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Testimony: 

Before the Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, 
Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

GAO: 

For Release on Delivery Expected at 10:00 a.m. EDT: 

Thursday, July 12, 2007: 

Child Welfare: 

HHS Actions Would Help States Prepare Youth in the Foster Care System 
for Independent Living: 

Statement of Cornelia M. Ashby, Director: 
Education, Workforce, and Income Security Issues: 

GAO-07-1097T: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-07-1097T, a testimony before the Subcommittee on 
Income Security and Family Support, Committee on Ways and Means, House 
of Representatives 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

Congress passed the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 (FCIA), which 
doubled annual federal funds for independent living programs to $140 
million. This testimony discusses (1) statesí FCIA funding allocations, 
(2) services provided and remaining challenges, (3) state coordination 
of programs to deliver services, and (4) the states and the Department 
of Health and Human Servicesí (HHS) Administration for Children and 
Familiesí (ACF) progress toward meeting program accountability 
requirements. This testimony is primarily based on our 2004 report on 
FCIA (05-25), with updated information from our 2007 testimony on state 
child welfare challenges (07-850T). To conduct the 2004 work, we 
surveyed state independent living coordinators, conducted 4 state site 
visits, and reviewed statesí plans and annual reports. Updated 
information from our 2007 testimony was taken primarily from a 2006 
survey of state child welfare directors. 

What GAO Found: 

Statesí funding allocations for independent living programs effectively 
ranged from a maximum of approximately $500 to $2,300 for each foster 
care youth who was eligible for independent living services, according 
to data available at the time of our 2004 report. Funding varied 
because of differences in statesí eligibility requirements and the 
funding formula used to allocate funds. 

Although our 2004 survey of state independent living coordinators 
showed that 40 states reported expanding existing independent living 
services to younger youth and 36 states reported serving youth older 
than they had previously served, states varied in their ability to 
engage youth and to provide key services. About one-third of reporting 
states were serving less than half of their eligible foster care youth 
population, while an equal percentage of states were serving three-
fourths or more. Our 2006 survey of state child welfare directors 
showed that critical gaps remain in providing services such as mental 
health and housing for youth transitioning to independence. Mental 
health barriers included differences in eligibility requirements and 
level of services between the youth and adult systems, and long waiting 
lists. Housing barriers included limited affordable housing in costly 
urban areas, scarce rental housing in rural areas, and problems 
obtaining a rental lease due to the lack of youth employment and credit 
history or a co-signer to guarantee payment. 

Almost all states that we surveyed in 2004 reported an increase in 
coordination with some federal, state, and local programs, but linkages 
with other federal and state youth-serving programs were not always in 
place to increase services available across local areas. Many programs 
exist at the federal, state, or local level that can be used to provide 
or supplement independent living services, and each state reported in 
our survey using some of these programs to provide services. Despite 
these coordination efforts, some states may not make full use of the 
available resources. Inconsistent availability of information on the 
array of programs that were operating in each state and local area was 
cited as a challenge in promoting coordination in both our prior and 
more current work. 

States and HHS have taken action to fulfill the accountability 
provisions of FCIA, but 8 years later, little information is available 
to assess program outcomes. All states developed multiyear plans for 
their programs and submitted annual reports, but using these documents 
to assess state performance was hindered by inconsistencies between the 
plans and reports, an absence of goals and baseline information to 
measure progress, and incomplete information on outcomes for the youth 
serviced. ACF started developing an information system in 2000 to 
monitor state performance, but final regulations directing states to 
begin collecting data and tracking outcomes are still pending. ACF is 
also conducting evaluations of selected independent living programs, 
but results are not yet available. 

What GAO Recommends: 

We recommended that HHS improve access to federal program information. 
HHS did not comment on this recommendation in 2004, but disagreed with 
a similar recommendation in our 2007 testimony. We also recommended 
that HHS improve its state monitoring processes. HHS agreed to develop 
uniform monitoring tools, but disagrees that standard state reports are 
necessary. 

[Hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-07-1097T]. 

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on 
the link above. For more information, contact Cornela M. Ashby at (202) 
512-7215 or ashbyc@gao.gov. 

[End of section] 

July 12, 2007: 

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee: 

Thank you for inviting me here today to discuss the needs of youth who 
leave the foster care system each year without the support of an 
adoptive or other permanent home. As you are aware, almost 40 percent 
of the estimated 513,000 children in foster care are age 13 or older, 
and over 24,000 youth left the foster care system in 2005 as 
emancipated youth without a permanent living arrangement. Research 
studies have shown that many of these young people face serious 
problems once on their own, including homelessness, a lack of education 
and stable employment, and difficulties obtaining medical and mental 
health services. In response to concerns that youth leave foster care 
poorly prepared to live self-sufficiently, in 1986 Congress created the 
Independent Living Program, which was further strengthened with the 
passage of the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 (FCIA) and creation 
of the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (Chafee 
Program). Under the new program, overall federal funding doubled for 
independent living programs from $70 million to $140 million.[Footnote 
1] In addition to providing increased funding, FCIA resulted in other 
significant changes for the independent living program. 

My testimony today will focus on four key issues as they relate to the 
implementation of the Chafee Program: 

1. how states' funding allocations for independent living programs 
compare when considering the number of youth eligible for services, 

2. the extent to which states have expanded independent living services 
and age groups for youth in foster care after the passage of FCIA and 
what challenges remain, 

3. the extent to which states have used other federal and state 
programs to coordinate the delivery of independent living services to 
foster care youth, and: 

4. how the states and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) 
have fulfilled the program accountability provisions of the law and 
assessed the effectiveness of independent living services. 

My comments are based on the findings of a report GAO issued in 
2004,[Footnote 2] with updated information from a May 2007 testimony on 
challenges facing state child welfare systems.[Footnote 3] The 
information reported in the 2004 report was based on survey responses 
from independent living coordinators in all 50 states and the District 
of Columbia regarding their experiences in developing and implementing 
their Chafee Programs in federal fiscal year 2003. Where appropriate, 
we compared those responses to information we gathered on state 
independent living programs operating in federal fiscal year 1998. We 
analyzed federal financial and foster care data. We also analyzed 
Chafee Program plans from 49 states, the District of Columbia, and 
Puerto Rico for 2001-2004, and 90 annual progress and services reports 
for 2001 and 2002. We visited 4 states--Connecticut, Florida, Texas, 
and Washington--and two local areas within each state, where we spoke 
with state and local officials, caseworkers, youth, foster parents, and 
contract providers. Finally, we interviewed HHS officials, federal 
contractors, and child welfare experts, and reviewed relevant documents 
and literature. We included updated information--taken primarily from 
our 2006 survey of state child welfare directors--from our 2007 
testimony on challenges states face in improving outcomes for children. 
In addition, we included additional information from reports issued by 
the American Public Human Services Association, the Congressional 
Research Service, and the National Resource Center for Youth Services. 
We conducted our work in accordance with generally accepted government 
auditing standards. 

In summary, 

* States' funding allocations for independent living programs 
effectively ranged from a maximum of approximately $500 to $2,300 for 
each foster care youth who was eligible for independent living 
services, according to data available at the time of our 2004 report. 
Funding varied because of differences in states' eligibility 
requirements and the funding formula used to allocate funds. 

* Although our 2004 survey of state independent living coordinators 
showed that 40 states reported expanding existing independent living 
services to younger youth and 36 states reported serving youth older 
than they had previously served, states varied in their ability to 
engage youth and to provide key services. About one-third of reporting 
states were serving less than half of their eligible foster care youth 
population, while an equal percentage of states were serving three- 
fourths or more, and states we visited reported that gaps in the 
availability of critical services contributed to the differences in 
proportion of youth served. For example, securing safe and secure 
housing was identified as a challenge by youth and program officials in 
the 4 states we visited, including limited affordable housing in costly 
urban areas and scarce rental housing in rural areas. In addition, our 
more recent survey of state child welfare directors in 2006 showed that 
31 states remained dissatisfied with housing for youth transitioning to 
independence, and similar numbers of states were dissatisfied with the 
availability of mental health, substance abuse, and dental health 
services. 

