Foster Care Resources 

Updated+CBC.jpg
ET+Youth+Resources.png

Independent Living

Tuition and Fee Exemption

Florida provides tuition and fee exemptions to eligible young adults. The waiver is authorized at State (public) Universities, Colleges (public) in the Florida College System, and School District Workforce Education Programs.

Fee exemptions are offered to students if:

  • He or she is or was at the time he or she reached age 18 in the custody of the Department of Children and Families;

  • He or she was adopted from the Department of Children and Families after May 5, 1997;

  • He or she is or was at the time of reaching age 18 in the custody of a relative under s. 39.5085, F.S.;

  • He or she is or was at the time of reaching age 18 in the custody of a non-relative under s. 39.5085, F.S.; or,

  • He or she is or was at the time of reaching age 18 in the custody of a guardian under s. 39.6225, F.S.; or,

  • He or she was placed in a guardianship by the court after spending at least 6 months in the custody of the department after reaching 16 years of age.

**The exemption remains valid until the student reaches 28 years of age. See § 1009.25(1)(c), (d), Fla. Stat.

For questions regarding eligibility or how to obtain a Tuition and Fee Exemption form, CF-FSP 5220, contact your local Community Based Care Lead Agency or call Florida’s Independent Living Resource Center.

Florida’s Independent Living Resource Center serves as an information clearinghouse to address all areas of Independent Living Services.

CALL: 1-844-ILYOUTH (1-844-459-6884)

Source

Florida Education and Training Voucher (ETV) Program

https://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/independent-living/postsecondary-education-services.shtml

Tuition and Fee Exemption Program: https://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/independent-living/tuition-fee-exemption.shtml

State Legislation-240.235(5) http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_Mode=Display_Statute&URL=Ch0240/Sec235.htm&StatuteYear=2000

For questions regarding eligibility or how to obtain a Tuition and Fee Exemption for Students Receiving or Formerly Receiving Services from the Department of Children and Families form, CF-FSP 5220, use one of the following methods:

Florida’s Independent Living Resource Center serves as an information clearinghouse to address all areas of Independent Living Services
CALL 1-844-ILYOUTH (1-844-459-6884)

State Contact

Brandi McCabe
Youth and Young Adult Transition Services Specialist
Florida Department of Children and Families
Building 1, Room 303K
1317 Winewood Boulevard
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0700
850-717-4218

Positive Pathways
Positive Pathways is a program sponsored by Educate Tomorrow Corps and the Florida Department of Children and Families.The program's mission is to support student support professionals who help youth from foster care transition to and through college. 

Dr. Steve J. Rios, Ed. D.
Senior Director
Positive Pathways Program
Educate Tomorrow
(954) 990-3848

Pathways@EducateTomorrow.org                                          
https://www.positivepathwaysflorida.org/

State Contact
Becky Pengelley
Department of Children and Families
Campus Coach Project Lead
becky.pengelley@myflfamilies.com

Campus-based Programs Focused on Students from Foster Care

     One of Positive Pathways' main objectives is to identify public colleges and universities where there is an urgent need for a dedicated program to serve students using  the DCF Tuition and Fee Exemption. Fortunately, a number of college and universities with high numbers of students in this category have established programs to work with this population. The leaders of these programs are experienced liaisons and active members of the Positive Pathways network. They are willing to answers questions related to your work with this population of students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colleges

Educate Tomorrow @ Miami Dade College

     Educate Tomorrow at Miami Dade College is a student support program that supports MDC students from foster youth, as well as homeless, unaccompanied or other disadvantaged youth. We also help students who receive the Department of Children and Families tuition waiver. We offer academic support and mentoring services through our Changemaker Corps Peer Mentor Program with the goal of creating a strong network of support, streamlined academic and financial advising, and access to services in the community in order to increase academic progress and graduation rates. For more information click here.

