Pilot program to help foster kids 'aging out' transition to adulthood

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RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A new pilot program aims to help Virginians who are "aging out" of the foster care system.

As one of his final acts as governor, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced the housing support pilot program, which will help Fostering Futures participants in Richmond and Charlottesville/Albemarle County.

Fostering Futures provides transitional assistance for up to three years for young people who are leaving foster care due to their age.

According to a release, this pilot program will help with additional housing support options such as rent subsidies, host homes and other methods of support based on best practices to ensure a successful transition to independent adulthood.

"I am proud of our bipartisan efforts through Fostering Futures to give young adults aging out of foster care support at a critical juncture in their life," said McAuliffe. "The pilot program I am announcing today will greatly enhance our ability to ensure that these young people have access to housing. All young people deserve the best possible chance to succeed in adulthood, and I have tasked several state agencies with using this pilot to create that opportunity for these young adults."

The state agencies include the Department of Social Services, the Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Virginia Housing Development Authority.

Grant recipients, which will be nonprofits, will develop and administer new the new housing support pilot at the local level.

They will develop housing support options for up to three years for each participant either during their time in Fostering Futures or through a transition time after Fostering Futures funds run out.

DSS will continue administering the Fostering Futures program and coordinate with the new housing support options.

DHCD will award grants from existing housing support resources to local nonprofits to provide direct assistance to young adults.

And VHDA will augment the DHCD-administered Affordable and Special Needs Housing program for each year of the pilot.

The pilot program is getting started with $1.8 million in investments for three years and will begin this summer.

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