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Give cash or prepaid cards for stipends

The Play

Give cash or prepaid cards for stipends instead of store-specific gift cards like Target cards.

Who Can Do This?: Anyone responsible for distributing stipends to youth
Cost: Free
Timeframe: Immediate
Difficulty: Easy

The Problem It Solves

Older youth often rely on their stipends to cover food and basic necessities. They cannot buy as much food for $20 at Target as they can at a grocery store.

In a multi-state discovery sprint with older foster youth, Think of Us found that when youth receive Target gift cards, they often engage in a complicated workaround: they purchase miscellaneous Target items, then return them in batches to receive cash refunds in increments of $10. They then used that cash to buy food at other stores.

How To Do This

In order of preference:

Outcomes Data

Youth will be able to afford more food and essentials with the same stipend amount.

Who’s Doing This?


This play was contributed by Think of Us.