On July 20, 2016, the American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) convened a day-long discussion group of key thought leaders across research, practice, and policy focused on building postsecondary education and workforce pathways for vulnerable populations, particularly youth involved in the child welfare and/or juvenile justice systems.

For youth aging out of foster care and/or involved in the juvenile justice systems, it is critical that we create accessible and supportive pathways to postsecondary success. Youth involved in the juvenile justice system face many barriers that impede their access to education upon reentry. In fact, 66 percent do not return to school after being released from secure custody. Upon aging out of care, often the biggest obstacle youth face is finding a way to support themselves. Nearly 47 percent of youth who have aged out of foster care are not currently employed. Accessing opportunities both in education and the workforce is necessary for these young people to ensure they are equipped with credentials, skills, and abilities to be successful. Through sharing the latest research and promising practices, including education and workforce development strategies for serving these vulnerable populations, AYPF facilitated a conversation about the role of policy to grow, scale, and sustain these strategies. To access the brief, please visit the event resource page