Blog

How First Place is Leveraging Data for Lasting Impact 

Over the last 25 years, we’ve seen the transformative power of data in enhancing programs for foster youth– and we have leveraged the full power of our data to better deliver housing, education, employment, and healthy living programs to these young adults. Using the right tools and evidence-based programming, we can make a lasting positive impact on the lives of these young individuals. 

Each young person entering our program has unique experiences, dreams, and aspirations; therefore, we take an individualized approach with tailored services and interventions. Our My First Place™ program employs a youth-centered, team-based, housing and case-management approach that supports youth as they transition to self-sufficiency. With their own dedicated team, we offer personalized guidance and support to each individual, fostering trusting relationships that empower them to navigate the complexities of adulthood successfully. 

Data also helps us to ensure our program staff can provide targeted and high-impact supportive services. At First Place, we’ve created a series of dynamic dashboards, updated in real-time, to provide a clear window into each individual’s education, employment, and progress toward healthy living while in program. We use this information to identify gaps, fuel collaboration, and drive learning across the agency. By leveraging data in this way, we can continuously optimize our programs to meet the evolving needs of foster youth, ensuring they receive the most effective support for their unique circumstances. 

We strongly believe that it’s critical for youth to have a voice in the policies that impact them, the services they receive, and the metrics used to measure their success. As an organization committed to empowering foster youth, we elevate youth voices through programs such as Young Adult Leadership Council (YALC) and the Mississippi Youth Voice Program. Even after exiting our program, foster youth can stay engaged through our Alumni Board, where their lived experiences and unique insights help us advocate for important changes in the foster care system. By involving foster youth in decision-making processes, we create a more inclusive and empowering environment that recognizes their value as active participants in their own journey to success. 

Evidence-based programs are instrumental in meeting the unique needs of our youth participants and creating brighter and more promising futures for those we serve. Through our collective efforts, we can continue to uplift and empower foster youth, ensuring they have the necessary support to thrive as independent and successful adults. 

Learn more about how we use data to drive impact for transition-age foster youth on our Evaluation & Learning page.  

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