Older Youth Program

The Older Youth Program incorporates the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999, a federal legislation, which introduced the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program in each state and encompasses philosophy through positive youth development and the distinct permanency needs of adolescents. Three services are provided through the Older Youth Program: The John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program services are being provided by a contractor or Community Partnership. Transitional Living Services are housing options and are also being provided through contracted agencies. Independent Living Arrangements are also encompassed in the Older Youth Program.

National statistics indicate about 20,000 youth emancipate from the foster care system each year when they reach age eighteen.  These young people leave without emotional or financial support that families provide. Many of these youth are not adequately prepared for life on their own. Turning eighteen may mean the beginning of a long and solitary journey toward adulthood if they have no one to turn to for help or support.

Young people who have left foster care say the immediate struggle for day-to-day survival after leaving care makes planning for a good future very difficult. To safeguard the well-being of youth making this transition, a continuum of support and preparation must begin when the youth enters out-of-home care. The Act enables the division to provide time-limited services and financial assistance to help these young adults as they develop the skills and education needed to move successfully into self-sufficiency and independence.

OYP services should not be used as a substitute for sound permanency planning. In this context, independent living services do not constitute a permanency goal, but form a set of services provided to older youth to assist them in their efforts in reaching self-sufficiency. Independent Living is not an alternative to adoption for youth. Enrollment in the Older Youth Program shall occur concurrently with continued efforts to locate and achieve placement in adoptive families. The youth’s case goal should be driven by his/her individualized case plan.

Program Goals:


Qualifying Services

The following is a list of services that are available, but it is not intended as a restrictive list: