As a teenager or young adult involved with child welfare, you have unique needs. There are many resources and tools available to support you during your child welfare experience and prepare you for a successful future. Use the resources below for information about transitioning to adulthood, furthering your education, locating a job, securing housing, managing your finances, taking care of your mental health, and more.
If you are a provider seeking resources for youth or a young person getting ready to or currently transitioning out of foster care, please visit our Transition to Adulthood and Independent Living and Resources for Youth Transitioning to Adulthood sections.
- Supporting mental health during times of uncertainty
- Social media tips to use when you’re in foster care
- Resources for expectant, pregnant, and parenting youth in foster care
Casey Life Skills
Casey Family Programs (2022)
Offers tools to help young people prepare for adulthood, including a life-skills assessment in three languages, a guidebook to develop a learning plan, training, and other supplemental resources.
Children’s Bureau’s Young Adult Consultant and National Youth in Transition Database Reviewer Programs
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau (2020)
Provides an overview of the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) Reviewer program and how young people with lived experience can apply to become a reviewer for State NYTD reviews.
iFoster for Youth
Links youth with resources, such as free and deeply discounted products and services, by partnering with companies, government agencies, and nonprofits.
The John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau (2023)
Provides an overview of the eligibility requirements and accessibility of resources and services that are available to youth and young adults who are in or are transitioning out of foster care.
For workers and other adults who support young people in achieving permanency, visit the web section Permanency for Specific Youth Populations
A Brief Overview of Foster Care
Family and Youth Initiative
Provides an overview of permanency plans for youth in out-of-home care, including what types of professionals will become part of their lives.
Improving How We Support Young People in Achieving Permanency
Discusses the need for permanency for young people with child welfare experience from the perspective of a young person who experienced out-of-home care.
Know Your Rights Guide: Chapter 1 – Rights Related to Family and Permanency
Juvenile Law Center
Presents information about family contact, permanency goals, reunification, termination of parental rights, adoption, legal custodianship, kinship placement, permanency pacts, and achieving permanency.
Let's Talk! My Path to My Future (PDF - 12,452 KB
Oklahoma Department of Human Services (2018)
Offers a list of rights for children in foster care and presents information on the importance of self-advocacy, resilience, confidence, and decision-making for youth. The resource reviews goal setting and helps youth consider permanency options and plan for their futures
SOUL Family Permanency Option for Older Youth in Foster Care
Annie E. Casey Foundation (2022)
Provides an overview of a proposed new permanency option for youth in foster care, SOUL, which involves establishing a legal connection between a young person and at least one caring adult without requiring the young person to sever their legal ties with their birth family.
8 Financial Tips for Young Adults
Provides financial tips for young adults about managing money, including the importance of self-control, thinking about the future, knowing where money goes, having an emergency fund, and saving for retirement.
Essential Money Management for Youth in Transition
Provides an overview and resources related to money management for youth preparing to transition to adulthood from foster care.
FAFSA for Foster Youth: Everything You Need To Know
Gives an overview of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which provides youth with child welfare experience assistance with secondary education expenses.
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Provides a list of resources on financial capability for youth who are preparing to or are currently transitioning out of foster care.
Financial Empowerment for Youth Who Age Out of Foster Care
Stresses the importance of financial well-being for youth preparing to transition out of foster care, including a list of States that offer extended foster care past the age of 18.
Helping Youth in Foster Care Start and Maintain Good Credit (PDF - 146 KB)
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (2019)
Discusses the importance of obtaining a credit check and how to build and maintain good credit.
The Keys to Your Financial Future Curriculum (PDF - 146 KB)
Annie E. Casey Foundation (2019)
Features information to help youth build knowledge and skills on financial matters.
What You Need to Know About Your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) When You Turn 18 (PDF - 859 KB)
Social Security Administration (2019)
Provides resources and information that youth with disabilities can use if they receive SSI benefits.
Understanding Money and Credit
California Department of Social Services
Provides a list of resources related to financial wellness available to youth who are part of the California Independent Living Program.
Foster Care Bill of Rights
National Conference of State Legislatures (2019)
Informs children and foster parents of youth's rights within the child welfare system and lists States and Territories where foster children's bills of rights have been enacted.
Know Your Rights Guide: Chapter 2 – Rights When You Are Placed in Foster Care
Juvenile Law Center
Discusses the varying types of placements for youth in out-of-home care, how decisions about placements are made, and how a young person can be an advocate for what they believe is the best placement for them.
Rights in Foster Care
Highlights the States that have established bills of rights for youth in foster care, including contact information for the offices and organizations that establish and advocate for those rights.
Youth Rights in Foster Care [Video]
Children’s Defense Fund Ohio (2022)
Discusses the importance of informing youth in out-of-home care of their rights.
State and local examples
The Answer Book: Education Rights for Youth in Foster Care
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Discusses the educational rights that youth in out-of-home care have in Massachusetts.
The Foster Youth Bill of Rights (PDF - 296 KB)
California Foster Care Ombudsman (2020)
Details the rights of youth in out-of-home care in California.
Iowa Foster Child and Youth Bill of Rights (PDF - 3,000 KB)
Iowa Department of Human Services (2022)
Details the rights of youth in out-of-home care in Iowa.
Oregon Foster Children’s Bill of Rights (PDF - 152 KB)
Oregon Department of Human Services (2017)
Details the rights of youth in out-of-home care in Oregon.
Rights of Children and Youth in Foster Care (PDF - 55 KB)
Washington Department of Children, Youth and Families (2019)
Details the rights of youth in out-of-home care in Washington.
Youth Advocacy & Rights
Fostering Advocates Arizona
Provides a list of the rights of all children in foster care in Arizona, as well as the additional rights of youth age 16 and older.
Youth Bill of Rights
D.C. Child and Family Services Agency
Details the rights of youth in out-of-home care in Washington, DC.