July 13, 2020

New York Prevents Aging Out with $20 Million Family First Act


New York is helping prevent foster youth from again out of the system by reallocating Family First Act aid. As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, New York state is implementing support systems to prevent homelessness among foster youth. More specifically, helping foster youth who are approaching emancipation. Which is when they age out of the system and no longer receive government housing or support.

The Family First Prevention Services Act

The Family First Prevention Services Act passed in 2018. The act allows states the ability to create services and programs that help at-risk families. The goal is to help keep them together while supporting those who’ve been through the foster system.

Now the state is considering extending the age limit for Chafee grants, which is funding that helps former foster youth (up to age 23) pay for housing and educational/training expenses. Since the pandemic has forced schools to close and increased unemployment rates, New York is considering adding more adult services to the foster care system.

Important Stipulations

This is a much-needed resource to many of New Yorks’s former foster youth. However, there are some stipulations that impact who can benefit.

The policy specifically helps those who turn 21 between March 1 and December 31 of this year. There are services offered to those who turn 21 at any point during the COVID-19 state of emergency. The bill is extended for up to six months after the state of emergency ends.

There is also a provision that also allows any former foster youth who left foster care within the last two years to return to care if they are between 18 and 20.

Positive Steps Forward

Programs like this will help reduce harm to New York foster youth during a trying time. We encourage those reading this to speak up on behalf of foster youth in your state. Please look into what programs they are offering currently and whether those plans are enough.

If you are interested in helping foster youth right now, check out ways to help with Foster Love - Together We Rise here.

Return to blog