Section 4, Chapter 5 (Older Youth Program), Subsection 3 – Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood (CFCP)

Effective Date:  5-1-19


Children’s Service Workers, Supervisors, and Older Youth Program Service Providers should be cognizant of community resources already available. The intent of Chafee is to focus on services for youth who are in care, are aging out, or have aged out of the foster care system.  Chafee funds are meant to be short term, flexible, and used as a safety net to meet the needs of the youth to assist them in their efforts toward independence.  Youth should always be encouraged to work toward independence and self-sufficiency.  Chafee providers will refer to and utilize all available resources before accessing Chafee funds and should look to the youth as a resource.  Family Support Team (FST) members should regularly brainstorm resources accessible to youth at meetings.

5.3.1   Program Goals:

  • To identify youth who are likely to remain in foster care until age 18 and to help these youth make the transition to self-sufficiency by providing services. These services may include, but are not limited to: assistance in obtaining a high school diploma, career exploration, vocational training, job placement and retention, training in daily living skills, training in budgeting and financial management skills, substance abuse prevention, and preventive health activities (including smoking avoidance, nutrition education, and pregnancy prevention).
  • To assist youth who are likely to remain in foster care until 18 years of age receive the education, training, and services necessary to obtain employment;.
  • To assist youth who are likely to remain in foster care until 18 years of age prepare for and enter post-secondary training and education institutions;
  • To provide independent living services to youth who after age 16 or older, leave foster care for adoption or guardianship.
  • To provide personal and emotional support to youth aging out of foster care, through mentors and the promotion of interactions with dedicated adults;
  • Assist youth who are likely to remain in foster care until age 18 years of age with regular, on-going opportunities to engage in “age or developmentally-appropriate activities
  • To provide financial, housing, counseling, employment, education, and other appropriate support and services to former foster youth, who left care on or after age 17.5 and have not yet reached age 21 to complement their own efforts to achieve self-sufficiency and to assure program participants recognize and accept their personal responsibility in preparing for and making the successful transition from adolescence to adulthood; and
  • To make available vouchers for education and training, including post-secondary learning and education, to youth who have aged out of foster care.

5.3.2 Eligibility:

  • Youth, ages 14-21, currently in the legal custody of the Division and in out-of-home placement;
  • Youth, who exited legal custody of the Division on or after the age of 18 but have not yet reached age 21.
  • Youth, who after age 16 or older, leave foster care for adoption or guardianship. Youth from Another State

Youth placed in Missouri from another state are eligible for supervision of placements and case management services. Youth eligible for this service are wards of another state and are in Missouri for the purpose of attending college, living in an Independent Living Arrangement (ILA) or Transitional Living Arrangement (TLA).  The financial responsibility for supporting these placements remains with the state from which the child was sent to Missouri.  The sending state should arrange for Chafee services directly via the Chafee contractor from the youth’s residence region.  The sending state should also provide for the Educational Training Voucher services if they are needed.  Initial requests for these services are facilitated through the ICPC unit in Central Office and supervisory reports are shared with the other state through this unit.   Following receipt of the initial request from the sending state, the ICPC Unit in Central Office will forward the request to the appropriate county office for assignment. 

Upon receipt of a referral at the county office, the youth is to be opened in the AC Client Information Function in FACES with a placement of TLA or ILA. The placement reason is other and an explanation is noted in the FACES notes section.  The placement mode is 7-ICPC in-State. 

The assigned supervising Children’s Division staff must approve the suitability of the residence. Staff shall use the TLP Advocate and Independent Living Arrangement (ILA) Checklist, CS-TLP-1, which provides a procedure for documenting health and safety requirements specific to an older adolescent placed in an ILA or TLA.  The CS-TLP-1 is completed every time a youth moves to a new ILA or TLA. 

On-going case management and supervision is provided in accordance with ILA/TLA services and record keeping.   Youth with Special Needs

Provisions of the Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood are equally applicable to youth with disabilities. Transitioning youth with disabilities face the same challenges as their peers without special needs and are at higher risk for many undesirable outcomes such as poverty and victimization.

