Fostering Futures for children in Virginia foster care 2021
Fostering Futures for 18 to 21-year-olds in DSS Foster Care
What is the Fostering Future program
Fostering Futures assistance program allows LDSS to extend financial and social services of foster care up to the age of 21. Suppose you turned 18 in foster care or a DJJ while having been in foster care after July 1st, 2016. In that case, you're eligible to participate in this program supported by the local government agencies and the Virginian social services department. A voluntary program gives you $500 monthly to cover housing, food, clothing, supplies, education, and job training assistance.
You must show your commitment to attend high school, vocational training, or work to remain eligible for these benefits. Show that you are willing to continue working with your foster care worker, actively participating in developing a transitional plan, and how you are trying to achieve your goals. You must continue to attend court hearings, administrative review(s), and case planning meetings and fill out the Voluntary Continuing Services and Support Agreement (VCSSA).
This system could be the thing that helps children who age out of the system find a little more stability. These young adults don't have a stable families they can rely on for help with financial assistance. They often age out when they must leave foster care because they were never adopted or are too old to stay in care; this is usually between 18 and 21.
However, at the start of their adult life, doesn't necessarily have the skill set to survive in the adult world. Aging out of foster care is hard, and your local Virginia department of social services understands this.
Your social worker may set you up with a support group and training programs to try and give you the skills you need to successfully take all you can from the local department of social services as they do have your best interest at hand as you leave your foster home and start this independent journey to adulthood. If you are still in a foster family, keep these relationships in good standing. You may need them in time to give you advice or help you with a problem.
Less than half of the children in foster care will graduate by 19, only 3 or 4% will have a college degree by 26, and 25% will experience PTSD. As if that wasn't bad enough, some more devastating statistics are that 40% will experience homelessness by 21, 20% will be incarcerated by 21, and over 70% of the girls will be pregnant by 21.
These statistics are far too high, but with the modest financial assistance of the Fostering Futures program, hopefully, this can help take some of the pressure off every month for the youth to allow them to adjust themselves for the future better. This improvement could be achieved by getting further education or doing vocational training, etc., as mentioned in how to stay eligible for the Fostering Future financial assistance.