Federal relief money to aid young people formerly in foster care
Young adults formerly in foster care are eligible for federal pandemic relief money to cover expenses like rent, groceries, transportation, education, and utilities.
New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services is urging eligible youth to apply, through outreach efforts like a press release and social media advertisements on Facebook. The department is also reaching out directly to foster parents and young adults, according to a spokesperson. Young people up to 22 years old who spent time in foster care since the age of 16 and have since aged out of care are eligible for the stimulus payments.
Funding is granted on a first come, first served basis, and the amount is determined based on the applicant’s age and circumstances after leaving the care of the Division for Children, Youth and Families, whether they were reunified with their family, adopted, entered another legal guardianship, or left foster care after turning 18.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 300 young adults have already been granted payments through the program. Those payments have ranged from $500 to $2,500. The funding was made available through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which allocated $400 million to help young adults who have been in foster care transition to adulthood. At least $50 million of that is set aside for education and training.
The pandemic had a significant impact on older youth in the state’s care and former foster youth, according to Joseph Ribsam, the director of the Division for Children, Youth, and Families. He said the funding will help young people find success in a new phase of their lives.
Waypoint NH is administering an online portal where interested individuals can apply for funding online. The organization then determines whether applicants are eligible. The application includes basic questions that should take less than five minutes to complete, the website estimates. Applicants also need to upload an image of their ID to finalize their application.
The deadline to apply for funding is Sept. 30, 2022.