five years in the late 1980s providing residential care services to transition-age youth in care. For the past two decades, his research at UC has informed social work practice and social policy affecting youth transitioning to adulthood from care in the United States.