Helping Older Youth & Young Adults from Foster Care Make it Through the Pandemic
New Federal Legislation provides $400 million in new funding - delivered through the Chafee Program - to young people age 14 through 26 who have experienced foster care. It also expands eligibility and makes it easier for young people to access services.
Support for Foster Youth & Alumni is On the Way: What's Available or Coming Soon.
Are you a young person between the ages of 14 and 26 who was (or currently is) in foster care? If so, you are eligible for EMERGENCY Pandemic Relief Funds.
FACT #1: The recent Consolidated Appropriations Act set aside significant emergency relief ($400 million!) for young people in and from foster care who are struggling right now because of the Pandemic. This website explains what is available - or what will be available soon.
FACT #2: This is a BRAND NEW law, so States, Tribes, and Communities are still figuring out how they will distribute the new funding to young people.
FACT #3: Even though all the details aren't determined, you should start asking about what type of emergency relief is available now. If you are connected to a caseworker or a Chafee Independent Living provider, start with them. It is possible they will not know about this new funding yet - there has been very little communication in some states. If they are unaware, contact your State Independent Living Provider:
Click on items below to expand / show additional info:
Emergency funding is available to provide cash assistance now until Sept 30, 2021. Each state will be figuring out how they will distribute funds to young people. Eligibility: Young people age 14 through 26 (up to 27th birthday) who experienced foster care when they were age 14 or older. How the funds are distributed will vary by state.
States are to allow ANY YOUTH currently in foster care to stay in foster care until at least Sept 30, 2021. Eligibility: Young people age 14 through 26 (up to 27th birthday) who experienced foster care when they were age 14 or older.
Many young people have learned life on their own is harder than they thought it would be, especially during a pandemic. Eligibility: States must provide re-entry to all under age 22 who aged out between 1/27/20-9/30/21.
Temporarily raises the amount of support that can be provided to an individual student to $12,000 per year. Eligibility: Varies by State (check with your ETV Coordinator), but young people age 14 through 26 (up to 27th birthday) who experienced foster care when they were age 14 or older may be eligible.
The new FYI Housing Program can provide a support for rent for up to three years. Additionally, states can use the new Chafee pandemic relief funds to support housing for current and former foster youth. FYI Housing: Current or former foster youth
ages 18-24 who are homeless or
at risk of homelessness (this includes couch surfing). Read an information flyer.
Allows states to provide up to $4000 per individual to support costs relating to becoming a licensed driver. Eligibility: Eligibility: Varies by State (check with your ETV Coordinator), but young people age 14 through 26 (up to 27th birthday) who experienced foster care when they were age 14 or older may be eligible.
Young people who age out of foster care can remain on Medicaid until age 26. Medicaid covers the cost of regular health care (like going to the doctor), and also covers cost of professional help for challenges that have become common during COVID, such as anxiety and panic attacks, depression, addictive behaviors, and other mental health issues.
Summary of Older Foster Youth provisions - One Page Flyer for Advocates
- Name of Law: Consolidated Appropriations Act (PL 116-260)
- Date Passed: December 27, 2020
- Federal Aid Provided: $400 Million
- Eligible Population: Young people age 14 through 26 (up to 27th birthday) who experienced foster care when they were age 14 or older.
Details About the Law
- Full text of the Consolidated Appropriations Act (PL 116-260), passed on December 27, 2020
- The Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act (H.R. 7947), which was included in the above Consolidated Appropriations Act
- Summary of Older Foster Youth provisions - detailed
- Information Memorandum from the Administration for Children & Families, Jan 13, 2021. ACYF-CB-IM-21-05
Frequently Asked Questions
- Frequently Asked Questions (March 24, 2021)
Webinars: Older Youth Pandemic Relief
News & Resources
Mar. 10, 2021. ACYF-CB-PI-21-04
Information for Advocates & LEx Leaders
Your Voice Matters!
Young Leaders and advocates across the nation made their voices heard in Congress - resulting in emergency aid for foster youth being included in the Consolidated Apropriations Act (passed on Dec, 27, 2020),
With $400 million provided by the Federal government, the next hurdle is ensuring states plan and implement the law NOW. The law requires nearly all of the funding to be spent by Sept. 30, 2021 - a very quick timeline.
NOW IS THE TIME to get involved in your state to ensure the aid that is available makes it into the hands of those who truly need it - young people from foster care.
Tools & Templates
- Summary of Older Foster Youth provisions - Flyer for Advocates
- Letter to Child Welfare and Independent Living (IL) Director (Template) to request to partner in the implementation process
- Decision Points that Advocates can Discuss With Child Welfare Agency Leaders
Who's in charge of planning? In most states, the State Independent Living Program Manager is charged with planning. Ask how you can get involved (the new law instructs States to involve young people from foster care in implementation!)
Reach out to your IL Program Manager today - the button below will take you to a list of IL Program Managers:
Information for Child Welfare Professionals & Implementers
Outreach Planning Grid
This Google Doc provides a template for creating your own planning document. Includes links to many resources for outreach / marketing, which will be updated throughout the implementation period (check back often for updates!): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19AiJBdPlJxbPXfFuC0E6tTkO239G-C8Ik7R9IxLn79o/edit#gid=0
Template to Create a Pandemic Support Grid
Use this Google Doc template to create a youth-friendly grid of supports available to them: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1YYFSfdsXkFZ2gJIffxBdf7MQ3A86JPyAqvCTin-Ajwo/edit#gid=0
Social Media Graphics & Templates
Use this CANVA template and customize for your campaign needs: https://www.canva.com/design/DAEUX7Lw6qs/share/preview?token=6sRBiZfCv7Af-ue3EE46Wg&role=EDITOR&utm_content=DAEUX7Lw6qs&utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=link&utm_source=sharebutton
Youth Flyer Template
Use this CANVA template and customize for your campaign needs: https://www.canva.com/design/DAEUYJa8XT8/share/preview?token=XUr8nxMVbb2V5jMXfse5Gw&role=EDITOR&utm_content=DAEUYJa8XT8&utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=link&utm_source=sharebutton