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Conrad N. Hilton Foundation: Foster Youth

Case Overview

FSG partnered with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to develop a strategy to improve the wellbeing of transition-age foster youth in the United States.

The Challenge

Children who spend time in the U.S. foster care system face a troubling future, and the 30,000 young people who age out of the system every year have even more dire outcomes. These youth have lower educational attainment levels than their peers, little if any job experience, and often have no place to live. It is not surprising that as a consequence, one quarter spend time in jail, over half spend time in a homeless shelter, and half of female foster youth become pregnant by age 19. In addition, during the four years after leaving foster care, more than half of youth who transition out of care have no earnings; those with earnings average an income of $7,500 per year.

Approach & Solutions

FSG worked closely with the Hilton Foundation staff to design a strategy to support youth transitioning out of foster care. FSG's work included a synthesis of the challenges facing transition-age youth; a landscape of foster youth funders; in-depth research on the systems influencing youth outcomes and promising interventions; as well as interviews, focus groups, and two convenings with field experts, public sector leaders, funders, service providers, and former foster youth.

Based on research, FSG worked with the Foundation to identify specific opportunities for the Foundation to make a measurable impact improving the lives of foster youth in Los Angeles and New York City, home to the largest population of foster youth in the U.S. FSG also identified activities and quantitative targets to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Transition age youth are prepared for college and career success
  • Caregivers effectively support transition age youth and prepare them to transition out of care
  • Pregnant and parenting teens, and crossover youth, achieve better outcomes
  • Agencies and providers work to develop shared goals and align activities
  • Barriers preventing alignment and collaboration among providers are removed
  • A strong evidence base of best practices is developed and shared
  • More funding supports effective practices and policies
Through its strategy, the Hilton Foundation will strive to ensure that transition-age youth have the skills and supports they need to live healthy and productive lives.

About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world’s disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently invests in ten priority areas, including initiatives in providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance abuse, caring for vulnerable children, and improving outcomes for foster youth.

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