The John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program was created in 1999 with passage the Foster Care Independence Act. The Chafee Foster Care Independence Program replaced the Title IV-E Independent Living Initiative of 1986. Its purpose was spelled out in the legislation and had 5 initial points. A 6th purpose was added with passage of Promoting Safe and Stable Families Amendment of 2001.
- to identify children who are likely to remain in foster care until 18 years of age and to help these children make the transition to self-sufficiency by providing services such as assistance in obtaining a high school diploma, career exploration, vocational training, job placement and retention, training in daily living skills, training in budgeting and financial management skills, substance abuse prevention, and preventive health activities (including smoking avoidance, nutrition education, and pregnancy prevention);
- to help children who are likely to remain in foster care until 18 years of age receive the education, training and services necessary to obtain employment;
- to help children who are likely to remain in foster care until 18 years of age prepare for and enter post secondary training and education institutions;
- to provide personal and emotional support to children aging out of foster care, through mentors and the promotion of interactions with dedicated adults;
- to provide financial, housing, counseling, employment, education and other appropriate support and services to former foster care recipients between 18 and 21 years of age to complement their own efforts to achieve self-sufficiency and to assure that program participants recognize and accept their personal responsibility for preparing for and then making the transition from adolescence to adulthood; and
- to make available vouchers for education and training, including post secondary learning and education, to youths who have aged out of foster care.