Check for Us: National Outreach Campaign

A nation-wide and state-specific outreach campaign to find and connect former foster youth with COVID-19 relief funding.



800,000+ former foster youth ages 18-26 disconnected from their state child welfare system


Ensuring that former foster youth have access to the COVID-19 relief funds designated for them. 

Conditions of Systems Change

more info
Resource Flows
Power Dynamics
Relationships + Connections
Mental Models

The Challenge

Congress released over $400M in emergency funds directly for current and former foster youth in response to the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the resources exist, the majority of states have no contact with foster youth who are no longer officially in the system, leaving these individuals without resources, wasting both the time and money spent on the work while also setting a dangerous precedent that this population is not reachable.

The Action

Think of Us launched Check for Us, a national outreach campaign to find and connect former foster youth ages 18-26 with their state before the September 2021 deadline.

The Stats

  • $400 million available
  • 800,000+ potentially eligible young people
  • 15,632 young people signed up so far (end of August)
  • 44 states + Washington D.C. have received youth contact data
  • 24 states using our application as part of official verification
  • 200+ organizations signed up to partner in first week

The Results

  • First ever national outreach campaign focused on former foster youth
  • Streamlined application process to provide youth contact information to states. 
  • Partnering with 37+ states, 200+ youth-serving and BIPOC organizations and former foster youth 
  • 30+ states joined the Community of Practice to receive support in finding and connecting with eligible young people (including marketing and social media assets designed by individuals lived experience in partnership with Think of Us)

Centering Lived Experience

  • Lived Experience Advisors - official team to design campaign 
  • Lived Experience Ambassadors - social media ambassadors
  • Lived Experience Advisors and Ambassadors were compensated financially for their work

Key Stakeholders

State child welfare agencies, US Children’s Bureau, Youth-Serving Organizations, Young people under age 26
, and:

Geographic Location

Nationwide, State-specific

Time Frame

March 2021 - September 2021



Earned Revenue
Government Contract



Related projects

Away From Home

An in-depth report on the experiences and perspectives of young people who have recently lived in institutional placements in foster care.


Virtual Support Services

Virtual support to bridge the gap between the needs of foster youth and families and community resources.