Who is eligible for funding?
Children who are in the physical care and custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, including youth in IFC, independent living, group home, and residential placements. Young adults 18 years and older who have voluntarily signed themselves in with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families
Who can complete the application?
• DCF Social worker
• Child or young adult
• Foster parent
• Other support (teacher, mentor, clinician, etc.)
* Please note that the individual completing the application MUST have the approval of the child’s DCF social worker.
How does the application process work?
The Application Review Committee reviews applications on a rolling basis, and considers community resources, previous requests, current available funds, and the nature of the activity being requested in making the decision to fund a request.
Please be sure to complete applications fully and make sure to review the lists of what we do and do not fund (below) prior to submitting an application.
What does Rise Above fund?
Musical instrument rentals and purchase
Art and writing classes and supplies
Music, Martial Arts, dance, gymnastics and other lessons and supplies
Little League, soccer, football, hockey, basketball and other team sport fees, uniform costs, equipment, and league fees
BMX, Bicycles, Skateboarding, Snowboarding, etc. fees, equipment, supplies
Computers, mp3 players, etc.
Theme park admission tickets
Class trips, family vacations
Concert and sporting event tickets
Prom clothes, tickets, and photos
Religious/cultural celebrations (Quinceanera, Bar and Bat Mitvahs, Confirmation, etc.)
Post-secondary education and training
What restrictions are there on Rise Above’s funding?
Awards to children who are no longer in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families
Debt relief (home bills, utilities, etc), furniture or home fixtures/improvements
Services or benefits that are available from other public, private or governmental agencies, which normally include daycare, pre-school, counseling services, therapy, wheel chairs or van lifts, etc.
Reimbursement for funds spent prior to Rise Above approval
Clothing, other than clothing pertaining to lesson/athletic memberships, or special social events
Blocks of applications from individual group homes, or other groups, for the same activity
New Summer Camp Guidelines
We’ve changed our funding guidelines for summer camp
• Effective for summer 2017 camp requests, Rise Above will only fund requests for specialty summer camps for youth; that is, camps that focus on a child’s strengths or interests or meet a special need of a youth. Most general day camps offered through towns/cities and community organizations will now fall outside of this new guideline.
• Since specialty camps tend to be more expensive, it is unlikely Rise Above will fund more than 1-2 weeks of specialty camp per youth.
• As is the case with all requests made to Rise Above, we ask that camp requests are submitted at least 1 month before the date funds are due. However, keep in mind that specialty camps tend to fill-up much more quickly than traditional day camps, and registration opens much earlier in the winter/spring.
What’s considered a specialty camp?
Specialty camps address the needs of children who have strengths or interests in a particular area. They offer focused programs which enable a youth to learn and develop new skills while interacting with other youth with the same interests. For example: camps that concentrate on a sport, dance, computer, math or theater, or offer a traditional outdoor skills with overnight experience. Need help finding a specialty camp that’s a good match for a youth? Contact us for ideas!
Why is it changing?
As the volume of summer camp requests we receive increases, it’s important to us to remain true to our mission and to ensure as many youth as possible receive support from Rise Above. It’s our goal to give youth experiencing foster care the opportunity to participate in activities they choose and that help them pursue a talent or interest or give them the chance to participate an extra-special opportunity.
Still have a question?
Please contact us.