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Resources for Youth

Educating yourself about the foster care system and process will help you understand your choices and know what to expect while in care. The following resources and tools can help you understand what to expect, provide ideas for staying involved in the permanency process, and connect you to additional help and support.

What to expect when entering foster care

Your Bill of Rights: A Collection of Rights for Youth in Care (PDF - 208 KB)
National Resource Center for Youth Development (2014)
View Abstract and Document
Provides youth and their service providers with an overview of the services and supports offered through foster care and outlines key issues to address permanency, safety, and well-being.

Permanency Plans for Youth in Care in Pennsylvania
Juvenile Law Center (2010)
Reviews different permanency options for youth receiving child welfare services, including adoption, subsidized and unsubsidized permanent legal custodianship, placement with relatives, another planned permanent living arrangement with a permanency resource, and more.

Spending Time in Foster Care: A Guide for Children
National Association of Social Workers (2007)
Offers information and tips for youth entering foster care about feelings that may arise while in care, reasons for entering foster care, what may happen if a permanency plan calls for reunification or adoption, and ways to make the foster care experience better. This guide also discusses biological and foster family relationships, the role of the court, and how youth can talk to their guardians ad litem or their court-appointed special advocates about their desires.

Represent: The Voice of Youth in Care
Youth Communication
Provides inspiration and information to youth in foster care by bringing awareness to specific topics. Written by youth in care, the magazine features articles that discuss topics and stories related to life in foster care, being in a foster home, working with a social worker, and more.

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Staying involved in your permanency plan

10 Facts Every Foster Youth Should Know
Foster Youth Help California (2011)
Educates youth in foster care in California about their rights and options and provides resources on how to receive benefits to which they are entitled.

Know Your Rights: Family Team Conferences (PDF - 30 KB)
The Legal Aid Society (2010)
Explains how family team conferences (FTCs) bring together youth, their families, and the people working with them to plan for the future. The brochure describes who can attend FTCs, what is discussed, when they take place, the permanency planning goal, how to prepare for the FTC, and what participants should expect to do at the FTCs.

Your Voice Matters: Speaking Out by Speaking Up
Foster Care and Adoption Resource Center (2009)
Provides tips for youth in foster care and youth who have been adopted in Wisconsin. The tip sheet explains the importance of youth speaking out about foster care and adoption issues that are important to them. It also includes strategies for youth advocacy and social change.

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Finding support

iFoster for Youth
Provides youth with resources, such as free and deeply discounted products and services, by partnering with companies, government agencies, and nonprofits.

Connects, educates, inspires, and represents youth in and from foster care. The website provides information on entering foster care, youth rights in foster care, normalcy, keeping connected to siblings, and youth stories as part of the #FosterEquality campaign.

Foster Care Alumni of America
Provides a place for youth currently or formerly in foster care to connect with others. The website also includes links to resources on topics including housing, education, health, and mental health.

Youth Success NYC
Provides resources to help youth in care and after care build good relationships with birth parents and foster parents and offers information on how to adjust.

State Independent Living and Education and Training Voucher (ETV) Coordinators
Series Title Related Organizations Lists
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Availability View
Year Published 2017
The Education and Training Voucher (ETV) Program was originally created in 2001 with the passage of the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Amendments of 2001. Eligibility was expanded in 2008 with the Fostering Connection to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act. The purpose of ETV is to provide financial assistance for post-secondary training and education to youth who have aged out of foster care or who have left foster care after age 16 for kinship guardianship or adoption. Listed below is each State's ETV contact information.

Offers interactive tools and other resources to help youth-serving organizations and community partnerships plan, implement, and participate in effective programs for youth. The website includes resource pages such as Transition & Aging Out, Pregnancy Prevention, and Positive Youth Development.

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