Links for Current or Former Foster Youth

 
This page contains links to websites/resources that may be of assistance to current or former foster youth. 

Foster Care Alumni:  The Foster Care Alumni web site serves as a central meeting place for people from foster care who wish to connect to each other and to use their experiences to advocate on behalf of foster children.

Foster Care Ombudsman Program:  Provides help with foster care related complaints and issues and works to protect the rights of foster children. Also has links to crisis telephone numbers.

California Youth Connection (CYC): CYC is comprised of current and former foster youth who are using their experiences with the child welfare system to improve foster care, educate the public and policy makers about our unique needs and change the negative stereotypes many people have of foster youth. Members identify local issues, learn about the legislative process and then use grassroots and community organizing to create real change in the system.

I Can Afford College: Financial aid is available to assist students and families in meeting the costs of a college education. If you need help paying for fees, books, and other expenses, you should apply for financial aid.

There are a few basic types of aid: grants and scholarships, which don't have to be repaid; work-study jobs on or off campus; and loans, which must be repaid. Plus, at the California Community Colleges, you may receive a Board of Governors Enrollment Fee Waiver (BOGW) or assistance from other programs.

California Community Colleges financial aid programs serve over a half a million students each year with aid totaling nearly $900 million.  While these numbers are large, there is still evidence that many community college students are unaware of the available opportunities and their eligibility for financial aid.  This website will help you through the Financial Aid process.

California Chafee Grant Program gives up to $5,000 annually of free money to foster youth and former foster youth to use for college courses or vocational school training. And you don`t have to pay it back!
Are you a current or former foster youth?  Do you want to get vocational training or go to college? Then, visit this website - because a Chafee Grant is free money that can get you there.

Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA): This website walks you through the entire process to apply for Federal Financial Aid, and includes the on-line application, eligibility criteria, and deadlines. 

California Student Aid Commission: Provides information on the CalGrant, the Dream Act and provides links to apply for Financial Aid.

 
 

Scholarship Search Engines:  

 
 
There are a number of scholarship search engines available on the Internet. But be careful. Make sure scholarship information and offers you receive are legitimate; and remember that you don't have to pay to find scholarships or other financial aid. 
 
Scholarship scams prey on students who are young, vulnerable, and perhaps not as familiar with what to look out for when investigating funding options. Scholarship scams are generated for two reasons, to obtain money or to obtain personal details. The basic rules of life apply; you should never pay money up front in order to obtain money down the track and you should never give out personal details, especially identity, bank or credit card numbers, ever!

 

How to Spot a Scholarship Scam:

The United Stated Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides excellent resources and advice on how to avoid scholarship scams. The FTC also offers information about the latest scams out there, so if you are looking and considering a particular scholarship option it pays to consult: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0082-scholarship-and-financial-aid-scams

The telltale lines the FTC recommends looking for are:
  • The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back
  • You can't get this information anywhere else
  • I just need your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship
  • We'll do all the work
  • The scholarship will cost some money
  • You've been selected
  • You are a finalist in a contest (and it’s a contest you never entered)
It makes sense to look to trusted sources when making scholarship inquiries. Excellent resources for information include your school or local colleges, local government body, the library and the Department of Education.
 
While it does make sense to research any company or organizations you are considering dealing with, beware that these companies will not always be listed as fraudulent. In the United States there is nothing illegal about charging a fee for a service. If you do need to hire an organization to help with the paperwork involved in applying for a scholarship, make sure you read the fine print and don’t pay fees up front.
Another popular scam to avoid is the ‘seminar’. That unsolicited phone call inviting you to attend a seminar about scholarship opportunities, is very likely going to charge you for information that is available in the public domain. These organizations generally supply information services only, not scholarships.

 

EMPLOYMENT RESOURCES:  

 

Tulare County Employment Connection represents a partnership of agencies with a shared goal of serving job, education, and training seekers, as well as, employers in Tulare County.
 
Community Services and Training (CSET) serves to reveal the greatness that is in everyone, by providing education and training, facilitating youth and community development, and creating jobs and resources.

How to Become: Finding Your Dream Career provides detailed insight into 45 of today's most popular career fields, including accounting, engineering, medical assisting, nursing, firefighting, financial advising and teaching.  Each career has its own customized "how-to" guide, which starts by addressing important questions such as 'What does a medical assistant do'? and 'What skills are needed to succeed'?  The guide then dissects each of the educational and professional steps needed to enter the field, including coursework in high school, a college degree, on-the-job training, apprenticeships, and professional exams and certifications.  For those interested in the bigger picture, each how-to guide also includes resources and tools specific to the career in focus:

     - A directory of campus and online programs from accredited colleges and universities, related to the career;
     - A tool comparing salaries in the profession across the U.S.;
     - Salaries of closely related careers;
     - Job growth information and data; and 
     - Professional resources.


Fire Science On-Line: A Guide to Public Administration Degree Programs and Career Options
This site provides several guides for public service and safety careers including criminal justice, firefighting, homeland security, paramedic/EMT, and four others. Each guide features career and employment information, internship listings, scholarships, instructor information, and a degree search tool. 

 

OTHER RESOURCES:

 

Safe Kids
It’s common for people to assume that a home is a very safe place. Well, it may not be as safe as you think. Every year, there are millions of home injuries, resulting in around 20,000 deaths. Most of these deaths are caused by falls and poisonings but there are other cases like fires, burns, suffocation, drowning, electric shocks, and more.  This link was provided by Ms. Alicia Henderson and her 7th grade class at Montgomery Charter School (April 2011).

National Safety Council - Safety at Home
Safety in the home is more important now than ever. Preventable injuries and deaths are on the rise in homes and communities across the United States. To really make an impact, people need to be aware of the hazards around them and change their behaviors. The information you find in this section will help you do just that. 

SafeTeens.com
This website provides information on the dangers of the Internet and how to avoid them, so that you can take advantage of all the positive aspects of the Internet while avoiding most of its pitfalls.

 
 

FINANCIAL SMARTS

 

Money as you Grow: 20 Things Kids Need to Know to Live Financially Smart Lives

Project C.H.A.N.G.E. "Creating Habits and Awareness for the Next Generation's Economy" is a joint partnership between the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. It includes information on Dreaming Big, Spending Smart, Creating Choices, and also offers links to a Savings Calculator and Money Game.

My Personal Budget:  The objective of this project is for you to set up a budget that would allow you to live the type of life you would like, as well as to understand what skills and/or education you need to get there. This will include finding a house, finding a car, developing a budget, and finding a career that would match your income needs. This project does involve doing some calculations and setting up a budget on Excel, but it's main purpose is to allow you to have fun dreaming of the future while realizing what these dreams may cost.
What Kids Need to Know about Credit: Includes basic information about credit cards and provides links to other valuable financial literacy/education.
 

 

Return to Youth Empowerment Strategies for Success (YESS) Home Page.

Go to Resource Lending Library for Teens - under construction.

Go to Foster & Kinship Care Education Program Home Page.

 

Please email Linda Paredez at lindap@cos.edu if any of the links are no longer working, or if you know of other foster youth-oriented government or non-profit based websites that should be added to this page.

 

Last Updated: 7/28/2014 3:39 PM