As a member of the Iowa Aftercare Services Network, Children’s Square U.S.A. provides voluntary services and support to young people ages 18-21 who have aged out of foster care or other court-ordered placement. Aftercare services guide young people toward stability and self-sufficiency in six key areas: education, employment, housing, health, life skills and relationships. Participants meet at least twice monthly with a Self-Sufficiency Advocate (SSA), who partners with youth to help them address barriers and develop skills to achieve their individual goals. In addition, needs-based financial support is available to youth who qualify for the Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) program.
Aftercare services may be contacted several months prior to a young person’s planned exit from the foster care system, State Training School, or court-ordered detention. Aftercare SSAs are available to attend Youth Transition Decision-Making (YTDM) meetings, transition meetings, or other events related to a young person’s transition from care. Involvement prior to discharge helps SSAs build a relationship with eligible youth and facilitates a connection to Aftercare services.
What Services are Available?
The Iowa Aftercare Services Network can help youth:
• Work on a plan for self-sufficiency
• Find and keep a safe place to live
• Pay for emergency and unexpected bills
• Find a doctor, dentist, or counselor
• Set and reach financial goals
• Go to college and/or get job training
• Find a job or career
• Connect with adult mentors or other community resources or opportunities
• Provide a stipend for an apartment, dormitory or continuation of foster home care for youth eligible for PAL
Who is eligible?
Iowa Aftercare Services Network can help if you are:
• A former foster care recipient who may have received services in a Family Foster
Home, a Group Home or through a DHS Supported Independent Living arrangement.
• At least 18 years old but not yet 21 years old and left foster care at age 17 1/2 or older.
• Currently living in Iowa.
Additional Programs and Components
Preparation for Adult Living (PAL)
Aftercare participants who left foster care after May 1, 2006, were at least age 18, and have a high school diploma or GED may be able to qualify for a monthly stipend to live in an approved living arrangement such as with former foster parents, in an apartment or a college dorm.
To qualify for the stipend, a PAL participant must be attending college, be in a work training program or be working. Regular meetings with a Self Sufficiency Advocate are also required.
Children’s Square U.S.A. provides Aftercare services in 21 counties, Pottawattamie, Mills, Cass, Guthrie, Audubon, Shelby, Harrison, Carroll, Crawford and Monona, Woodbury, Plymouth, Cherokee, Ida, Montgomery, Adams, Union, Fremont, Page, Taylor and Ringgold.
If you live in one of these counties and would like more information about this program, please call 712-322-3700 or fill out the form below and we will contact you.
For more information or to start enrollment: