RELEASE – Federal HHS approves Bridge to Independence program

***For Immediate Release***NE_Appleseed_Icons_AgingOut-128

August 21, 2014

Contact, Jeff Sheldon
Nebraska Appleseed
Office: (402) 438-8853
Mobile: (402) 840-7289
Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org

Federal HHS approves ‘Bridge to Independence’ program for young adults aging out of foster care

Today, Nebraska received official approval from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of Nebraska’s state plan amendment under LB 216, the “Young Adult Bridge to Independence Act,” passed by the Nebraska Legislature in the 2013 session and refined by LB 853, passed during the 2014 session.

This approval means eligible young adults can begin to participate in the Bridge to Independence program within 60 days, on or before October 20, 2014.

The Bridge to Independence program will improve outcomes for young adults who age out of foster care by creating a system of voluntary supports to age 21, including housing support, health care, and young adult-directed case management designed to help the young people make a successful transition to adulthood.

“With the final federal approval now given, young Nebraskans who age out of foster care finally will be able to get valuable tools to become successful, healthy adults,” said State Senator Amanda McGill, sponsor of LB 216 and LB 853. “I want to give my great thanks to all of the young people who gave input on this program and the stakeholders who will help it work as successfully as possible for a brighter future for Nebraska’s youth.”

“The level of collaboration between stakeholders, experts, and the young people themselves makes us confident that the Bridge to Independence program will help more Nebraska youth arrive at the positive outcomes we all wish for,” said Nebraska Appleseed Child Welfare Director Sarah Helvey. “This will make a difference in the lives of hundreds of young people in Nebraska, giving them an opportunity to access critical services and support during a very important time in their lives.”

To learn more, see Appleseed’s fact sheet or visit neappleseed.org/B2I for additional details on the Bridge to Independence program.  Young adults who may be eligible should contact their local DHHS office with questions, and can also contact Nebraska Appleseed at (402) 438-8853.

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