DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Human Services has allocated more than $5 million to benefit current and former foster care youth.
Iowa’s Data Center states that nearly 10,000 Iowa kids are currently living in foster homes. According to the President of Youth and Shelter Services, Andrew Allen, nearly 4,000 young Iowans are already or expected to age out within the next year. This is why YSS is dedicating a huge portion of these funds to those older adolescents.
“Just think about how tough it’s been for normal kids and families to push through the pandemic. Imagine being a young person who’s aged out of foster care who doesn’t have the same sort of support and family infrastructure in place. These kids are suffering,” Allen said.
Youth and Shelter Services is the lead agency for the Iowa Aftercare Services, catering to the needs of those aging out of the system.
With these additional funds from DHS, YSS is able to offer former foster care youth, ages 18 to 27, an opportunity to receive $750 to help with emergency expenses such as housing, education, and transportation.
Allen said the pandemic has made it harder to keep in contact with former foster residents. So they’re urging the community to encourage anyone they know that is eligible to apply.
“They’ve gone into more isolation and so now is the time, as things are opening back up, as we’re pushing through the pandemic,” Allen said. “We know that there are financial needs for these young people and we’ve got emergency support up to $750 for these young folks.”
To learn more about applying, visit iowaaftercare.org.