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Sec. Friedlander says federal funds available to help those who are transitioning out of foster care

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services announced Friday that some federal funds are available to help youths and young adults who are transitioning out of the state’s foster care system.

The money comes from the Federal Supporting Foster Youth and Families Through the Pandemic Act, which provides child welfare agencies with resources to respond to the needs of those who transitioned from foster care at or after their 18th birthday or were adopted at the age of 16 or older.

Sec. Eric Friedlander

The funds can be used for mortgage or rent payments, utility bills, car loans, groceries and other basic needs.

“There is concern that current and former foster youth, who have disproportionately faced higher rates of unemployment, housing instability and disrupted education throughout the pandemic, could be among the last Kentuckians to fully recover from COVID-19,” said CHFS Secretary Eric Friedlander. “We are continuing to help provide direct assistance to current and former foster youth to mitigate some of the worst impacts of the pandemic and help foster youth get back on their own two feet.”

The deadline to apply for these special pandemic benefits is Sept. 30.

To help spread the word about this opportunity, the Cabinet says the pandemic relief registration link will continue to be posted to the Ky RISE website, which also provides information on eligibility, including minimum age limitations and program details.   

“Too many Kentuckians who have aged out of foster care and who are currently in foster care are forced to live on the margins, and those who are eligible are encouraged to apply for this help,” Friedlander said, adding that cash assistance is a benefit.
The cabinet is partnering with community advocates, colleges and universities, foster parents and others and asking them to help spread the word. A radio and social media campaign is being planned to help raise visibility.

Independent living specialists are on standby to assist foster youth who are transitioning, or who have recently transitioned, to independent living. Find one here.

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