A New Resource for Making the Most of Pandemic Relief for Foster Youth

June 7, 2021
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Do you work with or know young adults (under the age of 27) who spent time in foster care as teens (after the age of 14)? Then you might find a new resource helpful.

The Children's Bureau of the Health and Human Services Department published a one-stop page for federal information and guidance about time-limited pandemic relief for foster youth. The “Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act,” Division X of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, provides temporary flexibilities in federal programs and significantly increased funding for this population— but only until September 30.

The funds, which will be administered at the state and local level, can be used for basic needs like rent or mortgage payments and utility bills.

Aysha E. Schomburg, associate commissioner of the Children’s Bureau, stressed the need to act immediately.

“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change the trajectory of young people whose lives have been impacted by the dual traumas of involvement with the child welfare system and the pandemic,” Schomburg wrote in a letter to child welfare directors. “I urge you to use every tool available to address barriers to swift implementation of the law.”

“Because the federal provisions in Division X are temporary,” she continued, “ there may be streamlined options for your state to pursue to allow for quicker implementation than might otherwise be the case with a permanent change in the law. I urge you to work closely with your Governor’s Office to explore how time-limited executive orders, emergency legislative action, and/or emergency administrative code can be used to allow for immediate implementation.”

For questions, contact your Children's Bureau Regional Office .

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Graphic: Children's Bureau

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