By Rachel Rosenberg and Alaina Flannigan, Child Trends, October 15, 2020
The data provided through the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) is critical to shaping the services and supports available to young people as they transition out of foster care and begin to live independently. While earlier briefs in this series have highlighted ways in which the research community can use the NYTD data, survey administrators (state and federal) should also strive for a better understanding of how young people and advocates—key stakeholder groups—use the data to shape policies and practices. This brief focuses on young people with foster care experience and experience taking the NYTD survey; these young people, in turn, rely on the data in their own advocacy efforts. Throughout the brief, we include quotes from young people to attest to the importance of NYTD data and to highlight suggested improvements.
NYTD data drives visibility and advocacy.
Young people not only represent the NYTD survey participants; they also use the data in a variety of ways. Many young people advocate for better policies and practices informed by the NYTD data, serve as federal NYTD reviewers monitoring states’ compliance with NYTD reporting requirements, and help administer and coordinate the NYTD survey in their states. NYTD data is needed for advocacy efforts, and young people highlight that the survey is an important way for their peers in foster care to contribute to the evidence base and, importantly, to feel seen and heard.