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Using GIS to enhance programs serving emancipated youth leaving foster care


  • Batsche, Catherine J.
  • Reader, Steven


This article describes a GIS prototype designed to assist with the identification and evaluation of housing that is affordable, safe, and effective in supporting the educational goals and parental status of youth transitioning from foster care following emancipation. Spatial analysis was used to identify rental properties based on three inclusion criteria (affordability, proximity to public transportation, and proximity to grocery stores), three exclusion criteria (areas of high crime, prostitution, and sexual predator residence), and three suitability criteria (proximity to health care, mental health care, and youth serving organizations). The results were applied to four different scenarios to test the utility of the model. Of the 145 affordable rental properties, 27 met the criteria for safe and effective housing. Of these, 19 were located near bus routes with direct service to post-secondary education or vocational training programs. Only 6 were considered appropriate to meet the needs of youth who had children of their own. These outcomes highlight the complexities faced by youth when they attempt to find affordable and suitable housing following emancipation. The LEASE prototype demonstrates that spatial analysis can be a useful tool to assist with planning services for youth making the transition to independent living.

Suggested Citation

  • Batsche, Catherine J. & Reader, Steven, 2012. "Using GIS to enhance programs serving emancipated youth leaving foster care," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 25-33.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:epplan:v:35:y:2012:i:1:p:25-33
    DOI: 10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2011.06.003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1999:89:9:1406-1409_9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Lery, Bridgette, 2009. "Neighborhood structure and foster care entry risk: The role of spatial scale in defining neighborhoods," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 331-337, March.
    3. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2008.142547_2 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Amy Dworsky & Keri-Nicole Dillman & M. Robin Dion & Brandon Coffee-Borden & Miriam Rosenau, 2012. "Housing for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care: A Review of the Literature and Program Typology," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 99170b3efe3c4d9091a187b17, Mathematica Policy Research.


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