Leveraging the FFPSA For Older Youth: Improving Transitions

Jennifer Pokempner, Child Welfare Policy Director, American Bar Association •

The FFPSA seeks to respond to the transition needs of young people, recognizing that, in general, the transition to adulthood requires significant support and does not occur until a young person is in their mid-20s. The FFPSA also recognizes that successful transitions should begin early. To achieve these ends, the FFPSA expands the ages and time periods for which youth can be served. The following are some of the key changes:

  • The John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program is now renamed the John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood to reflect the focus on supporting the transition to adulthood rather than a focus on the goal of “independence.”
  • Transition to adulthood services begin at age 14 rather than 16.
  • In addition to the existing requirement to provide young adults their vital documents and records, states must provide youth who exit the child welfare system at age 18 or older official documentation necessary to prove that the child was previously in foster care, to facilitate establishing eligibility and access to programs and services.
  • States with state-funded or Title IV-E–funded extended foster care (foster care past age 18) have the option to provide Chafee aftercare services to young adults until age 23 (from age 21).
  • States have the option to provide young adults Chafee education and training vouchers (ETVs) until age 26 (from age 23).
About the Expert