Wendy Joseph, MSW
Campus Coach, Educate Tomorrow at Single Stop
Miami Dade College
(305) 237-1514 | wjoseph@mdc.edu

MORE INFO

The Fostering Achievement Fellowship Program

     The Fostering Achievement Fellowship Program was established to address the overwhelming need for a comprehensive support structure to assist foster youth in making the transition from a structured foster care program to independent young adulthood. The Fellowship program will provide financial, academic, and social support to assist college bound youth aging out of foster care pursue a college education. These supports come in many forms, including individual and group meetings, the creation of educational plans, as well as the continued linkage of resources both within the TCC community and the Tallahassee community at large. For more information click here.

MORE INFO

MORE INFO

Universities

 

Educate Tomorrow at FAU

     The Educate Tomorrow at FAU Program is a student support program designed to support FAU students who receive the DCF or homeless tuition waiver.  We provide students with wrap around support services from admission to graduation, with a goal of creating a strong foundation of support, academic coaching and advising, and access to services on and off campus in order to increase academic progress and graduation rates.For more information click here.

Tracyann Burton
Assistant Director
Educate Tomorrow at FAU Program
(561) 297-3064
educatetomorrow@fau.edu

MORE INFO

The Unconquered Scholars Program

     The Unconquered Scholars Program provides an array of support services promoting overall success to youth who experienced foster care, homelessness, relative care, or ward of the State status. Many Scholars have faced profound hardships during childhood that may increase their risk of leaving academia without a degree. In fact, research indicates former foster youth are far less likely to earn a degree than their non-foster care peers. Florida State University is committed to meeting the unique needs of Unconquered students so they experience the long-term professional and personal benefits associated with educational attainment. For more information click here.

Caitlin Cates
Program Coordinator
Unconquered Scholars
(850) 644-3605
cmcates@fsu.edu

MORE INFO

The Knight Alliance Network

     The Knight Alliance Network provides foster care alumni students with support as they transition to become successful students at the University of Central Florida (UCF). The program demystifies the college experience, assist students navigate through the university landscape, and help to prepare them to succeed UCF and beyond. For more information click here.

Tammy Nadeau, Ed. Specialist
Assistant Director
and State of Florida Campus Coach for Foster Care Alumni,

Multicultural Academic & Support Services (MASS)
University of Central Florida
407-823-1832 | tammie.nadeau@ucf.edu

MORE INFO

Fostering Panther Pride

     Florida International University’s Fostering Panther Pride (FPP) program offers tailored academic and support services to students identified as formerly in foster care or homeless.

     Launched in 2013, the primary goal of FPP is to assist former foster care youth and homeless students in their transition to FIU, their retention and graduation, and their pursuit of securing employment or graduate studies upon receiving their bachelor’s degree.

Anna Ramos

Program Director, Fostering Panther Pride,

Office of Student Access & Success Florida International University

305-348- 6106 |anramos@fiu.edu

 

FIU DCF WAIVER

MORE INFO

 

Colleges and Universities with Strong and Growing Campus-based Initiatives

First Star University of Miami Academy – Foster Care Youth Support

The Children and Youth Law Clinic is a key partner, along with UM’s School of Education and Human Development, in First Star University of Miami Academy -- a holistic college prep program for youth impacted by the child welfare system. Foster youth can get tuition waived at Florida state colleges, but lacking the skills, study habits and support, foster youth inevitably drop out. First Star’s goal is to change that and lay a foundation for success.

7+programs.jpg

Florida Organizations

Florida’s Independent Living Resource Center https://www.danielkids.org/our-programs/floridas-i-l-resource-center serves as an information clearinghouse to address all areas of Independent Living Services

Community-Based Care (CBC) Lead Agency Independent Living Contacts - Florida’s Child Welfare System is comprised of CBC Lead Agencies which combines the outsourcing of foster care and Independent Living services. This design provides community ownership over the programs and services designed to help older foster youth and young adults who have spent time in Florida’s System of Care.

Florida's Children First works to ensure that each child in care or in an at-risk situation will have a voice that is heard when decisions are made.  FCF uses legislative and policy advocacy, executive branch education and advocacy, training and technical assistance to lawyers and Guardians ad Litem representing children, public awareness, and filing of amicus briefs as strategies to improve child serving systems.

