Saturday, August 08, 2009

National Youth in Transition Database - What's YOUR state doing to meet federal requirements?

In 1999, Congress established the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP). This program gives States flexible funding to assist youth in transitioning out of foster care.

The Chafee National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD), effective as of April 28, 2008, added new regulations to require states to collect and report data to the ACF on youth who are receiving independent living services, including data collection and tracking outcomes.

The Purpose of NYTD: To understand and serve youth better.

Basically, every state is now required by federal law to track foster care youth at ages 17, 19 and 21.

Six outcomes that NYTD wants to measure:
1. Financial self-sufficiency of youth
2. Educational attainment of youth
3. Youth’s positive connections with adults
4. Homelessness among youth
5. High-risk behavior among youth
6. Youth access to health insurance

Why WE should ask our states what they are doing and offer to help:
- Requiring states to be more accountable is good
- Tracking youth after they leave foster care is HARD
- If states DON'T meet this requirement, they will lose money - money that COULD have been spent to help transitioning foster care youth

Compliance Date: States must implement and comply with this rule no later than Oct. 1, 2010. This means that states must begin to collect data on Oct. 1, 2010, and submit the first report period data to ACF no later than May 15, 2011.

Penalty for Noncompliance: States are required to get at least 80 % of youth in foster care and at least 60 % of youth who have left care to participate in the youth outcomes survey. If States do not comply with or meet the data standards, they can be penalized between one and five percent of their annual Chafee Foster Care Independence Program allotment.

Loss of up to 5% of Ohio's Chafee funds would translate into a loss of $250K of federal funding each year. This is federal funding that COULD have been used to help transitioning foster care youth.

Recently, Ohio's foster care youth lost a 2.5 M state earmark for Independent Living, after successfully advocating for this funding through the Ohio House, Senate and conference committee, due to Governor Strickland's last-minute veto.

Ohio’s foster care youth cannot afford to lose $250,000+ in Chafee funding in addition to the loss of state funds. This is why the Ohio chapter of Foster Care Alumni of America is offering to help in our state with this effort...

Consider this: Who is more likely to be successful in keeping in touch with a young person who has aged out of foster care? A social worker? Or a foster care alumna?

For more information, please visit:

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