Application and State Plan - Title IV-E Youth Transition Program
Federal Fiscal Years 2001 - 2004
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services submits this application and state plan under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, Sections 471, 472, 474, 475, and 477 and Title I, Improved Youth Transition Program, Public Law 106 - 109, the Chafee Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 in order to carry out programs designed to assist adolescents in care and custody to make a successful transition from foster care to independent living, specifically adolescents 16 and older.
In compliance with the new Chafee Foster Care Independence Program requirements, there are older youth in care represented on the Bureau of Child and Family Service's Child Welfare Advisory Committee. Youth Transition service providers are represented on the CWAC as well as representation from the Native American community. The Child Welfare Advisory Committee is legislatively authorized to advise the Department of Health and Human Services on the development of policy and programs that affect the well being of children, youth, and families and to reinforce the Department's awareness of the needs of Maine's children, youth, and families. The Child Welfare Advisory Committee membership includes representation from other state agencies, providers of services to children, older youth and families, foster and adoptive parents, the Native American community and other stakeholders who have an interest in the activities of the Department's Bureau of Child and Family Services. The Maine's draft FFY 2001 - 2004 Chafee Foster Care Independence Program Application and State Plan was submitted to the Child Welfare Advisory Committee on April 11, 2001 for statewide distribution for the required comment period of 30 days. The Chafee Application and State Plan was also distributed to some of the members of the Independent Living Program's Youth Leadership Advisory Team for comment as required by the CFCIP.
No written comments were received from stakeholders after the 30 public comment period ended. The 30 day comment period was actually extended by two additional weeks to allow for any further comments on the Chafee Plan. A few verbal comments were received. These individuals said that they felt that the Chafee Plan covered the areas necessary to continue building and maintaining a good support system for older youth transitioning out of care in Maine. Other individuals said that they felt that Maine was doing a good job with helping youth with higher education plans, career plans, and developing employment maintenance skills. Maine's Youth Leadership Advisory Team was cited as being an excellent component of Maine's Youth Transition Program. There were a few questions from individuals who wanted some clarification with regard to some of the information contained in the Chafee Plan. The Youth Transition Program Manager provided the necessary clarifying information to these individuals. Some frustration was expressed with the residential licensing function in the state with regard to licensing transitional independent living programs for older youth in care. The licensing rules and regulations were seen as being somewhat restrictive in terms of being focused on younger youth in care. In addition, there has been an ongoing shortage of available licensing staff that has meant a longer wait for the licensing process for a new program to be completed. There have been some improvements in this area over the past two years.