Family Support Teams must consider youth with disabilities versus youth who are incapacitated. Youth with special health care needs include all children who have, or are at increased risk for, chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional conditions and who also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that generally required.  Incapacitated youth, in reference to consideration of Chafee referral, means unable to participate due to their disability. The youth is lacking the ability to engage or understand their participation.

Services should be provided in a holistic manner which addresses not only their special needs but their independent needs as well. Coordination with other service providing agencies is essential in order for youth with special needs to succeed in transitioning out of care.  Youth with special needs require on-going support related to their disability as well as continued support towards self-sufficiency.  This may mean assuring the youth is receiving benefits which they are eligible for such as SSI, connecting them to resources such as Vocational Rehabilitation, or advocating on their behalf.  Youth with special needs are also likely to have or be entitled to an Individual Education Plan (IEP) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), an Individual Written Rehabilitation Plan (IWRP) through the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, and a plan of service care and coordination through Title V (Maternal and Child Health Bureau’s Division of Services for Children with Special Health Needs (DSCSHN)).  Depending on the extent of the youth’s needs, services may be coordination or advocacy only.  However, if the youth is able to practice new skills, these opportunities should be made available to them in a format to suit their individual needs.

For youth who have been determined ineligible for referral due to disability level, it is understood the forms may not be completed with youth participation. Efforts should be made to complete the assessment tools with the youth if at all possible.  A referral for services should be made as the law requires a personalized independent living plan that is youth driven. 

If the youth is not able to participate, documentation of the youth’s independent living skills/functioning level should still occur on the Adolescent FST Guide (CD94) after Family Support Team discussion and decision. The Adolescent FST Guide (CD94) should be completed by the worker as thoroughly as possible and filed in the record in the Older Youth Program Section.

The Family Support Team should continue to discuss the youth’s independent living skills status at meetings and if the youth’s functioning level should change, a referral for Chafee Program Services should be made.

5.3.3   Referral Process

The case manager is responsible for ensuring all youth 14-21 receive the skills necessary to become self-sufficient upon release from custody. Youth, ages 14-21, in the legal custody of the Division and in out-of-home placement are to be referred for Chafee Program Services, regardless of their case plan. 

Youth in an adoptive or guardianship placement that were previously referred for services continue to be eligible upon the case plan being achieved if the adoption or guardianship occurred after the age of 16. Youth that have been adopted or obtained guardianship after the age of 16 will follow the same referral process for youth in care if a referral was not previously made, Chafee services are desired, and they are still open in the Alternative Care Client Screen.  However, if a youth is closed in the Alternative Care Client Screen after the adoption or guardianship is awarded, the Chafee referral will close and a new referral will need to be made through the Referral – Chafee Aftercare Services screen if the youth is eligible and desires services.  The youth will have to be reopened in the system and will be categorized at this point as a LS-8 with a flag as an adoptive/guardianship youth in the Alternative Care Client Screen.  Although the legal status will be that of an aftercare youth, the flag will indicate to the Chafee provider that the youth is eligible for full Chafee services versus crisis care. 

 Adoptive or Guardianship Case Managers will assist youth, adoptive parents, and guardians with completion of the necessary tools and assessments needed for referral.  The Adolescent FST Guide (CD94) and Individualized Action Plan Goals (CD94) must be submitted.  The  Adoptive or Guardianship Case Manager will be responsible for ensuring that services are being provided to assist the youth in independence skills and will review the Individual Life Skills Progress Form (CD95) and notify the Older Youth Transition Specialist if the desire for services changes.  Participation is not mandatory for youth who are in an adoptive or guardianship placement.

Youth enrolled in the Transitional Living Program will receive Chafee Program Services through their respective Transitional Living provider.

