Once the child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school (whichever is first in time), he or she will age out of foster care. This is also referred to as emancipation. While some foster children continue to maintain relations with the foster families, others don’t. Many foster children face a difficult future as they no longer have access to federal and state funding and they have to manage on their own.
Title I of the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 established the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP). Under this program funds are made available through the states to children who have aged out of foster care (up to 21 years of age) to enable them to transition successfully to adulthood. This program replaces the Social Security Act and allows the states a broader role in determining how to use these funds to assist children coming out of foster care. It allows the states to improve and expand the vocational, educational and emotional support available to such children.