Are you turning 18 and want to stay in your current placement with your foster parents for a few more years? Headed off to college and need help with room and board? Are you working toward living on your own but think you might need a little extra support for a few more years? The Virginia Department of Social Services recognizes that your peers who are not in foster care are more likely to be able to stay at home and have additional supports into early adulthood, and wants to offer you that kind of support too.
Fostering Futures is a foster care program available to teens and young adults in foster care after they turn 18. This voluntary program allows your local department of social services (LDSS) to provide you with financial and social support and services until you are 21 years old. It can cover things like housing (with your foster parents, room and board at school, or supervised independent living when you are ready), education and/or job training assistance, and other independent living needs specifically for you.
How do I know if I am eligible?
If, on or after July 1, 2016, you turned 18 in foster care; or, you turned 18 while in a DJJ facility but had been in foster care when you entered; you may be eligible.
What will be expected of me?
- Your commitment to go to school, vocational training, or work
- Your willingness to continue to work with your foster care worker
- Your participation in the development of a transition plan and efforts to achieve your goals
- Completion of the Voluntary Continuing Services and Support Agreement (VCSSA)
- Your attendance at court hearing(s), administrative review(s), and case planning meetings
How do I apply?
You may apply for Fostering Futures anytime between 18 and 21 years of age.
- Before 18: Talk with your foster care worker and begin making plans
- Between 18-21: If you have left foster care, contact your LDSS and speak with your former foster care worker or another agency representative about Fostering Futures
What if I change my mind?
- If you did not apply near your 18th birthday and now want to, you are eligible to apply any time before you turn 21
- If you participated at some point but have exited the program, you may apply for re-entry any time before you turn 21
- If you are in the program and decide it is not for you, you may leave at any time
For specific details about the program and policy, click here.