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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.)

  • Graduation clothes

  • Post-secondary education and training

  • Apartment set-ups

  • Special requests

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

Did you read through all of our frequently asked questions above, as well as our summer camp guidelines below? If so, go ahead and apply now!

Summer Camp Guidelines

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.

• 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 fall outside of this 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! 

Still have a question?
Please contact us.

Please be sure to refer to the summer camp guidlines and general frequently asked questions at the top of this page before applying for funding. Thank you.