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Indiana Department of Child Services

Indiana Department of Child Services

Books for Youth Books for Youth

Books for Youth Distribution.  
The 2015 on field Books for Youth Backpack Handoff. (L to R) Cargo Services, John Rowe; DCS Deputy Director of Communications, James Wide (with his son Justin); DCS Chief of Staff, Doris Tolliver; Backpack Handoff recipients: LaShay (15), Shelton (18), Sheron (5), Shelona (10), and Shevon (2) with Collaborative Care Division Manager, Heather Teagartin; and Steve Fugate with Cargo Services.


The Books for Youth (BFY) Program is committed to placing backpacks filled with 25 age-appropriate books into the hands of Indiana foster youth and young adults. 

Statistics show that children who read, succeed. Reading and being read to at an early age not only increases success in the classroom, but in life. It develops critical thinking skills and imagination. 

But when a youth is removed from a home due to abuse or neglect, that simple activity of reading is interrupted or may not have ever existed at all.  And the possessions a child takes are usually the basic needs – clothing and maybe a comfort item such as a blanket or a stuffed animal. There may not be time or room due to the urgency of the removal to include books and other personal belongings.

BFY changes that and provides books foster youth can call their own.  Since the program began in 2006, BFY has given away more than 8,750 backpacks thanks to the our partnership with the Indianapolis Colts and through the generosity and support of our title sponsor Cargo Services Inc. 

        DCS Books for Youth Horseshoe Boy                Cargo Services Inc. Logo


Give the Gift of Reading to a Foster Child

Text BOOKS to 243725 to make monetary donations and help provide backpacks filled with 25 age-appropriate books for foster youth. Reply to confirm your donation. Message and data rates may apply.

Take the Books for Youth
#100in10 Backpack Challenge

In honor of National Reading Awareness Month, starting March 10, 2016, DCS and the Indianapolis Colts, will launch a 10-day Twitter campaign, the #100in10 Backpack Challenge. The goal is to raise enough funds in ten days to purchase 100 backpacks.

Text for Books for Youth 

Annual Books for Youth Distribution Night


Books for Youth title sponsors, Cargo Services International and the Indianapolis Colts know how to make the season bright for Indiana’s foster kids! On December 15, 2015 more than 35 DCS foster youth and their families came out and enjoyed an evening of holiday treats, coloring, and games at the annual BFY Distribution Night! The evening took place at a new location, North Central High School, and the kids and Blue took full advantage by running around playing catch, hide and seek, and other games. 

Of course, the kids anxiously waited for the highlight of the evening, getting their own BFY backpack filled with 25 age appropriate books. BFY Spokesperson and Indianapolis Colts Punter, Pat McAfee again played “Santa” and distributed the backpacks and took time to create a special holiday memory with each foster youth.

Pat McAfee with Lucas 
Pat McAfee at 2015 Books for Youth Distribution Night

Colts Backpack

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