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Q: I am aging out of foster care, now what?

AYou’ve probably thought about this for a long time, but now that it’s closer – or here – leaving foster care can feel pretty overwhelming. Here’s another thought: in Arizona, you can transition out of foster care. You have options, support and opportunities that can begin before your 18th birthday – or later – and extend until you’re 21 years old and beyond.

It’s true that you have important decisions ahead of you – school, work, and housing – but you’ll have support and information to guide you. You’ll also have time to develop independent living skills, like how to budget your money and shop for healthy food. If you need to re-enter foster care for a while, you can do that," (FosteringAdvocatesArizona.org).

To access the information about the following resources, visit www.FosteringAdvocatesArizona.org:

  • Foster Club's Transition Toolkit
  • Independent Living Program
  • Transitional Independent Living Program
  • Independent Living Subsidy Program
  • Education & Training Voucher
  • Arizona Tuition Waiver
  • Young Adult Transitional Insurance

 

Q: What rights do I have in the foster care system?

AA foster care bill of rights lists protected rights and expectations for all people in the system, no matter their age. This list can be found under A.R.S. §8-529 and includes, but is not limited to, rights such as:

  • The ability to go to school
  • To attend court hearings and speak to the judge
  • To have records and personal information kept private

For those in the foster care system age 16 and older, rights include but are not limited to:

  • To be informed of educational opportunities before leaving foster care
  • To a transition plan that includes career planning and assistance with enrolling in an educational or vocational job training program
  • To receive assistance in obtaining an independent residency from their caseworker, attorney, or advocate when aging out of foster care

 

Q: I don’t have my birth certificate, how do I get one?

A: Your birth certificate, immunization records, and other personal information will be given to you within 30 days after leaving foster care (A.R.S. §8-529(B)(7)). If you are at least 16, you may also receive help getting a driver's license, social security card, and/or other personal identification (A.R.S. §8-529(B)(6)).

 

 

Laws may have changed since the last time this article was updated.  The current and most up-to-date laws can be accessed here.