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May 2013Vol. 14, No. 4Federal Foster Care Supports

Recognizing the unique challenges faced by youth transitioning out of foster care, the Federal Government funds a number of programs to help current and former youth in care make the transition to adulthood. These programs are discussed in a new report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS), where author Adrienne L. Fernandes-Alcantara provides background information on the characteristics of youth in foster care and an overview the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP).

For example, the report explains CFCIP funding of State programs that provide Independent Living services—such as assistance in obtaining a high school diploma or career exploration—to youth who are likely to age out of foster care or who were adopted or placed in a kinship guardianship after age 16. The Chafee Education and Training Voucher (ETV) program separately authorizes discretionary funding for education and training vouchers for eligible youth to cover their cost of postsecondary education (until age 23).

The report's appendix provides a summary of the characteristics and outcomes of youth who are or were in foster care compared to youth in the general population; a second appendix lists funding data for the CFCIP.

CRS provides policy and legal analysis exclusively to Committees and Members of the U.S. Congress. Youth Transitioning from Foster Care: Background and Federal Programs is available on the U.S. House of Representatives' Ways and Means Committee 2012 Green Book website: (475 KB)