Young people between the ages of 14 and 26, who are currently or were previously in foster care, are eligible for emergency Pandemic Relief Funds through the federal $2.3 trillion Consolidated Appropriations Act.
More than $4.1 million will be available to youth in South Carolina to be distributed by the South Carolina Department of Social Services’ (SCDSS) Chafee/ETV Program.
The program works to help young people in the successful transition to adulthood. Currently in South Carolina, there are 3,847 youth potentially eligible for a share of this targeted stimulus support.
The potential benefits for eligible youth include:
• Funds to assist with basic needs like food, access to technology, and other expenses.
• The ETV award is temporarily raised to up to $12,000 per academic year for higher education.
• Housing Assistance and resources to help eligible youth get into or maintain a home.
• Ability to re-enter foster care if the youth is under age 22 and aged out of foster care between 01/27/2020 through 04/30/2021.
• Transportation allowance to help with obtaining or maintaining a vehicle.
• Ability to remain in care so youth do not age out during the crisis and gain access to more support.
Michael Leach, DSS State Director says, “These funds are a tremendous help to both our current and recent foster youth. They will now have greater flexibility to pursue their professional, career, and education goals by lessening the burden of day-to-day expenses.” Eligible youth will need to add their name to the Older Youth Pandemic Relief list for South Carolina which is administered by SCDSS. Having a youth’s information on the agency-maintained list will help the agency to distribute the funds to eligible youth as soon as possible. Please note SCDSS will need to verify foster care history and youth will need to meet the age requirements to receive these benefits.
More information on this one-time funding opportunity can be found on the agency’s website here.
Additional questions can be sent directly to this program by calling 803-995-0835 or by emailing [email protected]