Youth and Young Adult (YYA)
Becoming a teenager and navigating adulthood is fun and challenging for everyone. We are here to provide additional support to help you get where you want to be while enjoying the journey along the way.
Goals are all about the execution, if you have a dream but don’t quite know how to organize it, use the
I. Academic (Secondary) Support Services
· School Sponsored Activities (such as ROTC, Sports Team, Band)
· Non-School Sponsored Activities (such as Karate classes)
· Leadership/Scholar Programs ● School Related Fees (such as summer school and field trips)
· GED ● Tutoring ● Chromebook ● Senior Prom ● Senior Graduation Items
· Graduate Awards ● College Applications/Fees ● ACT/SAT Prep class and Test
II. Post-Secondary Education Support Services
· Academic Incentive ● Computer Bundle ● Graduate Awards
III. Employment Support Services
· License/certification ● Job Skills Training ● Uniforms/Footwear
· Interview Clothing ● Professional Attire
IV. Transportation Support Services
· Bus Pass ● Bicycle ● Funds To college orientation ● Funds To GED/vocational/college
· Funds To Job Skills Training ● Funds to travel to Work ● Home Visits from College
· Driver’s Education ● State ID/ Driver’s license ● Vehicle Repairs and/or maintenance
V. Housing and Transition Support Services
· Utilities deposit ● Rental application fees ● Rental Deposit fees
· Furniture ● Rental Assistance ● Interim Housing for College Students
· DDSN Household Essential Bundle ● Household Essential Bundle
· Dorm Essential Bundle ● Emergency Assistance
How can Chafee/ETV Program help me succeed?
- I am a former foster youth, what services can you provide me?
If you were a former foster youth at or after the age 14, please go to your local DSS county office and request a “Chafee/ETV after-care services”. The county will assign a DSS case manager to discuss your current situation and help you identify needed services. Chafee funded services are available until you reach age 21. Chafee funded services include academic support, transportation support, employment support and housing support. ETV funded services support post-secondary education or vocational programs, and are available for five years or until you reach age 26 (whichever comes first). Please review the Chafee and ETV booklet for more information.
- I want to be independent, but what does that look like?
Deciding what to do within the next five years can be overwhelming! But don’t feel like you have to do it alone. Your DSS Case manager and your DSS Transition Specialist will help guide you with identifying your goals and outlining the steps needed to achieve those goals. Your DSS Transition Specialist will help connect you with community resources to also help you achieve your goals. You will be able to share your thoughts and concerns at your Transition Plan Meeting.
- I am a senior in high school and I want to celebrate this achievement, but I worry about the extra costs.
We love celebrating our seniors! Chafee Program provides funding for Senior Prom Night to help pay for pictures, dress, suit, and grooming needs (such has hair and nail appointment). Chafee Program provides funds for graduation invitations, pictures, senior ring, yearbook, and senior trip. Chafee/ETV program also celebrates our graduating youths at the Annual Graduation Luncheon!
Not everyone is able to receive a diploma in a traditional manner, and the Chafee Program provides funding to assist with completing GED program. Any completion of a secondary program earns a graduate monetary award and an invitation to the Annual Graduation Luncheon.
- I want to go to college, but I worry that I cannot afford it.
We want you to have options for school and encourage you to prepare for the ACT/SAT; and don’t worry, Chafee program provides funding for test prep and the actual test. If you need further assistance to raise your grades, then Chafee program provides funding for tutoring. Your DSS case manager and DSS ETV Specialist will help you identify a program that fits your needs and interests.
ETV awards up to $5,000 per year for five (5) years or until age 26 (whichever comes first) to support going to college, technical program, and/or vocational program. ETV awards includes funds to support institution expenses, such as tuition, room/board, books, and fees. The ETV award also provides funds for supportive expenses such as rent (for off campus), transportation, and commuter meals. Please review the ETV application for more information.
- I want to be smart with my money, what do you suggest?
There is a computer based Financial Management program called FDIC: MoneySmart. It provides several modules to help you learn making smart decisions about your money. This course is actually needed in order to receive certain Chafee and ETV funds.
- I am ready to earn my own money, what can you do to help me get a job?
Gaining employment is an essential step towards financial independence. The Chafee program coordinates with several community partners to learn resume building, completing applications, interview skills, and work ethics. Your DSS case manager will be able to provide local resources. The Chafee program provides funding for interview clothing to help you feel confident during the interview. The Chafee program also provides funding for uniforms and footwear to maintain the job and transportation funds to get to work.
- I have saved enough money for my own car, what can you do to help me get a car?
The Chafee program provides funds for car insurance and vehicle repairs. The car title and insurance policy must be in your name. Check out the SCFPA On the Road Again, where former foster youth (ages 18-21) are awarded donated vehicles if they are either in school or working.
- I think I am ready to get my own apartment, what can you do to help me?
To qualify for assistance, you must be employed and earning sufficient income to maintain the residence prior to Chafee releasing housing assistance funds. Chafee program provides funding for furniture, rental application, rental deposit, utilities deposit, housing essential bundle and rental assistance for six (6) months. You will need to provide lease agreement and proof of income. You will also need to complete FDIC: MoneySmart. Please keep in mind that this a one-time award and you will be required to update your proof of employment and budget sheet after three months to make sure you are still headed on the right path.
- I thought I had it all figured out, but now I am couch hopping or experiences homelessness; what can you do to help me?
Please go to your local DSS county office and seek assistance. If you have aged out of foster care at age 18 and have not reached your 21st birthday, you can request to be placed in a DSS facility (foster home, transition home, or group home). Your situation will be assessed, and if placement is available, you will be asked to sign a Voluntary Placement Agreement. If a DSS placement is not available then community resources will be utilized to find safe housing.
- I went to a doctor’s visit and learned I don’t have medical insurance anymore; what happened to my insurance?
Medicaid is available for former foster youth until age 26. It is your responsibility to update your contact information and renew your application every year. You can contact SC Medicaid at (888) 549-0820 for activating your insurance coverage. Please remember to state that you were a former foster youth.
- I am a former foster youth and I want to share my story, what is the best way to share my experiences?
The Chafee/ETV Program is recruiting for Youth and Young Adult Advisory Council. The Chafee/ETV Program would love to hear from the very youth we strive to serve. Please email us at IndependentLiving@dss.sc.gov if you are interested in joining the youth council or you simply just want to share your thoughts.
At ages 17, 19, and 21 you will be asked to complete a survey that discusses your transition into adulthood experiences. The NYTD survey can be found here. The results of the survey are used to improve program development for all transitioning youth.
Youth and Young Adult “YYA” Corner: Take Charge of Your Future
No one is better to advocate for you and your future, than yourself! Join us at judgment free open forum in your area, with others your age to discuss your experiences in foster care and what you need to be successful.
For more information please email: IndependentLiving@dss.sc.gov
Youth and Young Adult “YYA” Council
Youth Advisory Council is an advisory group created to ensure that the voice of youths be heard when agencies are developing successful transition into adulthood programs. Youth Council comprises of any Chafee/ETV eligible youth. Youth Council Executive Board comprises of up to 12 youths ages 16 and over who either are currently in foster care, youths who have recently transitioned from care, and youths who have been adopted. Youth Council meets regularly to discuss program development and policy change; and make presentations at state-wide and national conferences.
If interested in being part of the youth advisory council, please email IndependentLiving@dss.sc.gov