Have You Ever Been in Foster Care?February 22, 2023
There are a number of resources here in Oregon and nationwide serving those in foster care. Whether you’re still in foster care or transitioning out, know that you’re not alone! Use the links below to 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: www.boysandgirlsaid.org
Oregon-based organization that helps teens and young adults with Transitional Living Program (TLP), Safe Place, or The STEP program.
Department of Human Services: www.oregon.gov/DHS/CHILDREN/FOSTERCARE/Pages/index.aspx
Coordinates foster and adoptive parenting programs, and provides resources and assistance for foster parents and families. Includes information on how businesses and communities can help support children in foster care.
Friends of the Children: friendspdx.org
Pairs at-risk children and youth with professionally trained mentors, starting in kindergarten through high school graduation.
Housing, Legal Assistance, and Health Care
Independent Living Programs: www.oregon.gov/dhs/children/fostercare/ILP
Youth may be eligible for services through the Independent Living Program (ILP) 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: www.oregon.gov/OHA/healthplan
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 (TTY 711), Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Youth, Rights & Justice: www.youthrightsjustice.org
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: www.stand.org/oregon/beat-the-odds/
Offers scholarships for Oregon public high school students that have overcome barriers, such as poverty or personal tragedy, to achieve academic success. Applications may be submitted online, with early submissions encouraged.
Foster Care to Success (FCS): www.fc2success.org
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 https://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. However, as a secondary purpose, this scholarship can serve youth who were adopted from DHS child welfare between the ages of 14 ½ and 16; former foster youth who did not receive Chafee funds before age 21, or are over age 23 (less than age 26) and have not yet completed their education.
- Oregon Tuition & Fee Waiver: Once a student is enrolled and receiving the tuition and fee waiver at one of Oregon’s public colleges or universities, the student is entitled to the equivalent of four years of undergraduate studies. To be eligible a youth must:
- 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.
- Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Complete 30 hours of volunteer activities to retain eligibility for year two and all subsequent years.
- 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 are currently in foster care (DHS or one of the federally recognized tribes) or were in foster care and dismissed from care at age 14 or older with 180 days of foster care placement services after their 13th birthday. Youth must be accepted/enrolled in a postsecondary education or training program in order to receive funds. Final disbursement will not exceed the term before the youth turns age 26. Students can receive the grant for a maximum number of five years. Access application through oregonstudentaid.gov/chafee-etg.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.