Youth Villages YVLifeSet
Blueprints Program Rating: Promising
A community-based program that assists young people with histories of foster care or juvenile justice involvement in making a successful transition to adulthood by providing intensive, individualized, and clinically focused case management, support, and counseling. Specific goals include improved family relationships, increased high school graduation, decreased illicit substance use, and decreased intimate partner violence.
As a program that provides services to youth aging out of child welfare custody and with demonstrated impacts in the areas of housing stability, employment, mental health, and exposure to domestic violence, any local, state, or federal funding targeted at this population or the outcomes that the program achieves should be explored for funding options.
Historically, there has not been a pre-existing government funding stream that is a perfect match for YVLifeSet, so philanthropic funds have been raised to support program start-up and match government contributions through public-private partnerships. Implementing organizations continually assess new funding opportunities, actively encourage federal funding for this vulnerable population, and advocate for changes in existing funding such as the Fostering Connections to Success Act which allows Title IV-E funds toward placement, independent living allowances and case management. Outcome- and performance-based contracts may also be utilized in future funding arrangements.
Allocating State or Local General Funds
State and local funds targeted at opportunity youth, youth in child welfare custody, and youth at risk of homelessness could be used to fund YVLifeSet. State general funds, legislative appropriations, and special tax levies could provide state-specific funding. Existing funds from multiple state agencies (including child welfare, mental health, juvenile justice, workforce development) can be braided to fund YVLifeSet.
Maximizing Federal Funds
- Chafee Independent Living Program is a federal funding source dedicated to improving the outcomes of transition-age youth. These funds are mandatory and have been annually authorized at $140 million. The objective of this program is to flexibly fund activities that help current and former foster care youths achieve self-sufficiency. Services funded under this program include independent living programs, supplemental income for housing, financial management classes, and basic case management for young people ages 14 to 21.
- Social Service Block Grants (SSBGs) enable each state or territory to meet the needs of its residents through locally relevant social services. SSBGs support programs that allow communities to achieve or maintain economic self-sufficiency to prevent, reduce or eliminate dependency on social services. Each state determines specifically how SSBGs are utilized and which services are funded with SSBGs.
Discretionary Grants: Grants from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services could be utilized for funding.
Entitlements: In some jurisdictions, Medicaid funds have been utilized to partially fund YVLifeSet services. In North Carolina, a B-3 transitional living definition under the 1915(b)(c) waiver provides funding for some YVLifeSet participants. In other states, Medicaid state-plan community support and case management definitions may be utilized for partial funding of YVLifeSet.
Foundation Grants and Public-Private Partnerships
YVLifeSet has been awarded numerous grants from local, state and national foundations to cover costs of the program when state funding is unavailable or for young adults who otherwise would not qualify for funding to receive services.
When expanding the YVLifeSet program into new geographies, philanthropic support has been utilized in the following ways:
- Cover start-up costs (i.e. occupancy, computers and other equipment)
- Provide a time-limited match to offset the cost of services to the contracting entity
- Pilot YVLifeSet for a limited amount of time in order to demonstrate program effectiveness for the potential payer, leading to a contract for services when the pilot concludes