Public Law 106-169 established the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) at section 477 of the Social Security Act, providing States with flexible funding to carry out programs that assist youth in making the transition from foster care to self-sufficiency. The law also requires the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to develop a data collection system to track the independent living services States provide to youth and develop outcome measures that may be used to assess States' performance in operating their independent living programs. The law requires ACF to impose a penalty of between one and five percent of the State's annual allotment on any State that fails to comply with the reporting requirements.
To meet the law's mandate, ACF published a proposed rule in the Federal Register on July 14, 2006 and a final rule on February 26, 2008. The regulation establishes the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) and requires that States engage in two data collection activities. First, States are to collect information on each youth who receives independent living services paid for or provided by the State agency that administers the CFCIP. Second, States are to collect demographic and outcome information on certain youth in foster care whom the State will follow over time to collect additional outcome information. This information will allow ACF to track which independent living services States provide and assess the collective outcomes of youth.
Pursuant to the regulation, States begin collecting data for NYTD on October 1, 2010 and will report data to ACF semiannually. The first submission of data to ACF will be due no later than May 15, 2011.