Youth

I need information on:

Young Adult Transitional Insurance (YATI) is an Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) coverage category that provides no-cost or low cost health coverage for young people who aged out of Arizona foster care. YATI covers medical services and behavioral health services. Doctor visits, prescriptions, and unexpected medical bills can be costly so it is important to be insured. To find out if a youth may be eligible for YATI as well as how to sign up click here.

Community Bridges, Inc. provides comprehensive, medically integrated behavioral health programs which include prevention, education and treatment services. These services are provided in Maricopa, Pinal, Gila, Yuma, Navajo, Apache, and Cochise Counties. Website

College Depot (a program of the Phoenix Public Library) is a free, full-service college access center temporarily located at the Emmett McLoughlin Community Training and Education Center in Phoenix, Arizona​. Their team of college planning advisors and assistants offer one-on-one appointments and workshops regarding admissions, financial aid, and scholarships. They also have free summer camps for students entering 8th-12th grades to help them begin to prepare to attend college. The program’s reEngage Phoenix Advising Sessions ​offer students who need their high school diplomas or GEDs a chance to get personalized help from staff who will be available to provide information to youth and adults who have not completed high school and de​​​sire to continue their education. To schedule an appointment, please call 602-261-8847. Website

Foster Care to Success helps connect foster youth with former foster youth to help with the transition to adulthood. The organization also offers scholarships, including Education Training Vouchers (ETVs) to help fund the youth’s education. ETVs help with higher education expenses for current or former foster youth up to age 23. Click here to learn more about ETVs.

The Arizona foster care tuition waiver is awarded to youth who were in foster care after their 16th birthday. This waiver covers certain school fees and tuition not included in other grants for current or former foster youth up to age 23. To get this waiver, contact the financial aid office of the college you plan to attend. This waiver is available for most Arizona state universities and community colleges. Click here to find out if you may be eligible for the Arizona Tuition Waiver as well as how to sign up for it.

CollegeScholarships.org has some scholarships for children who are or were in foster care.

This website has some scholarships for children who are or were in foster care.

More scholarships are available through the National Foster Parent Association.

If you are having trouble completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) because you are unsure who to list as your parent(s) because your parent(s) are incarcerated or otherwise not in your life, request that the college financial office review your application to see if you qualify for a waiver called a dependency override. Click here for additional information.

Federal Pell Grants are usually awarded only to undergraduate students. Students who are in foster care, aged out of foster care or were adopted out of foster care after reaching age 13 are considered automatically independent on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Often this means that such children have a zero expected family contribution (EFC), which qualifies them for a full Pell Grant. The amount of aid you can receive depends on your financial need, the cost of attendance at your school, and more. A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid, except under certain circumstances. Website

The Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars program is available for young adults, ages 18 – 25, who have experienced foster care or been disconnected from their parents or primary caregiver and are responsible for their own financial support and who will be attending Maricopa Community Colleges or ASU. The Nina Scholars Program provides financial support toward the cost of attendance for up to 6 years at ASU and for up to 4 years at the participating Maricopa Community Colleges, plus it provides program staff at each school to provide coordinated services, group or “cohort” support, and tutorial and/or mentoring assistance. Website

Resources and support to ease your transition to college life through Bridging Success at Arizona State University and through Maricopa Community Colleges. Staff are available to:

  • Provide you with information and resources and answer your questions;
  • Give you step-by-step assistance with the application process, enrollment, financial aid, scholarships; and
  • Help you navigate housing, academic success, health and wellness; and the disability resource center.

Be a Leader Foundation designs programs that provide a positive learning environment and a college-focused mentality for each participant to develop their high school and college educational plan (4 plus 4 plan). They work directly with middle school and high school students in primarily inner-city schools to engage them in active development of their self-esteem, leadership skills and long term preparation of their 4 plus 4 plan. They also have a program for youth in college called Be A Leader Institute College (BLIC) that provides college students with educational and career path development support. Click here for more information.

West-MEC (Western Maricopa Education Center) was created to help students find a faster way forward in life. Career and Technical Education continuously proves to keep students engaged in school and West-MEC believes that Career and Technical Education is key to the success of their students and for growing a strong economy in Arizona. West-MEC offers many CTE programs to juniors and seniors in high school. They also offer some adult education programs. Website

The Phoenix Police Department’s Police Cadets Program for Youth is for career-oriented young adults aged 14 through 21. This successful program is designed to educate and involve young men and women in police operations and to interest them in law enforcement functions whether they enter the law enforcement field or not. As a Police Cadet, young adults have the opportunity to assist the Phoenix Police Department. Police Cadets can broaden their understanding and firsthand knowledge of the challenges and job skills that make up their community's police service. In addition to gaining a working knowledge of police work, the participants have the opportunity to give of themselves to their community. Police Cadets are volunteers and do not serve as police employees, sworn or civilian. Click here for more information

The Independent Living Subsidy Program (ILSP) is a monthly allowance that goes directly to youth to help cover living costs while they transition to independence. This allowance can be used for expenses such as rent, utilities, food and transportation just to name a few! To find out if a youth may be eligible for ILSP as well as how to sign up click here.

