4/21/2021 12:00:00 PM
Thanks to temporary federal changes, youth are protected from “aging out” of foster care during the COVID-19 pandemic. And if youth did age out at any point during the pandemic, they have currently an opportunity to re-enter foster care.
Local social service agencies are reaching out to youth who left foster care in the last year because they no longer qualified for benefits when they turned 18 (or when they turned 21, if they were under extended foster care) to make them aware that they may be eligible to continue getting financial assistance during the pandemic.
Youth ages 18 to 21 who remain in or re-enter care can get assistance with food and housing costs, college educational expenses, behavioral health needs and driver’s license assistance. The base rate is $964 per month, but the average is approximately $1,100 per month.
The additional funding and the temporary changes to eligibility requirements come from the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act (PDF). The changes are effective through Sept. 30, 2021.
Youth who left but want to opt back into care should contact the county or tribal agency where they last received foster care benefits. If they do not know the county or tribal agency that was responsible for their care, or if they have other questions, they can email the Adolescent Services Unit at DHS at firstname.lastname@example.org.