COVID-19 Information & FAQs

Sep 17, 2021 | COVID-19

Planning Through the Pandemic

Young adults currently or formerly in care are eligible for new and expanded assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This assistance is designed to remove barriers young adults may face due to the pandemic. The below provides information and guidance on this assistance.

Youth FAQ: COVID -19 RELIEF

Responses compiled by Rimy Morris and Justin Hayden

Basic Information

Why is there additional assistance available?
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a lot of youth currently and formerly in foster care to struggle and the government approved assistance to help relieve some of this stress and remove barriers to having basic needs met.
Who is eligible for this assistance?

Eligibility varies depending on which type of assistance you are seeking. Below is a general list of eligibility requirements:

  • Extension of Voluntary Services (VS): Youth age 18-26 who are not currently involved with DCS or OYS Provider.
  • Extension of Collaborative Care (CC): Youth who are currently in CC do not have to age out at this time; youth who have not yet reached age 22 may reenter CC.
  • Education and Training Voucher (ETV): Youth who are between the ages of 17-26 and are enrolled in post-secondary education or training program.
  • Financial Assistance (Stimulus Check): Youth in Voluntary Services.
  • Transportation Fund: Youth over 18 and in CC or Voluntary Services.
  • Basic Needs: CC and VS youth can reach out to their Older Youth Services (OYS) provider for help with things like:
    • Living Expenses: including rent, groceries, grocery or meal delivery, utilities, pay back payments and fees.
    • Technological Tools: cell phones, tablets, laptops, internet service, cell phone plans.
    • Medical Expenses: Not already covered by Medicaid. Provide respite care services and additional support for parenting or pregnant youth.
How much assistance is available?
It depends on what type of assistance you are requesting. Contact your OYS provider or ETV Specialist for details.
How do I get assistance?

Outside of ETV, any funds you request will go through your OYS Provider.

Reach out to your OYS provider (IL Worker) or Independent Living (IL) Specialist and they should be able to help walk you through the steps. Below are some general guidelines, but these are not all inclusive.

Transportation & Basic Needs – OYS Provider and request process will be determined by your provider.

ETV Program – you will get an additional $500 and any requests beyond that can be requested through an application on the ETV Website. Money must be used to remove barriers for you to return/stay in school.

Stimulus – $500 stimulus payment and then $100 a month to all youth participating in Voluntary Services until September 2021.

What can the assistance be used for?
Financial assistance can be used for a variety of things like basic needs, electronics, transportation, education, housing, etc. If there is something you need and you are unsure if the pandemic relief assistance can cover the costs, ask your OYS provider.

ETV assistance can be used to help you remain enrolled in school.

Extension of Services can be used to assign you an IL worker to help you find resources, access available financial assistance, and help you identify and achieve your goals.

How long will this assistance be available?
You will have access to this assistance until September 30, 2021.
What’s the catch?
There is no catch! This assistance is available with no strings attached. It is there to help youth who have struggled with getting their basic needs met during the pandemic.

Re-Entry & Continuation of Services

Who can re-enter Voluntary Services?
Funding can be used to provide additional support and services such as Youth who have experienced foster care after age 16 and are between 18-27 years old. You may also be eligible for additional Room and Board and EG&S Funds.
Who can re-enter Collaborative Care Services?
Youth who aged out of foster care who are between 18-22 years old.
How do I re-enter?
Youth can call the DCS hotline at 1-800-800-5556, contact their former OYS provider/IL Worker, or contact an IL Specialist.
I am currently in Collaborative Care but am not in school and am struggling to find employment. Can I continue to receive services?
Yes, youth are able to voluntarily remain in collaborative care regardless of their employment or school status until September 30, 2021.

Basic Needs

What needs can be met with this funding?
Funding can be used to provide additional support and services such as living expenses, technological tools, medical expenses that are not covered by Medicaid, or PPE equipment.
How long does it take to get what I requested?
It depends. OYS provider agencies, ETV staff, and others are going to be working as quickly as possible to help address your needs. It is recommended to keep in touch with your IL worker as much as possible to ensure you have completed all the steps in requesting your funds and have accessed all resources that are available to youth during the pandemic. This includes resources outside of these funds.

