Housing Support for Reunified or Adopted Youth
The Imprint is highlighting each of the policy recommendations made this summer by the participants of the Foster Youth Internship Program, a group of 12 former foster youth who have completed congressional internships.
The annual program is overseen by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that raises awareness about the needs of children without families. Each of the participants crafted a policy recommendation during their time in Washington, D.C.
Today we highlight the recommendation from Faith Sharp, a senior at Missouri State University.
Sharp suggests expanding federal programs to include more youth who experience foster care. Specifically, she seeks an increase in funding for the John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood to support the living expenses of those seeking a post-secondary education, and widening the eligibility of Foster Youth to Independence housing vouchers to include youth who achieved permanency via reunification or adoption.
While the Chafee program already includes an education and training voucher program, Sharp writes, “these vouchers often do not meet all of the financial needs for those pursuing higher education.” As for the housing vouchers, “not all former foster youth who experience homelessness are those who have aged out of the foster system.”
In Their Own Words
“This past year was the first time in my adult life living in the same place for two consecutive years. I developed a bond with my neighbors, which made my place feel like home. With this support and stability, my grades, mental health, and overall comfort in life improved.”