Important Information for Youth Turning 21 in DCFS
March 4, 2021
DCFS CAN STILL HELP.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has good news regarding housing, healthcare and financial assistance for youth in care after they turn 21. Until further notice, youth beyond the age of 21 can remain in their current placement or return to DCFS care, with no reduction of financial or healthcare benefits, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Youth in care who are 21 years old may choose from the following two options:
OPTION 1: Elect to remain in care
upon turning age 21
Youth can remain in their department approved placement for up to 12 months or through September 30, 2021, whichever occurs first. If you are moving to final living arrangements, you can seek cash assistance through the Youth Housing Assistance Program for security deposit, rent, utilities, furniture, household items and other needs.
OPTION 2: Request re-entry and receive a
Re-Entry Alternative Contract (RAC)
Youth over the age of 21 whose case has closed since April 1, 2020 and who have not yet turned 22 can receive a monthly stipend of $312 from DCFS until their 22nd birthday. Referrals for community resources, healthcare and housing assistance/advocacy are provided.
Requirements – The youth must:
Be a former youth in care who aged out after April 1, 2020
Participate in RAC meetings via Zoom to update transition plan, connect to resources and reengage with DCFS supports
Submit a copy of photo identification (driver’s license, state identification card, school or employment identification)
Provide a valid address, phone number and email address
Contact your caseworker or call the Youth Hotline toll-free at 866.459.6884