For Immediate Release:
July 26, 2021
Amy Webb, Chief of Communications
Gavin Lesnick, Deputy Chief of Communications
Direct Payments Available for Youth Who Experienced Foster Care
Direct Payments Available for Youth Who Experienced Foster Care (LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) —New COVID-19 relief funding will assist youth and young adults who have experienced foster care in Arkansas to help them manage during the ongoing pandemic, the Arkansas Department of Human Services Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) announced today. Eligible individuals must apply between today and Aug. 31 to get the payment.
The payments, which will be funded by the federal Supporting Foster Youth and Families Through the Pandemic Act, will be one-time, direct payments of at least $750 to Arkansans ages 16 to 26 who have experienced foster care at some point between the ages of 16 and 21. DCFS officials estimate that about 4,000 youth are eligible for payments. Exact payment amounts will be based on the number of approved applicants. Payments will be issued by mail by Sept. 30 to the address provided on the application form.
“It can be challenging for youth who have experienced foster care to transition out of the system in the best of times,” said Crystal Jones, the Transitional Youth Services Program Manager for DCFS. “Doing so during the COVID-19 pandemic has made it that much harder, and we know these youth and young adults may face real issues in employment, housing, transportation and other areas. These payments are an important way we can provide support that will make a positive, lasting difference.”
Eligible youth can submit a request for a payment online at ar.gov/fostercarepayments.