HCDSS Ready by 21 Program

If you are in foster care and are 14 years old or older, the Ready by 21 Program can help prepare you for independence when you turn twenty one. Ready by 21 provides assistance with accessing education or training programs; finding and keeping a job; developing a supportive network of family and friends; finding housing; training to manage your own finances; and getting access to healthcare.
Education High school graduation requirements, GED programs, applying to college/trade schools and special programs offering financial aid to foster youth interested in college and other educational programs. Health & Wellness Keeping healthy, special youth health issues plus how to develop an on-going health plan.
Employment Resources and information on careers options, job training, apprenticeships, employment opportunities, work permits, and other youth employment issues. Housing Different housing/living options for youth in foster care and supports available for former foster youth.
Finances Setting up a savings account, a bank account, managing money, protecting credit, and paying taxes. Youth Advisory Board A wonderful way to meet other foster youth and a unique opportunity to make sure your voice can be heard by the Howard County Department of Social Services.

Keep in mind…

  • Your Caseworker. If you can’t find the information you need on this website or need help understanding available services, ask your caseworker. Your case worker is essential in helping you prepare for transitions.
  • Your Attorney. If you are in foster care, you have an attorney. Your attorney (also known as a lawyer) has been assigned to help you through legal situations. You should know your attorney’s name and phone number. If you don’t have this information, get it from your caseworker.
  • In Case of Emergency. If you have an emergency, call your caseworker. If you can’t reach your caseworker, call your caseworker’s supervisor.

If you are ever in immediate physical danger, call 911!