Youth Subgroups who Receive John F. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program Services

Ka Ho Brian Chor, Hanno Petras, Alfred G. Pérez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To date over two billion dollars have been invested in the John F. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) to help youth who are transitioning out of foster care to achieve self-sufficiency through an array of independent living services. Although states are required to report CFCIP service provision to the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD), the degree of heterogeneity of the aging out population from the service receipt perspective and state implementation is unknown. The CFCIP calls for a deeper understanding of the underlying patterns of services receipt to prepare for youth’s successful transition to adulthood. Based on the population of 68,057 first-time youth who received CFCIP services in FY2011-FY2013 from the NYTD, we used multi-level latent class analysis (MLCA) to identify underlying combinations of service receipt that may be influenced by youth-level and state-level characteristics. We identified the most preferred model based on interpretability, fit statistics, and split-half replication. The optimal model was a three-class, MLCA solution characterized by a high-service receipt profile, an independent living assessment and academic support receipt profile, and a limited service receipt profile. Among male and female youth, age, education level, and whether states serve youth aged 18 or above were significant characteristics associated with LCA profile membership. States could benefit from understanding existing service receipt patterns and gaps to optimize decisions on service delivery in order to meet youth needs and to identify specific services that may prepare youth aging out of foster care towards positive outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1402-1414
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging out of care
  • Child welfare policy
  • Foster care
  • Independent living services
  • Latent class analysis
  • Transitional age youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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