The well-being of children and youth is a central Urban Institute research topic. Our work spans child development at the youngest ages to teenagers transitioning into adulthood. We study child care, the child welfare system, juvenile justice, child poverty, and children's health and education. Read more.
Each year the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program provides $140 million for independent living services to assist youth as they age out of foster care and enter adulthood. Under this formula grant program, states are provided allocations and allowed to use up to 30 percent of program funds for room and board for youth ages 18 to 21 who have left care. This report describes how states are using these funds to provide housing assistance to these vulnerable youth and explores how the assistance provided through this program fits in with other sources of housing assistance available in the states examined.
We compared the employment of African American and white youth as they transitioned to adulthood from age 18 to 22, focusing on high school graduates and high school dropouts who did not attend college. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997, we found significant differences in labor market participation by race and education. Among key findings, African American high school graduates worked as much and sometimes less than white high school dropouts. Findings suggest however, that the improved labor market participation associated with a high school diploma is higher over time for African Americans than for white youth.
This report summarizes the results of a literature review of recent family planning service delivery research (2003-2011) and presents areas for further research recommended by leading experts in the field. Identified research priorities include studies focused on various family planning models, best practices for contraceptive counseling, interactions between contraceptive counseling/care and chronic diseases, and research focused on the family planning needs of specific age groups. Continued consideration of the research landscape, increased collaborative efforts across funding agencies, and the replication of agenda-setting exercises will be critical to ensuring the growth and relevance of the field.
In The State of Society, measures of national well-being that go beyond gross domestic product (GDP) are identified. Existing indicators and systems are found lacking in assessing the full economic value of caregiving and the contributions of women. This report presents the results of a meeting of leading experts on national indicators convened by the Urban Institute and the Center for Partnership Studies. Participants considered the strengths and weaknesses of existing indicators that measure social wealth, identified measures that need to be developed, and made recommendations for the placement of social wealth indicators in U.S. National Key Indicator System.
An evaluation of the Truancy Court Diversion Program (TCDP) found that despite significant implementation challenges, parent-child communication and youths' attitudes towards school both improved. A voluntary program for middle school students at risk for chronic truancy, TCDP involves judicially-led sessions that address student attitudes combined with case management and service referrals to address family-level attendance barriers. The evaluation found that families of truant youth had high levels of need and were successfully connected to services. The evaluation suggests that the program should be formalized and better supported through dedicated resources and support from school administration prior to expansion.