The Center for Child and Family Studies (CCFS) and The South Carolina Department of Social Services (SCDSS) and are partners in The National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD). Together, we make sure that our state's youth successfully move from foster care to independent living — we collect information, track your progress, recommend services, and design programs and policies to make your transition easier. Remember that being independent does not mean being alone. The SC NYTD Team is here for you!

Your Team at The Center for Child and Family Studies (CCFS)

Toni Jones

Project Coordinator

Toni Jones’s goal as the South Carolina NYTD Project Coordinator is to give youth the opportunity to be heard. She keeps in touch with youth in care, foster parents, group home staff, and caseworkers.

You may receive a phone call or email from Toni soon after your 17th, 19th, or 21st birthday to make sure you received the NYTD survey. She’ll also encourage you to send the survey back to the SC NYTD Team within 45 days of your birthday. And then she’ll send you a gift card!

Toni graduated with a master’s degree of social work from the University of South Carolina in 2002.  Before working on NYTD, she ran the Education Coach Program in Columbia, SC, and served as an educational coach. The program matched youth living in group homes with an education coach to work with one-on-one. Through this program, Toni learned about the challenges that youth in care face.

Toni welcomes your questions, concerns, and comments about the NYTD survey. You can reach her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Misa Alquicira

Research Associate

The SC NYTD team collects information on South Carolina youth in care who receive independent living (IL) services and supports from the Department of Social Services (DSS). The team survey youth about their thoughts and experiences of the IL services they receive and documents, tracks, and monitors this information as they transition into their adult lives. Misa’s primary roles on the team consist of conducting interviews with the youth and overseeing the financial and dissemination process of research incentives. 

Misa holds a master’s degree in Public Health and a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of South Carolina. She also has her CITI Social and Behavioral Research Certification. She has conducted numerous in-depth and phone interviews with minority populations, coordinated study procedures and managed data for a childhood obesity prevention study, assisted on an evaluation of a community health worker curriculum and helped develop a skills-based curriculum for a community-based afterschool program.

Misa believes in advocating for the physical, social and emotional well-being of children and families through research practice, with the faith that people’s stories, coupled with hard data, will drive change in policy and practice.

SC NYTD Graduate Assistants

Each semester, several graduate students at the University of South Carolina devote time and energy to NYTD. They enter data from the surveys, research resources, participate as youth advocates, and reach out to the community on behalf of youth in foster care.

The graduate assistants are at USC to study various topics, including social work, public health, English, and biomedical engineering. They are an important part of the SC NYTD Team.


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