* Almost all states that we surveyed in 2004 reported an increase in 
coordination with some federal, state, and local programs, but linkages 
with other federal and state youth-serving programs were not always in 
place to increase services available across local areas. Many programs 
exist at the federal, state, or local level that can be used to provide 
or supplement independent living services, and each state reported in 
our survey using some of these programs to provide services. Despite 
these coordination efforts, some states may not make full use of the 
available resources. Inconsistent availability of information on the 
array of programs that were operating in each state and local area was 
cited as a challenge in promoting coordination in both our prior and 
more current work. 

* States and HHS have taken action to fulfill the accountability 
provisions of FCIA, but little information is available to assess the 
effectiveness of independent living services. At the time of our review 
in 2004, all states had developed their initial multiyear plans for 
their programs and submitted annual reports to the Administration for 
Children and Families (ACF), but using these plans and the reports to 
assess state performance was hindered by inconsistencies between the 
plans and reports, an absence of goals and baseline information to use 
in measuring progress, and incomplete information on outcomes for all 
youth who received services. Although in 2000 ACF began taking steps to 
develop an information system that will allow it to capture data on the 
characteristics, services, and outcomes of youth in independent living 
programs, it has not yet implemented the final regulations directing 
states to begin collecting data and tracking outcomes. ACF is also 
conducting an evaluation of selected independent living programs. 

In our 2004 report, we recommended that the Secretary of HHS improve 
the availability of information on the array of federal programs that 
could be used to assist youth transitioning out of foster care. HHS did 
not comment on this recommendation. Our 2007 testimony cites a similar 
recommendation that HHS take action to improve awareness of and access 
to federal social services by such means as modifying the Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance. HHS disagreed with this recommendation, 
stating that it was insufficient to address the problem and incorrectly 
implied that caseworkers were not already aware of existing resources. 
We continue to support the recommendation based on the results of our 
work. 

Our 2004 report also recommended that HHS improve existing processes 
for monitoring states' progress in meeting the needs of current and 
former foster care youth by developing a standard reporting format for 
state plans and progress reports, and implementing a uniform process 
regional offices can use to assess states' progress in meeting the 
needs of youth in foster care and those recently emancipated from care. 
HHS continues to disagree with our recommendation to provide a standard 
reporting format in that it would be overly prescriptive and impose an 
unnecessary burden on states. In addition, HHS reported that when 
standard data are available through the National Youth in Transition 
Database, the agency would be better positioned to determine how best 
to assess state performance. In the continued absence of implementation 
of such a database, we continue to support our recommendation to 
monitor state performance through modification of existing state 
reporting requirements. HHS agreed with our recommendation to implement 
a uniform process that regional offices can use to assess states' 
progress, but has not yet done so. 

Background: 

In 1986, Congress amended Title IV-E of the Social Security Act to 
authorize federal funds targeted to assist youth aged 16 and over in 
making the transition from foster care to living independent of the 
child welfare system and created the Independent Living Program. This 
program was designed to prepare adolescents in foster care to live self-
sufficiently once they exited the child welfare system. Several 
amendments were made to the Independent Living Program over the years, 
but the passage of FCIA and the creation of the Chafee Program 
represented the most significant changes in the federal Independent 
Living Program since its creation. FCIA doubled the federal funds 
available for independent living programs to $140 million each 
year.[Footnote 4] These funds are allocated to states based on their 
share of the nation's foster care population.[Footnote 5] 

In addition to providing increased funding, FCIA eliminated the minimum 
age limit of 16 years and provided states with the flexibility to 
define the age at which children in foster care are eligible for 
services to help them prepare for independent living, as long as 
services are provided to youth who are likely to remain in foster care 
until 18 years of age. 

The law also provided several new services to help youth make the 
transition to adulthood. 

* It allowed states to use up to 30 percent of their state allotment 
for room and board for former foster care youth up to age 21. 

* It allowed states the option to expand Medicaid coverage to former 
foster care adolescents between 18 and 21. 

* Title IV-E was amended again in 2002 to provide foster care youth 
vouchers for postsecondary education and training under the Education 
and Training Vouchers (ETV) program and authorized an additional $60 
million for states to provide postsecondary education and training 
vouchers up to $5,000 per year per youth. Eligible participants include 
youth otherwise eligible for services under the states' Chafee 
Programs, youth adopted from foster care after attaining the age of 16, 
and youth participating in the voucher program on their 21st birthday 
(until they turn 23 years old) as long as they are enrolled in a 
postsecondary education or training program and are making satisfactory 
progress toward completion of that program. 

In addition, the law required that states make every effort to 
coordinate their Chafee Programs with other federal and state programs 
for youth, such as the Runaway and Homeless Youth Program, abstinence 
education programs, local housing programs, programs for disabled 
youth, and school-to-work programs offered by high schools or local 
workforce agencies. Further, states were required to coordinate their 
programs with each Indian tribe in the state and offer the state's 
independent living services to Indian children. 

To receive funds under the Chafee Program, states were required to 
develop multiyear plans describing how they would design and deliver 
programs and to submit program certifications. The multiyear Chafee 
plans must include a description of the state's program design, 
including its goals, strategies, and its implementation plan for 
achieving the purposes of the law. States were also required to certify 
that they would operate a statewide independent living program that 
complied with the specific aspects of the law, such as providing 
training to foster parents, adoptive parents, workers in group homes, 
and case managers on issues confronting adolescents preparing for 
independent living. Further, to receive annual funds, ACF required 
states to submit annual reports that described the services provided 
and activities conducted under their Chafee Programs, including 
information on any program modifications and their current status of 
implementation; provide a record of how funds were expended; and 
include a description of the extent to which the funds assisted youth 
age 18 to 21 in making the transition to self-sufficiency. 

FCIA also required that HHS develop and implement a plan to collect 
information needed to effectively monitor and measure a state's 
performance, including the characteristics of youth served by 
independent living programs, the services delivered, and the outcomes 
achieved. Further, FCIA required HHS to conduct evaluations of 
independent living programs deemed to be innovative or of potential 
national significance using rigorous scientific standards to the 
maximum extent practicable, such as random assignment to treatment and 
control groups. 

FCIA Increased Independent Living Allocations for Most States and 
Allocations per Youth Vary by State: 

While overall federal funding for state independent living programs 
doubled with the passage of FCIA, there were significant variations in 
the changes to state allocations, and the maximum amount of funds 
available at the time of our 2004 report for each eligible foster care 
youth ranged between $476 and $2,300. Under the previous independent 
living program, states received funds ranging from $13,000 in Alaska to 
more than $12 million in California. In the first year of funding under 
FCIA, Alaska and 8 other states received the guaranteed minimum of 
$500,000, while California received more than $27 million (see table 
1). Some states were unable to spend all of their federal allocations 
in the first 2 years of increased funding under the program. For 
example, in 2001, 20 states returned nearly $10 million in federal 
funding to HHS, and in 2002, 13 states returned more than $4 million. 
ACF regional officials reported that one reason for these unspent funds 
was that some states did not initially have the infrastructure in place 
to quickly absorb the influx of funds. Data provided in a July 2007 
Congressional Research Service memo to Congress showed that 9 states 
returned less than 1 percent of total Chafee funding in 2004 (see app. 
I). 

Table 1: Changes in Funding Allocations across States since the Passage 
of FCIA: 

State: District of Columbia; 
1998 allocation: $1,091,992; 
2001 allocation: $1,091,992; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 0. 

State: Louisiana; 
1998 allocation: 1,358,131; 
2001 allocation: 1,358,131; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 0. 

State: New Jersey; 
1998 allocation: 2,297,848; 
2001 allocation: 2,297,848; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 0. 

State: New York; 
1998 allocation: 11,585,958; 
2001 allocation: 12,313,109; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 6. 

State: Pennsylvania; 
1998 allocation: 4,638,225; 
2001 allocation: 5,304,231; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 14. 

