Young Advocates Sway Washington: The Foster Care Independence Act

Patrick Boyle
February 1, 2000

  • Doubles annual funding for the Title IV-E Independent Living Program from $70 million to $140 million.
  • Requires states to use a portion of these funds for older youths who have left foster care but who have not reached the age of 21. States may use up to 30 percent of their ILP funds for room and board for these youths.
  • Allows states to extend Medicaid to youths 18 to 21 who have left foster care.
  • Increases the asset/savings limit for the federal foster care program from $1,000 to $10,000, so youths in foster care can save more money and still be eligible for foster care payments.
  • States that independent living activities should not be seen as alternative to adoption, and can occur concurrently with efforts to find adoptive families for these children.
  • Requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — in consultation with federal, state, and local officials, advocates, youth service providers, and researchers — to develop outcome measures to assess state performance on ILPs. Outcomes include education, employment, avoidance of dependency, homelessness, non-marital childbirth, high-risk behaviors and incarceration. HHS must report to Congress and propose state accountability procedures and penalties for noncompliance.
  • Requires states to use Title IV-E funds to train adoptive and foster parents, workers in group homes, and case managers to help them address issues confronting adolescents preparing for independent living.

    Source: Child Welfare League of America

    Boyle, Patrick. "Young Advocates Sway Washington: The Foster Care Independence Act." Youth Today, February 2000, p. 56.

    ©2000 Youth Today. Reprinted with permission from Youth Today. All rights reserved.

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