The John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) offers assistance to help current and former foster care youths achieve self-sufficiency. Grants are offered to States and Tribes who submit a plan to assist youth in a wide variety of areas designed to support a successful transition to adulthood. Activities and programs include, but are not limited to, help with education, employment, financial management, housing, emotional support and assured connections to caring adults for older youth in foster care. The program is intended to serve youth who are likely to remain in foster care until age 18, youth who, after attaining 16 years of age, have left foster care for kinship guardianship or adoption, and young adults ages 18-21 who have "aged out" of the foster care system.
The Educational and Training Vouchers Program (ETV) for Youths Aging out of Foster Care was added to the CFCIP in 2002. ETV provides resources specifically to meet the education and training needs of youth aging out of foster care. In addition to the existing authorization of $140 million for the CFCIP program, the law authorizes $60 million for payments to States and Tribes for post secondary educational and training vouchers for youth likely to experience difficulty as they transition to adulthood after the age of 18. This program makes available vouchers of up to $5,000 per year per youth for post secondary education and training for eligible youth.
As of September 30, 2007, there were an estimated 496,000 children in substitute/foster care. Of these children an estimated 39% were identified as being 13 years of age or older (AFCARS 2007 data). During the Federal fiscal year 2007, States reported that approximately 29,000 young adults exited/emancipated from foster care (AFCARS 2008).
The National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) is being developed as the data collection component for CFCIP and will be used to attain more knowledge about services and outcomes of youth transitioning out of foster care. For more information on NYTD, visit the Children's Bureau NYTD webpage.
The funding level for 2009 is $140 million for CFCIP and $45 million for ETV.
- Child Welfare Policy Manual — includes questions and answers regarding the CFCIP.