Moving the Needle for Those We Serve

Leading with Data and Evidence to Better Serve
Transition-Age Foster Youth in the U.S.

For 24 years, we’ve seen the power of data to increase the impact of 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, we believe these are solvable problems.

Our Approach to Data & Impact

Here’s how we use data to drive impact for transition-age foster youth.

Data-Driven Programs, Innovation, and Field Building

Each young person entering our program has unique experiences, dreams, and aspirations; therefore, we take an individualized approach with tailored services and interventions.

To ensure our program staff can provide targeted and high-impact supportive services, we created a series of dynamic dashboards, updated in real-time, to provide a clear window into each individual’s education, employment, and healthy living progress while in program. We use this information to identify gaps, fuel collaboration, and drive learning across the agency.

Innovation to Increase Impact

We deploy rapid-cycle evaluation and test and learn strategies to pilot and, when successful, launch new programmatic interventions.

Innovations Launched:
To address this, we launched two interventions designed to help young people shift this thinking:

Post-Secondary Education Coaching

Trained employment and education counselors to better advise and counsel our young people regarding their education options and how their schooling ties to their long-term personal and professional goals, as well as potential to secure living-wage jobs.


Launched an “earn and learn” apprenticeship program to enable young people to access paid on-the-job training opportunities while simultaneously attending courses linked to their chosen careers.


Youth who received intensive education coaching around their post-secondary career goals and pathway are:


2x as likely to complete a semester in post-secondary education or lower-level certificate.

Nearly 2x as likely to attain a degree (AA, BA, or Industry-Recognized Certificate.)


Collaboration & Knowledge Sharing

We are dedicated to improving the lives of the 23,000 foster youth coming out of foster care each year across the country. At First Place, we pair a highly successful direct-service model with an intense focus on collaboration, evidence-building, and knowledge-sharing and we use our learnings to benefit youth across the nation.

We are transforming the child welfare section through technology, partnership, knowledge-sharing, and policy recommendations.

Elevating Youth Voices

We strongly believe 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. We’re proud to take this approach in everything we do at First Place for Youth.

This part of our approach is consistent across everything we do at First Place for Youth.

Young Adult Leadership Council (YALC)

YALC members leverage their voices to meaningfully impact program practices, innovations, and where we can focus next to improve our services on behalf of those we serve.

Alumni Board Members

In 2020, First Place elected its first slate of program alumni to our national Board of Directors—these graduates of the My First Place program bring lived experience and unique insight that makes our organization stronger.

Mississippi Youth Voice Program

Young leaders work together with policymakers, regulators, foster parents, foster youth, and other stakeholders to improve outcomes for foster youth in the state.

What’s Happening At First Place for Youth

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