New York’s Foster Youth Want Connection to Jobs, Survey Shows

A survey of New York City foster youth shows an intense desire for more help with jobs.

An annual survey of foster youth in New York City found continued demand for connections to the working world, and more teens getting help with job skills.

The 2019 ACS Youth Experience Survey, conducted by the city’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), noted double digit increases in the percentage of youth who reported receiving job-related help. This included getting documentation together, help with immigration status, finding places hiring and more.

More than half of respondents identified finding the right employment sector, and companies that are hiring as things they need from ACS.

Jessica Maxwell, former director of New York’s Fostering Youth Success Alliance (FYSA) and current deputy director for FosterEd California, emphasized the importance of measuring the impact of the ACS’ Office of Employment and Workforce Development Initiatives.

“I’d be curious to know if the survey respondents that said that they were either getting help or needed help with job preparation and things like that actually ended up getting a job within six months to a year,” said Maxwell. “I would like to see those numbers continue to increase and young people identifying for themselves what types of services or supports they would like/should have from ACS.”

The desire for a job remains strong among youth responding to the survey, but this metric did improve somewhat. Seventy percent of foster youth said they are not employed and would like to be, down from 75 percent last year.

The percentage of 18- to 20-year-old foster youth who said they had a job went from 38 percent to 44 percent. Youth who reported a desire to continue their education beyond high school increased from 80 percent to 98 percent.

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