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April 15 -- The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is proposing a new information collection activity to assess the impact and implementation of LifeSet, a program that provides services and supports to young adults ages 17 to 21 with previous child welfare involvement. ACF invites public comments by June 14, 2021. Data collection efforts will include accessing administrative data from the child welfare agency, program, and other private and governmental databases; surveys of young adults (participants and those receiving services as usual); interviews and focus groups with program and child welfare agency administrators and staff; interviews and focus groups with young adult program participants; and interviews with other program stakeholders.
 
The proposed information collection activity is the first phase of a larger study that intends to assess the impact and implementation of LifeSet, a program that provides services and supports to young adults ages 17 to 21 with previous child welfare involvement. The program aims to support young adults in their transition from foster care to independent living in the areas of education, employment and earnings, housing and economic well-being, social support, well-being, health and safety, and criminal involvement. It focuses on helping young adults identify and achieve their goals while developing the skills necessary for independent living.

The impact study will assess the effects of young adults' participation in LifeSet on outcomes in the primary (i.e. confirmatory) domains of education and employment, housing stability, social support, and well-being. These outcomes have been identified by the implementing agency as the main areas they expect to target for positive program impacts. In addition, the impact study will explore the effects of participation in the secondary (i.e. exploratory) domains of mental health, criminal justice system contact, intimate partner violence, and economic well-being.  
 
The study will utilize a randomized controlled design. Information collection activities will take place over three years and will include collection of administrative data from the state child welfare agency, the program developer, the local program provider agencies, the National Student Clearinghouse, unemployment insurance and employer wage records, the National Directory of New Hires, the state homelessness management information system, the state department of corrections, the state juvenile justice commission, the state court probation services division, and the state department of human services division of family development, as well as survey interviews with program participants and young adults receiving services as usual.

The implementation study will collect information through phone calls and site visits to the participating program and child welfare agency. Information collection activities include interviews and focus groups with administrators and staff from the program developer, child welfare agency, and program providers.

This evaluation is part of a larger project to help ACF build the evidence base in child welfare through rigorous evaluation of programs, practices, and policies. The activities and products from this project will contribute to evidence building in child welfare and help to determine the effectiveness of a program for youth formerly in foster care on young adult outcomes.
 
Draft LifeSet evaluation data collection materials: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3xycltiq7caleef/AAADeSlGDqWrb-XLMbpyWbUga?dl=0
FR notice inviting public comments:  https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/04/15/2021-07688/proposed-information-collection-activity-evaluation-of-lifeset-new-collection

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