Do you know a young person who is currently in foster care or recently aged out of care, and needs help paying their rent, internet or phone service, medical bills, car repairs or household necessities? They may qualify for extra financial aid!
DFPS has access to millions of dollars of extra pandemic relief funds to assist youth ages 14-20, who are currently in foster care or who have aged out, through Aug. 31, 2022. These funds came from the Supporting Foster Youth and Families Through the Pandemic law, Division X of the Consolidated Appropriations Act FY 2021. The agency reserved a portion of these funds for Fiscal Year 2022.
If a young person is struggling to come up with money for something important—whatever it might be—they can, and should, ask for help. Advocates are one of the best and most effective resources to help young people pursue these funds that are intended for them.
How to Get Help
The youth should ask their PAL worker or Aftercare Worker/Transition Service Coordinator about getting financial help. They can find their PAL worker by going to the DFPS PAL Coordinator webpage or calling the PAL State Office at 512-460-7394.
Important: This is not a cash payout. Youth must:
- Specify specific items they need,
- Explain why the items are important, and
- Ask ahead of time.
Make sure the youth knows that if they can’t speak with someone directly, they must leave a voicemail, clearly stating in the voicemail their name and phone number, and that they are a foster youth who needs help.
Extra ETV (Education & Training Voucher) Funds Are Available, Too!
If a young person is in college or a post-high school/GED training program that is one year or longer, they may be able to get up to $12,000 of assistance through Sept. 30, 2022. Learn more on the ETV website.
Spread the Word!
These funds could make an extraordinary difference for vulnerable young adults who may be struggling to make ends meet. However, DFPS has provided very limited information about the availability of the funds, or the fact that more substantive assistance than normal is available. The Texas Foster Youth Justice Project prepared a two-page flyer for youth and young adults to highlight the availability of the funds and the importance of asking their Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) or Aftercare Worker for help with financial needs.
To help spread the word about the availability of the funds and the importance of seeking help if denied, we encourage you to share this information with current and aged out foster youth and all that work with them. Again, the deadline is Aug. 31, 2022, and seeking the funds well before the deadline is advised.
Having Trouble? Get Free Legal Assistance
Because of the limited information available, it is possible that youth seeking help will receive varying responses and some youth may be improperly turned down. If youth are struggling to get anyone to help with their request, or their request is denied, encourage them to contact the Texas Foster Youth Justice Project for free legal assistance at 877-313-3688 or info@TexasFosterYouth.org.