In 1999, the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program, (renamed the Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood (CFCP) in 2019) was established which provides States flexible funding to carry out independent living programs that assist youth in care as well as those transitioning to adulthood. The law also requires the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to develop a data collection system to track the independent living services provided to youth and to develop outcomes that measure States’ performance in preparing youth for their transition from foster care to independent living. To meet this requirement, ACF published a proposed rule in the Federal Register in July 2006 and issued a final rule in February 2008. The data collection system is called the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD).

Compliance and Reporting Standards

To comply with NYTD standards, States’ data submissions must meet certain file format requirements and data accuracy standards. States must also meet a youth participation rate standard for the NYTD outcomes survey. States that do not comply with these data standards, may be penalized between one and five percent of their annual Chafee allotment. The State agency must report outcome information on at least 80% of the youth who are in foster care and at least 60% of the youth who are not in foster care (discharged) on the date of outcomes data collection. These percentages apply to outcomes data collection for the follow-up population. States will also report financial assistance they provide, including assistance for education, room and board and other aid. Data on our states independent living services is collected continuously. States began collecting NYTD data on October 1, 2010 and follow the same reporting schedule as AFCARS.

Reporting Population

The served population is each youth who receives an independent living service paid for or provided by the Chafee agency during the reporting (six month) period regardless of age, foster care status, or placement type. This does not have to be a service provided by utilizing Chafee funds. If it is a service that is an independent living service that is paid for or provided by the State agency in a six-month report period, then the State is required to report it. In Missouri, the served population for reporting would be youth 14-21 in care, youth who exited after age 18 and are not yet 23, and those youth that obtained legal guardianship or adoption after the age of sixteen.

Reporting Activities

The NYTD regulation requires States to engage in two data collection and reporting activities. First, States collect and report basic demographic data on each youth and the independent living (IL) services provided to them by the State in thirteen broad categories:

  • independent living needs assessment
  • academic support
  • post-secondary educational support
  • career preparation
  • employment programs or vocational training
  • housing education and home management training
  • budget and financial management
  • health education and risk prevention
  • family support and healthy marriage education
  • mentoring
  • supervised independent living
  • room and board financial assistance
  • education financial assistance

Second, States will conduct a baseline survey of youth in foster care at age 17 and will conduct a follow-up survey with these youth at ages 19 and 21 to collect and report information about the following youth outcomes:

  • financial self-sufficiency
  • experience with homelessness
  • educational attainment
  • positive connections with adults
  • high-risk behavior
  • access to health insurance

States collect the outcomes information by conducting a survey of youth in foster care on or around their 17th birthday, also referred to as the baseline population. States track these youth as they age and conduct a new outcome survey on or around the youth’s 19th birthday; and again on or around the youth’s 21st birthday, also referred to as the follow-up population. States collect outcomes information on these older youth after they leave the State's foster care system, regardless of whether they are still receiving independent living services from the State when they are 19 or 21 years old. All States collect and report outcome information on a new cohort of youth every three years. As all outcome information with the exception of demographics must be obtained directly from the youth and reflect the youth's provided response and not information obtained from other databases from other agencies, strategies must be in place for surveying youth.

The table below illustrates timeframes utilizing cohort numbers from inception of surveying:

Fiscal Year of Implementation All youth receiving services Baseline Outcomes (17-year-olds) Follow-up Outcomes (19-year-olds) Follow-up Outcomes (21-year-olds)
FY 2019 X   X (Cohort 3)
FY 2020 X X (Cohort 4)  
FY 2021 X   X (Cohort 3)
FY 2022 X   X (Cohort 4)
FY 2023 X X (Cohort 5)  
FY 2024 X   X (Cohort 4)
FY 2025 X   X (Cohort 5)  
FY 2026 X X (Cohort 6)  

Additional Resources

Completed survey’s may be mailed to:

Children’s Division
FACES Help Desk
1621 E. Elm Street
Jefferson City, MO 65101