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Foster Care Independence Act of 1999

Foster Care Independence Act of 1999

The Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 was created as an improvement to existing independent living programs for people ages 18 to 21 who have left foster care. This policy was created in efforts to assisting children during the transition out of the foster care.


The Act was signed in December 1999 by President Bill Clinton as a supporting effort for a smoother transition for people who had left or aged out of foster care. In summary, this policy served to amend part E of Title IV of the Social Security Act. By allowing this amendment, States were given more funding and flexibility for their independence and self-sufficiency programs.

According to the USA Social Security department, the findings for foster youth suggested that in comparison to other youth and young adults their age, children in foster care are more likely to lack employment, a high school diploma or equivalency, mental health issues, be out-of-wedlock parents, experience homelessness and violence. This supported the position to sign the Act.
Social Problem Assessed
Source: https://www.aecf.org
A study conducted by the University of Wisconsin had the following findings for 141 young adults that had 12 to 18 months of exiting foster care (Courtney & Piliavan, 1998):
        • Homelessness at least once (12%)
        • Lack of high school diploma or equivalency (37%)
        • Although 81% had obtained a job, only 61% had employment at the time of the interview
Another study conducted by the University of Nevada Las Vegas had the following findings for 100 former foster care youth who had been out of foster care at least 6 months prior found (Kids Count, 2001):
        • 30% were attending or had attended college
        • 24% had dealt drugs as means of financial support
        • 55% had no health insurance
        • 41% had been incarcerated
Additional findings

Source: https://www.childtrends.org


Source: https://www.aecf.org


Increased funding
      • Adoption incentive programs
      • Medicaid coverage
      • Education, training, employment services
      • Financial support, including room and board

      • Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) is required to develop outcome measures to assess performance and effectiveness
      • Penalties shall be imposed for misuse of funds or lack of compliance with data reporting requirements
      • National data, regarding services, individuals served,  must be collected

      • States mandated to make sure that  potential parents are adequately prepared
      • Children/young adults in foster care must actively participate in designing program activities
      • In permanency efforts; efforts to find permanent placement continue during the independence and self-sufficiency activities


    • http://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/statistics/childwelfare_foster.cfm#state
    • http://www.childtrends.org/Files/Child_Trends_2011_05_31_DS_FosterCare.pdf
    • http://www.fostercaremonth.org/Pages/default.aspx
    • NOTE: Additional resources are attached in a Word document

Abigail Tilton,
May 2, 2012, 8:38 PM