Hanging on by a Thread: The Cumulative Impact of the Pandemic on Youth who have been in Foster Care or Homeless

This publication presents the findings from a statewide survey conducted to understand the impact of COVID-19 on youth who have been in foster care or homeless, 12 months after its start. Key findings include:

  • Over 1 in 5 youth reported experiencing an episode of homelessness since the start of the pandemic; those who did were more likely to drop out of school and be unemployed.
  • 100% of students reported that the pandemic has had a major impact on their education. Reduced communication was the most commonly cited impact (57%); more than a quarter (28%) stopped attending classes and 1 in 8 reported dropping out altogether due to the pandemic.
  • 57% of youth attending college reported receiving assistance from their campus basic needs program and 87% reported that the help they received was helpful or very helpful. Students who accessed services were more likely to remain enrolled in school and less likely to have had an episode of homelessness.
  • Youth who were custodial parents were more likely to have experienced homelessness, housing instability and food insecurity and less likely to be employed when compared to non-parents.