Emancipated foster youth can also refer themselves to Bridges for extended foster care supports until age 21:
- Here's the website: http://bridgestosuccess.jfs.ohio.gov/
- Here's the direct link to refer yourself: http://bridgestosuccess.jfs.ohio.gov/get.../how-to-apply/
Another note of clarification provided by the Bridges team in response to questions received from counties:
Q: Our PCSA has an established independent living/emancipation program. Is our agency still responsible for providing post-emancipation services through our independent living coordinator, or should we refer youth to Bridges when they contact us for assistance?
A: You must offer Bridges as an option to all young adults who will be emancipating at age 18 or older, or who already emancipated but are not yet 21, and who request post-emancipation services. If a young adult contacts you for post- emancipation services, seems to meet Bridges eligibility criteria and would like to learn more, you should make a referral to the appropriate regional Bridges agency.
However, not all young adults will meet the Bridges eligibility criteria. In addition, some will not want to enroll in Bridges, and some may need post-emancipation services during the Bridges application and approval process.
In all of those cases, OAC Rule 5101: 2-42-19.2 is still in effect, requiring you to provide independent living services to emancipated youth who request help. Ideally, these services will help them become eligible for Bridges so they can get additional supports toward independence.