Educate Tomorrow supports and provides long-term, individualized academic and life coaching to young adults to of time improve economic stability, access to stable and affordable housing, educational success and physical/emotional well-being.

Employ Florida Marketplace, is Florida's official online portal to virtual job-matching services and many other workforce resources. This tool was created through partnership between government and the private sector, to respond to workforce needs in our state. If you are seeking a job, you may create and post your resume, search thousands of openings in any or all of our 67 counties and access other career-development tools.

Florida College System Strategic Plan: The Florida College System’s 28 institutions serve individuals, communities, and the state with low cost, high quality education opportunities. This plan describes the system's four goals.

Florida College System Annual Report on Students Receiving DCF Tuition Exemption: This report, published in October of 2018, includes data on the number of students using the exemption and the number receiving financial aid.

Florida Coalition for Children: The mission of the Florida Coalition for Children (FCC) is to advocate on behalf of Florida’s abused, abandoned, neglected, and at-risk children, and to support the agencies and individuals who work on their behalf.


Other States

California (University of Southern California School of Social Work): How to Support College Students Who Experienced Foster Care During School Breaks

National Organizations

Family and Youth Services Bureau, within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is responsible for federal programs that promote the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals, and communities. ACF programs aims, among other things, to empower individuals to increase their own economic independence and productivity.

National Independent Living Association

Foster Club is the national network for young people in foster care. The organization’s mission is to lead the efforts of young people in and from foster care to become connected, educated, inspired and represented so they can realize their personal potential and contribute to a better life for their peers. It includes three mini-sites, serving children, teens and adults. Fosterclub.com includes articles, contests, message boards for youth.

Make Your Voice Heard: A Guide to Dependency Court is a video for youth ages 12 to 18 that explains what happens in dependency court.

On the Strengthening Youth Partnership Web site, you can learn more about who you are, what you want to do and how to get there. If you are between 10 and 24 years old, take a look inside. It’s fun and the links will help you get started on building your future. MyFloridaYouth.com has lots of resources to help you learn about your strengths, interesting careers, opportunities and training and getting into a technical school or college.

Youth Communication helps teenagers develop their reading and writing skills so they can acquire the information they need to make thoughtful choices about their lives. YC does that by training teens in journalism and related skills; publishing magazines, books and other materials written and illustrated by young people; encouraging teens and the adults who work with them to use our publications to stimulate reading, writing, discussion, and reflection.

Scholarships and Funding Opportunities

Foster Club is the national network for young people in foster care. The organization’s mission is to lead the efforts of young people in and from foster care to become connected, educated, inspired and represented so they can realize their personal potential and contribute to a better life for their peers. It includes three mini-sites, serving children, teens and adults. Fosterclub.com includes articles, contests, message boards for youth.

Make Your Voice Heard: A Guide to Dependency Court. A video for youth ages 12 to 18 that explains what happens in dependency court and encourages youth to participate in hearings. In the video, Tammy Workman, Senior Policy Advisor for Transitional Youth Services at the Florida Department of Children and Families, is playing herself and former foster youth Tom Fair plays the role of a foster youth in court, while the other roles are acted by people from the court system and local community based care agency.

Strengthening Youth Partnership: A web site where you can learn more about who you are, what you want to do and how to get there. If you are between 10 and 24 years old, take a look inside. It’s fun and the links will help you get started on building your future. MyFloridaYouth.com has lots of resources to help you learn about your strengths, interesting careers, opportunities and training and getting into a technical school or college.

Youth Communication helps teenagers develop their reading and writing skills so they can acquire the information they need to make thoughtful choices about their lives. YC does that by training teens in journalism and related skills; • publishing magazines, books and other materials written and illustrated by young people; • encouraging teens and the adults who work with them to use our publications to stimulate reading, writing, discussion, and reflection.

Source

All+Colleges+Growth.jpg
SUS+Growth.jpg