COVID-19 Supports Still Available for Youth and Young Adults Transitioning from Foster Care

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging young adults (Ages 18-21) eligible for the state’s extended foster care program who left the program during the COVID-19 Pandemic due to their age to apply for re-entry to receive available services and support.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, signed into law Dec. 27, 2020, continues to provide emergency relief to young people in or transitioning from foster care who are struggling because of the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic created challenges for us all and these challenges are especially complex for young adults transitioning from foster care,” said Carla McNeil, Child Welfare Permanency Planning Section Chief. “We want to encourage all young adults, who are currently or were formerly in foster care, to take full advantage of the supports and resources available to them so they can achieve optimal success.”

Some of the services and supports provided by the Foster Care 18 to 21 and the NC LINKS programs include funding to assist with the following expenses:

  • Transportation
  • Rent
  • Supplement income
  • Food and other basic household needs

Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, young adults ages 18–21 who exited the Foster Care 18 to 21 program during the pandemic due to their age must be provided the opportunity to re-enter the program. This applies to young adults 21 and older who left the program during the COVID-19 public health emergency, as defined under this law as between Jan. 27, 2020–April 20, 2021.

Young adults are allowed re-entry and access to services under this federal requirement until Sept. 30, 2021.

These young adults, and those who have remained in the program during the pandemic, should not be terminated from or denied entry into the program due to currently failing to meet the education or employment eligibility criteria.

NCDHHS’ Division of Social Services and local departments of social services are committed to the well-being of all North Carolina’s children, youth and young adults. The Child Welfare Services’ Foster Care 18 to 21 program and the NC LINKS program support the state’s youth and young adults in accessing the tools necessary to transition to an independent, self-sufficient adult.

For more information about how youth and young adults can access the Foster Care 18 to 21 and NC LINKS programs, contact your local department of social services; the State LINKS Program Coordinator, Erin Conner at or (919) 801-0369; or the Foster Care 18 to 21 Program Coordinator LeAnn McKoy at or (919) 527-6375.

Original Press Release is located at:


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