Finding a clean, safe, affordable place to live is often really hard. Leasing agents often will not sign a lease with a person who has no rental or credit history. They often won't lease to someone who is under 21 years of age. Housing is a required part of your transition plan. There is some money available (through TILP, AzETV, etc.) to help you get housing. Sharing expenses with a roommate or renting a room is a good way to build rental history. If you are attending post-secondary programs may also get housing in dorms or on campus. Some training programs, such as Phoenix Job Corps offer residency based programs.
Local Public Housing Authorities have housing resources. The resources are for people who are low income, veterans, or victims of domestic violence. They are for former foster youth. Transitional Living Programs (TLPs) are also in some areas of the state to help people age 18 and older. These programs are funded through federal, state and private money. TLPs are open to former foster youth. They are open to people who are currently homeless or at risk of homelessness. The following is a list of some community transitional housing resources.
Re-Entry into Voluntary Foster Care
Former foster youth who are legal residents of Arizona, and who left the Arizona foster care system at age 18 or older, may request to re-enter foster care, anytime prior to the 21st birthday. All foster care and other services end on the person’s 21st birthday.
Re-entering foster care means the DCS will assign a case manager to help create a case plan, arrange for services, and monitor progress. All services provided must complement the youth’s own efforts to become self-sufficient. Youth must work cooperatively with the case manager in order to benefit from services, which may include long-term case management and support, a monthly living stipend, and coordination of services.
Youth may request re-entry by contacting the local Transitional Independent Living Program (after care) provider. The TILP contract provider will initially work with the youth to resolve immediate housing, mental health, employment or other crises, and to confirm the youth’s desire to return to DCS care. Once this is complete the TILP staff will contact DCS to arrange a meeting with the local Re-Entry coordinator to ensure a smooth transition back into care.
If a youth changes his/her mind, and decides he/she does not wish to return to care, the youth may still receive assistance from the TILP provider, who will work with the youth to identify goals and arrange for supportive services. This type of assistance is available until the youth turns 21, on an as needed basis. Services provided must complement the youth’s own efforts to become self-sufficient.
Termination of Services
The Arizona Young Adult Program has many services and opportunities available to help foster youth develop the skills and connections necessary to make a smooth transition to adulthood. The program does require that the services provided complement the foster youth’s own efforts towards becoming self-sufficient. This means that youth must be trying to help themselves by actively participating in things like school, training, therapeutic and health services, etc.
The DCS Children’s Services Manual outlines the conditions under which services to a foster youth may be terminated.
Participation in the Independent Living Program or in voluntary continued out-of-home care will be concluded when the young adult has:
- reached the age of 18 and does not desire continued services; or
- reached the age of 21; or
- made a voluntary decision to withdraw from the program; or
- Generally demonstrated non-compliance with or refusal to meet the requirements of the case plan.
The department shall not terminate voluntary foster care services until all requirements are satisfied, including the case plan staffing, grievance/complaint process and development and implementation of an appropriate discharge plan.
The department shall not transition a young adult to a state of homelessness.
For more information on termination of services, click on the policy manual link and go to Chapter 5 Section 36 Preparing Youth for Age of Majority Voluntary Foster Care and Discharge Planning"
Youth also have a right to file a formal grievance, if he/she disagree with the termination of services. Click here for more information on resolving conflict and filing a grievance.
Resolving Conflict and Filing a Grievance
The Arizona Young Adult Program encourages youth to take advantage of services and supports available. These services and supports will be outlined in the case plan and agreed to by all parties (youth, case manager, service providers). The plan should be individualized and reflect what the youth’s wishes. If a youth age 18 or older does not actively participate in the case plan, the case manager may request termination of services. If the case manager recommends that services be terminated, the youth may take steps to have their situation reviewed. DCS policy states:
Clients, including children age 12 and older, out-of-home care providers, and service providers have the right to express dissatisfaction with services and/or treatment received.
Individuals served who have a complaint, will be provided a copy of the department’s written conflict resolution and grievance procedures and will be encouraged to raise the complaint informally with the supervisor for resolution. An individual may initiate a formal grievance request at any time during the process.
Conflicts shall be resolved at the lowest possible level.
Visit the Policy Manual for more information on how to file a grievance. Go to Chapter 7, Section 19, "Quality Assurance".