Estimating the Costs and Benefits of LifeSet
Feb 10, 2020
The report presents a rigorous retrospective analysis of the costs and benefits of LifeSet, a Youth Villages program that provides case management and other services for young adults, ages 17 to 22, aging out of the foster care system. The analysis examines the resources required to implement LifeSet — and therefore program costs — and the economic value of the effects of the program, based on a prior impact evaluation conducted in Tennessee.
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LifeSet, operated by Youth Villages in the United States, provides intensive case management and other services for young adults, ages 17 to 22, aging out of the foster care system. LifeSet seeks to ensure a successful transition to adulthood for these vulnerable young adults, with a particular focus on accessing and maintaining stable and suitable housing, remaining free from contact with the criminal justice system, participating in further education and vocational training, obtaining and maintaining employment, and developing other skills required for responsible adulthood.
This report presents a rigorous retrospective analysis of the costs and benefits of LifeSet, based on an experimental evaluation of the program conducted in Tennessee in the early 2010s. The analysis estimates the resources required to implement LifeSet — and therefore program costs. The analysis further places a monetary value on as many of the known causal effects of the program as possible to ensure a complete accounting of the value of the outcomes affected by the program. The resulting analysis of benefits and costs will inform decisionmakers at Youth Villages and elsewhere regarding the potential for a positive return to society from investing in the LifeSet model.
To strengthen the evidence regarding the economic benefits of LifeSet, Youth Villages should do the following:
Evidence of Cost and Outcomes for LifeSet
Valuing the Outcomes from LifeSet
Comprehensive Benefit-Cost Analysis for LifeSet
Conclusions and Implications
Methods and Findings from the WSIPP BCA of LifeSet
Impact Estimates from Evaluation of LifeSet
Adjustment to Program Cost
Monte Carlo Simulation Analysis
This study was sponsored by Youth Villages and conducted by the Social and Behavioral Policy Program within RAND Social and Economic Well-Being.
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