Links is the North Carolina Foster Care Independence Program for youth and young adults who have experienced extended time in foster care.   

 
The program provides services and resources to older youth in foster care so that when they leave the system, they will have a network of supports and be better equipped with the skills and tools necessary to be successful in life.

In Wake County, youth who participate in Links typically meet once a week in the evening hours, to discuss current topics of interest, and engage in fun and rewarding conversation and activities.
 
 
 
Links incorporates the intent and purpose of the John Chafee Foster Care Independence Act, which is to build a network of relevant services with Youth so that they will have ongoing connections with:
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Mentors
  • Community
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Financial Assistance
  • Skills training
  • Other resources to facilitate the transition to adulthood
 
What will I be doing if I join Links?
 
If you decide to join Links, you can expect to be involved in a variety of activities, including the following: 
  • Focused Life Skills training
  • Community service projects
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Development and strengthening your support system
  • Real life experience activities
  • "Cooking 101"
  • "Where will I go after foster care?"
  • "Which bank is best for me?"
  • Tour college campuses across North Carolina
  • Participate in conferences centered around topics relevant to you
  • Job preparation and shadowing
  • Educational assistance
  • Fun activities in the community, including professional and college sporting events
  • Participate in the Arts
  • Dinner and a movie

 

LinksEligible.GIFWhat is CARS?

CARS stands for "Contractual Agreement for Continuing Residential Support" which allows youth to remain in Foster Care after the age of 18 if they are enrolled as a full time student. 
 
This agreement is a contract between the youth, their social worker and the Agency Director and will be in place as long as the youth remains enrolled in an institute of higher learning and the agency has an identified placement to meet the young person's needs.
 
Youth and the agency can rescind this contract at any time and automatically expires when the youth turns 21 years of age.
 
  
What if I opted out of Links and then later, changed my mind?
 
Not to worry!  You can still participate in Links, as long as you are still eligible.

 

  

If you are interested in joining Links and are eligible, please contact

Tracy A. Taylor, Links Coordinator at 919-212-8415