Foster Parent Resource Center

The Foster Care Independence Act of 1999

Happy young boy with dog On December 14, 1999 President Clinton signed into law The Foster Care Independence Act of 1999, which increases federal support to states for independent living programs. Under this new legislation, named in honor of the late Senator John H. Chafee, the federal allotment for Title IV-E independent living programs has doubled from $70 million per year to $140 million (although currently only appropriated at $105 million).

Shortly after enactment of FCIA, the National Foster Care Awareness Project (NFCAP) published Frequently Asked Questions About the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 and the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program, the first in a series of publications designed to assist states implementing new services and supports for youth making the transition from foster care to adult life.

Just released is the second publication in this series, Frequently Asked Questions II, which contains further questions and answers about the law and information about additional resources that can support states and communities in strengthening services to foster youth in transition.

The Act substantially changes the landscape of the federally funded independent living programs that states may now offer young people transitioning from foster care into adulthood. The new legislation offers the most important catalyst in over 10 years for states and communities to develop sustained advocacy on behalf of youth in foster care transitioning into adulthood. The Act provides a broad framework for reforming services and systems to more effectively meet the needs of young people, broadens the scope of "independent living" by eliminating the minimum age of 16 and expands supports to young people until age 21, promotes broader engagement of stakeholders in the planning of state program and the coordination of existing programs and resources, and strengthens the outcome focus for policies and practices.

We encourage you to share the FAQs booklets with others in your state. For additional information, please call or e-mail Advocacy Services at Casey Family Programs (206) 282-7300.


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