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Youth ages 16-18, who are in foster care through Washington County Children Services, are required to provide independent living services to help them successfully transition into adulthood and become self-sufficient.  Children ages 18-21, who have already been emancipated from foster care, are also eligible to receive independent living services upon request.  Services include life-skills development training, education and vocational training, preventative health care, financial assistance, housing, employment, and assistance with developing positive relationships and support systems.

Education and Training Voucher Program (ETV) is made available to provide assistance to youth who emancipated from foster care or who were adopted from foster care at age 16 or older.  Up to $5,000 per year, per youth is available to help cover the cost of participation in post-secondary education.  These funds are available to address the financial hurdles that have prevented some foster youth and adoptees from pursing post-secondary education and training.  Aside from the traditional colleges and universities, these funds may also be used for post-secondary vocational and proprietary schools.  The Orphan Foundation of America serves as the conduit for the application process and the disbursement of assistance.  Youth may apply directly to the Orphans Foundation through Ohio’s link for the state voucher program at:  www.statevoucher.org.

For youth to succeed, we must all work together to engage them in planning for their future and help them make education and training choices that best meet their strengths, talents and dreams.