New Fact Sheet Helps States Identify Youth Eligible for Pandemic Relief

Posted March 18, 2021, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Young black male with red cap

A new fact sheet from the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion helps states cal­cu­late the num­ber of old­er youths, ages 14 through 26, who qual­i­fy for assis­tance through the recent fed­er­al stim­u­lus pack­age, which includes $400 mil­lion in relief for young peo­ple in and tran­si­tion­ing out of fos­ter care. The increased fund­ing — more than 2.5 times the amount states usu­al­ly receive for these ser­vices — could pro­vide crit­i­cal sup­port for near­ly 900,000 young peo­ple nationwide.

This stim­u­lus autho­rizes and funds a nation­al exten­sion of fos­ter care beyond age 21 until Sept. 30, 2021. Evi­dence shows this may espe­cial­ly help young peo­ple of col­or, who tend to fare bet­ter in extend­ed care with high­er rates of work and edu­ca­tion­al attain­ment and low­er rates of home­less­ness and young parenthood.

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Con­gress has giv­en states an unprece­dent­ed oppor­tu­ni­ty to meet the emer­gency needs of young peo­ple,” says Todd Lloyd, senior pol­i­cy asso­ciate at the Casey Foundation.

States must act quick­ly to deter­mine how they will spend the dis­as­ter-response funds, which will require iden­ti­fy­ing the young peo­ple eli­gi­ble for finan­cial and oth­er sup­ports — 85% of whom are no longer in fos­ter care. The fact sheet pro­vides the num­bers of qual­i­fy­ing young peo­ple in each state, bro­ken down into age sub­sets that gen­er­al­ly cor­re­spond to lev­els of need and extend­ed cut­offs for tran­si­tion ser­vices and resources.

Young peo­ple need cash, behav­ioral health sup­port and hous­ing. They need con­crete help in this time of cri­sis,” Lloyd adds. Child wel­fare sys­tems should use this fact sheet to visu­al­ize the sig­nif­i­cant task at hand and push for the devel­op­ment of robust out­reach strate­gies to ensure old­er teens and young adults receive sup­port — ide­al­ly through cash assis­tance and the oppor­tu­ni­ty to extend or re-enter into care — as quick­ly and effi­cient­ly as possible.”

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