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National Youth in Transition Database

Description: 

The National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) is a national mandatory data collection system where states provide information to the Administration for Children and Families on two populations: (1) youth who receive independent living services paid for or provided by state agencies that administer John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Programs (CFCIPs); and (2) triennial cohorts of youth in foster care at age 17, with follow-up information collected at ages 19 and 21.

In addition to basic demographics, states collect outcomes data from youth on financial self-sufficiency, education, adult connections, homelessness, high-risk behaviors, and access to health insurance. Throughout each required reporting period, States identify the cohort of youth who are turning 17 while in care and are required to administer the NYTD survey to those youth within 45 days of their 17th birthday. The first cohort of 17 year olds was surveyed in Federal Fiscal Year 2011, with new, subsequent 17-year old cohorts to be surveyed every three years thereafter (FY2014, FY2017, FY2020, etc.).

In addition to basic demographics, States collect outcomes information from youth on financial self-sufficiency, education, adult connections, homelessness, high-risk behaviors, and access to health insurance. Throughout each required reporting period, States identify the cohort of youth who are turning 17 while in care and are required to administer the NYTD survey to those youth within 45 days of their 17th birthday. The first cohort of 17 year olds was surveyed in Federal Fiscal Year 2011, with new, subsequent 17-year old cohorts to be surveyed every three years thereafter (FY2014, FY2017, FY2020, etc.).

Supplier: 
Administration for Children and Families
Data Years Available: 
N/A
Periodicity: 
Triennial
Mode of Collection: 
Census Survey—Mixed Mode (ACF does not regulate data collection methodology. States have discretion in how they administer the survey).
Selected Content: 
Survey information is collected on youth demographic characteristics and indicators of financial self-sufficiency, educational attainment, connections with adults, homelessness, engagement in high-risk behaviors, and access to health insurance.
Population Covered: 
17-year old youth in foster care
Methodology: 

All youth who turn 17 while in foster care during a required reporting period are eligible to be surveyed. For Federal Fiscal Year 2011, all youth who turned 17 while in foster care at any point during the period from October 1, 2010 to September 30, 2011 were to be surveyed. Surveys were conducted within 45 days of the youth’s 17th birthday, and data collection occurred throughout the reporting period. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico reported survey information.

Response Rates and Sample Size: 

States identified 29,539 17 year olds eligible to take the NYTD survey in FY2011. Of those, 15,576 participated, yielding a response rate of 53%.

Interpretation Issues: 

FY2011 was the first year of data collection, and survey response rates varied across states. As states continue to improve their data collection efforts, results from FY2011 may not be comparable to later years. It should also be noted that while response rates ranged from 12% to 100%, almost three-quarters of the 52 states (71%) had response rates over the national average of 53%. Also, many additional youth (approximately 10% more) were surveyed more than 45 days after turning 17, but for federal requirements and analysis purposes these surveys are not included in the official response rates.
There are no apparent demographic biases (race, ethnicity, and/or sex) in response/non-response rates. Response rates did, however, vary among states. With this systematic bias occurring in the first year of data collection, results may not be representative of the national population of 17 year old youth in foster care. It is expected that future data collection efforts will yield comparative, higher response rates across all states.