Evaluation research on transitional housing programs (THP) for youths aging out of care resulted in recommendations on how to improve the programs to ensure a more effective response to the needs of care leavers. The aim of the present study was to examine whether implementing the recommendations indeed improved the experiences of care leavers during their participation in the THPs, and their outcomes two to three years after discharge from the program. Study participants were young adults from two cohorts of the same national transitional housing program who participated in two follow-up studies conducted after their discharge from the transitional apartment. We harnessed data from two mixed-methods follow-up studies. The first follow-up comprised young adults who had graduated from the program prior to the implementation of the recommendations, while the second consisted of young adults who graduated from the program after said implementation. The questions addressed the participants’ retrospective evaluations of the program, their experiences of transition to independent living, and outcome measures such as life skills, leisure time activities, satisfaction with social relations, self-reported health (SRH), and life satisfaction. Results revealed that participants in the second cohort evaluated both their experience in the program and the outcomes measures more positively than did their counterparts in the first cohort. In addition, a positive association was found between evaluation of the program's assistance, relationship with an apartment counselor, life skills, and life satisfaction. We conclude that repeated follow-ups of transitional housing program leavers following the implementation of evaluation recommendations can contribute to significantly improving users’ experiences and outcomes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science