Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 - P.L. 106-169

Date: December 1999


H.R. 3443
Enacted December 12, 1999

Major Provisions of the Act

  • Revised the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program to provide States with flexible funding that will enable programs to do the following:
    • Identify children who are likely to remain in foster care until age 18 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 use prevention, and preventive health activities (including smoking avoidance, nutrition education, and pregnancy prevention)
    • Help children who are likely to remain in foster care until age 18 years receive the education, training, and services necessary to obtain employment
    • Help children who are likely to remain in foster care until age 18 prepare for and enter postsecondary training and education institutions
    • Provide personal and emotional support to children aging out of foster care, through mentors and the promotion of interactions with dedicated adults
    • Provide financial, housing, counseling, employment, education, and other appropriate support and services to former recipients of foster care between ages 18 and 21 to complement their own efforts to achieve self-sufficiency
  • Allowed funds to be used to pay for room and board for former foster youth ages 18 to 21
  • Required the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop outcome measures to assess State performance in operating independent living programs
  • Required the HHS Secretary to conduct national data collection on services, individuals served, and outcomes
  • Mandated that State plans for foster care and adoption assistance include certification that prospective parents will be adequately prepared to provide for the needs of the child and that such preparation will continue, as necessary, after placement of the child
  • Provided States with the option to extend Medicaid coverage to 18- to 21-year olds who have been emancipated from foster care
  • Emphasized permanence by requiring that efforts to find a permanent placement continue concurrently with independent living activities
  • Increased funding for adoption incentive payments