Mentoring and Oversight for Developing Independence with Foster Youth (MODIFY)
		Annual Data Report January 1 - December 30, 2015

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Introduction

The Mentoring and Oversight for Developing Independence with Foster Youth (MODIFY) Program is a grant funded program managed by the West Virginia University Center for Excellence in Disabilities. The program provides post-secondary education and independent living services to youth who have aged out of the foster care system or who have been adopted or placed in legal guardianship after the age of 16. Youth are referred by various sources using a centralized intake process. Youth are provided the information about the program and make a choice as to whether or not they want to participate. Attrition and enrollment affect the number of youth in the program at any given time. The MODIFY Program began collecting data on the progress youth enrolled in the program are making in their post-secondary programs to share with WV DHHR and other interested parties in late 2014. The data in this report provides a snapshot of how former foster youth perform in the program and may be used with other data the WV DHHR collects to examine youth progress over time.

The MODIFY program provided services to approximately 220 youth.

The program processed 372 referrals for the proposed period.

Referral Sources

  • 192 youth were referred by DHHR staff
  • 69 youth were referred by providers such as residential staff
  • 33 youth referred themselves
  • 24 youth were referred by parents or guardians
  • 14 youth were referred by Division of Juvenile Services
  • 40 youth were referred by others such MODIFY program staff or school personnel

MODIFY Case Example -

J.H. is a 20 year old female that has been working with the MODIFY program since 2013. After a bumpy start in which she was discharged, and completed a semester on her own, she was readmitted to the program in February of 2015. After a failing semester, J.H. “pulled herself together” and received a 4.0 at West Virginia Junior College. She is on her way to receiving a degree in Business Administration.

During the calendar year 2015, the MODIFY Program had approximately 197 youth in 48 post-secondary institutions.

WV DHHR policy requires that all 17 year old youth aging out of foster care be referred to the MODIFY Program, however not all of these youth choose to participate.

Overall Grades Spring 2015

Overall Grades Fall 2015

Note: Different sample sizes are due to attrition over time.

A number of factors contribute to low GPA’s including poor primary educational preparation, lack of support systems, and biological factors such as interrupted developmental and lacking emotional maturity. In the past, several students who have earned 0 GPAs have been readmitted to the MODIFY Program at a later age and have achieved academic success. Foster youth are a highly disadvantaged population and their risk factors can be demonstrated in their postsecondary academic achievement.

MODIFY Case example -

C.H. is a 20 year old female that has been in foster care since she was approximately nine years old. When she turned 18, she left foster residential care to go live with a relative and participate in the education benefits of MODIFY. She let her worker know that the placement was not working out and she needed to learn independent living skills. MODIFY worked with her primary DHHR worker and got her placed in a transitional living program. The MODIFY program assisted her with the move. She spent approximately 6 months in the transitional living program and then wanted to get her own place. The MODIFY program helped her do that by providing education services, independent living services, and emotional support and she is now a semester away from graduation and becoming a Master Welder. C.H. credits the program as playing a parental role on her journey to success.

Enrollment

Institution Number of Students Spring Number of Students Fall
Academy of Careers and Technology 1 5
All State Career 0 1
Allegany College of Maryland 1 1
American National College 0 1
Artisan School of Beauty 1 2
Ashland Community and Technical College 0 1
Bluefield State College 2 2
Blue Ridge Community and Technical College 0 5
Bridge Valley Community & Technical College 0 1
Charleston School of Beauty Culture 0 1
Concord University 4 6
Davis & Elkins College 1 1
Fairmont State University 3 9
Fayette Institute of Technology 1 0
Glenville State College 5 6
Huntington Junior College 1 1
International Beauty School 0 1
Marshall University 5 14
Mercer County Technical Education Center 0 4
Morgantown Beauty College 1 0
Mountain State College 0 1
Mountwest Community & Technical College 3 5
New River Community & Technical College 8 5
Nicholas County Vo-Tech 0 1
Pierpont Community & Technical College 4 3
Potomac State College of West Virginia University 6 9
Putnam Community and Technical Center 0 1
Scott College of Cosmetology 0 1
Shepherd University 6 3
Southern WV Community & Technical College 3 5
University of Charleston 1 0
University of Northwestern Ohio 0 1
Valley College 1 4
West Liberty University 5 5
West Virginia Junior College 2 2
West Virginia Northern Community College 13 10
WV State University 1 4
WV Wesleyan College 1 4
West Virginia University 4 8
West Virginia University Parkersburg 3 4
WVU Institute of Technology 1 1

Enrollments varied across the year. Enrollments at the various schools represent a strong relationship between the MODIFY Specialist and the post-secondary institution.

