The Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth(Midwest Study) is a longitudinal study that has been following a sample of young people from Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois as they transition out of foster care into adulthood. It is a collaborative effort involving Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago; the University of Wisconsin Survey Center; and the public child welfare agencies in Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin.
The Midwest Study provides a comprehensive picture of how foster youth are faring during this transition since the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 became law. Foster youth in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois were eligible to participate in the study if they had entered care before their 16th birthday, were still in care at age 17, and had been removed from home for reasons other than delinquency. Baseline survey data were collected from 732 study participants when they were 17 or 18 years old. Study participants were re-interviewed at ages 19 (n = 603), 21 (n = 591), 23 or 24 (n = 602), and 26 (n = 596).