Connected by 25: Financing Policies and Practices that Support Permanency For Youth Transitioning Out of Foster Care

  • Description

In an effort to strengthen philanthropic investments among its membership, the Youth Transition Funders Group (YTFG) asked a group of policy experts to provide recommendations on how foundations can work to encourage effective policy solutions on issues affecting youth in transition to adulthood. The primary challenge was to think beyond the systemic silos that so deeply shape the services and expectations of youth and move towards an overall framework that could produce improved outcomes. YTFG's work is based on the Connected by 25 framework, in which all youth reach the following outcomes by age 25:

  • Educational achievement in preparation for career and community participation, including a high school diploma, post-secondary degree, and/or vocational certificate training
  • Gainful employment and/or access to career training to achieve life-long economic success
  • Connections to a positive support system -- namely, guidance from family members and caring adults, as well as access to health, counseling, and mental health services
  • The ability to be a responsible and nurturing parent
  • The capacity to be actively engaged in the civic life of one's community

This issue brief offers a summary of those recommendations, focusing on four primary transition points that often threaten the ability for youth to be connected by age 25 to the institutions and support systems that help them succeed throughout life.