The Iowa Department of Human Services announced Tuesday it has allocated more than $5 million in new funding to benefit current and former foster care youths adversely affected by COVID-19. Pandemic Relief for Iowa Foster Youth and Alumni is made possible as part of the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act, which awarded Iowa DHS $4.7 million to create a pandemic response benefiting youths in and aging out of foster care and entering adulthood. The award supplements the Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood, which provides an annual allocation of federal funding to Iowa of about $2.2 million to assist older youths in foster care and those who age out. Education and Training Voucher funds are also included, adding $697,314 to the support for youths who have aged out of foster care and are attending college. States can use the new funds through Sept. 30, 2022. DHS will deliver the program primarily through contracted service providers, including YSS Inc. in Ames, which oversees the statewide Iowa Aftercare Services Network and Achieving Maximum Potential, the Iowa foster care youth council. “This financial support is coming at just the right time for an extremely vulnerable population,” said Andrew Allen, president and CEO of YSS.