Program Expenditures for Youth

During the January to December 2015 time period, the program requested approximately $1,026,507.09 in total dollars for 220 youth.*

Approximately $229,852.76 went directly to post secondary institutions for tuition and fees. $74,244.58 in vouchers issued for post secondary expenses went directly to vendors for goods received. Beyond tuition and fees, students were eligible for monthly subsidies paid directly to the student. Approximately $254,149.33 in subsidies was issued to 180 students. Additionally, the program provided demand payments for reimbursable education related items and non-voucher ($52,814.20) items. The program processed $3,242,19 in other ETV payments. Education related dollars were processed for 209 youth; 105 youth received education related assistance only.

The average amount spent per youth was $4,666.

The program processed $360,313.55 of independent living subsidy payments for 99 youth during the time period. The program also processed start-up costs related to deposits, first month rent, and the need for furnishings for an apartment or a dorm room. These payments were limited to $1100 for the life of each youth. The program processed $26,602.31 in direct payments for 29 youth. Demand payments were also issued from the Independent Living Services and Supplies category for things related to independence. The program issued $7,250 in vouchers for 11 youth and $18,038.17 in demand payments for 20 youth. These payments were used for items such as clothes for work, driving education and other expenses related to independent living.

Case Example:

K.F. is a 19 year old former foster youth that found himself homeless in Washington D.C. after a fight with his mom’s boyfriend. K.F. reached out to his NYTD worker through facebook messenger because he was penniless, his phone was turned off. The NYTD Specialist turned to the supervisor and the journey began to get the youth back to West Virginia and back in care under a FC-18 which the youth was eligible for due to aging out. The MODIFY Supervisor struck a deal with the youth’s former worker and the children’s shelter in Martinsburg. The first attempt of a four hour last minute trip to D.C. to pick the youth up failed due to the youth’s phone dying and the MODIFY Specialist couldn’t find him. After a night spent in an abandoned building, the youth made it to a public library the next morning and again reconnected with the NYTD Specialist by facebook messenger. The program’s We Still Care project arranged for a donation for a train ticket to get the youth back to WV that day. The youth secured a ride to the train station, keeping in constant touch with the NYTD Specialist each step of the way and made his way back to WV and back into care. The youth credits the NYTD Specialist with saving his life. He is currently in Wheeling and a MODIFY Program participant attending college.

* MODIFY made payments for youth who were in employment programs or enrolled and never started school.

Breakdown of Program Expenditures

  • $25,288.17 Independent Living services and supplies
  • $229,852.76 Tuition/Fees
  • $74,244.58 Vouchers for school-related expenses/goods
  • $254,149.33 Monthly subsidies
  • $52,814.20 Educational reimbursements
  • $2,242.19 Other reimbursements
  • $360,313.55 Independent living subsidy payments
  • $26,602.31 Home start-up costs

We Still Care Package Project

354 care packages were sent to youth.

An additional component of our work related to youth transitioning is the development of the We Still Care Package Project. Due to work with youth councils and a special partnership with Taylor County Collaborative Family Resource Network (FRN) Breaking the Cycle youth, we have the ability to collect donations and items to send care packages to youth in the NYTD Survey populations. It is a great engagement tool. The Taylor County Collaborative FRN maintains a bank account and donation mechanism that provides care packages to these often forgotten youth. For the first Christmas ever, we were able to distribute Christmas backpacks and distributed over 80 of those. Both the MODIFY and the NYTD Specialists received boy and girl backpacks to distribute to their youth.