Child Welfare Policy Manual

April 20, 2014

3.3E  INDEPENDENT LIVING, Fiscal, Use of Funds

1. Question: Does the Chafee legislation allow States to develop and utilize trust funds for youth?

Answer: Yes. Trust funds are consistent with the purposes of the legislation at sections 477(a)(1) and (5), which provide for financial, as well as other appropriate support and services designed to help youth transition to adulthood. If a State chooses to establish a trust fund program for youth, the State must describe the design and delivery of the trust fund program in the State's CFCIP plan as required by section 477(b)(2)(A).

2. Question: Can Chafee funds be used to rehabilitate buildings to house youth that are in the independent living program?

Answer: According to a long-standing Comptroller General decision, appropriated funds ordinarily may not be used for improvements to private property unless specifically authorized by law. While major improvements are not permitted, minor renovation is allowed.

Major improvements involve structural changes to the foundation, roof, floor, exterior or load-bearing walls of a facility, or the extension of a facility to increase its floor area. Major improvements also include any extensive alteration of a facility such as to significantly change its function and purpose, even if such renovation does not include any structural change.

Minor renovation may include window replacements, the addition of a wall, painting, plumbing and other minor repairs. Criteria for minor repairs include: improvements which are determined to be incidental to and essential for the effective accomplishment of the authorized purposes of the appropriations, the expenditures are in reasonable amounts, the improvements are used for the principal benefit of the Government, and the interests of the Government are fully protected.

The ACF Regional Office can provide additional guidance to States in this area.

3. Question: If a State currently offers a program for homeless youth, can the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) be used to fund such a program?

Answer: The statute at section 477(d)(2) of the Social Security Act requires that CFCIP funds be used to supplement and not supplant any funds that are available for the same general purposes in the State. However, two examples of how Chafee funds might be used are: 1) CFCIP funds could expand an existing homeless youth program by funding additional beds for youth who have aged out of foster care and are thereby eligible for the program; or 2) CFCIP funds could fund an existing homeless youth program, for those who are Chafee eligible, so long as the non-supplantation requirement is met. Any funds diverted from this particular housing program must be used for services and programs that meet the purposes of the CFCIP program at section 477(a) of the Act.

  • Source/Date: 7/25/02
  • Legal and Related References: Social Security Act - section 477(d)(2)