An Employment Training and Job Placement Program for Foster Youth Making the Transition to Adulthood in Cook County, Illinois
Community Assistance Programs (CAPs) is a community-based employment training and job placement program for Cook County foster youth. The program provides 4 weeks of classroom-based employment training, and then places foster youth in subsidized jobs for a maximum of 2 months. At the end of that period, employers have the option of hiring the youth as regular employees.
The first report describes the results of a study that used administrative data to better understand the need for employment-related services and supports among youth in foster care and how CAPs is trying to address those needs. Among other things, the report describes the characteristics and placement histories of the foster youth the program serves, their engagement in employment training activities, and their placement in subsidized jobs.
The second report documents focus groups with foster youth participating in CAPs. In particular, researchers wanted to know (1) why foster youth participate in the program; (2) what the program does to help foster youth become employed; and (3) how foster youth would change the program to better address their needs. The report begins with a brief description of the methodology and then explores each of the major themes that emerged. The report concludes with a discussion of the lessons learned and some recommendations for improving the program.