State: Alabama; 
1998 allocation: 1,038,490; 
2001 allocation: 1,288,304; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 24. 

State: Virginia; 
1998 allocation: 1,361,561; 
2001 allocation: 1,698,102; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 25. 

State: Maine; 
1998 allocation: 565,888; 
2001 allocation: 737,309; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 30. 

State: West Virginia; 
1998 allocation: 521,302; 
2001 allocation: 740,816; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 42. 

State: Mississippi; 
1998 allocation: 514,444; 
2001 allocation: 747,127; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 45. 

State: Wisconsin; 
1998 allocation: 1,554,305; 
2001 allocation: 2,252,837; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 45. 

State: Michigan; 
1998 allocation: 4,171,796; 
2001 allocation: 6,109,567; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 46. 

State: New Hampshire; 
1998 allocation: 320,326; 
2001 allocation: 500,000; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 56. 

State: Ohio; 
1998 allocation: 2,860,992; 
2001 allocation: 4,693,625; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 64. 

State: Kentucky; 
1998 allocation: 791,557; 
2001 allocation: 1,332,019; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 68. 

State: Vermont; 
1998 allocation: 295,633; 
2001 allocation: 500,000; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 69. 

State: Minnesota; 
1998 allocation: 1,142,066; 
2001 allocation: 2,102,991; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 84. 

State: Oregon; 
1998 allocation: 930,799; 
2001 allocation: 1,723,115; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 85. 

State: South Carolina; 
1998 allocation: 579,606; 
2001 allocation: 1,085,860; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 87. 

State: Rhode Island; 
1998 allocation: 314,840; 
2001 allocation: 612,710; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 95. 

State: Indiana; 
1998 allocation: 1,019,970; 
2001 allocation: 2,088,263; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 105. 

State: Montana; 
1998 allocation: 244,190; 
2001 allocation: 504,007; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 106. 

State: Connecticut; 
1998 allocation: 754,518; 
2001 allocation: 1,567,892; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 108. 

State: Colorado; 
1998 allocation: 825,854; 
2001 allocation: 1,785,766; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 116. 

State: California; 
1998 allocation: 12,481,777; 
2001 allocation: 27,570,079; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 121. 

State: Kansas; 
1998 allocation: 717,477; 
2001 allocation: 1,583,555; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 121. 

State: Missouri; 
1998 allocation: 1,295,026; 
2001 allocation: 2,940,120; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 127. 

State: New Mexico; 
1998 allocation: 207,149; 
2001 allocation: 500,000; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 141. 

State: Delaware; 
1998 allocation: 203,034; 
2001 allocation: 500,000; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 146. 

State: Washington; 
1998 allocation: 825,168; 
2001 allocation: 2,030,990; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 146. 

State: Texas; 
1998 allocation: 1,841,708; 
2001 allocation: 4,600,585; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 150. 

State: Arkansas; 
1998 allocation: 270,940; 
2001 allocation: 682,373; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 152. 

State: Iowa; 
1998 allocation: 449,966; 
2001 allocation: 1,134,717; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 152. 

State: Maryland; 
1998 allocation: 1,238,095; 
2001 allocation: 3,143,032; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 154. 

State: North Carolina; 
1998 allocation: 1,045,349; 
2001 allocation: 2,650,713; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 154. 

State: Georgia; 
1998 allocation: 1,098,852; 
2001 allocation: 2,803,131; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 155. 

State: South Dakota; 
1998 allocation: 193,430; 
2001 allocation: 500,000; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 158. 

State: North Dakota; 
1998 allocation: 192,058; 
2001 allocation: 500,000; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 160. 

State: Utah; 
1998 allocation: 202,348; 
2001 allocation: 531,358; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 163. 

State: Nebraska; 
1998 allocation: 435,562; 
2001 allocation: 1,293,213; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 197. 

State: Oklahoma; 
1998 allocation: 620,076; 
2001 allocation: 1,910,598; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 208. 

State: Tennessee; 
1998 allocation: 777,838; 
2001 allocation: 2,523,776; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 224. 

State: Illinois; 
1998 allocation: 2,817,094; 
2001 allocation: 9,413,899; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 234. 

State: Nevada; 
1998 allocation: 153,647; 
2001 allocation: 517,800; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 237. 

State: Massachusetts; 
1998 allocation: 635,852; 
2001 allocation: 2,610,972; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 311. 

State: Idaho; 
1998 allocation: 107,004; 
2001 allocation: 500,000; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 367. 

State: Arizona; 
1998 allocation: 347,763; 
2001 allocation: 1,677,998; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 383. 

State: Florida; 
1998 allocation: 987,045; 
2001 allocation: 8,016,425; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 712. 

State: Wyoming; 
1998 allocation: 44,585; 
2001 allocation: 500,000; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 1,021. 

State: Hawaii; 
1998 allocation: 17,834; 
2001 allocation: 514,994; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 2,788. 

State: Alaska; 
1998 allocation: 13,032; 
2001 allocation: 500,000; 
Percentage change over 1998 allocation: 3,737. 

Source: GAO analysis of HHS data. 

Notes: As required by FCIA, no state received less than its federal 
fiscal year 1998 allotment under the Title IV-E Independent Living 
Program. Federal fiscal year 2001 was the first year states received 
full funding under FCIA. 

Allocations do not account for unobligated or unliquidated funds. 

Puerto Rico is not included in this analysis because the territory did 
not receive independent living funds in 1998. The 2001 allocation to 
Puerto Rico totaled $1,814,052. 

[End of table] 

At the time of our 2004 report, we could not determine the exact amount 
of funding states had available to spend on each youth eligible for 
independent living services because of the lack of data on eligible 
youth emancipated from foster care. However, available data at that 
time on youth in foster care suggest that states may have different 
amounts of funds available for services to youth in foster care. We 
compared each state's 2004 FCIA allocation with its 2002 population of 
eligible youth in foster care.[Footnote 6] This comparison showed that 
maximum funding for independent living services ranged from $476 per 
foster care youth in West Virginia to almost $2,300 per foster care 
youth in Montana.[Footnote 7] These differences were due in part to the 
new provision that allowed states to define the age ranges within which 
youth were eligible for independent living services. For example, 4 
states reported in our survey offering independent living services to 
youth at age 12, while 27 states reported offering services at age 
14.[Footnote 8] In addition, the funding formula is based on the total 
number of all children in foster care. However, some states have a 
larger share of youth eligible for independent living services than 
other states, even when their eligibility age range is the same. For 
example, of the 15 states reporting in our survey that youth are 
eligible for services between the ages of 14 and 21, 3 states had 25 
percent or less of their foster care population within this age range, 
while in 3 other states, this age range accounted for over 40 percent 
of the total foster care population.[Footnote 9] 

States Expanded and Improved Services for Youth after FCIA, but 
Reported That Gaps in Critical Services Remain: 

In our 2004 survey, 40 states reported expanding services to youth 
younger than they had previously served, and 36 states reported serving 
older youth, but states reported service gaps in critical areas, such 
as mental health and housing. The number of states that reported 
providing core independent living services, such as independent living 
skills assessments, daily living skills training, and counseling to 
youth younger than 16 more than doubled after FCIA. Similarly, more 
states reported offering these supports and services to youth who were 
emancipated from foster care. 

Many states also began to offer the new services to support youth that 
emancipated from foster care. These services include the Education and 
Training Vouchers, Medicaid health insurance, and assistance with room 
and board. 

