With notice of the approval from the federal Department of Health and Human Services on August 19th, Nebraska’s Bridge to Independence program must begin within 60 days of this notice of approval. However, we are excited to share that the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has announced that the Bridge to Independence program will begin early, on October 1, 2014.
Bridge to Independence (B2I) is a program that extends services and support for youth who age out of foster care until they turn 21. This includes a monthly stipend that can be used for housing support, youth-directed case management and Medicaid. In this voluntary program, young adults can decide if they want to sign up and can do so at any time after they age out and before they turn 21.
Appleseed has been working to get the word out to partners through community trainings and by providing educational materials on the Bridge to Independence program. We have updated our B2I website with helpful fact sheets for young adults as well as professionals. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has developed a website, which will be live soon. They have also hired and trained a B2I staff of supervisors and Independence Coordinators, or case managers, who are gearing up for the upcoming start date.
If you are a young adult with questions about the B2I program, you can contact the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services or, for general information, Appleseed’s intake line at 800-845-3746. If you are a service provider or community professional and would like to receive hard copies of our materials or have questions about the Bridge to Independence program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.