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John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program

What changes in provisions resulted from the creation of the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program?

The Chafee program made revisions to previous provisions in the federal law and added some new ones. Some of those changes are outlined here. (Most of the information outlined below was gathered from the Frequently Asked Questions booklet prepared by the National Foster Care Awareness Project).

Provisions John H. Chafee
Foster Care Independence Program
Former IL initiative
Amount of Funding? $140 million $70 million
Are State Matching Funds required? 20% on total allocation No match for allocations under $45 million
What is used to determine the amount a state can get? The figure is based on the number of children in federal and state funded foster care in the most recent fiscal year, no state will get less than they did in 1998. Based on the number of children in federal funded foster care in 1984.
Who is eligible? Youth who are likely to remain in care until age 18 and who have aged out of care until age 21, regardless of their eligibility for Title IV-E funding (federally funded foster care). A portion of the funds must be set aside for youth 18-21 who have aged out of care. Youth 16-18 in federally funded foster care. States had an option to serve youth until age 21and those who were in state funded foster care.
What benefits are available to Native American youth? States are required to make the same benefits available to native youth as are available to other children. No Provision
How must the youth be involved? The youth must participate directly in developing their program and they must take responsibility for seeing it happen. No provision
Can states use the funds for helping a youth with room and board expenses? States can use up to 30% of their allocation for room and board expenses for youth that are 18-21 as long as they were in care when they turned 18. Use of funds for room and board was not allowed.
Is independent living a permanency plan? No. Chafee clarified that independent living activities are not an alternative to seeking permanence for a youth and can be used concurrently with adoption planning and other permanency services. No provision
What are the provisions for health care coverage? States have been encouraged to provide medical to youth who have aged out of care and have been given an option of extending Medicaid services to youth 18-21 that have aged out of care. No provision
How much can a youth own and still be eligible for services? A youth can now have assets valued up to $10,000. This can include a vehicle and bank accounts. The previous limit was $1,000.