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Help for Young Adults

Kids Central and its partners provide Independent Living services to youth and young adults in the foster care system in Central Florida’s Circuit 5. We work to prepare the youth for adulthood and life after foster care. This equips these young people with the essential skills to function successfully on their own. Additional services such as transportation, housing assistance, and emotional support are also available if certain requirements are met. If you or someone you know is a foster youth transitioning to adulthood, Kids Central is here to help.

Each year youth age out of foster care without reunification or finding a permanent home. Rather than leave these children cut-off and alone, Kids Central taps state, federal community and donated resources to provide them with critical tools for a successful transition to adulthood. Once a youth ages-out of the foster care system, there are several services that he or she can access if certain requirements are met: transportation, housing and housing assistance, as well as emotional support.

Independent Living Youth Support Services

Extended Foster Care (EFC)

Extended Foster Care

Following legislation to improve the opportunities for success of foster care youth, youth turning 18 years of age may continue to remain in extended foster care until the age of 21. As long as the youth is making progress toward an agreed upon plan, whether that is to continue their education or obtain a job, or participate in a program designed to give them job skills the youth are welcome to stay in foster care beyond their 18th birthday. Kids Central has identified host homes to provide extended foster care services to these youth.

For a youth to be eligible for EFC, a young adult must meet the following requirements:

  • Be living in a licensed placement on his or her 18th birthday.
  • Continue to live in a supervised setting after his or her 18th birthday – which means a family foster home, group home, or supervised independent living location.
  • Meet monthly with his or her case manager to discuss progress, issues, needs, etc. and to collaborate with them on Transition Plans, Case Plans, and Judicial Review Reports.
  • Sign appropriate and necessary releases to allow the case manager to verify participation in the qualifying activities.

Qualifying Activities

  • Be enrolled full-time in secondary school / GED program OR
  • Be enrolled in a post-secondary or vocational institution OR
  • Participate in a program or activity designed to promote or eliminate barriers to employment (such as job skills training; internships; substance abuse programs; other therapeutic programs; etc) OR
  • Be employed for at least 80 hours per month OR
  • Have a documented condition that does not permit full-time engagement in these qualifying activities.

Age Limitations
Young adults may remain in EFC until their 21st birthday OR until their 22nd birthday if they have a disability:

Young adults may remain in Road to Independence until their 23rd birthday:
FS 409.1451(2)(5) reads that a young adult may remain in the Road-to-Independence program until he or she, “has reached 18 years of age but is not yet 23 years of age”

For young adults who were in licensed foster care at the age of 18 and had spent at least 6 months in licensed care during their lifetimes, there are two types of educational support available – regardless of their participation in Extended Foster Care.

Post-Secondary Educational Services and Supports (PESS)

Post-Secondary Educational Services and Supports (PESS)

PESS: The Post-secondary Educational Services and Supports (PESS) program provides $1,256 in financial assistance monthly for young adults ages 18 through 22 who meet the eligibility requirements below:

  • Has earned a standard high school diploma or its equivalent.
  • Is enrolled full time in a Bright Futures approved, post-secondary educational institution (college, community college, and vocational education programs).
  • Has spent at least 6 months in licensed care before reaching 18th birthday.
  • Was living in licensed care on their 18th birthday OR was adopted or placed with a court-approved dependency guardian after age 16 AND had spent at least 6 months in licensed care within the 12 months immediately preceding adoption or placement.
  • Has applied for other grants and scholarships for which he or she may qualify and has submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Has signed an agreement to allow the department and the community-based care lead agency access to all necessary records, including school records.

Aftercare Services

Aftercare Services

Young adults who do not participate in either Extended Foster Care or PESS may receive services or funding from the state’s new After Care Program which went into effect January 1, 2014.

The After Care program is temporary in nature and intended to provide only a safety net; services should be designed to help transition the young adult either to independence or to help them return to Extended Foster Care or PESS. Services/supports that can be provided through the After Care program include, but are not limited to, mental health services and substance abuse counseling; life skills classes, including financial literacy skills training; assistance with enrolling in or continuing Medicaid and preventive health activities; parenting classes; job and career skills training; mentoring and tutoring; counselor consultations; and temporary financial assistance for necessities, including, but not limited to, education supplies, transportation expenses, security deposits for rent and utilities, furnishings, household goods, and other basic living expense.

The specific services to be provided, including financial supports, are to be determined by a case manager’s assessment of the young adult and delivered by the community-based care provider or through referrals in the community. An application will be available before January 1, 2014.

Forms for Independent Living Youth

Application for Aftercare Services – Application for youth who have aged out of foster care to request aftercare services

Request for Extended Foster Care Services – Application packet for youth who have aged out of foster care to request extended foster care placement and services

Request for Postsecondary Education Services and Support  Application packet for youth who have aged out of foster care to request postsecondary education services and support (PESS)

Budget Sheet

Direct Deposit Form

Host Home Information Packet and Questionnaire – Packet of information on becoming a host home to extended foster care youth

attend an event

Help for Young Adults

Kids Central and its partners provide Independent Living services to youth and young adults in the foster care system in Central Florida’s Circuit 5. We work to prepare the youth for adulthood and life after foster care. This equips these young people with the essential skills to function successfully on their own. Additional services such as transportation, housing assistance, and emotional support are also available if certain requirements are met. If you or someone you know is a foster youth transitioning to adulthood, Kids Central is here to help.

