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Foster Care

At any given time, about 2,500 youth are being served by Montana’s foster care system. Reach Higher Montana works closely with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) to ensure that these youth feel supported in their efforts to attain postsecondary education.

Summit for Youth in Foster Care

Youth in foster care learn college access information and valuable life skills at this free, four-day summit held by Reach Higher Montana every June at a Montana postsecondary institution. Youth stay in the dorms, attend “classes,” eat in the cafeteria, and experience college life firsthand. In addition, they learn life skills including how to find and maintain housing, build relationships, obtain employment, and manage money.

As an added benefit, participants can take home a free laptop to assist with postsecondary education, or a “life skills” package to help them get ready for the transition to independent living.

The 2019 Summit for Youth in Foster Care will be held June 17 - 20 at Carroll College in Helena. Registration is closed.

For more information about the Summit, contact Rhonda Safford at (406) 422-1275 x 800 or email rsafford@reachhighermontana.org.

Foster Care Education and Training Vouchers

Montana foster care youth are eligible to receive up to $5,000 a year to help cover the cost of attending a postsecondary institution through the Foster Care Education and Training Voucher (ETV) program.

Who qualifies?

  • Currently in foster care and likely to “age out” of the foster care system; or
  • “Aged-out” of the foster care system; or
  • Adopted or placed into guardianship from foster care after reaching age 16.
  • Students who are, or have been, under tribal court jurisdiction and meet the above eligibility criteria.

Download the ETV application (pdf). The priority deadlines for the program are December 15 for students planning on attending spring and summer courses, and July 1 for fall courses or the full school year.

For more information, contact Rhonda Safford, at (406) 422-1275 x 800 or rsafford@reachhighermontana.org, or the Montana Foster Care Independence Program at (406) 841-2400.

Foster Care Summit