About Bridge to Independence
In 2013, the Nebraska Legislature passed a bill that pledged material support to young people aging out of the Nebraska foster care system until age 21. Then known as the Young Adult Voluntary Supports and Services Act, this bill has become Bridge to Independence.
What is Bridge to Independence?
Bridge to Independence is a voluntary program designed to help young people more successfully transition from foster care to adulthood. The program provides stable support for young people, and may offer health care coverage if eligible for Medicaid or ACA, a monthly stipend for housing and other expenses, and a dedicated Independence Coordinator to help navigate the trickier stretches on the road to success.
Bridge to Independence envisions a Nebraska where every young person who ages out of foster care will have the resources and support they need to prepare them for adulthood and to positively contribute to their communities.
Bridge to Independence endeavors to provide young people aging out of foster care a smooth transition to adulthood with developmentally appropriate support, youth-directed services and a broad safety net that allows young people to learn the life lessons they need to become independent.
Bridge to Independence balances the need to guide young adults while enhancing self-sufficiency with self-determination. The program provides guidance, advice and input for young people to take into account when making decisions.
We understand that young adults will make mistakes and bad choices. It’s a natural part of the process of becoming an adult. While we cannot stop these mistakes, we can guide young adults to learn from them, and provide them with resources and guidance on how to make different choices going forward.
Our goal is to help young people get up on their feet, so they can stand strong and walk confidently into adulthood while maintaining qualifications for the Bridge to Independence program.