What is NYTD?
Public Law 106-169 required the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to develop a data collection system to track independent living services that states offer to youth transitioning out of the foster care system (i.e., mental health services, job skills training, career counseling, etc.). The data collection process was intended to be used to develop outcome measures to assess states' performance in operating independent living programs. Learn more about the rules and requirements.
To meet the law's mandate, ACF established the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD). States were required to begin collecting NYTD data on October 1, 2010 and must report NYTD data to ACF on a semi-annual basis. Read more about the history and purpose of NYTD. Technical Assistance for NYTD data collection is provided by the National Resource Center for Youth Development (NRCYD) and the National Resource Center for Child Welfare Data and Technology (NRCCWDT).
NYTD collects case-level information on youth and the independent living services they receive from state agencies that administer the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program as well as outcomes information on youth who are in foster care or who have aged out of foster care.
States are tasked with collecting the following types of information for the NYTD:
- Basic demographic data on all youth reported to NYTD.
- For youth receiving independent living services, states must also report the following:
- The local agency responsible for serving the youth
- Whether the youth is a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe
- The youth’s education level and special education status
- Whether the youth was adjudicated delinquent
- Types of support that youth receiving independent living services during a six-month report period received (i.e., academic support, mentoring, room and board or educational financial assistance, career training, etc.)
- Baseline outcome data from all 17-year-olds in foster care and follow-up outcome data from these youth at ages 19 and 21 (cohort model) in six outcome areas:
- Financial self-sufficiency (i.e., employment, use of public assistance)
- Educational attainment (i.e., current enrollment, highest educational certification)
- High-risk behaviors (i.e., substance abuse referral, incarceration, children)
- Connections with adults
- Access to health insurance (i.e., Medicaid or other health insurance)
The outcome data must be collected directly from youth through a short survey. Youth may decline to answer any single question on the survey or may decline to participate in the survey all together. How the survey is administered (i.e., by e-mail, phone, in-person interview, or other method) is up to each state. To ensure data can be collected once youth age out of foster care, states must plan for a means of continued communication with these youth.