Service coordination for transition-age foster youth with disabilities: A survey of state independent living coordinators

Judy Havlicek, Lucy Bilaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transition-aged foster youth with disabilities are arguably one of the most vulnerable sub-groups in state child welfare systems. However, little research has examined the ways in which services may be coordinated in and across child welfare systems and with adult service systems. To fill this gap, this study reports the findings from an online survey of U.S. independent living coordinators regarding coordination of services for foster youth with disabilities. In all, 43 surveys were completed, for an 84% response rate. Survey responses were uploaded into SPSS and descriptive analyses were completed. The majority of respondents (87%) reported their state child welfare system screened for disabilities. More than half (63%) reported their state's data system tracks disabilities. Although a majority of respondents (79%) indicated a child welfare representative is required to attend Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings, criteria vary regarding who is eligible to fill that role. A majority of respondents reported that their agency collaborates with other public agencies serving adults with disabilities (92%). The most frequently mentioned agencies that respondents reported coordinating transition planning with were mental health, vocational rehabilitation, and other community programs. Study findings are discussed in the context of federal independent living policy, which requires child welfare agencies to collaborate with and rely on other public institutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105998
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Aging-out foster youth
  • Disabilities
  • Service coordination
  • State independent living coordinators
  • Web survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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