* ETV: All states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico began 
receiving funds under the ETV program to assist youth seeking 
postsecondary education, but 26 states did not spend all of the funding 
received (see app. II). A report from the National Resource Center for 
Youth Development showed that states provide a range of benefits to 
youth eligible for ETVs.[Footnote 10] Over 90 percent of 38 state 
independent living coordinators responding to a survey reported 
offering financial support to youth for room and board, school 
supplies, equipment and uniforms, school-related fees, and 
transportation costs. Eighty-four percent of states made payments for 
child care for the dependents of youth, and 60 percent of state 
reported making payments for college or university health plans on 
behalf of youth.[Footnote 11] States were challenged to spend all of 
their funding allotment. Mississippi returned almost all of its 2004 
ETV funds, and 14 other states returned over 20 percent of their 
funding allotment.[Footnote 12] 

* Medicaid: Recent information from the American Public Human Services 
Association shows that all states are now using or planning to use the 
Chafee option or other means to extend Medicaid coverage to youth. In 
our 2004 survey, 31 of 50 state independent living coordinators had 
reported offering Medicaid benefits to at least some emancipated youth 
to help them maintain access to health care benefits while they 
transitioned to independence. In 2007, the American Public Human 
Services Association reported that 22 states planned or have already 
started using the Chafee option to offer Medicaid coverage to youth who 
age out of foster care.[Footnote 13] The study also found that the 
remaining 28 states and the District of Columbia were reported to be 
using other methods, such as the State Children's Health Insurance 
Program or the Medicaid waiver demonstration program, to extend 
coverage to youth. 

* Housing assistance: In our 2004 survey, 46 states reported that they 
offered assistance with room and board to youth who had been 
emancipated from foster care, and the 4 states we visited reported 
offering a range of housing supports to assist youth. At the time of 
our visit, Connecticut provided several housing options to meet the 
needs of youth at varying levels of independence, including group 
homes, supervised apartment sites, and unsupervised apartment sites 
with periodic visits from case managers. While 3 other states we 
visited offered a more limited supply of housing options, all provided 
some type of housing subsidy or placement. 

* Existing services: Chafee Program funds were also used to improve the 
quality of existing independent living services and refocus the 
attention of their programs, according to state officials we visited. 
For example, local officials in Florida said that prior to FCIA, 
training in daily living skills was provided haphazardly, and in many 
cases unqualified staff taught classes even though such training was 
considered a core component of their independent living program. At the 
time of our visit, Florida officials said that the state redesigned 
staff training, improved instructor quality, and was better prepared to 
provide youth with the skills necessary to live independently outside 
of the foster care system. 

States differed in the proportion of eligible youth served under their 
respective independent living programs. In our 2004 survey, 40 states 
reported serving about 56,000 youth--or approximately 44 percent of 
youth in foster care who were eligible for independent living services 
in these states.[Footnote 14] About one-third of reporting states were 
serving less than half of their eligible foster care youth population, 
while an equal percentage of states were serving three-fourths or more. 
While states expanded eligibility to younger youth, most services 
continued to be directed at youth age 16 and older in most of the 
states we visited. 

Certain gaps in the availability of critical services were reported, 
which may have contributed to the challenge of serving higher numbers 
of eligible youth.[Footnote 15] States also reported that these 
challenges were more prominent in rural areas. Service gaps included 
the following: 

* Mental health services: Youth in foster care often require mental 
health services continuing beyond emancipation. However, states 
continue to be challenged in providing youth with a smooth transition 
between the youth and adult mental health systems. Of the 4 states we 
visited in 2004, 3 cited difficulties due to more stringent eligibility 
requirements in the adult system, different levels of services, and 
long waiting lists for services. Challenges with mental health services 
remained in 2006, when 32 state child welfare directors responding to 
our survey reported dissatisfaction with the level of mental health 
services.[Footnote 16] 

* Mentoring services: Research studies indicate that the presence of 
positive adult role models is critical for youth in foster care because 
family separations and placement disruptions have been found to hinder 
the development of enduring bonds. Although the majority of states 
reported in our 2004 survey that they offered mentoring programs to 
youth, officials in the states we visited cited challenges in providing 
all youth with access to mentoring programs to establish and maintain 
such relationships.[Footnote 17] For example, in Connecticut, one 
program director reported challenges recruiting adults to serve as 
mentors, especially men willing to make a 1-year commitment to an 
adolescent boy. In addition, some state and local officials and service 
providers seemed unclear on what should be included in a high-quality 
mentoring program and how to identify qualified service providers. 

* Securing safe and suitable housing: Providing appropriate housing 
also remains a critical service gap. Youth we spoke with across the 4 
states we visited in 2004 said that locating safe and stable housing 
after leaving foster care was one of their primary concerns in their 
transition to independence, and state officials reported challenges 
meeting youths' housing needs. Youth reported difficulties renting 
housing because of a lack of an employment history, a credit history, 
or a cosigner. State and local officials in the states we visited said 
the availability of housing resources for foster youth during their 
initial transition from foster care depended on where they lived, and 
in some cases the benefits provided did not completely meet the needs 
of youth, or were available only to certain youth. For example, at the 
time of our visit, local officials in Washington reported that housing 
subsidies may not completely offset expenses for youth in expensive 
urban areas, like Seattle, and that rental housing in some rural areas 
was scarce. This service gap was identified by states again in our 2006 
survey, as 31 state child welfare directors reported dissatisfaction 
with the level of housing for foster youth transitioning to 
independence. 

* Youth and foster family engagement: State and local officials, as 
well as service providers in the 4 states we visited said that it was 
difficult to get some youth to participate in the independent living 
programs and that foster parents were sometimes reluctant partners. 
While youth were generally offered incentives, such as cash stipends, 
to participate in daily living skills training or other activities, 
officials emphasized that participation is voluntary and it is critical 
for foster parents to support and encourage youth participation in the 
program.[Footnote 18] 

States Reported Increased Coordination with Federal and State Programs 
to Provide Independent Living Services to Youth, but Barriers Hinder 
Linkages across Programs: 

After FCIA, 49 states reported increased coordination with a number of 
federal, state, and local programs that can provide or supplement 
independent living services, but officials from the 4 states we visited 
reported several barriers in developing the linkages necessary to 
access services under these programs across local areas. States we 
surveyed reported working with a range of service provides, such as Job 
Corps, workforce boards, and local housing agencies.[Footnote 19] 

States we visited used different strategies to develop linkages among 
state youth programs. Three of the states we visited reported 
establishing state-level work groups that included representatives from 
the independent living program and other state agencies to bring agency 
officials together to discuss the needs of youth in foster care and 
possible strategies for improving service delivery. For example, 
Florida's legislature mandated a state-level work group to facilitate 
information sharing at the state level among various agencies, such as 
the State Departments of Children and Families and Education, the 
Agency for Workforce Innovation, and the Agency for Health Care 
Administration. Additional strategies states developed to establish 
linkages with other federal, state, or local programs included 
establishing liaisons between agencies or programs or through less 
formal collaborative arrangements. Officials also reported developing 
linkages with other private resources in their communities, such as 
business owners, to provide services to youth in the independent living 
program. 

Despite states' efforts, we continued to find in our 2006 survey that 
states were least likely to address challenges in providing services 
such as mental health that are typically provided outside of the child 
welfare system by other agencies. Officials in the 4 states we visited 
in 2004 reported several barriers that hinder their ability to 
establish linkages with other agencies and programs, including the lack 
of information on the array of programs available in each state or 
local area and differences in program priorities. Officials from 3 
states said that they relied on local officials to identify potential 
partners and initiate and maintain coordination efforts, and while 
individuals in some local areas may have developed successful 
collaborations with service providers in their area, these 
relationships have not always been expanded statewide. To some extent, 
this has been due to the fact that state and local child welfare 
officials differ in their awareness of resources available from other 
agencies. Some gaps in awareness may be partly due to turnover rates 
for caseworkers reported by the states we visited.[Footnote 20] 
Caseworkers' lack of knowledge about available programs may have 
contributed to foster parents and youth reporting that they were 
unaware of the array of services available from other federal, state, 
or local programs. In addition, officials cited barriers to 
establishing linkages with other federal and state programs because of 
different program priorities. Differences in performance goals among 
programs can affect the ability of independent living staff to obtain 
services for foster youth from other agencies. In North Carolina, state 
officials we visited in 2006 said that about 70 percent of children and 
families in the child welfare system received services from multiple 
public agencies, and the Catalog of Domestic Assistance (CFDA)--a 
repository of information on all federal assistance programs--lists 
over 300 federal programs that provide youth and family services. In 
October 2003, the White House Task Force for Disadvantaged Youth 
recommended that the CFDA be modified to provide a search feature that 
can be used to identify locations where federally funded programs were 
operating.[Footnote 21] 

States' and HHS's Actions in Response to FCIA Requirements Have Not Yet 
Established Accountability for Independent Living Programs: 

All states developed multiyear plans as required under FCIA and 
submitted annual progress reports to ACF for their independent living 
programs, but the absence of standard comprehensive information within 
and across state plans and reports precludes using them at the state 
and federal levels to monitor how well the programs are working to 
serve foster care youth. HHS has not yet implemented its plan to 
collect information to measure states' program performance, and while 
some states reported collecting some data, states have experienced 
difficulties in contacting youth to determine their outcomes. HHS has 
begun to evaluate selected independent living programs. 

