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Federal Legislation


John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program

The John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program was created in 1999 with passage of the Foster Care Independence Act (PL 106-169). The Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) replaced the Title IV-E Federal Independent Living Initiative of 1986. Its purpose was spelled out in the legislation and had 5 initial purposes:

  1. To identify children who are likely to remain in foster care until 18 years of age and to help these children make the transition to self-sufficiency by providing services such as assistance in obtaining a high school diploma, career exploration, vocational training, job placement and retention, training in daily living skills, training in budgeting and financial management skills, substance abuse prevention, and preventive health activities (including smoking avoidance, nutrition education, and pregnancy prevention);

  2. To help children who are likely to remain in foster care until 18 years of age receive the education, training and services necessary to obtain employment;

  3. To help children who are likely to remain in foster care until 18 years of age prepare for and enter post secondary training and education institutions;

  4. To provide personal and emotional support to children aging out of foster care, through mentors and the promotion of interactions with dedicated adults;

  5. To provide financial, housing, counseling, employment, education and other appropriate support and services to former foster care recipients between 18 and 21 years of age to complement their own efforts to achieve self-sufficiency and to assure that program participants recognize and accept their personal responsibility for preparing for and then making the transition from adolescence to adulthood; and

  6. To make available vouchers for education and training, including post secondary learning and education, to youths who have aged out of foster care (this purpose was added in the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Amendments of 2001).

For more information on the Chafee Foster Care Independence program go to: www.nrcys.ou.edu/nrcyd/programs.htm

Education and Training Voucher Program (ETV)

The Promoting Safe and Stable Families Amendment of 2001 amended section 477 of the Social Security Act to add a new purpose to the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP). It also adds a new subsection to section 477. Subsection (i) spelled out ETV in the following 6 points:

  1. Vouchers under the program may be available to youths otherwise eligible for services under the State program under this section.

  2. For purposes of the voucher program, youths adopted from foster care after attaining age 16 may be considered to be youths otherwise eligible for services under the State program under this section.

  3. The State may allow youths participating in the voucher program on the date they attain 21 years of age to remain eligible until they attain 23 years of age, as long as they are enrolled in a postsecondary education or training program and are making satisfactory progress toward completion of that program.

  4. The voucher or vouchers provided for an individual under this section –

    a. may be available for the cost of attendance at an institution of higher education as defined in section 102 of the Higher Education Act of 1965; and

    b. Shall not exceed the lesser of $5,000 per year or the total cost of attendance, as defined in section 472 of that Act.

  5. The amount of a voucher under this section shall be disregarded for the purposes of determining the recipient’s eligibility for, or the amount of, any other Federal or Federally supported assistance, except that the total amount of educational assistance to a youth under this section and under other Federal and Federally supported programs shall not exceed the total cost of attendance, as defined in section 472 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, and except that the State agency shall take appropriate steps to prevent duplication of benefits under this and other Federal and Federally supported programs.

  6. The program is coordinated with other appropriate education and training programs.

    For more information on the Education and Trainig Voucher program go to: www.nrcys.ou.edu/nrcyd/programs.htm
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