The UNT PUSH program cannot achieve success alone. PUSH relies on a strong and growing network of community partners who provide support for current and future students. Only by working together can we ensure youth in foster care and foster care alumni across north Texas achieve positive educational outcomes. Within the DFW region, there are many non-profit and government agencies that collaboratively advocate and assist youth in foster care and beyond. Together with PUSH, these agencies seek to support foster care alumni in their journey through higher education.
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) Program
The Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) program was implemented to ensure older youth in foster care are prepared for their departure from the Texas Department of Family Protective Services care. PAL strives to provide youth with skills and resources they will need to be healthy, productive adults who will be able to face the challenges of adulthood and independence. Students who successfully complete PAL classes may be eligible for a wide range of Benefits for Youth Transitioning from Foster Care to Adulthood, including tuition and fee waivers to institutions of higher education in Texas. Student may contact their assigned Regional PAL Coordinator to access these benefits.
ACH Child and Family Services LIFE Project
The regional Supervised Independent Living (SIL) Program is contracted by TDFPS with the ACH Child and Family Services Life Project. The SIL Program is a type of voluntary Extended Foster Care placement where young adults can live on their own, not in foster care, yet still receive some benefits of being in care like receiving case management and support services that will help them become self-sufficient. You will not be supervised 24 hours a day and will live in your own college dorm room, apartment, shared housing, host home or non-college dorm. You will be able to manage your own finances, buy your own groceries and prepare meals and work with a landlord. To qualify for the SIL program, you must meet eligibility requirements for extended foster care. SIL is a wonderful resource that can help provide for an eligible student’s housing needs.
Court Appointed Special Advocates programs
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) programs are community-based programs that recruit, train and support citizen-volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courtroom and the community. These volunteer advocates ensure a child’s rights and needs are attended to while in foster care. Many CASA programs provide advocates that follow the children from the time they enter care until they reach permanency or emancipation from foster care. As such, they are important partners who help youth transition to adulthood and to vocational programs or college.
The LIFE Project promotes self-confidence and self-sufficiency for youth aging out of the foster care system by providing independent living housing options and skills development in CPS Region 3 (19 North Texas counties). ACH will assist youth in locating, securing and funding various housing options based on the youth’s desired location which includes college dorms, non-college dorms, shared housing host homes and apartments. Other available support services include case management, counseling, financial assistance through a bi-weekly allowance, household setup (furniture and supplies) and work and life skills development. Interested youth should apply for this resource through the DFPS State Office SIL Coordinator.
City Square – Transition Resource Action Center
The Transition Resource Action Center (TRAC) provides a “one stop” assessment/intake and referral facility for transitional living services for youth exiting foster and juvenile care in North Texas. TRAC brings together community resources and intensive case management service. It is the only such program in North Texas that exists to comprehensively address the needs of this population. TRAC is the regional safety net for former foster youth once they are on their own. Annually, TRAC helps more than 800 of the most challenged at-risk teens make a life plan and acquire skills they need to survive on their own after they turn 18. TRAC services include:
Education Reach for Texans
Education Reach for Texans seeks to eliminate barriers to success and build support programs for alumni of care attending public colleges and universities in the state of Texas. We are one of a growing group of organizations across the nation seeking to improve the success of former foster youth in postsecondary education. Historically, our main means for achieving this goal has been to hold state-wide convenings of postsecondary and child welfare professionals in order to facilitate sharing of ideas and spurring the implementation of campus-based support programs. While the convenings remain our core focus, we continue to expand our communication efforts in sharing both resources and information.