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Youth Villages announces long-term commitment to Tennessee foster children at Clinton Global Initiative America

June 14, 2013

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CHICAGO — June 14, 2013 – Youth Villages CEO Patrick Lawler today announced a four-year commitment to improve the lives of all foster children who age out of state custody in Tennessee as part of the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting.

Clinton Global Initiative

Youth Villages was one of more than 60 nonprofit organizations that created a CGI Commitment to Action to solving societal problems during the CGI meeting, which is drawing nearly 1,000 business, government and civic leaders. The annual gathering is dedicated to accelerating economic recovery and promoting the long-term competiveness of the United States.

“Through this commitment, Tennessee will become the first state to provide comprehensive transition services to every single foster child who turns 18 and ages out of state care,” Lawler said. “It will demonstrate that there’s a highly effective model for this vulnerable population, and it’s a scalable program that is a practical, cost-effective solution to a national problem.”

The commitment is a significant expansion of Youth Villages’ transitional living program and will cost $30 million over the next four years. More than $18 million has already been committed by private funders, Lawler said, including funds from a legacy challenge grant from Memphis philanthropist Clarence Day and The Day Foundation. The program, begun through Day Foundation funding in 1999 and expanded through the support of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, has helped more than 5,000 young people so far.

The Youth Villages program helps 83 percent of the young people who age out of state custody in Tennessee. Lawler estimates the program expansion will help more than 500 more young people over the next four years.

Approximately 30,000 young adults age out of foster care every year in the United States. With limited resources and supports, these young people are more likely than their peers to end up in jail or homeless and less likely to have a job or go to college. In contrast – even two years after completing Youth Villages’ transition program – about 80 percent of participants are living independently or with family; are in school, graduated, or employed; and are crime free.

Through the partnership with Tennessee DCS, Youth Villages’ transition program is in the fourth year of a rigorous randomized evaluation designed to test the program’s outcomes as compared to traditional services available in the community. The study, which should yield preliminary results next year, is coordinated by MDRC and Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Youth Villages’ transition program provides foster youth ages 17 to 22 with comprehensive services including employment, education, housing and health. Specialists in the program are on call 24/7 with low caseloads of six to 10 young people at a time. They provide intensive guidance and support, doing whatever it takes to help the young people make a successful transition to independent adulthood.


About CGI America — The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. Established in June 2011 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) addresses economic recovery in the United States. CGI America brings together leaders in business, government, and civil society to generate and implement commitments to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, foster innovation, and support workforce development in the United States. Since its first meeting, CGI America participants have made more than 211 commitments valued at $13.6 billion when fully funded and implemented. To learn more, visit cgiamerica.org.

About Youth Villages — Youth Villages is a private nonprofit organization dedicated to helping emotionally and behaviorally troubled children and their families live successfully. Founded in 1986, Youth Villages helps more than 20,000 children and families each year from more than 20 states and Washington, D.C., through its Evidentiary Family Restoration ™ approach. Involving intensive work with the child and family, as well as a focus on measuring outcomes, keeping children in the community whenever safely possible and providing accountability to families and funders, EFR produces lasting success for children. Youth Villages uses its EFR approach in a wide array of programs, including intensive in-home services, residential treatment, foster care and adoption, transitional living services, mentoring and crisis services. EFR consistently produces success rates twice that of traditional services at one-third the cost of traditional care. Named one of the Top 50 Nonprofits to Work For by Nonprofit Times and Best Companies Group in 2010 and 2011, Youth Villages has been recognized by Harvard Business School and U.S. News & World Report, and was identified by The White House as one of the nation’s most promising results-oriented nonprofit organizations. For more information about Youth Villages, visit www.youthvillages.org or call (901) 251-5000.

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