Emergency Support

If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911

If your life is in danger — or someone else's — do not hesitate. Pick up the phone and dial 911 immediately.

When basic needs aren’t getting met, it’s impossible to focus on anything else! Access to safety, food, water, clothing, sleep and shelter are essential. When stuff happens to threaten or disrupt your access to these basics - it’s an emergency. When you’re in a tough situation, here are some basics that might be helpful.

Emergency Shelter

Reach Out

Reach out to a safe friend or family member to ask for support for a period of time while you figure out how to get steady. Sometimes people will be more ready to provide help if you are able to tell them about the steps you are taking to get into more permanent housing.


Visit FindHelp.org to enter your zip code and click on housing for local resources.

Connect with Chafee ILP

There are resources available for young people transitioning out of foster care who need stable housing supports through the Independent Living Program in each state Each state has slightly different options and opportunities. 

Search FosterClub's Help Hub

You may be able to find additional resources for emergency shelter here (resources vary by state)

Mental Health/Addiction Crisis

Tell someone

When you let someone in that you trust and know cares, it can help you feel less alone and provide support for working through a challenge. If you are in foster care, contact your Caseworker to help connect you to resources.

Call 988

The National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline provides a caring voice that can help you access support. The website has lots of great resources, too.

Go to the ER

Go to a local emergency room and tell them you need immediate support.


SAMHSA’s National Helpline - a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for those facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

Emergency Funds

Ask - with a plan

No one likes asking for money - but if you have someone safe you can ask for help (a former foster parent, a friend, a supportive mentor), this is one of the best and quickest options. Share briefly about the situation, how much you need, and offer a plan for how and when you think you can pay them back. Then see it through. 


Visit FindHelp.org to enter your zip code and click on Money to see local financial assistance options.

Apply for a Gift

Apply for funds specific to needs of youth with experience in foster care through One Simple Wish or iFoster.

Connect with Chafee ILP

The Independent Living Program in your state is designed to help young people from foster care transition to adulthood. If you aren't already enrolled, contact your state and see if you're eligible. 

Common emergencies experienced by young people.

Don’t panic! Know why you were evicted. Know your rights. Get support to make a plan.

Living paycheck to paycheck while you’re getting steady is common. Can you save by living with a friend or safe supportive person for a while? Be sure you’re accessing all the government benefits you are eligible for.

Often times when a young person ages out of foster care they don’t want anything to do with the child welfare system anymore so they disengage as quickly as possible! You can get back in touch with Independent Living Programs even if you initially declined support. They can help you access resources to get back on track with work, school and basic needs. See who the contact is your state by clicking below.

When things are not right in a placement that you’re in and you feel like no one is listening to you, have you tried the state complaints office or ombudsman assigned to assist youth in foster care? Find out who those folks are in your state by clicking the button below.

Trauma can sometimes make it hard to know who to trust or to trust your own instincts. It’s common for people with experience in foster care to find their selves in tough or scary relationship situations again. That doesn’t mean you deserve it! These two resources can provide help.

Getting help: contacting your state Ombudsman

The people in the Ombudsman's office are in charge of hearing complaints and helping to solve problems for people involved with foster care. Most states have an Ombudsman, but not all.  Learn more about what an Ombudsman does and why they exist.

Resources for Emergency Support

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