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Action for

Pandemic Relief for Foster Youth Expires September 30th

READ : Using State and Local Fiscal Relief Funds from the American Rescue Plan to Fund Support for Youth Losing Services When the Moratorium on Aging Out of Foster Care Expires.

Current and former foster youth have faced tremendous challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic - housing insecurity, income loss, hunger, barriers to accessing healthcare, lack of transportation, and childcare shortages. On September 30th, 2021, multiple pandemic relief programs for foster youth will expire, forcing as many as 20,000 youth out of the system and having the potential for devastating consequences for many more. 


We’ve connected with more than 38,000 foster youth, hearing their greatest needs and concerns. These are the specific, practical things you can do to help.

Who is this useful for?

Young People
Funders
Foster Parents + Caregivers
Partners
Child Welfare Professionals
In the Child Welfare Ecosystem
Policymakers

How?

Who is this useful for?

Young People
Funders
Foster Parents + Caregivers
Partners
Child Welfare Professionals
In the Child Welfare Ecosystem
Policymakers

How?

  • Contact your local Chamber of Commerce to educate them about the expiring moratorium and that foster youth in your community will be needing jobs. Ask them to inform their businesses about the issue.
  • Contact your local and state policymakers about expanding state-level supports to foster youth to mitigate the effects of the abrupt end in federal pandemic relief.
  • Raise awareness about the apps that connect people to surplus food in your neighborhood, such as Olie and Order Ahead .
  • Ask local restaurants to organize a “foster youth night” to have discounts for youth aging out.
  • Educate nonprofits in your area that serve young children about this issue and that there may be a surge in needs from foster youth who are parents.

Who is this useful for?

Young People
Funders
Foster Parents + Caregivers
Partners
Child Welfare Professionals
In the Child Welfare Ecosystem
Policymakers

How?

Jobs

  • Create a partnership with businesses in your area and ask them to commit to hiring foster youth.
  • Make an announcement at community, religious, or professional gatherings that foster youth are looking for jobs. 

Support maintaining jobs 

  • Organize ride shares and carpools to help young people get to interviews and the first two weeks of work.
  • Set aside funds to help young people get shoes or other work clothes.
  • Make a list of community closets where youth can get affordable work clothes.
  • Partner with local and regional businesses to provide gift cards to purchase shoes and clothes for work.
  • Activate support for getting youth access to basic hygiene items like deodorant, shampoo, and laundry detergent. 

Food 

  • Organize a grocery drive or prepare food baskets for young people through a local youth-serving organization.
  • Expand “double up” for SNAP and WIC programs at stores in your area.
  • Purchase bus passes for youth who live in food deserts to access full-service grocery stores.

Housing Support 

  • Host office hours to help young people search and select a list of apartments to view.
  • Host a home goods drive to get access to basic home furnishings like beds, cookware, and kitchenware. 
  • Raise a small fund dedicated to covering youth’s rental deposits. Many housing voucher programs do not cover deposits.

Transportation Support

  • Work with your city and nonprofits to purchase bus passes for foster youth who need them.
  • Build partnerships with local auto repair companies and dealerships to provide services like free oil changes. 

Childcare supplies for babies and toddlers

  • Direct foster youth to local nonprofits that serve young kids or provide diapers and other essentials.

Money management 

  • Host office hours to talk to young people about how to navigate survival financial decisions and creating a budget. 
  • Ask financial planners in your area to donate their time.

Help applying for services 

  • Support youth in completing applications such as housing applications, childcare benefits, unemployment, and SNAP.

Direct financial assistance 

  • Create a fund to help youth pay for co-pays for mental and physical health appointments
  • Work with your community networks to commit to raising $10,000 to then provide gap financial coverage to foster youth who need it
  • Tap into existing Mutual Aid groups in your area and make sure they know about the needs of foster youth

Who is this useful for?

Young People
Funders
Foster Parents + Caregivers
Partners
Child Welfare Professionals
In the Child Welfare Ecosystem
Policymakers

How?

1 / Listen and Learn

Who is this useful for?

Young People
Funders
Foster Parents + Caregivers
Partners
Child Welfare Professionals
In the Child Welfare Ecosystem
Policymakers

How?

2 / Use Your Voice

Who is this useful for?

Young People
Funders
Foster Parents + Caregivers
Partners
Child Welfare Professionals
In the Child Welfare Ecosystem
Policymakers

How?

  • Contact your local Chamber of Commerce to educate them about the expiring moratorium and that foster youth in your community will be needing jobs. Ask them to inform their businesses about the issue.
  • Contact your local and state policymakers about expanding state-level supports to foster youth to mitigate the effects of the abrupt end in federal pandemic relief.
  • Raise awareness about the apps that connect people to surplus food in your neighborhood, such as Olie and Order Ahead .
  • Ask local restaurants to organize a “foster youth night” to have discounts for youth aging out.
  • Educate nonprofits in your area that serve young children about this issue and that there may be a surge in needs from foster youth who are parents.

3 / Recommendations for Practice

Who is this useful for?

Young People
Funders
Foster Parents + Caregivers
Partners
Child Welfare Professionals
In the Child Welfare Ecosystem
Policymakers

How?

Jobs

  • Create a partnership with businesses in your area and ask them to commit to hiring foster youth.
  • Make an announcement at community, religious, or professional gatherings that foster youth are looking for jobs. 

Support maintaining jobs 

  • Organize ride shares and carpools to help young people get to interviews and the first two weeks of work.
  • Set aside funds to help young people get shoes or other work clothes.
  • Make a list of community closets where youth can get affordable work clothes.
  • Partner with local and regional businesses to provide gift cards to purchase shoes and clothes for work.
  • Activate support for getting youth access to basic hygiene items like deodorant, shampoo, and laundry detergent. 

Food 

  • Organize a grocery drive or prepare food baskets for young people through a local youth-serving organization.
  • Expand “double up” for SNAP and WIC programs at stores in your area.
  • Purchase bus passes for youth who live in food deserts to access full-service grocery stores.

Housing Support 

  • Host office hours to help young people search and select a list of apartments to view.
  • Host a home goods drive to get access to basic home furnishings like beds, cookware, and kitchenware. 
  • Raise a small fund dedicated to covering youth’s rental deposits. Many housing voucher programs do not cover deposits.

Transportation Support

  • Work with your city and nonprofits to purchase bus passes for foster youth who need them.
  • Build partnerships with local auto repair companies and dealerships to provide services like free oil changes. 

Childcare supplies for babies and toddlers

  • Direct foster youth to local nonprofits that serve young kids or provide diapers and other essentials.

Money management 

  • Host office hours to talk to young people about how to navigate survival financial decisions and creating a budget. 
  • Ask financial planners in your area to donate their time.

Help applying for services 

  • Support youth in completing applications such as housing applications, childcare benefits, unemployment, and SNAP.

Direct financial assistance 

  • Create a fund to help youth pay for co-pays for mental and physical health appointments
  • Work with your community networks to commit to raising $10,000 to then provide gap financial coverage to foster youth who need it
  • Tap into existing Mutual Aid groups in your area and make sure they know about the needs of foster youth

4 / Hire Think of US

Who is this useful for?

Young People
Funders
Foster Parents + Caregivers
Partners
Child Welfare Professionals
In the Child Welfare Ecosystem
Policymakers

How?