Our Goal

Radically improve outcomes for older youth in Massachusetts by raising $16.2 million over four years to expand access to the LifeSet Program.

portrait of Grisel, LifeSet participant
portrait of Jose, LifeSet participant

The Problem

Each year in Massachusetts, approximately 800 youth age out of foster care. In addition, there are currently 2,100 young adults between the ages of 18-22 who have signed themselves back into custody of the Department of Children and Families, leaving the state with many young adults in desperate need of evidence informed, community-based services like the LifeSet program to help them reach their full potential.

Sadly, most former foster youth have experienced severe challenges by the time they age out of state care, including deep trauma from abuse or neglect and lack of a reliable support system. This results in many struggling with their own mental health or social/emotional challenges.

According to a 2020 study by the National Conference of State Legislatures, of youth who age out of care:








Post-Secondary Education

portrait of Jordan, LifeSet participant
portrait of Madison, LifeSet participant

There is an avoidable gap in services for transition-aged former foster youth. You have the opportunity to make a difference.

The Youth Villages Solution

LifeSet is the way to radically improve outcomes for these young adults. It is an individualized, evidence-informed model that pairs a highly trained specialist with a young person to help identify and accomplish goals. LifeSet is the bridge to successful adulthood and shows positive impacts in many areas of participants’ lives, including reduced homelessness, increased economic well being and better mental health.

LifeSet helps a young adult to:

  • Obtain an educational and/or vocational goal
  • Find and maintain stable housing
  • Establish a long-lasting support network
  • Achieve daily living needs like budgeting, paying bills, parenting skills and so much more


Be a Force for Change

LifeSet helps participants to live in the community successfully, thus reducing rates of homelessness, unemployment and incarceration.

LifeSet Outcomes

12 months post discharge


Living at home or independently


No further involvement with the law


In school, graduated or employed

Four Year LifeSet Growth Projections

From FY23 through FY26, Youth Villages, in collaboration with the Department of Children and Families (DCF), will significantly expand the number of youth served in the LifeSet program from 660 young adults per year to nearly 1,100.

total youth served overall in Lifeset line graph

MDRC Largest Clinical Trial with Proven Outcomes

Leading research firm MDRC conducted a randomized control trial with more than 1,300 young people ages 18 to 24 who had either aged out or left foster care/juvenile justice custody as teenagers. The study compared youth who received LifeSet services to those who had access to usual community services. It found LifeSet youth experienced less violent relationships economic hardships and homelessness with enjoying better earnings, employment and mental health.

LifeSet Randomized Trial graphic

These results are from a randomized controlled trial conducted by MDRC. To view the full report, visit Youth Villages Transitional Living Program Evaluation.

LifeSet Scholars

The LifeSet Scholars program further supports the youth in the LifeSet program who demonstrate a commitment to achieving their educational, vocational or technical skill goals. The program is voluntary and participants choose what type of educational or vocational path they want to pursue. Additionally, LifeSet young adults that show a commitment to furthering their education or vocational skills can receive additional resources through Youth Villages to achieve this goal.

This includes:

  • 24/7 access to LifeSet counselor
  • Monthly stipend to cover educational resources
  • An additional staff mentor
  • Ongoing support through graduation or program completion

Stories of Success