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Young Adult Services
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In order to best protect confidential and other important data, the ODJFS website will no longer support several outdated web browsers. Effective December 5, Internet Explorer 6 or older, Opera 4 or older and Netscape Navigator will no longer work on ODJFS sites that are https-enabled. Individuals can download the most recent version of Internet Explorer here and the most recent version of Opera here.

Independent Living Services

In Ohio, county public children services agencies (PCSAs) are required to provide independent living services to all youth ages 14 and older who are in foster care, to help prepare them for future self-sufficiency. These services include, but are not limited to, the following. They also may be available to 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds who aged out of foster care and who request help:

  • Academic support
  • Post-secondary educational support
  • Career preparation
  • Employment programs or vocational training
  • Budget and financial management
  • Housing education and home management
  • Health education and risk prevention
  • Family support and healthy marriage education
  • Mentoring
  • Supervised independent living
  • Room and board financial assistance

PCSAs can use the federal Chafee program and TANF independent living funds to support many of these activities. For more information, see the Independent Living Skills Toolkit (JFS 08046) and the Independent Living/Transitional Youth County Contact List.

Many counties offer the Ohio Department of Health’s Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) for older youth in foster care. For more information, visit the Ohio Department of Health, or see the list of PREP Service Providers.

Bridges

Bridges is a voluntary program available to young adults in Ohio who leave foster care 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. For more information, visit BridgesToSuccess.jfs.ohio.gov.

Education Training Voucher

The Ohio Education Training Voucher program provides up to $5,000 a year in federal funding for qualified school-related expenses for young people who aged out of foster care or who were adopted after age 16. To qualify, recipients must enroll in a full-time post-secondary education or training program by age 21, continue to be enrolled, and make satisfactory progress. Funding may be used for tuition, room and board, student loan repayment, books and supplies, transportation, and/or other related expenses. To learn more, visit http://www.fc2sprograms.org/ohio/.

National Youth in Transition Database

The National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) stores information from a series of surveys given to youth who have received independent living services. Youth chosen to participate are asked to complete a survey when they are 17, 19 and 21. The surveys are important to improving services to foster youth. For more information, see the National Youth in Transition Pamphlet (JFS 01289), or visit NYTD.ohio.gov/nytd.

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 who 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.