To support older foster youth who have aged out of care, the federal government passed the Supporting Foster Youth and Families Through the Pandemic Act in December 2020. Under this act, foster youth who live in Wisconsin and who have aged out of care can access pandemic relief funds to get financial support with rent, utility bills, transportation, groceries, and other basic needs.
“The COVID-19 public health emergency has put children, youth, and families at risk,” said Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Emilie Amundson. “This funding will allow us to continue to provide critical services to young adults and ensure that they have the necessary supports to thrive.”
To be categorically eligible for direct financial assistance, young adults must:
- Age out of care (a group home, foster home, treatment foster home, residential care center, or court-ordered kinship care) between January 27, 2020, and September 30, 2021; and,
- Be a Wisconsin resident.
Other assistance may be available for eligible Independent Living youth up to age 23.
DCF is trying to reach as many eligible youth as possible to ensure individuals receive this critical support; however, not all foster youth who age out of care remain connected to the state’s independent Living program. Advocates can help spread the word by downloading and sharing social media content and fliers from DCF’s Foster Youth Relief Funds Public Awareness Tool Kit.