Youth Services Insider


Arizona Launches Portal to Connect Former Foster Youth with Pandemic Relief

Many of Arizona’s current and former youth are in line for more federal help to get them through the pandemic, the state Department of Child Safety has announced.

The change means young adults currently in foster care and former foster youth who have not yet turned 27 years old will be able to tap funds made available under a law Congress passed in December, the COVID-19 Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020.


Program Helping Homeless Students on Washington College Campuses Seeks to Expand During Pandemic
Illustration by Christine Ongjoco

For three years, Jaysa Cooper focused only on the 24 hours ahead, unsure where she would sleep and whether she’d be able to eat. The 21-year-old couch-surfed with friends and family or slept in her car in and around Yakima, where she was born and raised.

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Foster Parents are Essential Workers and Should Not Be Overlooked

After a long year of fear, loss and traumatic uncertainty, the availability of vaccines protecting against COVID-19 is a welcome, necessary relief. Health care workers, teachers and the elderly have been rightly prioritized for access, but many vulnerable people are still waiting for eligibility.

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California Foster Parents Win Vaccine Eligibility, As Fight Continues in New York
California foster parents are getting some long-awaited relief in the form of priority eligibility for coronavirus vaccines. The most populous state appears to be leading the nation in offering vaccines to these caregivers: Across the country in New York, foster parents have yet to be prioritized, and there are few indications that they are being prioritized elsewhere.
Youth Services Insider


Federal Guidance on Foster Youth Pandemic Relief: A Breakdown

The long-awaited federal guidance on child welfare pandemic assistance, which passed as part of the relief package signed by former president Trump in January, is out the door and into the hands of state and local agencies.


Pandemic Support for Foster Youth Still Delayed, Months After Federal Action
Illustration by Christine Ongjoco

Over the past year, tens of thousands of young adults in foster care faced a distressing prospect: Once they turned 21, in all but a few states, they would lose the money they counted on for housing and basic living expenses — even as the pandemic slashed entry-level jobs and shuttered college dorms.

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California Cleared to Use Medicaid for School Testing
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Gov. Gavin Newsom of California – not to mention frustrated students and exhausted parents – got some good news Wednesday on the school-reopening front. 

Two days after Newsom (D) announced a budget deal aimed at incentivizing public schools to start reopening for in-person learning by the end of the month, the federal government approved the state’s request to use federal Medicaid funds to test low-income students enrolled in the state’s Medi-Cal health insurance plan for COVID-19.

Youth Services Insider


One Year Later: How Foster Families are Faring in the Pandemic
Vanessa and Amen Van Dyck with their foster son share how they’ve navigated the pandemic. Photo courtesy of Vanessa and Amen Van Dyck

Since the pandemic began one year ago, foster parents across the country have gone to extraordinary lengths to support the child welfare system.


Transition-Age Foster Youth to Aid Vaccination Effort in California
The logo for the California “Vaccinate All 58” campaign

Hundreds of current and former foster youth are being recruited to jump in on the California effort to vaccinate the state’s most disadvantaged residents against COVID-19.