Working to transform the child welfare system.

The 2008 Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act represents a fundamental shift away from the goal of preparing foster youth to be independent of state assistance by the age of majority towards an active engagement by government in parenting foster youth into adulthood. This policy shift reflects a growing knowledge of the challenges faced by foster youth in transition. This report examines the evolution of U.S. policy towards foster youth using the concept of “corporate parenting” and concludes that lingering challenges still exist including: likely state reluctance to expand the parenting role; a poor knowledge base regarding the effectiveness of independent living services; the lack of established and well-evaluated models of coordination between child welfare agencies and other public institutions in supporting foster youth; the complex nature of “permanency” for foster youth in transition; and the fact that the new law still excludes important populations of foster youth.