Most young people make the transition from adolescence to adulthood with the support of their biological families, communities and schools. However, individuals aging out of foster care may lack family and social support. As a result, individuals aging out of foster care face enormous challenges in making a smooth transition to adulthood and building successful lives.

North Dakota's commitment to foster individuals does not end when they are discharged from foster care.

The overall goal of the Chafee Program is that all former foster individuals will achieve outcomes:

  • Have sufficient economic resources to meet their daily needs
  • Have a safe and stable place to live
  • Attain academic or vocational/education goals that are in keeping with the individual's abilities and interests
  • Have a sense of connectedness to persons and the community
  • Avoid illegal/high-risk behaviors
  • Postpone parenthood until financially established and emotionally mature
  • Have access to physical and mental health services

Services and supports are available through the Chafee Program for foster individuals, age 16+, who have been identified as "likely to age out of foster care", and for individuals who have aged out of the system and have not yet reached their 23rd birthday.

Current foster individuals, age 14+, who have not been identified as likely to age out of foster care, are also required to have a plan for independent living. These individuals will have their independent living/transition-related needs assessed and addressed through the Child and Family Team and custodial case manager.

Education and Training Voucher

Foster care individuals who "age out" of foster care or enter a kinship guardianship or are adopted at age 16+, have the option to apply for the education and Training Voucher Program.

Similar to a college scholarship, the former foster individual can apply to receive up to $2,500 per semester, $5,000 per year with a lifetime maximum of $25,000 for college tuition. Individuals can apply up to their 26th birthday.

The Chafee Program and the Education and Training Voucher are administered by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Need More Information?

Contact Children and Family Services at (701) 328-2316, 711 TTY, or