Chapin Hall has conducted a Midwest Study that followed more than 700 young people from Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois as they aged out of foster care and transitioned to adulthood. This longitudinal studies checked in with participants at ages 17 or 18, 19, 21, 24, and 26 about their current status in terms of education, employment, housing, justice system involvement and physical and mental health.
The Midwest Study has generated valuable information regarding:
- Homelessness During the Transition From Foster Care to Adulthood
- Predictors of Homelessness in the Transition From Foster Care to Adulthood
- Youth Homelessness and Vulnerability: How Does Couch Surfing Fit?
Chapin Hall’s Midwest study affirmed that the foster care population has characteristics which demonstrate a very high probability of homelessness. The costs of preventing post‐foster care homelessness through life skills preparation and post exit support, is far less than the cost of subsequent homelessness.
That homelessness is a common experience awaiting these youth is particularly troubling because it is avoidable. It is a challenge of solvable proportions. Both child welfare and homeless services systems can do more to prevent foster youth from becoming homeless.