What is the National Youth in Transition Database?

The Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood (previously known as the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program) was established in 1999, providing states flexible funding to help youth in foster care live independently and transition to adulthood. The law also requires the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) develop a system to collect data regarding the independent living services provided and develop outcomes that measure a state’s performance in preparing youth for their transition from foster care to independent living. This data collection system is called the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD).

Compliance & Reporting Standards

To comply with NYTD standards, state’s must:

  • Submit data that meets certain file format requirements
  • Meet data accuracy standards
  • Meet a youth participation rate standard for the NYTD outcomes survey
  • Report outcome information on at least 80% of the youth in foster care and 60% of the youth who are not in foster care on the date of data collection (NOTE: These percentages also apply to outcome data collection for the follow-up population)
  • Report any financial assistance they provide (includes education, room and board, etc.)

Data on state’s independent living services is collected continuously, following the same reporting schedule as AFCARS. States that do not comply with these data standards, may be penalized between 1% and 5% of their annual Chafee allotment.

Reporting Population

Each youth who receives any independent living services paid for by the state or provided by the Chafee agency during the six-month reporting period must be included in the report regardless of their age, foster care status, or placement type.

In Missouri, the population for reporting includes youth 14-21 in foster care, youth who exited after age 18 and are not yet 23, and youth that obtained legal guardianship or adoption after the age of 16.

Reporting Activities

States are required to engage in two data collection and reporting activities for the NYTD:

  1. Collect and report basic demographic data on each youth and the independent living services provided. Categories for these services include
  • Independent living needs assessment
  • Academic support
  • Post-secondary educational support
  • Career preparation
  • Employment programs or vocational training
  • Housing education and home management training
  • Budget and financial management
  • Health education and risk prevention
  • Family support and healthy marriage education
  • Mentoring
  • Supervised independent living
  • Room and board financial assistance
  • Education financial assistance
  1. Conduct a baseline survey of youth in foster care at age 17 and a follow-up survey with these youth at ages 19 and 21 to collect and report information about their outcomes. Outcome categories include:
  • Financial self-sufficiency
  • Experience with homelessness
  • Educational attainment
  • Positive connections with adults
  • High-risk behavior
  • Access to health insurance

To collect the outcomes, states must conduct a survey of youth in foster care on or around their 17th birthday. This is referred to as the baseline population. States will then track these youth as they get older and conduct a new outcome survey on or around the youth’s 19th birthday, and again on or around the youth’s 21st birthday. This is referred to as the follow-up population. States will collect outcome information on these older youth after they leave the state’s foster care system, regardless of whether they are still getting independent living services from the state when they are 19 or 21 years old.

States will collect and report outcome information on a new group of youth every three years. States will be required to have strategies in place for surveying youth. All outcome information except for demographics must come directly from the youth and reflect the youth’s provided responses, not information obtained from other databases from other agencies.

The table below illustrates timeframes utilizing cohort numbers from inception of surveying:

Fiscal Year of Implementation All youth receiving services Baseline Outcomes (17-year-olds) Follow-up Outcomes (19-year-olds) Follow-up Outcomes (21-year-olds)
FY 2019 X   X (Cohort 3)
FY 2020 X X (Cohort 4)  
FY 2021 X   X (Cohort 3)
FY 2022 X   X (Cohort 4)
FY 2023 X X (Cohort 5)  
FY 2024 X   X (Cohort 4)
FY 2025 X   X (Cohort 5)  
FY 2026 X X (Cohort 6)  

Where should I return my surveys?

Mail your completed surveys to:

Children’s Division
FACES Help Desk
1621 E. Elm Street
Jefferson City, MO 65101