Foster Youth

Learn to become an independent, successful adult

A young man in the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club helps a group of children cross the street

Becoming a successful adult takes planning and support from many people, including your family, mentors, caseworkers, and peers. The City has resources to help you leave foster care and thrive into adulthood.

Preparing for Adulthood

In NYC, you can stay in foster care until age 21. Once you’re 18, however, your foster care agency needs your written consent for you to remain in care.

As you prepare to age out of care and become fully independent, be sure you have the following in order:

  • Your documents
    Get copies of important documents, including your birth certificate, social security card, passport, and proper ID.
  • Health insurance & records
    Once you age out of care, you’re still eligible for health insurance until you’re 26 years old. Your case worker can help you get insurance and access your health records. If you’re working or in college, you may also be able to get insurance through your job or school.
    Learn about your options 
  • Housing
    Finding and keeping safe, stable housing is one of the most important things you can do to ensure a successful future. The Housing Academy Collaborative Program can help you get and keep housing. Check out the Finding an Apartment page for more helpful information.

Check out ACS ConnectME to learn more about resources available if you’re in foster care or preparing to leave.


There are many resources to help you get into and pay for college.

CUNY Foster Care Initiative
The CUNY Start and CUNY ASAP programs can help you prepare for college-level work and get fee waivers, tuition assistance, free MetroCards, paid internships, and more.
Learn how to apply

Financial aid
If you’ve been in care, you’re most likely eligible to attend a CUNY or SUNY school, tuition-free, through the Excelsior Scholarship. If you decide to go to a private school you can still get financial aid, including TAP and Pell grants, to help pay for school.
Learn more about ways to pay for school

There are lots of scholarships for youth in foster care. Be sure to check out the options available to you. Apply for foster youth scholarships

NYC has many resources to help you finish high school—especially if you choose a non-traditional route. Learn more about other ways to complete your high school education.

Get up to $5,000 per year for school

Education Training Vouchers (ETV) are available for foster youth, up to age 23, who attend college or a certified training program.

  • You can get up to $5,000 per year to help pay for tuition, student fees, room and board, books, supplies, etc.
  • You must apply for ETV before you turn 21.
Apply for ETV today


Finding a job can be an exciting but stressful process. The City has many resources to help you prepare for and find jobs.

Advance & Earn
Advance & Earn is a program for youth to increase reading and math skills to take high school equivalency tests and get job training, certifications, and paid internships.
Learn how to apply

Visit the Employment page to learn more about work opportunities.