Welcome to YouthNPower: Transforming Care!

We are an intergenerational collective of researchers, organizers, advocates, and artists with both professional and lived expertise in the child welfare system.  Our team is documenting, uplifting and advocating for the power, needs and visions of young adults transitioning out of foster care in New York City. We are a partnership of the Children’s Defense Fund-New York, the CUNY Graduate Center’s Public Science Project, the Center for the Study of Social Policy, and New Yorkers For Children.

Our Direct Cash Transfer Pilot

Right now, we are working on the first direct cash transfer project created by and for young people who have experienced foster care in New York City.

What is the Direct Cash Transfer Pilot?

  • 100 young people selected by lottery
  • $1000 / month for 12-months
  • No strings attached

Are you eligible?

  • Did you age-out of foster care in NYC?
    This means you left foster care after age 18 without going home, being adopted or being in a guardianship.
  • Are you between 18 and 22 years old?
  • Have you been out of foster care or Continuing Care and Support (CCS21+) for at least 6 months?

When does it start?

  • Online application is open! APPLY NOW
  • Payments start in 2023

Youth and advocates have long argued for direct financial support to address the inequities that young people transitioning out of foster care face. Outcomes, such as high rates of homelessness and housing instability, and limited access to employment, education, and health care, reflect the deep and sustained failure of our current social safety net to support youth as they age out of care. 

Our pilot seeks to challenge the restrictive nature of many programs and kinds of public support available to young people. We believe that providing young people aging out of care with reliable, no-strings-attached cash support can make a big impact on their lives while honoring their autonomy. 

Young people can be trusted to make their own decisions and we want to provide them with the cash support they need to choose what is best for their own lives. That said, for every participant in the pilot, we will provide benefits counseling and a comprehensive list of social, health, financial, educational, housing, and other resources, which they can choose how to engage with.

Stay Tuned: Our project will be conducting research about our DCT pilot and the value of unrestricted cash for young people transitioning out of care.