In order to fully participate in our increasingly digital world, foster youth need technology to access resources necessary to thrive and support positive relationships. Yet, an alarming number of our youth struggle to get consistent access to technological tools, and those who do have access still frequently lack knowledge of how to navigate available resources online. COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the digital divide for systems-impacted youth – a crucial obstacle for youth graduating from the foster care system, or Transitional-Age Youth (TAY.)

Aiming to remedy this dire situation – and building off a commitment among FTN partners to integrate the voice of lived experience into system planning – the Tech & TAY Initiative piloted a deeper approach of co-creation, bringing on a board of former foster youth to unpack and build solutions to this problem at every step of the process, from research to recommendations. These youth leaders surveyed and interviewed a broad audience of system-impacted youth and technology experts regarding how we might reshape technologies into valuable tools with which youth-in-care thrive. In so doing, it provided a new model for offering youth a seat at the table. 

The Tech & TAY Toolkit
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The recommendations attached speak not only to best practices and new practices for how tech can positively impact the lives of TAY, but also to how organizations and systems can offer TAY powerful leadership opportunities in projects that add greater value for everyone involved.

The resulting toolkit, containing both the Tech & TAY Technology Recommendations and Tech & TAY Youth Leadership Approach Tips can be downloaded here. 

A final report on the findings of the Tech & TAY Board will be available within the next few weeks.


Thank you to our Tech & TAY Leadership Board and to the Hilton Foundation for generously sponsoring this work.

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Sept 2023: A Summit for TECH & TAY

How can technology help improve outcomes for TAY?

For the past year, the Tech and TAY Board Summit¬† (a 100% transitional-aged youth-driven board) has researched, analyzed existing work within systems, and brainstormed innovations for utilizing technology to improve not only how TAY youth access needed resources but also how TAY might extend the usage of technology to interpersonal communication and deepening personal and professional relationships.   As an added bonus, learn how organizers and participants came to identify best practices organizations might use to bring TAY youth into greater positions of development and leadership.