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

GAO-07-1097T Published: Jul 12, 2007. Publicly Released: Jul 12, 2007.
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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) states' 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 Services' (HHS) Administration for Children and Families' (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 states' plans and annual reports. Updated information from our 2007 testimony was taken primarily from a 2006 survey of state child welfare directors.

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Child care programsChild welfareFederal aid to statesFederal fundsFoster childrenIntergovernmental relationsProgram evaluationRefunds to governmentReporting requirementsState-administered programsStrategic planningSurveysLife skills training