To improve outcomes for youth leaving foster care, Congress passed the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 (FCIA), which increased the allocation of federal funds for independent living programs from $70 million to $140 million. This report reviews (1) how states' funding allocations changed to serve youth after FCIA, (2) the extent to which states have expanded services and age groups of foster youth served since 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 services to foster 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.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Health and Human Services||1. To improve access to the array of services available to youth transitioning out of foster care and assist states in leveraging available resources, HHS should 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.|
|Department of Health and Human Services||2. To improve HHS's ability to monitor implementation of the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program, HHS should 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.|