Oregon Department of Human Services – 07/15/21 7:30 AM
Need to know:
- $2 million emergency cash assistance is now available to eligible young people in Oregon who experienced foster care. Young people need to apply for emergency cash assistance by September 30, 2021 at FosterClub.com/ORHelp
- Applications for the Expanded Chafee Educational and Training Grant for young people with foster care experience (announced in March) are due August 1, 2021, at: https://oregonstudentaid.gov/chafee-etg.aspx
- Information for all pandemic assistance programs for young people who experienced foster care can be found at https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/CHILDREN/FOSTERCARE/ILP/Pages/Pandemic-Aid-Foster-Youth.aspx
(Salem) – The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Child Welfare Division is announcing $2 million of emergency cash assistance available for some teens and young adults who experienced foster care.
Approximately 4,000 young people between the ages of 14 and 26 who experienced foster care when they were age 14 or older in Oregon, a different state or in a Tribal Nation’s Child Welfare agency may be eligible for the emergency cash assistance.
Apply online by visiting FosterClub.com/ORHelp. Call FosterClub at 503-717-1552 for application assistance.
“The challenges of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been especially difficult for children and young adults who have experienced foster care and who may not have stable family support,” said Child Welfare Director Rebecca Jones Gaston. “This emergency cash assistance will support access to basic needs such as housing, food security, education, mental health, transportation and other needs that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. If you experienced foster care and may be eligible, do not hesitate, apply today. If you know someone who was in foster care and believe they may be eligible, please tell them about this assistance and make sure they know how to apply as quickly as possible.”
The $2 million emergency cash assistance is part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, passed by Congress in December 2020. It included provisions to support young people with foster care experience. The Act provides federal funds to the State of Oregon to support young people who experienced foster care and who have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. To do this, ODHS collaborated with community partners and young people who have experienced foster care to create pandemic assistance programs earlier this year.
The first programs announced, Expanded Chafee Educational and Training Grants and Young Adult Transitional Supports, have already been launched and are still dispersing funds. The deadline to apply for the Expanded Educational and Training Grants is August 1.
Jazlyn Prater, a 20-year-old from southern Oregon who experienced foster care, learned about the Expanded Chafee Educational Training Grant on social media and applied.
Her full request was granted, stabilizing her housing and paying tuition for her second year of college.
“The pandemic has been hard,” said Prater. “I’d been living in a hotel for a few months and was going to have to drop out of college to get money for the repairs I needed for my RV because I had to choose- housing or college. Even though I was nervous about reaching out, the support that has been offered has been a lifeline. I can continue my studies and am taking extra classes now to graduate faster.”
To reach as many eligible young people as possible, ODHS has contracted with FosterClub, an Oregon-based national network for young people in foster care.
FosterClub will determine eligibility for the range of pandemic relief programs created in Oregon, distribute funds, and provide peer mentors to eligible young people.
If you or someone you know has experienced foster care (at age 14 or older) and has a financial need, you may qualify for this emergency cash assistance or other support available. To apply visit FosterClub.com/ORHelp. Call FosterClub at 503-717-1552 for application assistance.
About the ODHS Child Welfare Division
The Oregon Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Division is committed to transforming itself to better support the individual needs of families and to best serve Oregon’s children and young people. Learn more about the Child Welfare Division Vision for Transformation. Report child abuse to the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline by calling 1-855-503-SAFE (7233). This toll-free number allows you to report abuse of any child or adult to the Oregon Department of Human Services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.