For youth exiting extended foster care
Resources that can assist you if you are in need of help
WorkSource is a statewide partnership of agencies that provides employment opportunities and training services in Washington (WA). WorkSource offices are available across WA State for information on workshops and hiring events, apprenticeships programs, and much more visit www.worksourcewa.com
Transitional Living (TL) Program is a continuum of the Independent Living (IL) Program for youth ages 18 up to their 23rd birthday. Services may include employments, housing, and education support. Visit https://www.dcyf.wa.gov/services/independent-living-skills/transitional-living-program
Housing and emergency housing
Independent Youth Housing Programs (IYHP) provides rental assistance and case management services to eligible youth who have aged out of the foster care system in WA. This programs is available in Spokane, Benton, Franklin, Kittitas, Walla Walla, Yakima, King, Pierce, Lewis, and Thurston Counties. For more information visit http://independence.wa.gov/programs/independent-youth-housing-program/
The Office of Homeless Youth funds outreach, shelter, and housing specifically for youth and young adults. A list of all service providers can be found here: https://www.deptofcommerce.app.box.com/s/o27hkoudakw1au21dfw2dzl5y4x8ar1a
Treasury Rent Assistance Program (T-RAP) may prevent evictions by paying past due, current and future rent for people impacted by the pandemic. Contact the service provider in your area: https://www.commerce.wa.gov/serving-communities/homelessness/eviction-rent-assistance-program/
Youth and Young Adult Eviction Rent Assistance Program funded with federal CARES Act dollars may prevent evictions for people in distress due to COVID-19. Contact local housing provider: https://www.commerce.wa.gov/serving-communities/homelessness/youth-and-young-adult-eviction-rent-assistance-program/
Washington Public Housing Agencies – Here is a list of the Housing Authorities available across WA State https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/PIH/documents/PHA_Contact_Report_WA.pdf
Low Income Housing Search in Washington visit https://tenantsunion.org/rights/low-income-housing-search
Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) housing voucher:
- What is FYI? The FYI voucher is a way for youth formerly involved in the Child Welfare system to gain access to housing assistance through local housing authorities (commonly referred to as Section 8 Housing). The voucher covers 36 months of housing payments at market rate rents and pays the rental fee directly to the landlord.
- Who is eligible? Young people between age 18 and their 25th birthday, who have been in out of home care under the supervision of the Department of Children Youth and Families (DCYF), young people who are 17 and about to leave care within 90 days, or who are between 18 and 21 and are about to leave Extended Foster Care within 90 days are also eligible for FYI.
- What steps can be taken to access FYI? If you are living or plan to live in one of these communities – Bellingham, King County (including Seattle), Tacoma, Skagit County, Snohomish County, Vancouver, or Yakima – then take these next steps:
- Talk with your DCYF/EFC or Independent Living caseworker, and say that you are interested in getting an FYI voucher.
- Your DCYF/EFC caseworker or IL worker will send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Greg Williamson at DCYF at email@example.com who will share it with the appropriate staff member at your Housing Authority, after determining your eligibility.
Supplemental Education Transition Planning (SETuP) Program supports foster youth or unaccompanied homeless students with their career and educational goals (ages 13-21). Visit https://wsac.wa.gov/setup
Passport to Careers Program is a scholarship funding available to young people who have experienced foster care or homelessness to prepare for careers either in college or apprenticeship pathways. For more information visit https://wsac.wa.gov/passport-to-careers or https://wsac.wa.gov/passport/resources
Washington State Education & Training Voucher (ETV) Program provides financial assistance to youth in care and aging out of foster care to attend accredited college, university, vocational or technical college. For more information visit https://www.dcyf.wa.gov/services/education-for-foster-youth/etv
Postsecondary Education resources to inspire and support current and former foster youth pursuing college can be found here: https://www.k12.wa.us/student-success/access-opportunity-education/foster-care/postsecondary-education
Washington State Financial Aid Programs also known as opportunity pathways are affordable college and career training opportunities for everyone, click the link for more information: https://wsac.wa.gov/sfa-overview
Washington Health Care Authority Mental Health Crisis Lines https://www.hca.wa.gov/health-care-services-supports/behavioral-health-recovery/mental-health-crisis-lines
Washington State Dept. of Health Suicide Prevention Resources https://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/InjuryandViolencePrevention/SuicidePrevention/HotlinesTextandChatResources
Washington 2-1-1 help connect you to community resources statewide. Dial 211 or follow the link www.wa211.org
WA Warm Line is peer support help line for people living with emotional and mental health challenges. Call 24-Hour Crisis Line at 1-866-427-4747 or 1-877-500-9276 or visit https://www.crisisconnections.org/wa-warm-line/
Food and other resources
Independence for Washington State Foster Youth. Visit http://independence.wa.gov/
Northwest Harvest List of Food Banks and Meal Programs. Visit https://www.northwestharvest.org/our-work/hunger-response-network/?#main-content
WA DSHS Community Services Office. Here’s the link for to apply for food assistance https://www.washingtonconnection.org/home/
The Fig Tree provides resources, meal sites, transportation, assistance and emergency contacts. Visit https://www.thefigtree.org/connections-resources.html
Did you know
There is less than 3% chance for youth who aged out of foster care to earn a college degree. Many have to fight hard for that degree because 40% of foster youth have learning difficulties.
It is ok to ask for help to navigate adulthood.
About 20,000 youth between 18 to 21 age out of the system because they become adults. Without help, these youth have to learn to provide for themselves. Studies show that foster youth do not have a support system. As a result, education becomes less important than working for many of them. You are not alone in this experience.
It has often been said that we can’t change the world, but that we can change the life of one child at a time”
Former foster youth want you to know:
“Each one teach one” -KC
“Speak out about your pain, live your pain and know that your pain is important” -Esther Taylor
“Our drive to search is our way of restoring a healthy sense of control and power back in our lives. Our stories have been taken from us. We are the original victims of identity theft. We have experienced the triple jeopardy of loss; of our first families, of our identities and of our ability to trust others freely and without question”
-Lesli Maul & Autumn-Rose