There are many financial resources for college or vocational training. Click here for more information.

Yes, you may be eligible for many programs. Click here for additional information.

The Independent Living Program (ILP) is part of the Department of Child Safety (DCS). Youth will work with a DCS Child Safety Specialist to support them in preparing for their transition to independence. Youth may also be assigned an Independent Living Specialist through Arizona’s Children Association (AzCA) to assist with life skills training. With ILP, youth age 17.5 to age 21 may be eligible for the Independent Living Subsidy Program, a monthly payment that goes directly to the youth to help with living costs. To find out if the youth in your care may be eligible for ILP as well as how to sign up click here.

The Independent Living Subsidy Program (ILSP) is a monthly allowance that goes directly to youth to help cover living costs while they transition to independence. This allowance can be used for expenses such as rent, utilities, food and transportation just to name a few! To find out if a youth may be eligible for ILSP as well as how to sign up click here.

Transitional Independent Living Program (TILP) is part of Arizona’s Children Association (AzCA) and available to youth ages 18-21. The program provides support to youth who choose not to do extended foster care with DCS, but would still like some case management support. Youth work with an AzCA Independent Living Specialist to get advice and assistance on life decisions, such as looking for employment, applying for the Education and Training Voucher or finding a place to live. To find out if a youth you know may be eligible for TILP as well as how to sign up click here.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funds a variety of career centers and Arizona @ Work Job Center sites which offer employment aid. DES also has a JOBS program through the local FAA office. For more information, visit the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

Local Public Housing Authorities have housing resources. The resources are for people who are low income, veterans, or victims of domestic violence. They are for former foster youth.

Transitional Living Programs (TLPs) are also in some areas of the state to help people age 18 and older. These programs are funded through federal, state and private money. TLPs are open to former foster youth. They are open to people who are currently homeless or at risk of homelessness. The following is a list of some community transitional housing resources.

THRIVE Mentor Program

  • Mentor Program (16-17 years old in DCS custody)
  • Living Skills Training (16-20 years old who are still involved with DCS)
  • Transitional Independence (18-20 years old who are out of care)

The Phoenix Dream Center provides housing and other supports to help youth who have aged out of foster care.

Arizonans for Children in partnership with Take Charge America offers free classes in Financial Literacy and Aging Out.  These interactive classes teach youths not only to budget money but how to apply for a job, write a compelling resume, excel at an interview and apply for college funding. Classes are for youth 11 to 18 years old and are taught throughout Maricopa County.

AZCEND’s Community Action Program (CAP) provides numerous services for families living in Chandler and Gilbert, including goal planning through life action maps, case management, job training, employment and education referrals, financial education, emergency financial assistance, utility assistance, eviction prevention, and shelter/housing referrals. Website

Reduced Rent Apartments -If you have income and can afford "some" rent, these properties provide quality housing at a reduced rent. To live in these properties you may have to meet the minimum and maximum income ranges. They are owned by the city of Phoenix but managed by a private property manager. Click here to do a search.

The Furniture Bank is a Phoenix-based charity that assists the less fortunate moving into housing by providing furniture and household items. Recipients are required to participate financially to receive furniture (including paying a portion of the moving fee) and must use The Furniture Bank’s contracted pre-approved moving company. Website

Furnishing Dignity (Phoenix) collects and redistributes donated household furnishings (new and or gently used) to people in need. Their mission is to help individuals and families dwell in dignity by providing furnishings and other essential household items to transform a house into a home. Website

OCJ Kids’ (Opportunity Community and Justice for Kids) mission is to equip foster and at-risk children and youth by providing them tools, resources, and positive role models to succeed and excel in every area of life. Their Transition Success Centers supply hygiene Welcome Kits, Transitional Suitcases, Kinship Kits, Emergency Overnight Sleep Kits, and clothing items for children and youth in the foster care system. Their offices are located in Phoenix but they have Transition Success Centers in 13 Arizona Counties (all counties except La Paz and Santa Cruz). Website

The free FoolProof Solo program consists of 18 highly interactive online sessions called "modules" and offers valuable lessons on 16 topics—from credit cards to advertising and from renting your first apartment to retirement. Each module takes about 45 minutes to complete. You can use one or all, and you can stop and start at any time and work on any device with web access. Website

Resources and support to ease your transition to college life through Bridging Success at Arizona State University and through Maricopa Community Colleges. Staff are available to:

  • Provide you with information and resources and answer your questions;
  • Give you step-by-step assistance with the application process, enrollment, financial aid, scholarships; and
  • Help you navigate housing, academic success, health and wellness; and the disability resource center.