* State plans and annual reports: All states developed state plans as 
required by FCIA that described independent living services they 
planned to provide to foster care youth and submitted annual reports to 
ACF, but for several reasons, these plans and reports cannot be used to 
assess states' independent living programs. While ACF officials stated 
that the plans and annual reports served as the primary method the 
agency used to monitor states' use of the Chafee Program funds, ACF did 
not require states to use a uniform reporting format, set specific 
baselines for measuring progress, or report on youths' outcomes. As a 
result, each state developed plans and reports that varied in their 
scope and level of detail, making it difficult to determine whether 
states had made progress in preparing foster youth to live self- 
sufficiently.[Footnote 22] 

On the basis of our review of plans from all 50 states and the District 
of Columbia covering federal fiscal years 2001 through 2004, and annual 
reports for 45 states from federal fiscal years 2001 and 2002, we found 
the following: 

* Few states both organized the information in their plans to address 
the purposes of FCIA and presented specific strategies they would use 
to meet these purposes. 

* The plans vary in their usefulness in establishing outcomes the 
states intended to achieve for youth. 

* Annual reports for all 45 states contained information that did not 
directly relate to information in their state plan, making it unclear 
whether the differences were due to service changes or missing 
information. 

* Of the 90 annual progress reports we reviewed, 52 reports did not 
include clear data that could be used to determine progress toward 
meeting the goals of the states' independent living programs. 

ACF officials said that they recognize the limitations of these 
documents as tools to monitor states' use of independent living program 
funds, but explained that they rely on states' to self-certify that 
their independent living programs adhere to FCIA requirements. Staff in 
ACF's 10 regional offices conduct direct oversight of the program by 
reviewing the plans and reports, interpreting guidance, and 
communicating with the states. However, officials in three offices 
reported during our 2004 review that their review of the documents was 
cursory and that the plans and annual reports do not serve as effective 
monitoring tools. In addition, ACF officials reported that the Child 
and Family Services Review (CFSR) used to evaluate the states' overall 
child welfare systems could serve as a tool to monitor independent 
living programs, but the CFSR is limited in the type and amount of data 
collected on youth receiving independent living services. 

* National Youth in Transition Database: ACF has not completed efforts 
to develop a plan to collect data on youths' characteristics, services, 
and outcomes in response to the FCIA requirement, and some states that 
are attempting to collect information on youths' outcomes are 
experiencing difficulties. In 2000, ACF started to develop the National 
Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) to collect information needed to 
effectively monitor and measure states' performance in operating 
independent living programs. The agency issued proposed rules on July 
14, 2006, but as of July 2007, final rules governing the system have 
not been issued.[Footnote 23] 

The proposed rules include an approach to collect information on all 
youth who received independent living services, youth who are in foster 
care at age 17, and follow-up information on youth at ages 19 and 21. 
For any youth who receives independent living services from either the 
child welfare agency or another source supported by federal Chafee 
funds, the state must report a series of data elements, including the 
type of independent living services received, such as housing education 
or health education and risk prevention. These data are to be collected 
on an ongoing basis for as long as the youth receives services. 

In order to develop a system to identify youth outcomes, HHS proposes 
establishing information on a baseline population of youth at age 17. 
All youth who turn 17 years old while in foster care would be surveyed 
on a series of outcomes, such as their current employment status. 
States would be required to conduct follow-up surveys with the youth at 
ages 19 and 21. HHS would allow the states to pull a sample from this 
baseline population with which to conduct these follow-up surveys. For 
example, California had over 7,500 youth in care in 2004 who were 17 
years old. On the basis of the proposed sampling methodology, the state 
would be allowed to survey a minimum of 341 19-year-olds in the follow- 
up effort. 

According to results from our survey, in federal fiscal year 2003, 30 
states attempted to contact youth who had been emancipated from foster 
care for initial information to determine their status, including 
education and employment outcomes. Of those states, most reported that 
they were unsuccessful in contacting more than half of the youth. 
Further, 21 states reported attempting to follow up with emancipated 
youth after a longer period of time had elapsed but had trouble 
reaching all the youth. Similarly, officials in the states we visited 
reported that collecting outcome data is especially challenging since 
there is little they can do to find youth unless the youth themselves 
initiate the contact. Further, some officials were concerned about the 
value of the outcome data since they believe that youth who are doing 
well are more likely to participate in the follow-up interviews, thus 
skewing the results. When HHS issued the proposed rule, it provided 
strategies states could use to conduct the follow-up component of the 
NYTD requirements. For example, the document recommends letting the 
youth know up-front that the agency will be contacting them in the 
future; suggests keeping a "case file" that tracks any activity, such 
as reasons why a letter was returned; and suggests that the agency 
establish a toll-free phone line. 

* Mutltistate evaluations: At the time of our 2004 review, ACF expected 
to complete the evaluations of four approaches to delivering 
independent living services by December 2007. However, it is unclear if 
that deadline will be achieved at this point. As required by FCIA, 
these evaluations are expected to use rigorous scientific standards, 
such as an experimental research design that randomly assigns youth in 
independent living programs to different groups: one that is 
administered the experimental treatment and one that is not. HHS 
initiated this effort in 2001 with a nationwide review of potentially 
promising approaches to delivering independent living services. HHS 
contracted with a research institute to conduct a nationwide search to 
identify independent living programs that meet the criteria of the 
evaluation[Footnote 24] and to conduct 5-year evaluations of the 
selected programs.[Footnote 25] On the basis of the search and the 
established criteria, HHS selected four programs for the evaluation 
(see table 2). 

Table 2: Programs Included in the Multisite Evaluation of Foster Youth 
Programs: 

Site: Los Angeles County, California; 
Program: Community College Life Skills (LST) Training; 
Type of service: Classroom-based and experiential life skills training, 
teen support group, and exposure to community college opportunities; 
Age of focus: 17; 
Number of youth (control and experimental): 450; 
Length of service provision: 5 weeks (10 workshops); 
Key outcome of interest: Education, employment, housing stability, 
avoidance of risk behaviors. 

Site: Los Angeles County, California; 
Program: Early Start to Emancipation Preparation (ESTEP); 
Type of service: Structured tutoring and mentoring curriculum for youth 
1-3 years behind grade level in reading and math skills; 
Age of focus: 14-15; 
Number of youth (control and experimental): 450; 
Length of service provision: 6 months of tutoring on average, mentoring 
continues less intensively after tutoring ends, for 3 months on 
average; 
Key outcome of interest: Education, employment, and interpersonal and 
relationship skills. 

Site: Kern County, California; 
Program: Employment program; 
Type of service: Employment skills training, job referral, and 
employment support provided through county Temporary Assistance to 
Needy Families agency; 
Age of focus: 16; 
Number of youth (control and experimental): 250; 
Length of service provision: Ongoing through age 21; 
Key outcome of interest: Employment and economic self-sufficiency. 

Site: Massachusetts; 
Program: Adolescent Outreach Program; 
Type of service: Intensive, individualized life skills mentoring and 
casework; 
Age of focus: 17; 
Number of youth (control and experimental): 250; 
Length of service provision: Mean of 1 year; 
Key outcome of interest: Employment, housing stability, service 
linkages. 

