Many children grow up in homes where they are abused and/or neglected, and when discovered, these children are often placed in foster care. Foster parents are people who take care of these children, but do not have legal custody of them. Before becoming Foster parents, people must complete an application, take classes, and go through background checks. The goal is for Foster children to be taken to a caring environment where they can live.
Although many Foster children used to be frequently moved around from one family to another, the current goal is for the children to stay with one family for their entire lives, and to eventually be adopted. As a result of this permanence, many programs have been put in place to assist with the children’s education. Several scholarships are available for the youth of Foster Parents, and several also include the biological children of Foster Parents.
The National Foster Parent Association (NFPA), in partnership with University of Phoenix, provides the opportunity for 50 people to get a First Chance Scholarship. This is an opportunity for individuals who were fostered during their lives to have their entire Bachelor’s Degree funded. Applications are available on the NFPA website. The individuals who are selected can choose any degree program to include an online program.
The NFPA also offers several youth scholarships within their organization. In order to qualify, the parents must be members of NFPA. These scholarships are for the fostered youth, biological youth, or adopted youth of currently licensed foster parents. The scholarships are available for GEDs, correspondence courses, job training, university studies, college, or vocational training. The funding for these scholarships comes from donations to the NFPA Scholarship Fund, and people do not have to be members to make donations.
In order to be eligible for a University or College scholarship, youth must be in their senior high school year. They must choose an accredited university or college, and provide documentation of the cost for classes. In order to receive the scholarship, proof of acceptance in the form of a letter needs to be submitted to NFPA along with the individual’s high school transcript.
For other educational scholarships such as job or vocational training, correspondence, or a GED, individuals must be at least 17 years old. The requirements for these scholarships are similar to those for University or College Scholarships in that the applicants must provide documentation of the program cost, and the program must also be accredited.
In order to apply for any of these scholarships, youth must complete the application on the NFPA web site. Two letters of recommendation must be included with the application. It is recommended that these letters come from a residential center, foster parent, school representative, or social worker. NFPA also requires a 300-500 word essay on “Why I want to further my education and why I should be considered for a National Foster Parent Association Scholarship.”
Foster parents greatly help children in need have better lives. Organizations such as NFPA are out there to assist foster parents with additional funding by providing many youth with scholarships, and many resources are available online for these programs