Benefits Available through the Supporting Foster Youth & Families through the Pandemic Act

DFPS has released two documents which outline the expanded benefits to provide additional support and assistance to young people through the Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act:

Most notably, the Pandemic Act allows young adults who left foster care on or after Jan. 27, 2020, to stay in or return to extended foster care, regardless of age and regardless of whether the young adult is working or in school. The Act also provides additional resources for youth under age 27 with critical needs (such as rent, utilities, groceries, childcare, car insurance, and educational assistance) and expands benefits through the Education and Training Voucher (ETV) program. The Pandemic Act provides for this expanded assistance only through Sept. 30, 2021.

In order to return to extended care or access other benefits or assistance, the young adult should contact their Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) Coordinator or aftercare caseworker.

Tips for Accessing Benefits

Please remind youth and young adults how to make appropriate contact – that they should call and leave a voicemail message, providing their full name, phone number, best time to reach them, and that they want help to access COVID benefits. They should continue calling until they get a response.

If youth or young adults do not get a response from their PAL Coordinator or caseworker, they should call Sharee Hamlin in the State Office at (512) 460-8854.

If youth or young adults are not able to obtain the assistance they need, they should contact the Texas Foster Youth Justice Project for free legal assistance.

Questions?

Feel free to contact Sarah Worthington, MSSW, JD, Staff Attorney, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, at sworthington@trla.org if you have questions about the Pandemic Act or its implementation.

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