Source: HHS. 

[End of table] 

In the report issued in 2004, we made recommendations to HHS (1) to 
make information available to states and local areas about other 
federal programs that may assist youth in their transition to self- 
sufficiency and provide guidance on how to access services under these 
programs and (2) to develop a standard reporting format for state plans 
and progress reports and implement a uniform process regional offices 
can use to assess states' progress in meeting the needs of youth in 
foster care and those recently emancipated from care. These 
recommendations have not been implemented. 

Concluding Observations: 

Preparing youth to successfully transition to independence is a 
daunting task that requires coordinated and continuous services across 
many social service systems including child welfare, health, education, 
and housing. The Chafee Program has provided a single funding stream 
that can be used to meet service needs across these social systems. 
However, this funding alone is not sufficient to overcome state 
challenges in meeting the varied service needs of emancipating youth. 
The child welfare system must work with housing agencies to remove 
barriers faced by youth with no employment history or cosigner, and 
with health agencies, to ensure a smooth transition between the youth 
and adult mental health systems. In addition, states continue to have 
difficulty building adequate service capacity for housing and mental 
health in all locales, and child welfare staff still struggle to 
identify the myriad of public and private sector programs that exist to 
assist youth. Our November 2004 report and our May 2007 testimony 
present recommendations we made to HHS to make information available to 
states and local areas about other federal programs that may assist 
youth in their transition to self-sufficiency. 

HHS did not comment on our 2004 recommendation, but disagreed with our 
recent recommendation to improve awareness of and access to various 
social services funded by the federal government. HHS stated that the 
recommendation was insufficient to address the need for additional 
services, and incorrectly implied that local child welfare agencies 
were not already aware of and using such resources. We acknowledged 
that increasing awareness of existing federal resources is not the only 
action needed, but in the course of our work across the years, continue 
to find that caseworkers are sometimes unaware of the full array of 
federal resources, such as health and housing, available in their 
locale, or had not coordinated with other agencies to use them. We 
continue to support the view that federal action, such as modifying the 
CFDA, would allow caseworkers and others to more easily identify 
services and service providers funded by federal agencies in closest 
proximity to the youth and families they serve. 

How well the Chafee Program has worked to improve outcomes for 
emancipated youth among states is still unknown 8 years after the 
passage of FCIA, and HHS has not yet implemented its information system 
that is intended to meet FCIA requirements for collecting and 
monitoring a state's performance. Given the significant variation in 
the number of youth served and services provided across states, an 
interim system for measuring state progress would seem to be warranted. 
However, while HHS has an oversight process to measure outcomes of 
state child welfare systems as a whole, this process no longer includes 
measures required by FCIA. Similarly, while ACF's regional offices 
conduct much of the federal oversight for the Chafee Program, the 
oversight tools currently in place do not provide standard information 
needed to measure and compare performance across states. Our 2004 
report included a recommendation to develop a standard reporting format 
for state plans and progress reports and implement a uniform process 
regional offices can use to assess states' progress in meeting the 
needs of youth in foster care and those recently emancipated from care. 
These recommendations have not been implemented. 

HHS continues to disagree with our recommendation to develop a standard 
reporting format for state plans and progress reports, stating that 
such action would be overly prescriptive and impose an unnecessary 
burden on states. However, as reflected in our 2004 report, we continue 
to believe that strengthening the state reporting process is needed to 
provide some assurance of program accountability at the state and 
federal levels. HHS had agreed with our recommendation to establish a 
uniform process regional offices can use to assess states' progress and 
said that in 2005, ACF would develop and provide a review protocol to 
be used in regional office desk reviews of states' annual progress 
reports. However, ACF officials reported that they have not yet 
implemented such a review protocol. 

Mr. Chairman, this concludes my statement. I will be pleased to respond 
to any questions you or other members of the subcommittee may have. 

GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

For further information, please contact Cornelia Ashby or Kay Brown at 
(202) 512-7215. Individuals making key contributions to this testimony 
include Lacinda Ayers and Sara L. Schibanoff. 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Fiscal Year 2004 Chafee Foster Care Independence Program: 
Final Funds Allotted, Expended, and Returned to Federal Treasury, by 
State: 

State: Alabama; 
Dollar amount allocated: $1,536,181; 
Dollar amount expended: $1,536,181; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: $0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0%. 

State: Alaska; 
Dollar amount allocated: 550,782; 
Dollar amount expended: 550,782; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Arizona; 
Dollar amount allocated: 1,606,959; 
Dollar amount expended: 1,606,959; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Arkansas; 
Dollar amount allocated: 764,776; 
Dollar amount expended: 764,776; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: California; 
Dollar amount allocated: 26,112,429; 
Dollar amount expended: 26,112,429; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Colorado; 
Dollar amount allocated: 2,184,770; 
Dollar amount expended: 2,184,770; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Connecticut; 
Dollar amount allocated: 1,519,750; 
Dollar amount expended: 1,519,750; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Delaware; 
Dollar amount allocated: 500,000; 
Dollar amount expended: 500,000; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: District of Columbia; 
Dollar amount allocated: 1,092,276; 
Dollar amount expended: 1,092,276; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Florida; 
Dollar amount allocated: 8,265,302; 
Dollar amount expended: 8,265,302; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Georgia; 
Dollar amount allocated: 3,120,798; 
Dollar amount expended: 3,120,798; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Hawaii; 
Dollar amount allocated: 703,523; 
Dollar amount expended: 703,523; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Idaho; 
Dollar amount allocated: 500,000; 
Dollar amount expended: 500,000; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Illinois; 
Dollar amount allocated: 6,316,656; 
Dollar amount expended: 6,316,656; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Indiana; 
Dollar amount allocated: 2,184,711; 
Dollar amount expended: 1,987,583; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 197,128; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 9.0. 

State: Iowa; 
Dollar amount allocated: 1,336,412; 
Dollar amount expended: 1,336,412; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Kansas; 
Dollar amount allocated: 1,549,330; 
Dollar amount expended: 1,549,330; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Kentucky; 
Dollar amount allocated: 1,741,339; 
Dollar amount expended: 1,741,339; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Louisiana; 
Dollar amount allocated: 1,358,484; 
Dollar amount expended: 1,358,484; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Maine; 
Dollar amount allocated: 771,350; 
Dollar amount expended: 771,350; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Maryland; 
Dollar amount allocated: 3,048,143; 
Dollar amount expended: 2,635,510; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 412,633; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 13.5. 

State: Massachusetts; 
Dollar amount allocated: 3,242,220; 
Dollar amount expended: 2,859,297; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 62,350; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 1.9. 

State: Michigan; 
Dollar amount allocated: 5,235,404; 
Dollar amount expended: 5,235,404; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Minnesota; 
Dollar amount allocated: 2,063,393; 
Dollar amount expended: 2,063,393; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Mississippi; 
Dollar amount allocated: 758,148; 
Dollar amount expended: 758,148; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Missouri; 
Dollar amount allocated: 3,303,069; 
Dollar amount expended: 3,303,069; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Montana; 
Dollar amount allocated: 500,000; 
Dollar amount expended: 500,000; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Nebraska; 
Dollar amount allocated: 1,586,304; 
Dollar amount expended: 1,586,304; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Nevada; 
Dollar amount allocated: 500,000; 
Dollar amount expended: 498,650; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 1,350; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0.3. 

State: New Hampshire; 
Dollar amount allocated: 500,000; 
Dollar amount expended: 500,000; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: New Jersey; 
Dollar amount allocated: 2,844,433; 
Dollar amount expended: 2,844,433; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: New Mexico; 
Dollar amount allocated: 500,000; 
Dollar amount expended: 500,000; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: New York; 
Dollar amount allocated: 11,588,972; 
Dollar amount expended: 11,588,972; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: North Carolina; 
Dollar amount allocated: 2,405,731; 
Dollar amount expended: 2,249,851; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 155,880; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 6.5. 

State: North Dakota; 
Dollar amount allocated: 500,000; 
Dollar amount expended: 457,425; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 42,575; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 8.5. 

