Guiding youth, creating opportunity

Since its inception in 2002, YSS has proudly served as the lead agency of the Iowa Aftercare Services Network (IASN), a state-wide program that provides voluntary services and support to young people, ages 18-21, who have aged out of foster care or other state paid placement. We work with young adults as equal partners in planning and creating a program that helps them meet their individualized goals.

The IASN is funded by the Iowa Department of Human Services. To learn more, visit the IASN website.

counselor ames

Statewide Contacts

The Iowa Aftercare Services Network reaches all 99 Iowa counties, through YSS and eight other non-profit youth serving agencies. For more information, please contact YSS at the location in the Iowa county in which you reside. You may also contact us via email using the “Contact Us” form below.  

+        Boone, Dallas, Greene and Story Counties: YSS Headquarters (Ames), 515.233.3141

+        Polk County: Iowa Homeless Youth Centers (Des Moines), 515.883.2379

+        Buena Vista, Calhoun, Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Franklin, Hamilton, Hardin, Humboldt, Kossuth, Lyon, Palo Alto, O’Brien, Osceola, Pocahontas, Sac, Sioux, Webster and Wright Counties  (Webster City): 515.832.1061

+        Grundy, Iowa, Jasper, Johnson, Marshall, Poweshiek and Tama Counties: YSS of Marshall County (Marshalltown), 641.752.2300

+        Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Hancock, Howard, Floyd, Mitchell, Winnebago and Worth Counties: Francis Lauer Youth Services (Mason City), 641.423.7362

If you do not see your county listed, please refer to the IASN website or call 1-800-443-8336.

Eligibility

Those eligible for Aftercare Services are:

+        Between the ages of 18-21

+        Left foster care* at age 18 or older, or left foster care between age 17 ½ and 18 and have been in care for at least six months immediately prior to exiting care

+        Adopted or placed in subsidized guardianship from foster care on or after age 16

+        Exited from State Training School (STS) or court-ordered detention at age 18 or older, or left STS or court-ordered detention between age 17 ½ and 18 and have been in care for at least six months immediately prior to exiting care (and after May 1, 2014)

*        Foster care includes but is not limited to group care, family foster care, shelters and relative placement. Call YSS for verification of eligibility.

Pre-Planning Services

Youth who meet eligibility requirements for Aftercare Services can begin preparing to enter the program several months prior to leaving foster care or any time after aging out. To meet with a Self-Sufficiency Advocate and learn more about opportunities available, call YSS for a referral.

Individual goals, team support

Aftercare services guide young people toward stability and self-sufficiency in six key areas:

+        Education
+        Employment
+        Safe housing
+        Health
+        Life skills
+        Healthy relationships

Participants meet at least twice monthly with a Self-Sufficiency Advocate, who partners with youth to help address barriers and develop skills to achieve individual goals.

Some of the services advocates provide program participants include helping to:

+         Develop and implement a plan for self-sufficiency
+         Identify and secure a safe place to live
+         Pay for emergency and unexpected bills
+         Find a doctor, dentist, counselor or other health professional
+         Set and achieve financial goals
+         Enroll and attend secondary education
+         Obtain job training or employment
+         Connect with adult mentors and/or other community resources and opportunities
+         Provide a stipend for an apartment, dormitory or continuation of foster home care for youth available for the Preparation for Adult Living program

mental health services
Preparation for Adult Living

Young adults receiving aftercare services who wish to continue their education or job training, or are working full-time, may qualify for additional financial resources through the Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) program.

To receive a PAL stipend, youth must meet all of the following criteria:
+        Left state-paid foster care on or after their 18th birthday
+        Left STS or court-ordered detention on or after their 18th birthday (and after May 1, 2014)
+        Had been in placement at least six of the 12 months prior to exiting care
+        Are no longer eligible for voluntary foster care
+        Attend college, job training or work full-time (at least 80 hours per month)
+        Stay in an approved living arrangement other than a parent’s home
+        Attend regular meetings with a Self-Sufficiency Advocate

Subsidized Housing

The Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) offers a variety of programs that address a continuum of housing needs, including a rent subsidy component of Aftercare Services. This program is designed for Aftercare Service participants who do not qualify for PAL.

For more information about housing programs available, visit the IASN website or the IFA website.

Reach out today!

Please feel free to contact us with questions or for more information. If your request is urgent in nature, we request you contact us by phone at 515.233.3141.