RESOURCES

You Have Rights

Oregon Foster Children’s Bill of RightsOn June 26, 2013 a law went into effect creating the Oregon Foster Children’s Bill of Rights and a Foster Child Ombudsman (a person children and youth can call directly). For more information about the Bill of Rights please contact Darin Mancuso (darin.mancuso@state.or.us). If you are in foster care and have concerns about where you are living or the services you are receiving please call the Ombudsman at 1-855-840-6036. If you are a supportive adult and you are concerned about the care, placement or services a foster youth is receiving please call the Ombudsman at 1-855-840-6036.

Housing

Independent Living Programs/Chaffee Housing Subsidy | Provides housing assistance to eligible young adults, skills training, job search assistance, and support groups for youth age 14 and over.

New Avenues for Youth |New Avenues for Youth offers programs and services that empower homeless youth to exit street life.  New Avenues believes that every young person should have food, shelter, and access to education and job training.

Health Care

Oregon Health Plan | Health care plans are available for eligible low-income Oregonians, from children and teens to adults. Applications are available online. Youth who age-out of foster care are automatically guaranteed OHP. If you have recently aged-out and do not have health coverage, contact your former caseworker, or caseworkers supervisor, ASAP.

A Home Within, Portland Chapter  | A Home Within is a national network of volunteer mental health professionals who provide for the emotional needs of current and former foster children at no cost.

Advocacy

Children First for Oregon | Children First for Oregon is a trusted, independent child advocacy organization committed to improving the lives of Oregon’s children and families by shaping statewide public policy.

Foster Care Alumni of America | The mission of Foster Care Alumni of America is to connect the alumni community and to transform policy and practice, ensuring opportunity for people in and from foster care.

Legal

Youth, Rights & Justice | A non-profit law firm that serves foster care children and youth. Also provides resources and information for teens as they transition out of foster care.

Education

Oregon Tuition and Fee Waiver: On January 1, 2012 a law went into effect creating the Former Foster Youth Tuition & Free Waiver. You can use the waiver at any public university or community college in Oregon. For more information and to see if you qualify visit Oregon Tuition and Fee Waiver. For additional Tuition and Fee Waiver information visit Tuition and Fee Waiver FAQ.

Federal Pell Grant: Foster youth are eligible for this grant as they have “independent” status.  Accessed through http://fafsa.ed.gov/ The following provides solutions to the questions foster youth, adopted youth, or youth in a guardianship have regarding how to answer questions about family income: Foster Youth and the FAFSA

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG):  Foster youth are eligible for this grant as they have “exceptional financial need”.  Access through http://www.fafsa.ed.gov

Oregon Opportunity Grant:  Foster youth often receive this grant due to financial need.  It can only be used by Oregon residents and at a nonprofit college or university in Oregon.  Access through completing the FAFSA.  To get more information go to http://www.getcollegefunds.org/ong.html

Education Training Voucher (ETV or ETV grant):  Funded through the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP).  This grant provides up to $3000.00 a year for youth who were in foster care (DHS or one of the federally recognized tribes)and dismissed from care at age 16 or older with 180 days of foster care placement services.  If a youth is receiving these funds at age 21, s/he is eligible to apply for funding until age 23.  Access application through http://www.OSAC.state.or.us/ChafeeETV.html

Oregon Student Assistance Commission:  Hundreds of scholarships are available through the Oregon Student Assistance Commission at http://www.getcollegefunds.org including the following:

DREAM Scholarship for Foster Youth aka Former Foster Children Scholarship:  This scholarship was initially funded by the Oregon Legislature but is now funded by private donations.  Primary eligibility are for those youth who meet the requirements for the ETV listed above.  However, as a secondary purpose, this scholarship can serve any youth who was in a child welfare system – youth who are adopted between the ages of 14 ½ and 16, did not receive Chafee funds before age 21, or are over age 23.

Irmgard Schultz Scholarship:  This scholarship is privately funded and can be accessed through OSAC.   Note: Foster youth are a secondary priority.  First priority is to any graduate from Jackson County.

Orphan Foundation of America Scholarship Program:  Several scholarships are available through the Orphan Foundation of America including the Casey Family Scholarships.  For more information go to www.orphan.org and click on ‘scholarships’.

National Foster Parent Association Scholarships:  To get more information go to http://www.nfpainc.org.  This website also lists a full scholarship for the University of Phoenix.

