Funding deployed during National Foster Care Month 2023
WASHINGTON - As the country marks National Foster Care Month, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced this weeka that it will make available $688 thousand to 12 public housing authorities (PHAs) in 9 states, including California, Oregon, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. These PHAs will receive a total of 80 Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) initiative vouchers to address foster youth homelessness. This new allocation of funding was made on a non-competitive basis, and the funding remains available to PHAs to access, as they receive referrals from a partnering Public Child Welfare Agency (PCWA). View all PHA awardees announced here.
According to National Foster Youth Institute, more than 250,000 children are placed into the foster care system in the United States every year., and more than 23,000 children will age out of the US foster care system every year. After reaching the age of 18, 20% of the children who were in foster care will become instantly homeless. Only 1 out of every 2 foster kids who age out of the system will have some form of gainful employment by the age of 24.
“We must make sure our nation’s foster youth have the same opportunity to succeed as their peers,” said Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia L. Fudge. “This funding will help public housing agencies meet the needs of youth who have aged out of the foster care program so they can have access to safe, stable, and affordable homes.
According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the share of children who are Black and in foster care is the lowest it has been in two decades. Even so, Black children are still overrepresented among youth in foster care relative to the general child population.
In 2021, Black children represented 14% of the total child population but 22% of all kids in foster care.
By comparison: White kids represent 49% of the nation’s child population and only 43% of its foster care population. Latino or Hispanic children represent 26% of kids nationwide, yet 22% of all kids in foster care. And Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander kids make up nearly 5.5% of the U.S. child population but only 1% of its foster care population. In other words, these three groups are under-represented in foster care when compared to their presence in the total child population.
Like Black children, American Indian and Alaska Native kids are also overrepresented in foster care, making up 2% of those in care and 1% of the child population.
Through the Foster Youth to Independence initiative, HUD is investing in a community response to homelessness and housing instability faced by youth involved in the child welfare system. FYI makes Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) assistance available to public housing agencies (PHAs) in partnership with public child welfare agencies (PCWAs). Under FYI, PHAs provide housing assistance on behalf of youth at least 18 years and not more than 24 years of age who left foster care, or will leave foster care within 90 days, and are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Funding for FYI remains available on a non-competitive basis for PHAs that have received referrals from their partnering PCWA for eligible youth. The process and eligibility requirements to apply for the Foster to Youth to Independence (FYI) non-competitive vouchers can be found in PIH Notice 2023-04: online.
About National Foster Care Month
On April 28, 2023, President Joe Biden issued a proclamation for National Foster Care Month. National Foster Care Month is an initiative of the Children's Bureau. Each May, the Children’s Bureau takes time to acknowledge foster parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, policymakers, child welfare professionals, and other members of the community who help children and youth in foster care find permanent homes and connections. The Children’s Bureau uses this time to renew its commitment to ensuring a bright future for the more than 391,000 children and youth in foster care and recognize those who make a meaningful difference in their lives.