Requesting and receiving Chafee Program services can be a long and complicated process. To make it easier, ask for help from your case manager and trusted adult(s) such as a mentor, group home staff, foster parent, or adult relative.
Check out this guide to get you started.
1. Think about what you need.
Ask yourself, what am I trying to achieve in the next 6 months to a year? This can be small or big. For example, do you need help paying for senior fees? Do you need help paying for college? Are you struggling in any of your classes and need a tutor? Do you need a car to get around?
2. Complete the Youth Service Request Checklist.
On your own or with the help of a trusted adult, select the services you may need using the Youth Service Request Checklist. Then, using the Chafee Program booklet, locate Appendix A to see the same list of services with information about requirements for each. Be prepared to talk to your case manager or Chafee Program staff about any requirements, including eligibility.
3. Contact your case manager.
Your case manager or DSS county office is responsible for submitting all the information needed to process and approve your application. DSS staff are available to support and guide you through the process. If you find that you are not receiving the help you need, you can email Chafee/ETV Program staff at IndependentLiving@dss.sc.gov
4. If needed, contact your DSS county office.
If you do not know who your case manager is, call your DSS county office. Be clear about what you are calling about.
You can say:"My name is [name]. I am interested in talking to someone about Chafee Program services, but I do not have my case managers contact information. Can you help?"
5. Be persistent.
The process of applying and receiving Chafee services can take time, which can be frustrating. But, it's important to stay positive and respectful. Remember to follow up and ask for help when you need to.