Each year youth age out of foster care without reunification or finding a permanent home. Rather than leave these children cut-off and alone, Kids Central taps state, federal community and donated resources to provide them with critical tools for a successful transition to adulthood. Once a youth ages-out of the foster care system, there are several services that he or she can access if certain requirements are met: transportation, housing and housing assistance, as well as emotional support.

Independent Living Youth Support Services

Extended Foster Care (EFC)

Extended Foster Care

Following legislation to improve the opportunities for success of foster care youth, youth turning 18 years of age may continue to remain in extended foster care until the age of 21. As long as the youth is making progress toward an agreed upon plan, whether that is to continue their education or obtain a job, or participate in a program designed to give them job skills the youth are welcome to stay in foster care beyond their 18th birthday. Kids Central has identified host homes to provide extended foster care services to these youth.

For a youth to be eligible for EFC, a young adult must meet the following requirements:

  • Be living in a licensed placement on his or her 18th birthday.
  • Continue to live in a supervised setting after his or her 18th birthday – which means a family foster home, group home, or supervised independent living location.
  • Meet monthly with his or her case manager to discuss progress, issues, needs, etc. and to collaborate with them on Transition Plans, Case Plans, and Judicial Review Reports.
  • Sign appropriate and necessary releases to allow the case manager to verify participation in the qualifying activities.

Qualifying Activities

  • Be enrolled full-time in secondary school / GED program OR
  • Be enrolled in a post-secondary or vocational institution OR
  • Participate in a program or activity designed to promote or eliminate barriers to employment (such as job skills training; internships; substance abuse programs; other therapeutic programs; etc) OR
  • Be employed for at least 80 hours per month OR
  • Have a documented condition that does not permit full-time engagement in these qualifying activities.

Age Limitations
Young adults may remain in EFC until their 21st birthday OR until their 22nd birthday if they have a disability:

Young adults may remain in Road to Independence until their 23rd birthday:
FS 409.1451(2)(5) reads that a young adult may remain in the Road-to-Independence program until he or she, “has reached 18 years of age but is not yet 23 years of age”

For young adults who were in licensed foster care at the age of 18 and had spent at least 6 months in licensed care during their lifetimes, there are two types of educational support available – regardless of their participation in Extended Foster Care.

Post-Secondary Educational Services and Supports (PESS)

Post-Secondary Educational Services and Supports (PESS)

PESS: The Post-secondary Educational Services and Supports (PESS) program provides $1,256 in financial assistance monthly for young adults ages 18 through 22 who meet the eligibility requirements below:

  • Has earned a standard high school diploma or its equivalent.
  • Is enrolled full time in a Bright Futures approved, post-secondary educational institution (college, community college, and vocational education programs).
  • Has spent at least 6 months in licensed care before reaching 18th birthday.
  • Was living in licensed care on their 18th birthday OR was adopted or placed with a court-approved dependency guardian after age 16 AND had spent at least 6 months in licensed care within the 12 months immediately preceding adoption or placement.
  • Has applied for other grants and scholarships for which he or she may qualify and has submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Has signed an agreement to allow the department and the community-based care lead agency access to all necessary records, including school records.

Aftercare Services

Aftercare Services

Young adults who do not participate in either Extended Foster Care or PESS may receive services or funding from the state’s new After Care Program which went into effect January 1, 2014.

The After Care program is temporary in nature and intended to provide only a safety net; services should be designed to help transition the young adult either to independence or to help them return to Extended Foster Care or PESS. Services/supports that can be provided through the After Care program include, but are not limited to, mental health services and substance abuse counseling; life skills classes, including financial literacy skills training; assistance with enrolling in or continuing Medicaid and preventive health activities; parenting classes; job and career skills training; mentoring and tutoring; counselor consultations; and temporary financial assistance for necessities, including, but not limited to, education supplies, transportation expenses, security deposits for rent and utilities, furnishings, household goods, and other basic living expense.

The specific services to be provided, including financial supports, are to be determined by a case manager’s assessment of the young adult and delivered by the community-based care provider or through referrals in the community. An application will be available before January 1, 2014.

Forms for Independent Living Youth

Application for Aftercare Services – Application for youth who have aged out of foster care to request aftercare services

Request for Extended Foster Care Services – Application packet for youth who have aged out of foster care to request extended foster care placement and services

Request for Postsecondary Education Services and Support  Application packet for youth who have aged out of foster care to request postsecondary education services and support (PESS)

Budget Sheet

Direct Deposit Form

Host Home Information Packet and Questionnaire – Packet of information on becoming a host home to extended foster care youth

attend an event