State: Ohio; 
Dollar amount allocated: 5,310,180; 
Dollar amount expended: 5,310,180; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Oklahoma; 
Dollar amount allocated: 2,230,667; 
Dollar amount expended: 2,230,667; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Oregon; 
Dollar amount allocated: 2,216,643; 
Dollar amount expended: 2,216,643; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Pennsylvania; 
Dollar amount allocated: 5,341,822; 
Dollar amount expended: 5,279,535; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 62,287; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 1.2. 

State: Puerto Rico; 
Dollar amount allocated: 2,124,039; 
Dollar amount expended: 2,124,039; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Rhode Island; 
Dollar amount allocated: 611,725; 
Dollar amount expended: 611,725; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: South Carolina; 
Dollar amount allocated: 1,238,495; 
Dollar amount expended: 1,238,495; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: South Dakota; 
Dollar amount allocated: 500,000; 
Dollar amount expended: 500,000; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Tennessee; 
Dollar amount allocated: 2,353,574; 
Dollar amount expended: 2,353,574; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Texas; 
Dollar amount allocated: 5,413,220; 
Dollar amount expended: 5,412,566; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 654; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0 (0.01). 

State: Utah; 
Dollar amount allocated: 500,000; 
Dollar amount expended: 500,000; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Vermont; 
Dollar amount allocated: 500,000; 
Dollar amount expended: 500,000; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Virginia; 
Dollar amount allocated: 1,710,740; 
Dollar amount expended: 1,710,740; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Washington; 
Dollar amount allocated: 2,332,664; 
Dollar amount expended: 2,332,664; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: West Virginia; 
Dollar amount allocated: 769,310; 
Dollar amount expended: 769,310; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Wisconsin; 
Dollar amount allocated: 1,955,276; 
Dollar amount expended: 1,955,276; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Wyoming; 
Dollar amount allocated: 500,000; 
Dollar amount expended: 498,996; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 1,004; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0.2. 

State: Total; 
Dollar amount allocated: $137,900,000 [A.]; 
Dollar amount expended: $136,643,566; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: $935,861; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0% (.001%). 

Source: Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, Committee 
on Ways and Means, House of Representatives via the Congressional 
Research Service presentation of HHS data, July 2007. 

[A] The total mandatory funds for this program are $140 million. 
However, the statute provides that a certain percentage of those funds 
be set aside for HHS to conduct (or fund) research, evaluation, and 
technical assistance. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: Fiscal Year 2004 Chafee Education and Training Vouchers: 
Funds Allotted, Expended, and Returned to Federal Treasury, by State: 

State: Alabama; 
Dollar amount allocated: $501,312; 
Dollar amount expended: $501,312; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: $0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0%. 

State: Alaska; 
Dollar amount allocated: 179,694; 
Dollar amount expended: 158,938; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 20,756; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 11.6. 

State: Arizona; 
Dollar amount allocated: 524,273; 
Dollar amount expended: 524,273; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Arkansas; 
Dollar amount allocated: 249,575; 
Dollar amount expended: 249,575; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: California; 
Dollar amount allocated: 8,519,233; 
Dollar amount expended: 8,452,447; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 66,786; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0.8. 

State: Colorado; 
Dollar amount allocated: 712,785; 
Dollar amount expended: 712,785; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Connecticut; 
Dollar amount allocated: 495,822; 
Dollar amount expended: 495,822; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Delaware; 
Dollar amount allocated: 73,625; 
Dollar amount expended: 73,625; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: District of Columbia; 
Dollar amount allocated: 270,123; 
Dollar amount expended: 270,123; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Florida; 
Dollar amount allocated: 2,696,572; 
Dollar amount expended: 2,106,077; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 590,495; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 21.9. 

State: Georgia; 
Dollar amount allocated: 1,018,431; 
Dollar amount expended: 1,018,431; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Hawaii; 
Dollar amount allocated: 229,526; 
Dollar amount expended: 228,762; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 764; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0.3. 

State: Idaho; 
Dollar amount allocated: 103,074; 
Dollar amount expended: 71,429; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 31,645; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 30.7. 

State: Illinois; 
Dollar amount allocated: 2,060,822; 
Dollar amount expended: 2,060,822; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Indiana; 
Dollar amount allocated: 712,952; 
Dollar amount expended: 712,952; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Iowa; 
Dollar amount allocated: 436,007; 
Dollar amount expended: 436,007; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Kansas; 
Dollar amount allocated: 505,472; 
Dollar amount expended: 232,828; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 272,644; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 53.9. 

State: Kentucky; 
Dollar amount allocated: 568,115; 
Dollar amount expended: 383,562; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 184,553; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 32.5. 

State: Louisiana; 
Dollar amount allocated: 400,401; 
Dollar amount expended: 400,401; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Maine; 
Dollar amount allocated: 251,655; 
Dollar amount expended: 224,651; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 27,004; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 10.7. 

State: Maryland; 
Dollar amount allocated: 994,722; 
Dollar amount expended: 546,876; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 447,846; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 45.0. 

State: Massachusetts; 
Dollar amount allocated: 1,057,781; 
Dollar amount expended: 1,057,781; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Michigan; 
Dollar amount allocated: 1,708,505; 
Dollar amount expended: 841,705; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 866,800; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 50.7. 

State: Minnesota; 
Dollar amount allocated: 673,186; 
Dollar amount expended: 633,908; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 39,278; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 5.7. 

State: Mississippi; 
Dollar amount allocated: 247,412; 
Dollar amount expended: 1,795; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 245,617; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 99.3. 

State: Missouri; 
Dollar amount allocated: 1,077,913; 
Dollar amount expended: 304,222; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 773,691; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 71.8. 

State: Montana; 
Dollar amount allocated: 157,066; 
Dollar amount expended: 157,066; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Nebraska; 
Dollar amount allocated: 517,535; 
Dollar amount expended: 517,535; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Nevada; 
Dollar amount allocated: 138,764; 
Dollar amount expended: 138,764; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: New Hampshire; 
Dollar amount allocated: 103,241; 
Dollar amount expended: 103,241; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: New Jersey; 
Dollar amount allocated: 928,002; 
Dollar amount expended: 928,002; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: New Mexico; 
Dollar amount allocated: 159,478; 
Dollar amount expended: 133,294; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 26,184; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 16.4. 

State: New York; 
Dollar amount allocated: 3,454,364; 
Dollar amount expended: 3,317,873; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 136,491; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 4.0. 

State: North Carolina; 
Dollar amount allocated: 785,079; 
Dollar amount expended: 785,079; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: North Dakota; 
Dollar amount allocated: 100,579; 
Dollar amount expended: 44,943; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 55,636; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 55.3. 

State: Ohio; 
Dollar amount allocated: 1,741,616; 
Dollar amount expended: 1,282,013; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 459,603; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 26.4. 

State: Oklahoma; 
Dollar amount allocated: 727,760; 
Dollar amount expended: 692,465; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 35,295; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 4.9. 

State: Oregon; 
Dollar amount allocated: 723,184; 
Dollar amount expended: 424,309; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 298,875; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 41.3. 

State: Pennsylvania; 
Dollar amount allocated: 1,742,780; 
Dollar amount expended: 1,640,714; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 102,066; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 5.9. 

State: Puerto Rico; 
Dollar amount allocated: 693,152; 
Dollar amount expended: 497,325; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 195,827; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 28.3. 

State: Rhode Island; 
Dollar amount allocated: 199,577; 
Dollar amount expended: 199,577; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: South Carolina; 
Dollar amount allocated: 404,061; 
Dollar amount expended: 404,061; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: South Dakota; 
Dollar amount allocated: 115,969; 
Dollar amount expended: 72,411; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 43,558; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 37.6. 

State: Tennessee; 
Dollar amount allocated: 767,858; 
Dollar amount expended: 637,334; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 130,524; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 17.0. 

State: Texas; 
Dollar amount allocated: 1,766,074; 
Dollar amount expended: 803,113; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 962,961; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 54.5. 

