Transitioning Out Of Foster Care
If you are 18 or older and preparing to leave the foster care system you should always talk with your lawyer before signing yourself out of care or before you turn 21. Your lawyer can help ensure that you receive all of the services you need and help come up with a plan that you agree to for safe housing, income and a supportive connection to an adult in your community. You can get more information about aging out of foster care by reading Lawyers for Children's handbook entitled You Are Not Alone: Aging Out of Foster Care. You can get a copy by calling (212) 966-6420 or read and print a copy online at
You should also know about the special community-based supports for young parents who have left foster care and you should talk about these programs with your lawyer BEFORE you leave foster care:
TASA: If you leave foster care before your 20th birthday, you may be able to access assistance through the Teen Age Services Act (TASA) Program. TASA programs work with pregnant or parenting adolescents who are receiving Public Assistance or Medicaid. TASA can help you access health services, public benefits, housing, education, family planning, parenting skills classes, and vocational programs. To learn how to enroll in TASA programs, call 311 or go to:
Women In Need offers transitional shelters, permanent supportive housing, supportive housing for special populations of mothers with children, job training and placement, and child care services. Unfortunately, however, Women In Need will only offer services to homeless women who have been in a shelter. You can contact Women In Need at (212) 695-4758.
If you are transitioning out of foster care, you probably have a lot of questions. Aging out requires a lot of planning and preparation and even more if you have children of your own. Be certain to stay in touch with your lawyer as questions come up.