Extended Foster Care Extension Payments: A Year in Review

In early 2021, Governor Jay Inslee signed Proclamation 21-02: Extended Eligibility for Foster Care Services in response to the Federal requirement that states must not exit young people from care beginning in March 2020. The Federal Moratorium, which removed the age limits on receiving Extended Foster Care (EFC), expired September 30, 2021.

Thanks to the incredible advocacy of foster care allies, alumni of care and legislative champions, $10.6 million in stipends were secured during the 2021 legislative session for youth aging out of the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF)’s Extended Foster Care (EFC) program. These additional funds extended financial assistance during the height of the pandemic, when almost 65% of youth transitioning out of foster care nationwide had lost their job.

“The funds have helped me immensely with paying my bills and rent. With the cost of gas and food being so high right now, it has been huge. I can’t even put into words how grateful I am for this program.”


DCYF partnered with Treehouse to provide direct cash payments to eligible young people, with payments beginning in April 2022 and ending June 2023. To date, more than $5.9 million has been distributed.

Administering the payments has taken extensive coordination between Treehouse and DCYF to identify and verify eligible youth, including those who live outside of Washington state. The Financial Resources team at Treehouse coordinated with DCYF and our young people to ensure a straightforward and efficient process, making sure payments are made in a timely manner, fielding questions and collecting feedback to improve the process.

“It was helpful because…it’s up to you to figure out your life, and if you never had or [were] shown, it’s very difficult, especially when you didn’t plan financially besides in the moment.”


What’s Next?

As we approach the final quarter of payments, staff began communicating with participants to remind them that the final payment under the EFC Extension program will arrive in July. In addition to continuing these reminders, staff are working with partners across the state to help identify additional resources for the participants and to connect them to other support systems within their communities.

“This program made a big difference in the lives of our young people,” said Sarah Mazur, Program Manager of Financial Resources, whose team administered the payments. “Some were homeless and able to secure housing, others could pay school tuition. The youth connected to the program were generally wanting more stability in their lives and these monthly payments provided it. Youth aging out of foster care have said they need additional financial support, so even though this resource is ending, the need doesn’t go away. Additional resources are needed to help these young people find stability.”

If you have any questions about EFC Extension Payments, visit EFC Extension Payments or contact the team at [email protected].

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