In Ohio, public children services agencies such as LCCS are required to provide independent living services to all youth ages 14 and older that are in agency custody, to prepare them for future self-sufficiency. Services provided include an independent living skills assessment to determine the youth’s goals, along with:
- Academic support
- Budget and financial management
- Career preparation
- Employment programs or vocational training
- Family support and healthy marriage education
- Health education and risk prevention
- Housing education and home management
- Post-secondary educational support
Public children services agencies (PCSAs) are required to offer, on request, services and support to former foster youth up to age 21 who emancipated from agency custody at the age of 18. The agency evaluates the strengths and needs of the young adult to develop a customized service plan. The services and supports offered will complement the young adult’s own efforts to achieve self-sufficiency, and ensure that he or she recognizes and accepts their personal responsibility for preparing for, and then making the transition from, adolescence to adulthood.
For information about Post Emancipation Services, contact LCCS Intake at 419-213-2273.
Bridges is a voluntary program available to young adults not yet age 21 who left foster care in Ohio at ages 18, 19 or 20, and who are in school, working, participating in an employment program, or have a medical condition that prevents them from going to school or working. The program supplements existing county post-emancipation services. To learn more about the BRIDGES program, qualifications and how to apply, visit the BRIDGES website.
Education Training Voucher
The Ohio Education Training Voucher program provides up to $5,000 a year in federal funding for qualified school-related expenses. Funding is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible current or former foster students who:
- Were in U.S. foster care on their 18th birthday and aged out at that time; OR,
- Were in foster care, legal custody or guardianship of a kinship caregiver at or after the age of 16; OR,
- Were adopted from U.S. foster care at age 16 and older; OR,
- Will have their foster care case closed between the ages of 18 and 21.
Eligible youth must be a U.S. citizen or qualified non-citizen. Their personal assets (bank account, car, home, etc.) cannot exceed $10,000. Students may apply for ETV funds up to the age of 25.
To learn more, visit http://www.fc2sprograms.org/ohio/.
OHIO Youth Advisory Board
The Overcoming Hurdles in Ohio Youth Advisory Board (OHIO YAB) is a statewide organization of young people ages 14 to 24 that have experienced foster care. OHIO YAB is a knowledgeable statewide voice that influences policies and practices that affect all youth who have or will experience out-of-home care. They provide an open and constructive venue for youth to connect with others who share the experience of foster care, express their ideas and opinions, and positively affect Ohio’s child welfare system. To learn more, visit fosteractionohio.org/yab.