Chafee Foster Care Independent Living and Education and Training Voucher Programs
Most young people make the transition from adolescence to adulthood with the support of their biological families, communities, and schools. However, youth aging out of the foster care system lack this much-needed family and social support. As a result, foster youth face enormous challenges in making a smooth transition to adulthood and building successful lives. Data indicates that former foster youth have higher rates of poverty, homelessness, victimization, criminal involvement/incarceration, low educational attainment, unemployment, mental health and substance abuse, and early child-bearing.
North Dakota’s commitment to foster youth does not end when they are discharged from the foster care system. The Chafee Foster Care Independent Living Program is committed to ensuring that young people who spent time in foster care, in particular those who aged out of the foster care system, are given the opportunities to make the transition from foster care to living successful lives as young adults. Independent Living Programs are available in each of the eight regions of the state.
The overall goal of the Chafee Independent Living Program is that all former foster youth will reach the following outcomes by age 21:
Services and supports are available through the Chafee Program for foster youth, age 16+, who have been identified as “likely to age out of foster care”, and for those foster youth who have aged out of the system and have not yet reached their 21st birthday, and are current and willing participants in a Regional Independent Living Program.
Current foster youth, age 16+, who have not been identified as likely to age out of foster care, are also required to have a plan for Independent Living. These youth people will have their Independent Living related needs assessed and addressed through the Child and Family Team/Single Plan of Care Process.
The Chafee Foster Care Independent Living Program offers:
The Chafee Foster Care Independent Living Program is administered by the Department of Human Services. For further information, contact the Children and Family Services Division at 701-328-4934.