Casey Makes Trove of Data on Foster Care Experiences Available to Researchers

Posted December 19, 2020, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Researcher reviews data of young people with foster care experience

For the first time, the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion is mak­ing data from its Jim Casey Youth Oppor­tu­ni­ties Ini­tia­tive® avail­able to select researchers. The com­pre­hen­sive dataset con­tains lon­gi­tu­di­nal data for young peo­ple ages 14 – 26 on fos­ter care expe­ri­ence, young adult out­comes, youth engage­ment, asset devel­op­ment and social cap­i­tal. This dataset can be used to exam­ine impor­tant ques­tions about young people’s expe­ri­ences as they tran­si­tion out of fos­ter care and into adulthood.

Inter­est­ed researchers must sub­mit an appli­ca­tion with detailed project infor­ma­tion. Those approved to use the dataset must agree to terms about how the data can be used, stored and delet­ed to pro­tect the con­fi­den­tial­i­ty of the young peo­ple involved.

Span­ning from 2003 to 2020, data col­lect­ed by the Foundation’s Jim Casey Ini­tia­tive — which works to ensure that young peo­ple ages 14 – 26 who have expe­ri­enced fos­ter care have the resources, rela­tion­ships and oppor­tu­ni­ties they need to thrive — rep­re­sent thou­sands of young peo­ple across 16 states. The data are drawn from the Oppor­tu­ni­ty Pass­port® Par­tic­i­pant Sur­vey (OPPS), which is con­duct­ed twice each year. The sur­vey col­lects infor­ma­tion from young peo­ple who par­tic­i­pate in the Oppor­tu­ni­ty Pass­port pro­gram, which helps young peo­ple improve their finan­cial capa­bil­i­ty when tran­si­tion­ing from fos­ter care.

Respons­es about inter­net and tech­nol­o­gy access and COVID-19 have been includ­ed, giv­ing researchers the abil­i­ty to exam­ine changes in young people’s out­comes result­ing from the pan­dem­ic. All data can be dis­ag­gre­gat­ed by race, gen­der, age, par­ent­ing sta­tus and LGBTQ identity.

Analy­ses stem­ming from this dataset can have a sig­nif­i­cant impact on child wel­fare prac­tices and poli­cies,” says Leslie Gross, direc­tor of the Jim Casey Ini­tia­tive. We’re hop­ing a diverse group will use the data to pro­duce high-qual­i­ty research that improves the lives of young adults involved in the system.”

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