Fostering A Future: Scholarship to benefit youth adopted from foster care after age 13. http://www.childrensactionnetwork.org/scholarship.htm

ASPIRE | Administered by the Oregon Student Assistance Commission, ASPIRE (Access to Student assistance Programs In Reach of Everyone) is Oregon’s official mentoring program to help students access education and training beyond high school. Students receive information about college options, admission, and financial aid from trained and supportive, ASPIRE volunteer mentors who work one-on-one with them throughout the year.

College Goal Oregon | College Goal Oregon is a FREE event designed to help Oregon college-bound students and their families with the financial aid application process. Everyone is invited to attend this event, whether they are high school or non-traditional returning students. Financial aid professionals will be on hand to help attendees complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Oregon Student Assistance Commission (OSAC) scholarship application.

College Possible | The College Possible Portland website is a resource for low income Oregonians in the Portland area thinking of returning to college to obtain skills or a degree—or considering college for the first time.

Fastweb |This website has information you need for daily college survival! Like what to major in and how to get out of paying for text books. They offer Financial aid advice from industry experts, plus your personal financial aid questions answered. You can also find help searching for internships, jobs, and volunteer opportunities that look great on your resume. Here, you have access to inside information on scholarships, including scholarship spotlights, tips from real Fastweb winners and how to win awards.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid [FAFSA] | The official document used by every college and university to determine eligibility for Federal Student Aid. A copy of this document is often required by a scholarship program.

Get College Funds | Get College Funds is the state of Oregon’s official website for student financial aid, grants, and scholarship opportunities administered by the Oregon Student Assistance Commission.

Guardian Scholars Program | The Guardian Scholars Program is a comprehensive program that supports former foster youth in their efforts to gain a university, community college or trade school education.

National Council on Black American Affairs | The National Council on Black American Affairs serves as a collaborative voice, promoting the academic success of African American students, faculty, staff and administrators. Statistics show that in some states, over half of this number is African American and Latina/o. Nationally, only 40% to 50% of foster youth graduate from high school.  Of those, less than 2% graduate from college. Click here to read more about our Foster Youth Alumni Success Initiative.

Oregon Student Assistance Commission [OSAC] | OSAC administers a variety of State of Oregon, Federal, and privately funded student financial aid programs for the benefit of Oregonians attending institutions of postsecondary education. This agency was formerly known as the Oregon State Scholarship Commission.

Sisters Graduate Resource Organization [GRO] | Sisters Graduate Resource Organization recognizes that a vibrant community fosters the dreams, ambitions and goals of its young people. We are dedicated to the growth of our community’s future by championing post-high school education through scholarships and graduate support programs. By investing in Sisters Graduates, we invest in our community.

Mentoring & Community Supports

Boys and Girls Aid | Oregon-based organization that helps teens and young adults with Independent Living Services (ILS), Transitional Living Program (TLP), Safe Place, or The STEP program.

Department of Human Services | Coordinates foster and adoptive parenting programs, and provides resources and assistance for foster parents and families. Includes information on how businesses and communities can help support children in foster care.

Foster Club | A national network for youth in foster care that provides support and lists events, programs, and resources. Local news, conferences, and meetings are posted by state.

Foster Care Alumni of America | A support network for those in foster care, connecting youth with former foster care “alumni.”

The Inn | Provides one-on-one, community based mentoring for teens transitioning from foster care in Multnomah County.

FYI3 (For Youth who are Involved, Informed, and Independent) | Offers information and advice for teens and those aging out of foster care.

Oregon Foster Youth Connection | A youth driven advocacy organization that trains and empowers current and former foster youth to get involved in the development of policies, programs, and practices that affect foster care youth.

ASPIRE | Administered by the Oregon Student Assistance Commission, ASPIRE (Access to Student assistance Programs In Reach of Everyone) is Oregon’s official mentoring program to help students access education and training beyond high school. Students receive information about college options, admission, and financial aid from trained and supportive, ASPIRE volunteer mentors who work one-on-one with them throughout the year.

Friends of the Children | Friends of the Children provides our community’s most vulnerable children with full-time, paid, professionally trained mentors (called Friends) to ensure that each child has a positive, consistent and supportive adult in his or her life. We begin working with children in Kindergarten and continue to support them for 12 1/2 years, through high school graduation.

Insights Teen Parent Program  | Insights is devoted exclusively to the needs of parenting adolescents and their children. They offer parent education, child development screenings, peer support, school advocacy, transitional and short term housing, and much more.

We empower communities to advocate for kids so all children in Oregon can thrive.

ABOUT US

Oregon Foster Youth Connection is a program of Our Children Oregon.

Learn more at www.ourchildrenoregon.org

CONTACT US

info@ofyc.org
(503) 236-9754

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