Our September 2011 Fostering Careers report identified that an alarming share of young people fail to secure or retain jobs after aging out of New York City's foster care system. The report concluded that while the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) has recently achieved some success in improving child safety and well-being, the agency has not made a priority of helping youth aging out of foster care prepare for the world of work. The report also found that other city agencies—including the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and the Department of Education (DOE)—share responsibility. Fortunately, the city is now taking concerted action to address the concerns and follow the recommendations highlighted in our report.
At our February 2012 symposium on improving employment outcomes for young people aging out of NYC’s foster care system, ACS Commissioner Richter announced his intentions to appoint an Assistant Commissioner to focus exclusively on education and to interface with the city Department of Education. This addressed a prominent consideration from our report.
Additionally, at the end of October 2012, DYCD released an RFP for the Summer Youth Employment Program that, among other goals, aims to target vulnerable youth aged 14-24. This should substantially expand the number of foster youth who participate in the Summer Youth Employment Program – and is a direct implementation of one of our report recommendations.