Yesterday David had meetings with Jane social worker who runs the transition program and Ted. Jane told him about what I expected. They sometimes help with a deposit on an apartment but then expect the kids to pay the first and last month's rent. They help the youth apply for rent assistance and food stamps if they need them, but they do very little in the way of direct help with living expenses. They do help with education expenses. "So if I am taking classes at the alternative high school you might pay the $30 art fee?" "You should be able to pay that." David looked confused. So I volunteered, "David, I would not be surprised if someone who was taking college classes came and said that they had scholarships and loans to cover tuition and fees and they could make enough money for living expenses but asked the program if they would buy the books."
Jane nodded, "We would seriously consider that request."
What David learned (though he says he did not learn anything), is that when you are in permanency people take care of you and offer you services. When you are in transition you have to make requests and demonstrate that 1) you are doing everything you can and 2) the program's meeting of this request will help you become independent -- not prolong dependence. Most of the service you get from the program consists in help in planning, budgeting, and applying for services. (I know that they have also purchased an occasional pair of glasses or work clothes).
David of course does not realize how valuable that is.
David's Story Part 1: The Beginning