Re-entry among former foster youth in early adulthood: Findings from Illinoisedit
On January 1, 2010, the Foster Youth Successful Transition to Adulthood Act went into effect in the state of Illinois to legally permit former foster youth who are at least 18 years old and not yet 21 years old to voluntarily re-engage with child welfare agencies and juvenile court to receive Supporting Emancipated Youth Services. Not much is known about the number or characteristics of foster youth who have taken advantage of this new opportunity to receive support following a hardship. This study used administrative data from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS) to describe foster youth who have legally re-entered out-of-home care after exiting through emancipation. Findings revealed that a low number of former foster youth re-entered out-of-home care. This article discusses possible explanations for why so few youth have re-entered out-of -home care when research suggests they may be at increased risk for making the transition to adulthood.