Transportation

Does DCS provide transportation assistance when there is not a pandemic?
Yes, DCS uses Chafee funding for eligible youth in foster care to attend drivers education classes. Per DCS policy, eligible youth’s initial permit and drivers license fees are waived by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).
What additional transportation assistance may I request from this fund?
Through September 2021, DCS can help you with transportation related costs they typically cannot pay for such as car repairs, insurance, and registration fees.
How do I request transportation assistance?
Please contact your OYS provider/IL Worker or IL Specialist to learn the process of requesting funds for transportation needs.

Education

Who is eligible to receive ETV?

Through September 30, 2021, youth who are between the ages of 17-26 and are enrolled in post-secondary education or training programs. Youth must have aged out of foster care or left foster care after age 16 due to guardianship or adoption. 
 
Starting October 1, 2021, youth who are between the ages of 17-26 and have maintained satisfactory academic progress.  Youth must have aged out of foster care or left foster care after age 16 due to guardianship or adoption. 
 
Until September 30, 2021, the satisfactory academic progress requirement has been waived. However, you must still complete an Academic Success Plan with your ETV Regional Coordinator.  
 
Go to www.indianaetv.org to complete an application.

What additional assistance is available through ETV?
The maximum award amount has been increased from up to $5000 up to $12,000 per academic school year for training and postsecondary education for eligible youth.
What do I have to do to get ETV funds this or next semester?
You must be enrolled in an approved post-secondary education or training program. You must also fill out the ETV application on the ETV website.
What do I have to do to get additional ETV funds?

Additional funding must be requested through an application on the ETV website (www.indianaetv.org). Funds must be used to remove barriers for you to return to or to stay enrolled in school or training programs. 

How long are SAP Guidelines waived?
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) guidelines are waived through September 30, 2021. You do not have to wait to get your GPA up to a 2.0, even if you stopped going to school before the pandemic. You can enroll now and receive ETV while the waiver is in effect until September 30, 2021. However, additional funds will remain in place until September 30, 2022.
Do I automatically get the assistance added to my ADP/Wisely card?

Eligible students will receive an additional $500 automatically added to their ADP/Wisely card. Additional assistance must be requested through the ETV COVID Relief Application that can be found on the ETV website (www.indianaetv.org)

Who do I contact for more information?

DCS OYI Team:

ETV Team:

OYS Providers:

  • Children’s Bureau
  • Damar Services
  • Geminius
  • George Junior Republic
  • The Villages

CLICK HERE to determine which agency provides OYS services in your area.

There are many factors that will determine the amount and type of assistance you may receive. This will vary and will be based on individual circumstances and needs. If there is something that you want to know please do not hesitate to call your OYS provider or IL Specialist.

College Campus Vaccine Information

Institutions across Indiana are preparing for students to return to campus.  Vaccination requirements are different from one campus to another and continually change.  Links below will connect you directly to each campus’s vaccination / COVID-19 information and help you prepare for your return.

Foster Success does not maintain the information provided and any questions should be directed to the specific university/college.

Campus
Ancillia College
Anderson University
Aviation Institute of Maintenance
Ball State University
Bethel College
Butler University
Calumet College of St. Joseph
Chamberlain University – Indianapolis
Franklin College
Grace College
Hanover College
Huntington University
Indiana State University
Indiana Tech
Indiana University – All Campuses
Indiana Wesleyan University
Ivy Tech Community College – All Campuses
Lincoln College of Technology (Indianapolis)
Manchester University
Marian University
Purdue University – Fort Wayne
Purdue University – Northwest
Purdue University – West Lafayette
Rose Hulman Institute of Technology
St. Mary of the Woods
University of Evansville
University of Indianapolis
University of Notre Dame
University of Saint Francis
University of Southern Indiana
Valparaiso University
Vincennes University
Wabash College
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