RALEIGH — Foster youth of legal driving age and their caregivers can now be reimbursed for costs related to obtaining a driver’s license through a new pilot program.
Starting this year, the Transportation Really Is Possible (TRIP) pilot program made it possible for county departments of social services to submit requests for TRIP-eligible costs to be reimbursed to young people and caregivers.
Teens in foster care who don’t have a driver’s license face barriers to education, health care, employment and other activities that promote independence. For these youth, driving is not only a privilege, but a route to independence.
To help teens in foster care obtain a driver’s license, the Child Welfare Section of the North Carolina Division of Social Services collaborated with county departments of social services, former foster youth, family partners and other stakeholders to develop and launch the TRIP pilot program.
“The TRIP pilot program is an important resource for youth and young adults in foster care as they work toward independence,” said Division of Social Services Director Wayne Black. “Providing a means for youth in foster care to obtain their learner’s permits and driver’s licenses ensures their access to services, opportunities and activities essential to their transition to adulthood.”
The TRIP pilot program will run from Fiscal Year 2017-18 through Fiscal Year 2018-19. Each fiscal year, the program will provide up to $75,000 in funding on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible foster youth and caregivers for costs associated with obtaining a learner’s permit or driver’s license. Reimbursement is provided based on the availability of funds.
For more information on the pilot project, visit https://www2.ncdhhs.gov/dss/dcdl/2017.htm.