Frequently Asked Questions 

FAQs Home

iFoster LifeLine Pilot Program


Eligibility

Application Process

Distribution of Phones and Service Activation

Pairing with Digital Literacy Training for youth

Parental Controls for Caregivers

Other


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What type of phone will the youth be receiving?

It is a brand new LG Tribute Empire Smart Phone

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What plan will the youth be signed up for?

The plan is unlimited talk and text and 3GB of high speed data a month, once the youth burn through the high speed data it just goes to a lower speed, but they still have data.

The plan also includes the capability for the phone to be a hotspot for other devices.

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What if Boost does not work in our county?

iFoster will make every effort to ensure that there is adequate coverage at your service address prior to approving your application

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What happens to the youth’s phone and service after the pilot program is concluded?

The account will auto migrate to a Boost Retail plan. You have the option of keeping the service by making the monthly payments or, simply do nothing and the account will cancel on its own at no cost or penalty to you.

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How old does the youth need to be to get a phone?

The program has been approved for youth 13-26 who have been in care at some point between the ages 13-21

County Child Welfare can decide to limit the minimum age to a certain group (they would choose not to sign off on applications that they deem ineligible)

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What if the youth turns 27 during the program?

Youth can still keep their phone and service for the duration of the pilot program.

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What are the required approvals for minors in care (13-17)

County Child Welfare determines the minimum age eligibility for their county

The youth, County Social Worker, and Caregiver or designee need to sign application

Ward of the Court letter or County Dependency letter

iFoster recommends completion of iFoster’s digital literacy and parental controls training (available online or for counties to implement)

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What are the required approvals for non-minor dependents (18-21)

The youth and County Social Worker need to sign off on the application

Ward of the Court letter or County Dependency letter

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What are the required approvals for minors out of care

The youth and caregiver needs to sign

Ward of the Court letter or County Dependency letter

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What are the required approvals for non-minors out care (18-26)

The youth and their Caregiver needs to sign off on the application

Ward of the Court letter or County Dependency letter

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How does the youth apply for a phone?

Initially, iFoster will contact all the youth that have signed up on the waiting list and send them applications based on what type of applicant they are.

Once the program is live, applications will be available for download online at www.ifoster.org or may be requested from iFoster at 1-855-936-7837 or phone@ifoster.org or text at 530-414-5060

Youth will fill out an application and send the application (with the required approvals, as stated above) to iFoster , along with their Ward of the Court or County Dependency letter

iFoster will receive their application and validate that they are indeed eligible for the LifeLine pilot program.

iFoster will inform the Youth that they met eligibility criteria and their phone and service will be ordered.

Youth will receive a shipping tracking number to be able to track the shipment of their phone.

iFoster will activate the phone with telecom services of free, unlimited voice, text, high speed data, and hotspot capability once the youth has received their phone.

iFoster will call and text the youth to confirm service activation and the youth’s possession of the phone.

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Can the counties request applications as well?

Yes, iFoster can send the applications to County Child Welfare, specific County Social Workers, other local CBOs serving foster youth, and Caregivers.

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How will the youth receive phones?

The phone can be sent to the youth directly or to their designated location (i.e. CBO office).

iFoster will activate the phone once it has been delivered and will confirm activation via phone and text with the youth.

County Child Welfare may choose to receive bulk shipments of phones for specific events or trainings. However, each phone will be assigned in advance to a specific, eligible youth and can only be given to that youth. iFoster will work with the County develop a plan for distribution in these cases to ensure that phones are only handed out to the eligible recipient identified and matched to that phone, and that activation of telecom service happens in a timely fashion and can be checked directly with the youth. Further, plans must be in place to deal with phones that were not distributed due to no show by the youth to the designated event.

When the phones are sent out they are meant for a specific youth so County Child Welfare is responsible for returning phones to iFoster for any phones whose assigned youth were no shows to the designated event. iFoster requires phones to be returned within 5 business days or to be picked up by iFoster per agreement between iFoster and County Child Welfare.

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Is the digital literacy training required for all youth?

We strongly suggest that minors and their caregivers review the online digital literacy training provided by iFoster.

We believe the online training and iFoster LifeLine handbook will be useful for all youth.

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How will the digital literacy training be administrated?

The digital literacy training will be administrated in an online platform.

iFoster can provide training and tool kits to enable County Child Welfare to conduct in-person or virtual classroom trainings

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Can County Child Welfare host digital literacy training as part of phone distribution?

Yes. iFoster recommends this path as a way to distribute phones in bulk. However, please review Question 1, How will youth receive their phones? under Distribution of Phones and Activation for requirements for phone distribution.

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Can parental controls be installed on the phones?

Yes, Caregivers can install parental controls.

However, since the phone is the youth’s property, County Child Welfare cannot install anything on the phone unless they would like to take responsibility for the phone and the youth’s use of the phone

iFoster recommends Google family link, which is a parental control app and will provide instructions in the iFoster LifeLine Handbook accompanying each phone and online self-directed training on using the app as well.

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Can the youth make changes to their plan? (Add apps etc)

No, youth will not be able to make changes to the plan

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What is the policy if the youth is misusing the phone? How would County Child Welfare or a Caregiver request stopping service?

Per the application, County Child Welfare, Caregivers, or any iFoster designee may remove the phone from a youth who is misusing it per the terms of outlined in the application.

County Child Welfare, Caregivers, or any other iFoster designee will need to call, email or text iFoster immediately to deactivate service. (1-855-936-7837, phone@ifoster.org, text 530-414-5060)

iFoster will work with its carrier partner to terminate service immediately and will notify County Child Welfare and, if a minor, their Caregiver, as soon as this is done.

Youth who have had their service terminated due to misuse will not be eligible to re-apply or re-enroll in the pilot program.

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What if an eligible youth in care disagrees with County Child Welfare’s decision not to sign the application?

There is not a formal iFoster grievance process. If the youth disagrees with their County Social Worker’s decision, they would need to involve their attorney or legal advocate.

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What happens if a youth loses or breaks a phone, or the phone is stolen?

The youth needs to contact iFoster immediately so iFoster can deactivate service to that phone.

The youth may purchase a replacement phone (new or refurbished) at below retail price from iFoster.

In certain circumstances, at iFoster’s discretion, a youth may receive a replacement phone free of charge.

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What if a youth has an open CPS case on our county but lives in another state are they eligible?

No, this program is only for eligible foster youth who reside in California.