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Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned

Despite positive feedback from youth and adult attendees, Administration for Children and Families (ACF) leadership learned the following lessons as to how to improve the overall meeting experience in the future.  

Select youth who are representative of those in the foster care system as well as those who have
transitioned out of the system.

Involving youth from almost all 50 states was a huge undertaking and accomplishment, but many of the youth who attended the 2011 meeting had already transitioned out of the foster care system and were too old to participate in state surveys used for the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) data collection. In order to have a more representative group of youth as well as more youth who could provide feedback on the survey administration process, the goal for future meetings is to try and include more youth who are currently involved in the foster care system.

Being more deliberate and strategic in recruiting youth attendees from each state in future meetings, ACF and its partners hope to assist states recruiting youth participants by creating an application process for youth interested in participating in the meeting.

Provide more opportunities for youth to present during meeting.

Youth involvement during the meeting was a significant part of the initiative; however, ACF is considering giving youth an even more substantial role, perhaps opening up opportunities for youth to give more presentations alongside their federal counterparts and participating in the meeting planning process.

See What is NYTD? for more about NYTD.