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DoHS Provides Life Skills Training for Youth Transitioning out of Foster Care

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Human Services (DoHS), Bureau for Social Services (BSS) announced additional services for youth preparing to transition out of foster care, including 22 new transitional living facility beds between Golden Girl Group Home in Ceredo, Stepping Stones in Lavalette, and Stepping Stone in Fairmont.Transitional Living (TL) services are provided to youth in foster care to assist in developing life skills and readiness for adulthood. Youth in foster care develop a transition plan and skills assessment with the guidance from qualified adults. TL facilities are designed to help youth establish their next steps as they move into adulthood.The custody and status of a youth at the time of removal and placement, prior to turning 18-years-old in care or being emancipated by the court, will determine the availability of Independent Living Subsides (ILS) and Education and Training Vouchers (ETV). To be eligible for any ILS or continued adoption/legal guardianship subsidy, a youth must either be working a minimum 80 hours per month or be attending an academic, vocational, or employment program; have a documented job search; or have a documented disability that prevents working or school attendance. Examples of additional supports provided to youth are listed below.MODIFY case managers can assist youth with school applications, financial aid, the FAFSA application, dorm or housing needs, and most other needs required to successfully earn their degrees and certifications. Agencies that have the Transition to Adulthood Program provide oversight, guidance, life skill training, and generally help young adults navigate the transition into adulthood. TL services are provided by the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia in Berkeley, Fayette, Greenbrier, Jackson, Jefferson, Marion, Monongalia, Monroe, Morgan, Raleigh, Summers, and Wood counties; NECCO in Boone, Cabell, Kanawha, Logan, Mason, Mingo, Putnam, and Wayne counties; and Youth Services System in Ohio and Wetzel counties.Youth formerly in foster care can receive medical coverage up to age 26. After age 18, youth will need to opt into Medicaid coverage that is extended a year at a time up to age 21. Youth will need to apply for Medicaid through their local office after that time period. Youth may apply online at wvpath.wv.gov, by calling (877) 176-1212, or completing an application at their local DoHS office. Foster Youth to Independence Initiative (FYI) is an initiative of the HUD program to provide housing vouchers to youth who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. FYI liaisons work in conjunction with local housing authorities. Youth 18- to 24-years-old who have left foster care or will leave foster care within 90 days and are homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless.To view and apply for career opportunities to support West Virginia youth, visit dhhr.wv.gov/Pages/Career-Opportunities—Social-Services-and-Health-Facilities.aspx.