We have previously shown that children and adolescents who have been placed in out-of-home care face considerably high risks for early school leaving (Kääriälä et al., 2018). This study adds to the literature by analyzing successful alternatives to educational, for out-of-home young persons who fail in school. We compare the association between children's exposure to placement in care as well as failure in lower secondary school and alternative ways to success (i.e. work force participation or social welfare at age 23) across three Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. We use data from national registers for children born in 1987, following them until age 23. The datasets for Denmark (N=55,995, of whom 3056 are in care), Finland (N=58,855, of whom 1884 are in care), and Sweden (N=100,152, of whom 3209 are in care) cover the entire birth cohort. To estimate and compare country-specific risks, we calculate average marginal effects from binary logistic regression and adjust the effects for birth mother's socio-economic and health-related background.