August 22,2014

PPRTC Research Recommends Improved Services for Young Adults Leaving State Care

Children under state care in Georgia frequently face difficulties obtaining higher education, avoiding legal troubles, and integrating into society once they leave the state system, according to a new study by the Ilia State University (ISU) MPA Program’s Public Policy Research and Training Center (PPRTC). Once young adults leave state foster care or orphanages, they often experience worse life outcomes than their peers. On June 20 at ISU, the PPRTC presented its report and recommendations to approximately 50 representatives from government institutions, NGOs, international donors, and the beneficiary group.

The researchers, Ketevan Makashvili and Viktoria Midelauri of ISU, reviewed existing services in Georgia and best practices in similar countries, then conducted interviews and focus groups with young adults who have been the subjects of state care. They found that the most pressing issue was that services for children under state care end entirely once these children reach the age of 18. The report recommends that the government create a database to track young adults after they leave state care to better understand their challenges and design continued support services. The report also recommends that the state develop transition services that will help young adults in the target group identify and take advantage of opportunities for higher education, job training, employment, and housing.

The research and its conclusions were well-received by participants at the presentation, which included young adults who are currently under state care or who have recently phased out of the system. Two of these young adults presented parts of the research and discussed their experiences at the event. Following the presentation, representatives of the Ministry of Youth and Sport, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Justice engaged in a lengthy and collaborative discussion with the researchers, beneficiaries, and NGO representatives in attendance.

This is the third and final report in the PPRTC’s first series of policy papers, which focused on healthcare in Georgia. The other reports covered rising cancer rates and autism treatment services. Within the next two weeks, the PPRTC expects to unveil a new policy study in the field of education analyzing teacher salary scales in Georgia.