California Youth Transitions to Adulthood Study (CalYOUTH)


Mark Courtney, Professor of Social Work, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago


The California Youth Transitions to Adulthood Study (CalYOUTH) is an evaluation of the impact of AB12, the California Fostering Connections to Success Act, on outcomes during the transition to adulthood for foster youth. CalYOUTH is a longitudinal survey of approximately 800 foster care youth in the state of California. Modeled after the very successful, Midwest Young Adult Study, CalYOUTH seeks to interview youth prior to their 18th birthday at Wave 1, then follow-up at age 20 for Wave 2, and age 22 for Wave 3. In collaboration with the California Department of Social Services, and funded by multiple foundations, CalYOUTH will be conducted over a 5-year period. The in-person interviews are approximately 75-90 minutes in length and include Audio-CASI for sensitive questions, as well as the eMINI. The study is designed to capture information about a broad range of life experiences. Examples of survey modules include foster care placement characteristics and experiences, experience with the juvenile courts, education, employment, health and development, social support and community connections, service utilization, and plans and attitudes about the future.

The study has been extended and a 4th round of interviews will take place in 2019.


Kerryann DiLoreto, Karen Zoladz, and Grete Wichmann


April 2013 – January 2020