Teens in foster care in North Carolina may continue receiving support services from their 18th to their 21st birthdays through Foster Care 18 to 21, which begins Jan. 1.
"Many young adults in foster care are not prepared for self-sufficiency by age 18," said N.C. Senior Director for Social Services and County Operations Wayne Black. "Their life experiences create additional challenges to overcome. Extending services to age 21 provides additional guidance and assistance, and offers a support network in early adulthood, allowing for independence with a safety net."
Young adults choosing to receive these services are more likely to obtain a high school diploma and enroll in college, and they are less likely to become involved in the criminal justice system.
Those who exit foster care at age 18 are able to return to the Foster Care 18 to 21 program at a later date as long as they have not reached their 21st birthday.
The Foster Care 18 to 21 program is a result of the 2015 session of the N.C. General Assembly, which extended for up to three years the provision of benefits and services to young adults aging out of foster care.
For more information on the program, contact your local county Department of Social Services.
The Division of Social Services provides guidance and technical assistance to agencies that provide direct services to address issues of poverty, family violence and exploitation. The Division promotes self-reliance and self-sufficiency, and works to prevent abuse, neglect, dependency and exploitation of vulnerable individuals, children and their families.