University of Wisconsin–Madison
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Self-Sufficiency of Former Foster Youth in Wisconsin: Analysis of Unemployment Insurance Wage Data and Public Assistance Data

This report presents the results of a study that uses state administrative data to analyze employment, earnings, and public assistance receipt among former Wisconsin foster youth who exited outof-home care between January 1, 1992, and December 31, 1998, and who were at least 17 years old at the time of their exit. Our results suggest that former foster youth who had aged out of care or had been discharged to independent living earned significantly more during the first eight quarters after they were discharged from care than those who had been reunified, placed with relatives, or adopted; as a result, their total income was also significantly higher. These findings are consistent with what one would expect if former foster youth who had aged out of care or had been discharged to independent living were, in fact, living on their own and having to support themselves, while those who had been reunified, placed with relatives, or adopted were being supported by the families with whom they were living. We also found that former foster youth who had run away or been transferred to an institution were employed in significantly fewer quarters and earned significantly less during the first eight quarters after they were discharged from care than those who had been reunified, placed with relatives, or adopted; again, their lower earnings were reflected in significantly lower total income as well.

Categories

Child Maltreatment & Child Welfare System, Children, Employment, Employment General

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