State of Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a certification allowing the state to tap into federal John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program funds. These funds can now be used for services for adults up to age 23 after President Trump signed the Family First Prevention Services Act in February 2018 extending the resources.
This certification will take effect Feb. 18. It follows a 2018 evaluation of DCS by the nonprofit Child Welfare Policy and Practice Group that recommended the agency expand services to older youth.
“Our older foster youth need all the help they can receive to ensure a smoother start into adulthood, whether that’s to offset living costs or funding their education,” DCS director Terry Stigdon said in a press release. “Extending services for two more years ensures they have crucial resources at their disposal.”
Teens in the foster care system age out of foster homes when they turn 18. At that point, they can access other optional services, including helping with budgeting, finding a job, finding affordable housing and finding further education until age 21, said Noelle Russell, deputy director of communications for DCS, in an email.
These services will now be available to …