Have You Ever Been in Foster Care?

November 21, 2016

There are a number of resources serving those in foster care. Whether you're still in foster care or transitioning out, know that you're not alone! Learn more about groups and programs that provide support, housing, financial aid, and other services.

Community Support, Mentorship, and Other Resources

Boys and Girls Aid Society
Oregon-based organization that helps teens and young adults with Transitional Living Program (TLP), Safe Place, or The STEP program.

Dept. of Human Services
Coordinates foster and adoptive parenting programs, and provides resources and assistance for foster parents and families.

Friends of the Children
Pairs at-risk children and youth with professionally trained mentors, starting in kindergarten through high school.

Housing, Legal Assistance, and Health Care

Independent Living Programs
Youth may be eligible for services through the Independent Living Program to help with building skills to live on their own, funds for continuing education, and financial support for monthly living expenses/housing.

Oregon Health Plan
Health care plans are available for eligible low-income Oregonians, from children and teens to adults. Applications are available online. Youth who left foster care at age 18 or older are automatically eligible for OHP coverage. If you have recently aged out and do not have health coverage, contact OHP Customer Service at 1-800-699-9075 (or 711 (TTY).

Youth, Rights & Justice
A nonprofit law firm that serves foster care children and youth. Also provides resources and information for teens as they transition out of foster care.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Beat the Odds Scholarship Program
Offers scholarships for Oregon public high school students that have overcome barriers, such as poverty or personal tragedy, to achieve academic success. 

Foster Care to Success (FCS)
The FCS Sponsored Scholarship Program provides funding for former or current foster care youth under the age of 25 who plan to attend college or other postsecondary schooling.

Office of Student Access & Completion (OSAC) 400+ scholarships are available through the Office of Student Access & Completion at www.oregonstudentaid.gov including:

  • Irmgard Schultz Scholarship: This scholarship is privately funded and can be accessed through OSAC. Note: Foster youth are a secondary priority. First priority is to any graduate from Jackson County.
  • DREAM Scholarship for Foster Youth: Primary eligibility is for those former foster teens who do not meet the requirements for the Education Training Voucher listed below. This scholarship can also serve youth who were adopted from DHS child welfare between the ages of 14 Ā½ and 16; former foster youth who did not receive Chafee funds before age 21, or are between age 23 to 26 and have not yet completed their education.
  • Oregon Tuition & Fee Waiver: To be eligible for a tuition and fee waiver at an Oregon public college or university, a youth must:
  1. Have at least 180 days of Oregon child welfare care (DHS or Tribe) after the age of 14 and have been in DHS or Tribal custody at age 16 or older.
  2. Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 
  3. A student must complete 30 hours of volunteer activities to retain eligibility for year two and all subsequent years.
  4. A student must enroll prior to age 25. If accessing the program at age 25, the student may continue until they have accessed the equivalent of four years of undergraduate studies. Students must make satisfactory progress.
Education Training Voucher/Grant (ETV or ETG)

This grant provides up to $5,000 a year for youth who were in foster care (DHS or one of the federally recognized tribes) and dismissed from care at age 16 or older with 180 days of foster care placement services. Youth must be accepted/enrolled in a postsecondary education or training program in order to receive funds. If a youth is receiving these funds at age 21, he or she may continue to receive the ETV until age 23. To be considered after age 21, a student must maintain satisfactory progress and attend at least three terms per academic year. Access application through www.oregonstudentaid.gov/chafeeetv.aspx.

Youth should apply for their financial aid as soon as possible after October 1st in order to obtain maximum funding (FAFSA, OSAC & ETV applications) for postsecondary education.

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