Older Youth Program Referral Screens and Assessment Reports Referral Packet

These screens and tools are used to refer older youth for OYP Services including Chafee Program Services, Chafee Aftercare Services, and Transitional Living Services (group homes and scattered sites). Screens and reports included as part of the referral must have been completed within the last six months.  The screens and tools should be completed in the following order:

  • Individualized Action Plan Goals (CD94)
  • Adolescent FST Guide (CD94)
  • Referral – Chafee Independence Services 

5.3.4   Youth Assessment

Assessment is both a process as well as a product. The product of an assessment is an agreement.  It gives youth the chance to tell their story.  The youth’s independent living competencies will be identified using the life skills assessment tool of the Children’s Service Worker’s choice and the Adolescent FST Guide (CD94) and Individualized Action Plan Goals (CD94).  The purpose of a life skills assessment is to provide the youth, youth’s caregiver, and case manager comprehensive information which will assist the youth with preparing for self-sufficiency. The assessment is to be used in conjunction with other information available to focus specifically on those areas of the youth’s life that are, or will, impact on their preparation for self-sufficiency.  The assessment will assist in gaining understanding of the youth’s strengths and challenges so practical, concrete efforts can be made to achieve the youth’s goals.

Adolescent FST Guide (CD94) and Individualized Action Plan Goals (CD94)

These tools are comprehensive documents used to guide team members through the Family Support Team (FST) process. The plan will identify the youth-specific team members, the identified individuals for a youth support system, goals for the youth and life skills assessment and continued evaluation. 

The Individualized Action Plan Goals (CD94) takes the place of the Written Service Agreement if reunification is not the goal and goals can be geared toward life skills and transition. If reunification is the goal, the Individualized Action Plan will be used in conjunction with the family’s Written Service Agreement.  The form will be completed according to the age of the youth.  This is an assessment tool to aid in determining life skills needed and obtained and will aide in documentation.  It is also a tool to capture a thorough assessment of the youth as well as teach life skills.  The entire form does not need to be completed at once.  It is a living document which will be updated constantly throughout the youth’s time in care.

The Individualized Action Plan goals and expectations provide the framework for life skills instruction. It is designed to help youth acquire knowledge and understanding about a life skill and then apply the life skill to real life situations.  The individualized action goal represents the overall goal for instruction, and the expectations describe what the youth should be able to do after instruction takes place. 

The Individualized Action Plan Goals (CD94) can be developed using the life skills assessment tool of the Children’s Service Worker’s choice. The Adolescent FST Guide (CD94) and Individualized Action Plan Goals (CD94) are to be completed within 60 days of a youth coming into care after the age of 14 or turning 14.  The Adolescent FST Guide (CD94) and Individualized Action Plan Goals (CD94) should be started in the first thirty days of a youth coming into care after the age of 14 or turning 14 in conjunction with the youth by the case manager.  It is an on-going document and is presented at Permanency Planning Reviews in conjunction with the Child Assessment and Service Plan, CS-1.  For youth eligible for Chafee in an adoptive or guardianship placement, the family will update the form with assistance of the Adoptive or Guardianship Case Manager and the revised Guide and Plan will be updated in FACES at least every six months.

Individual Life Skills Progress Form (CD95)

This is a form used to record performance of youth in achieving life skills by using a Likert scale of Got It, Working On It, or Needs Assistance. It is completed through direct observation of the youth’s work during and just after instruction has taken place and helps the youth appreciate what has just been demonstrated.  Together, the youth and the instructor decide where the youth is on the three-point scale.  It also provides the agency with historical data on the youth’s life skill overall development.  This form is completed monthly by the person teaching life skills.  If the youth is not referred to Chafee Program Services or is not in a Children’s Division contracted Transitional Living Program, this is the Children’s Service Worker’s responsibility. 

The Portfolio

This document is a collection of samples that communicate a youth’s interest and give evidence of the youth’s talents. It is used to show others what the youth has accomplished, learned, or produced.  The portfolio is created during life skills instruction and is guided by the learning goals.  Performance is observed and recorded on the Individual Life Skills Progress Form (CD95) so staff may see the concrete results of instruction.  The portfolio process involves the appreciation and evaluation of one’s work.  Portfolio items are completed for each life skill instruction.

Some helpful guides for ensuring youth receive the supports and services they need at the ages they are eligible are available in e-forms and entitled “OY Services by Age” and “OY Tasks by Age.”