2 Programs Fund Key Childhood Experiences for Youth in Foster Care

By Linsey Hunt, Marketing & Communications Intern

Sometimes, our youth and their families need a little assistance for extracurricular activities or big milestones such as getting a driver’s license. Through our Just-in-Time Funding and Driver’s Assistance programs, we are able to offer financial support in many shapes and sizes.

Driver’s Assistance

Just before COVID-19 caused major furloughs and statewide closures for many state services, our Driver’s Assistance team had been providing mailed checks to participants for state IDs, learner’s permits and driver’s licenses. Due to several Department of Licensing closures and check processing delays, some of our youth received collections letters from the DOL in regards to bounced checks. We have been working with our youth and the DOL to resolve these issues.

One youth shared that she’s excited to move forward with their behind-the-wheel practice sessions!

Stef, another youth we serve, worked with her caregiver and Treehouse Education Specialist to complete the driver’s education enrollment process through our Driver’s Assistance program. She attended her first class and, since she had been studying, was able to answer all of the questions for the course. Stef is feeling confident about her ability to pass the knowledge test when the time comes!

Through our Driver’s Assistance program, we’ve been assisting another youth financially with their auto insurance payments for more than two years. As their eligibility for the program came to an end, they sent this note: “Thank you for all the help these last few years. You have all helped me so much and can’t thank you enough. I’m grateful for this program. Don’t know where I’d be without all this help.”

After driving her caregiver’s car and being enrolled with Driver’s Assistance to pay for car insurance, one of our participants was able to purchase her own car. Her caregiver sent us this message: “Denise bought her first car! Proud of her!”

One of our youth was excited to move forward with finalizing an auto insurance policy through our Driver’s Assistance program. Their policy is fairly expensive because they are a young driver, and after our program’s maximum contribution, the youth still has a substantial remaining portion to pay. Their caregiver told the youth they would pay them $10/day to walk the family dog, and with this income, the youth will be able to completely cover their insurance cost!

Just-in-Time Funding

Last summer, we provided funding for outdoor education classes as a way for youth to stay engaged and social with proper precautions during the pandemic. After approving and getting everything in order for the request, the caregiver shared: “Thank you for your support. I have to say our walk in foster care (and hopefully adoption this coming year) has been long and bumpy. But our experience hasn’t been as hard as others. Treehouse support financially and practically has felt like an oasis for us. I’m so grateful and once out of my own chaos of all these transitions, hope to continue volunteering and give back to the mission of this organization. Thanks for representing so well and always being so gracious and helpful.”

We’ve been providing dance class funding for 2 youth since last spring. In the fall, they advanced to the next level of classes. Due to COVID-19, the winter semester was moved back to remote online classes, but both youth continue to participate and build their dance skills!

These are just some examples of the ways we have supported our youth over the past six months. Join Treehouse as we partner with youth experiencing foster care during the pandemic and beyond. Make a gift at treehouseforkids.org/donate.


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About the Author

Linsey is the Marketing and Communications Intern at Treehouse. She is a graduate student at Seattle Pacific University, where she is studying to become a Marriage and Family Therapist with a focus on adolescents and young adults.

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