Chafee/ETV Program (Independent Living)

John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood 
(formerly known as Independent Living Program)

John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood. The journey to adulthood is a critical transition for youth in foster care.  It is a time when young adults learn to take on the primary responsibility for their futures and the accompanying concerns of employment, education, healthcare, housing and home management, and maintaining significant relationships with those who will continue to support and encourage them beyond the transition to independence. This section will provide information on services, resources, manuals, and policies that ensures opportunities are available for youth to learn independent living skills necessary to become self-reliant.

ATTENTION! One-Time Stimulus Checks Mailed
to Teen Youth in Foster Care 

One-time stimulus checks were recently mailed out to our current foster teen youth. The checks were automatically generated based on eligibility criteria. There is not a need to submit a request for this one-time stimulus check for current foster teen youth. While, some of the checks have started to arrive, please allow two to three weeks for all the checks to be dispersed.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Current foster youth age 14-17, and 18-20 in Voluntary Placement Agreement (VPA)
  • Had to be in foster care (DSS custody) on September 1, 2021
  • Placed in Group Care 1, Group care 2, select Group care 3, Regular care age 13-20, Therapeutic Level 1, Therapeutic Level 2, and Therapeutic Level 3.

The check will be in the youth’s name, so it is strongly encouraged for the youth to have proper identification and a bank account. Many banks offer teen programs. It’s never too early to learn financial literacy so please take this opportunity to discuss savings and expenses. While we encourage the youth to save these funds for a bigger purpose, we understand that they are also just teens!

Our teens have journeyed on a roller coaster during this pandemic with uncertainty, safety restrictions, isolations, and virtual learning. We completely support the youth being able to identify how he/she would like to utilize their pandemic funds to support their transition into adulthood during the pandemic; such as clothing, entertainment, arts and crafts, books, or shoes. The youth could also choose to utilize the funds to simply experience an outing that will help them get through this troubling time of the pandemic or allow them to experience some sort of normalcy.

Again, there is not a need to submit a request for this one-time stimulus check for current foster teen youth.  The checks were automatically generated based on eligibility criteria. There was an approved increase and eligibility after the original email went out to the case managers and providers. Here is the one-time stimulus payment amount for each age:

  • Age 14: $350  
  • Age 15: $500  
  • Age 16: $800  
  • Age 17: $1000
  • Age 18-20: $1200

If youth is no longer in your home, or unable to cash the check, please return all checks to 1535 Confederate Ave Attn: Chafee/ETV Unit Columbia, SC 29202

If you and the youth would like to learn more about the Chafee/ETV Program and its services available for foster teen youth, please visit DSS website




Are you a young person between the ages of 14 and 26 who has foster care experience? If so, you are eligible for EMERGENCY Pandemic Relief Funds.


The recent Consolidated Appropriations Act sets aside significant emergency relief for young people with foster care experience who are struggling right now because of the Pandemic. Below is an explanation of what support is available in our state and how to access these resources. View Frequently Asked Questions about the Consolidated Appropriations Act. 


What does the new law do?

  • Provides supportive resources for young people with foster care experience over age 14 and up to age 26.
  • Stops termination of services, during this pandemic, to youth because of their age; and
  • Allows youth to re-enter foster care (up until age 22) if they aged out of foster care between 4/1/20-9/30/21.



  • Wrap-around case management
  • Financial assistance for basic needs
  • Financial assistance to secure and maintain safe housing
  • Financial assistance for transportation needs
  • Increased ETV financial assistance for post-secondary education or vocational program
  • Transitional support services into adulthood
  • Re-entry to South Carolina foster care system 

We Need to Hear from You!

SCDSS wants every youth in South Carolina to receive all sources of emergency relief for which they are eligible. To learn more, ask questions or add your name to the Older Youth Pandemic Relief list for South Carolina, please click here to complete and submit our Contact Form. You may also call or text the Chafee/ETV Hotline at 803-995-0835. Having your information on our list will help us to distribute the funds to you as soon as possible if you are eligible. Please note SCDSS will need to verify you were in foster care and that you meet the age requirements. We will notify you when we have more information about your eligibility.


Click the image below to view a video message from SCDSS State Dir. Michael Leach about Pandemic Relief for Older Youth. 


Child Welfare Services Transformation

Best Outcomes for Children and Families

Do you have a complaint regarding services being provided to a child by a state agency? Please submit your complaint by phone (1-800-206-1957) or an electronic submission form here with the South Carolina Department of Children's Advocacy.