Job Corps is a free residential education and job training program for young adults ages 16-24. They consider foster youth ahead of other applicants. Click here to view a flier entitled “Transition from foster care to independent living with Job Corps.” Click here to view the Job Corps’ Recruitment Brochure.

There are 2 locations in Arizona:

Fred G. Acosta Job Corps Center
901 S. Campbell Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85719
Phone: 520-792-3015
Fax: 520-628-1552
Website: https://fredgacosta.jobcorps.gov/

Phoenix Job Corps Center
518 S. Third Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Phone: 602-254-5921
Fax: 602-322-7071
Website: https://phoenix.jobcorps.gov/

Foster Care Alumni of America – Their mission is that all people in and from foster care are connected, empowered, and flourishing.

  • Arizona Chapter
  • FaceBook Page
  • Contact information on webpage

FosterClub believe that children and youth deserve to be connected, educated, inspired, and represented.

Fostering Advocates Arizona work to connect young adults leaving foster care with the information, resources and support they need to successfully transition to adulthood. Their work is guided by young people who have experienced foster care and partnerships with community service providers, government agencies, and key stakeholders.

If you are a youth who has emancipated or aged out of the Arizona foster care system, there are many resources available to help you succeed and thrive. AZ Foster Youth 411 has information in the areas of housing, food resources, employment, higher education, emotional support and services, legal information, etc. FosterClub.org has resource maps for each state; click here to view Arizona’s resource map.

The Phoenix Dream Center provides housing and other supports to help youth who have aged out of foster care.

Arizonans for Children in partnership with Take Charge America offers free classes in Financial Literacy and Aging Out.  These interactive classes teach youths not only to budget money but how to apply for a job, write a compelling resume, excel at an interview and apply for college funding. Classes are for youth 11 to 18 years old and are taught throughout Maricopa County.

AZCEND’s Community Action Program (CAP) provides numerous services for families living in Chandler and Gilbert, including goal planning through life action maps, case management, job training, employment and education referrals, financial education, emergency financial assistance, utility assistance, eviction prevention, and shelter/housing referrals. Website

The youth-written stories in Represent give inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff insight into those teens’ struggles. Website

Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation’s Keys to Success works with youth ages 16-21. Through intensive, individualized career planning, education and employment development services, this program empowers youth aging out foster care to become thriving, self-sufficient adults. It also connects these youth to resources and offers unparalleled support to increase their chances of success as they transition from foster care to adulthood. Website

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has educational materials that help children and adolescents learn about symptoms of various mental disorders, treatment options, and support services. The educational materials provide the latest scientific information about symptoms and a range of treatment options, as well as peer support groups and services. SAMHSA developed these educational materials in collaboration with the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Psychological Association, and the American Psychiatric Association. Youth and family leaders from around the country provided crucial input and feedback in the development process.

Yes, there are many opportunities for youth who were in foster care to engage in advocacy efforts to improve the foster care system including the following:

Foster Care Alumni of America

FosterClub

Fostering Advocates Arizona

Yes, all children in care have certain rights, and older children have additional rights. Click here to read DCS’s “Notice of Rights for a Child in Out-of-Home Care” which includes ARS 8-529.

Community Legal Services, Inc. provides high-quality legal advice, advocacy and assistance in many areas (including housing, employment, health care, etc.) to low-income Arizonans. For more information, please go to their website at http://www.clsaz.org/family.html. Click here to see their information brochure.

StayTeen.org has information for adolescents about sex education, relationships, birth control, etc.

Teen Outreach Pregnancy Services (TOPS) offers support and education to pregnant and parenting teens in Arizona. TOPS provides healthy pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting education for young moms and dads. TOPS also provides, and advocates for, comprehensive sexual health education to prevent teen pregnancy and STDs/STIs and promotes healthy relationships. All services are free! Website

Click here for an informative booklet about navigating the military enlistment process and providing information to help you decide if military enlistment is right for you.

Click here for an informative flier about what documents DCS should give you within 30 days of your 18th birthday.