Friday, February 26, 2010

You Learn Something New Every Day

I love the cliche, "You learn something new every day". I love the implication that there's more to learn in this world than we can ever grasp. If the concept of a limitless body of knowledge is as exciting to you as it is to me, you're on the right blog.
In my job as Collections Assistant here at IssueLab, my learning is less haphazard than most--I'm often actively looking for new organizations and research that will fit into our next CloseUp collection. I'm lucky enough to learn LOTS of new things every day. Right now I'm working on finding research on aging out of foster care, and this is definitely one of those topics that is chockfull of startling, interesting, and occasionally enraging new information and statistics. I decided to keep track of some of the new things I've learned today.
Without further ado, here is the list of just a few new things I learned today:
  • The term permanency is pervasive in research on foster care, followed in frequency by kinship care
  • There is a nationwide, comprehensive data collection project that will start in October, 2010. The National Youth in Transition Database will allow for more thorough, longitudinal tracking.
  • The racial distribution of youth in foster care is fairly disproportionate, with African-American youth often comprising over 50%, but this varies from state-to-state (not surprisingly)
  • As of mid-decade, about a quarter of youth in Foster Care were living with relatives.
  • There are some programs that provide funding for recent Foster Care graduates in supervised living facilities--but does this include college dorms?
  • Since there are a number of different residential possibilities for foster care youth, especially teens, face a wide range of changes and challenges upon aging out. Many are not coming from a temporary family situation.

For more facts, details, and reports from which some of these tidbits were drawn, visit IssueLab starting in April to see our full Aging Out of Foster Care CloseUp!

Image: CC licensed: Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic

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