State: Utah; 
Dollar amount allocated: 150,993; 
Dollar amount expended: 150,993; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Vermont; 
Dollar amount allocated: 120,794; 
Dollar amount expended: 120,794; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Virginia; 
Dollar amount allocated: 558,132; 
Dollar amount expended: 312,991; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 245,141; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 43.9. 

State: Washington; 
Dollar amount allocated: 761,037; 
Dollar amount expended: 761,037; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: West Virginia; 
Dollar amount allocated: 250,989; 
Dollar amount expended: 250,989; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Wisconsin; 
Dollar amount allocated: 637,913; 
Dollar amount expended: 554,677; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 83,236; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 13.1. 

State: Wyoming; 
Dollar amount allocated: 87,518; 
Dollar amount expended: 87,518; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 0. 

State: Total; 
Dollar amount allocated: $44,062,503; 
Dollar amount expended: $37,719,227; 
Dollar amount returned to the U.S. Treasury: $6,343,276; 
Percentage of allotment returned to the U.S. Treasury: 14.4%. 

Source: Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, Committee 
on Ways and Means, House of Representatives via the Congressional 
Research Service presentation of HHS data, July 2007. 

[End of table] 

FOOTNOTES 

[1] The Chafee Program receives funding under Title IV-E of the Social 
Security Act. Title IV-E authorizes the appropriation of federal funds 
to states for the purpose of developing and operating foster care and 
transitional independent living programs and providing payments to 
adoptive parents of eligible foster children with special needs. In 
2006, the adoption program received approximately $1.8 billion, and the 
foster care program received approximately $4.6 billion. 

[2] See GAO, Foster Youth: HHS Actions Could Improve Coordination of 
Services and Monitoring of States' Independent Living Programs, GAO-05-
25 (Washington, D.C.: Nov.18, 2004). 

[3] See GAO, Child Welfare: Additional Federal Action Could Help States 
Address Challenges in Providing Services to Children and Families, GAO-
07-850T (Washington, D.C.: May 15, 2007). 

[4] The actual amount divided among the states, the District of 
Columbia, and Puerto Rico totaled $137.9 million. Under the law, 1.5 
percent of the $140 million is reserved for evaluation, technical 
assistance, performance measurement, and data collection activities 
conducted by HHS. States must provide matching contributions of 20 
percent to receive Chafee Program funds. The matching contribution may 
be in cash or in-kind contributions of services, equipment, or 
property. 

[5] A hold-harmless clause in FCIA ensures that states with smaller 
populations received either $500,000 or the amount of independent 
living funds they received in federal fiscal year 1998, whichever 
amount is greater. 

[6] We calculated this figure using financial data from HHS on the FCIA 
funding allocations in federal fiscal year 2004 and Adoption and Foster 
Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) data from federal fiscal 
year 2002 because funding allocations are calculated using foster care 
population data from AFCARS 2 years prior to the funding year. These 
calculations also included states' 20 percent match requirement. 
However, states may use other funds to pay for services, and these 
calculations do not reflect any additional funding. To determine the 
eligible population for each state, we used the age ranges that states 
reported in our 2004 survey and AFCARS data on the numbers of youth in 
each age group. For example, Alabama reported in our survey serving 
youth between 14 and 21 with independent living services. According to 
data the state reported to AFCARS, 2,081 youth in this age range were 
in care in Alabama in federal fiscal year 2002. However, this 
calculation excludes youth emancipated from foster care, since AFCARS 
does not capture this information. 

[7] Nationwide, the average funding for independent living services 
available per eligible youth in foster care was about $1,090 in federal 
fiscal year 2004. 

[8] According to results from our 2004 survey, 4 states began services 
at age 12, 7 states began services at age 13, 27 states began services 
at age 14, 9 states began services at age 15, and 4 states began 
services at age 16. 

[9] These calculations are based on AFCARS data, which do not include 
emancipated youth. 

[10] See Michelle L. Kessler, Educating Youth in Care: The First Year 
of Education and Training Vouchers (Tulsa, Oklahoma: 2004). 

[11] Of the 38 responding states, 54 percent also indicated that they 
pay for other tangible benefits such as tutoring, Internet access, 
computers, books, medications required to allow youth to be successful 
with their studies, payment for housing over the holidays and vacations 
when dorms are closed, preparatory tests, and study materials. 

[12] Overall, more than 14 percent of 2004 ETV funding was returned to 
the U.S. Treasury. As states have 2 years to spend these funds, 
information on later years is not currently available. 

[13] Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, 
Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, 
South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming reported 
enacting the Chafee Medicaid option. Maryland, Missouri, New Mexico, 
North Carolina, and Wisconsin reported planning to pursue the use of 
the Chafee Medicaid option. See American Public Human Services 
Association, Medicaid Access for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care 
(Washington, D.C.: 2007). 

[14] We were unable to identify comparable data on the proportion of 
eligible youth in foster care that received independent living services 
prior to the passage of FCIA. 

[15] State and local administrators reported some similar gaps in our 
1999 report. They noted that their independent living programs fell 
short in key areas, including gaps in employment, daily living skills, 
and housing services. See GAO, Foster Care: Effectiveness of 
Independent Living Services Unknown, HEHS-00-13 (Washington, D.C.: Nov. 
5, 1999). 

[16] Child welfare directors in many states were also dissatisfied with 
the level of substance abuse services (31) and dental care services 
(29). Dissatisfaction with physical health services and access to 
Medicaid was cited by 10 states. 

[17] Forty-five states reported having mentoring services for youth in 
foster care, and 39 states reported having mentoring services for 
emancipated youth. 

[18] The National Resource Center for Youth Services--under contract 
with HHS--reported in 2004 on a study conducted by the Casey Family 
Services, which found that not all young adults accepted supports 
extended to them. In a sample of 115 alumni of foster care, only 41 
percent incurred expenses for services after age 19. Some youth are 
simply ready to end their relationship with the child welfare system 
when they are legally able. Others, however, may not incur expenses for 
services because they are not aware of the benefits that are available. 
See Kessler, Educating Youth in Care. 

[19] Job Corps is an education and vocational training program 
administered by the U.S. Department of Labor to service youth ages 16 
through 24 years. The Workforce Investment Act established workforce 
investment boards. Each state workforce investment board is responsible 
for developing statewide workforce policies and overseeing its local 
workforce investment boards. The local workforce investment boards, in 
turn, are responsible for developing local workforce policies and 
overseeing operations. 

[20] See also GAO, Child Welfare: HHS Could Play a Greater Role in 
Helping Child Welfare Agencies Recruit and Retain Staff, GAO-03-357 
(Washington, D.C.: Mar. 31, 2003). 

[21] A similar model may be found on an HHS Web link, 
http://ask.hrsa.gov/pc/, where users can enter a ZIP code to find the 
closest community health center locations offering medical, mental, 
dental, and other health services on a sliding fee scale. 

[22] We previously reported similar problems using state reports for 
federal monitoring of independent living programs prior to FCIA and had 
recommended that HHS establish a uniform set of data elements and a 
standard reporting format for state reporting on independent living 
programs. See GAO-HEHS-00-13. 

[23] Chafee National Youth in Transition Database, 71 Fed. Reg. 40,346 
(July 14, 2006) (to be codified at 45 C.F.R. pt. 1356). 

[24] In the nationwide search, HHS contractors sought programs that met 
four criteria for a rigorous research study: Programs should be 
directed, at least in part, at youth leaving foster care or expected to 
remain in foster care until adulthood; be innovative, of national 
significance, and capable of expanding into new geographic areas; be 
willing and capable of participating in experiments involving random 
assignment of youth to treatment services or the alternative services; 
and have an adequate sample size and should have a need for the 
services greater than what is currently available so an experiment 
would not reduce the total number of youth serviced by the program. 
Many programs could not support a randomized study because their youth 
population was not large enough to ensure youth did not go without 
services. 

[25] HHS contracted with the Urban Institute and its partners--the 
Chapin Hall Center for Children and the National Opinion Research 
Center.

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