Data Collection Around the Pathways to and Predictors of Disconnect

The disconnected status of opportunity youth inherently means that institutional tracking systems miss them, but this challenge should not impede efforts to collect meaningful data.

To help advocates, educators, medical professionals, and policymakers identify programs and policies most responsive to the unique needs of opportunity youth, federal agencies can cooperate on making complete demographic data available in real time.


Congress can:

  1. Implement a national survey for opportunity youth, to be managed by the CDC Division of Adolescent and School Health, that establishes common indicators for national data and involves communities in the identification, collection, and communication of data for homeless, foster, and justice-involved youth.

The CDC and the Department of Education can:

  1. Prioritize and fund longitudinal studies following young people to better measure protective and risk factors related to disconnection.
  2. Ensure that studies and survey instruments designed to measure school climate and youth experiences, including disconnect, collect complete data on gender and sexual identity.