Youth Villages and Results for America convened a roundtable of experts to discuss the findings from a newly released evaluation by MDRC, a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and social policy research firm, on the promising interim results of Youth Villages’ transitional living program called YVLifeSet.

Becoming Adults, by MDRC examined the YVLife Set model that is intended to help young people (foster care, juvenile justice) make a successful transition to adulthood by providing intensive, individualized, and clinically focused case management, support, and counseling. The study, the second report in the evaluation, indicated that the transitional living program improved outcomes in three of the six domains: it boosted earnings, increased housing stability of the young people involved, and improved economic well-being. The study also determined that certain areas remain a challenge and are problematic: education, social support and criminal involvement.

The Youth Villages program, like many successful models in other areas (e.g. family preservation) focuses on intensive case work and the needed services, is focused on the youth in last nine months with a specific program and a transitional living specialist or caseworker. It includes an assessment and the development of an individualized treatment plan. The caseworker, RTL specialist, typically serves only eight youth at a time.