Indy Checking Accounts for Teens in State Care; No Adult Required.
Imagine you’ve been saving money from your afterschool job to buy a bike, but when you check your account, the funds are gone. Teens in State custody are disproportionately vulnerable to having their money and identities taken by the adults in their lives. But without an adult, opening an account has been out of reach, until now.
Working with the Green Mountain United Way and the Vermont Department of Children and Families, NorthCountry Federal Credit Union (NorthCountry) has developed the Indy Account, a checking account tailored to children ages 14 to 17 living in the care of the State of Vermont.
“For years, youth in foster care have voiced their concerns about not being able to reliably and safely open bank accounts for saving their money and preparing financially for young adulthood. We are so excited for this partnership with North Country Credit Union which will provide statewide access to banking and financial goal setting and education for young people who don’t otherwise have this important opportunity.” - Amanda Churchill Kipp, DCF-FSD, Adolescent Services
By removing the barriers that require an adult’s signature, the free checking account provides teens in foster care with a safe place to keep and access their funds in person, at ATMs, and with debit cards. Indy Accounts also come with a designated resource person at the credit union to answer questions about managing the account.
Indy Accounts are available to any Vermont child who is 14 to 17 years old and living in State custody. A referral from a caseworker is required.
NorthCountry Federal Credit Union’s mission is “to make dreams come true for all by offering personalized financial solutions.” It is a not-for-profit financial cooperative, owned entirely by its accountholders. It has 13 locations in Vermont, including its headquarters in South Burlington.