Planning a Next Generation Evaluation Agenda for the John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood, 2011-2021

Project Overview

The John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood (Chafee program; formerly the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program) was created following the passage of the Foster Care Independence Act (FCIA) of 1999 (Public Law 106-169). The program provides assistance to help youth currently and formerly in foster care achieve self-sufficiency by providing grants to States and eligible Tribes that submit an approvable plan. Activities and programs allowable under the Chafee program include help with education, employment financial management, housing, emotional support, and assured connections to caring adults for older youth in foster care. In addition, the FCIA required that funding be set aside for evaluations of promising independent living programs. In response to this statutory requirement, the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF) conducted the Multi-Site Evaluation of Foster Youth Programs, a rigorous, random assignment evaluation of four programs funded under the Chafee program. This study was completed in 2011.

In order to build on the findings of the Multi-Site evaluation and to formalize a plan for future evaluation activities under the Chafee program, ACF awarded a task order contract to the Urban Institute. Subsequently, ACF awarded a contract to the Urban Institute to engage Phase II of this work, which includes conducting formative evaluations of programs of potential national significant in preparation for possible future summative evaluations. Programmatic areas of interest for this work include: employment and college success programs; services for pregnant and parenting youth; supportive housing programs; and the extension of Chafee services to age 23 in eligible states with extended federal foster care. The activities and products from this task order will inform future evaluation activities.

The points of contact are Maria Woolverton and Kelly Jedd McKenzie.

  • Specialized Case Management for Young Adults in Extended Federal Foster Care

    Published: November 27, 2019

    For many decades, child welfare agencies—with few exceptions—only served children. State responsibility for the safety and well-being of children in foster care ended at age 18 (or 19, at the state’s discretion, in the case of youth completing high school). But in the past 10 years, many states have extended foster care eligibility to age 21, and some provide supportive services through age 23...

  • Housing for Young Adults in Extended Federally Funded Foster Care

    Published: August 7, 2018

    For many decades, child welfare agencies, with few exceptions, only served children. State responsibility for the safety and well-being of youth in foster care ended at age 18 (or 19, at the state’s discretion, in the case of youth who were completing high school). In 2008, the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act amended Title IV-E of the Social Security Act by giving states the option to extend the age of eligibility...

  • Planning a Next-Generation Evaluation Agenda for the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program

    Published: January 30, 2018

    Many youth aging out of foster care have a difficult time acquiring the skills and competencies they need to transition from adolescence to adulthood. Over the past three decades, policymakers have increased supports for these youth, but gaps remain in what the child welfare...

  • Disadvantaged Youth: Ongoing Research and Program Evaluation Efforts

    This brief highlights ACF research and program evaluation efforts related to disadvantaged youth. It features research projects across ACF related to youth employment and self-sufficiency, child welfare, teen relationships, teen pregnancy and parenthood, and youth development...

  • Supporting Youth Transitioning out of Foster Care – Issue Brief 3: Employment Programs

    Youth transitioning out of foster care and into adulthood need many supports to navigate the challenges they face. Over the past three decades, federal child welfare policy has significantly increased the availability of those supports. In 1999, the Foster Care Independence Act amended Title IV-E of the Social Security Act to create the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (the Chafee Program). This amendment doubled the maximum amount of funds potentially available to states for...

  • Preparing for a “Next Generation” Evaluation of Independent Living Programs for Youth in Foster Care – Project Overview

    Youth transitioning out of foster care and into adulthood need many supports to navigate the challenges they face. Over the past three decades, federal child welfare policy has significantly increased the availability of those supports. In 1999, the Foster Care Independence Act amended Title IV-E of the Social Security Act to create the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (the Chafee Program). This amendment doubled the maximum amount of funds potentially available to states for...

  • Supporting Youth Transitioning out of Foster Care – Issue Brief 1: Education Programs

    Youth transitioning out of foster care and into adulthood need many supports to navigate the challenges they face. Over the past three decades, federal child welfare policy has significantly increased the availability of those supports. In 1999, the Foster Care Independence Act amended Title IV-E of the Social Security Act to create the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (the Chafee Program). This amendment doubled the maximum amount of funds potentially available to states for...

  • Supporting Youth Transitioning out of Foster Care – Issue Brief 2: Financial Literacy and Asset Building Programs

    Youth transitioning out of foster care and into adulthood need many supports to navigate the challenges they face. Over the past three decades, federal child welfare policy has significantly increased the availability of those supports. In 1999, the Foster Care Independence Act amended Title IV-E of the Social Security Act to create the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (the Chafee Program). This amendment doubled the maximum amount of funds potentially available to states for...

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