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Handbook 24: Extended Foster Care Program
24-1 Criteria, Definitions, and Forms - Extended Foster Care

 

Extended Foster Care Program
24-1 Criteria, Definitions, and Forms - Extended Foster Care
Reference Points
Overview
Eligibility for Extended Foster Care Benefits
Ineligible for Extended Foster Care Benefits
Legal Status of a Non-Minor Dependent
Youth in Non-Relative Legal Guardianships (NRLG)
Youth Receiving Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payments (KinGAP) or Adoption Assistance Payments (AAP)
Youth Who Are ICWA Eligible
Social Worker's Responsibility for Informing Youth of the Extended Foster Care Program
Forms Related to the Extended Foster Care Program
Six Month Certification of Extended Foster Care Participation (SOC  161)
Mutual Agreement for Extended Foster Care (SOC162)
Authority for Placing a Non-minor Dependent
Exits from Extended Foster Care


Reference Points
Effective Date: 1/1/12
Last Updated: 6/4/13
 Legal Basis:
Popup Window Welfare and Institutions Code (W&IC) § 11400: Defines Non-minor Dependent (NMD)
Popup Window W&IC § 11405(e): Guardianships established through Probate Court
Popup Window California Department of Social Services (CDSS) All County Letter (ACL) #11-61: New Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-Gap) Program Requirements
Popup Window ACL 11-86: Extension of Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-Gap)Program Benefits and Adoption Assistance Payments (AAP) to Age 21
 Non CWS/CMS Forms:
MS Word Mutual Agreement for Extended Foster Care (SOC162)
MS Word Six-Month Certification of Extended Foster Care Participation (SOC 161)
MS Word Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (KinGAP) Agreement Amendment (SOC)369A
MS Word KinGAP Mutual Agreement for Nonminor Former Dependents (KG3)


Overview  

Effective January 1, 2012 California statutes began providing Extended Foster Care (EFC) to foster youth over the age 18, so the youths may continue in foster care and receive foster care benefits (Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care [AFDC-FC]) payments and services until the age of 21.  At age 18, each dependent youth decides whether or not he/she desires to continue in foster care. Youths who choose to continue in foster care remain dependents of the court and are referred to as Non-Minor Dependents (NMDs).  Youths who are in guardianships where dependency has been dismissed are also eligible for extended foster care payments, if they meet certain requirements.

While many of the same processes and requirements for children under the age of 18 also exist for NMDs who remain in foster care past their 18th birthday, social work practice with these individuals should be guided by the principle that youth in extended foster care are now adults with different needs and all the legal rights of an adult.

The anticipated benefits of the extended foster care program are:

  • The promotion of permanency for foster youth
  • The youth’s maintaining a safety net of support while experiencing independence in a secure, supervised living environment
  • Youth being better prepared for successful transitions into adulthood. 
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Eligibility for Extended Foster Care Benefits  

To be eligible for extended foster care, a non minor must meet all of the following:

      • Is at least 18 years old, but under age 21
      • Are eligible for either federal or state AFDC-FC
      • Was under an order of foster care on his or her 18th birthday
      • Meets one of the participation criteria

The following circumstances do not affect eligibility:

      • Are  in  foster care and pregnant and/or parenting or,
      • Are in  foster care and residing out-of- county or,
      • Are in foster care and residing out-of-state.

Participation Criteria and Funding:

  • To remain in extended foster care (EFC) after attaining age 18, at least one (1) of the following five (5) participation criteria must be met:
    1. Completing high school or an equivalency program
    2. Enrolled in post-secondary education or vocational school
    3. Participating in a program or activity that promotes, or removes barriers to, employment
    4. Employed at least 80 hours per month; or
    5. Is incapable of participating in any activity as described in 1- 4 due to a documented medical condition.

The social worker must work with the NMD to satisfy one of the above participation conditions.  Certification of eligibility must be provided at each non-minor dependent review hearing. 

Relative guardians receiving KinGAP and adoptive parents receiving AAP are responsible for reporting to DFCS if the NMD does not satisfy participation conditions. 

Please refer to OPP Chapter 18-8: KinGap-Relative Kinship Guardian Assistance Payment Program for further information.

Please refer to OPP Chapter 24-2: Participation Conditions and Verifications- Extended Foster Care  for a detailed description of the conditions.

Please refer to OPP Chapter 11-9.1 Non-Relative Guardianships with Dependency Dismissed for a detailed description of the conditions.

Benefits after Age 18-Summary Chart

 

Type of Non-minor

To Be Eligible

Benefits Available

In PPLA or FR on18th birthday.

 

  • Was under an order of foster care (not a guardianship) on his or her 18th birthday.  This can be either in dependency or juvenile justice. 
  • Is meeting one of the participation criteria
  • Signs a mutual agreement.
  • Not married, in the military, or living with a parent. 

 

  • “Extended Foster Care” as a Non-Minor Dependent
  • Continued foster care payments until 21st birthday.  These can be paid directly to the NMD if living in a SILP.
  • Case management by a social worker including monthly meetings, even if living out-of-state.
  • An open dependency case with court reports and NMD hearings every six months.

In a dependency guardianship with a dismissed case and KinGAP payments on 18th birthday.

  • Dependency has been dismissed.
  • Is meeting one of the participation criteria.
  • The guardian continues to be responsible for support of the non-minor. 
  • Continued KinGAP payments until 21st birthday.

In a dependency guardianship with a dismissed case and foster care payments on 18th birthday.

  • Dependency has been dismissed.
  • Is meeting one of the participation criteria.
  • Signs a mutual agreement.  
  • Continued foster care payments until 21st birthday.

 

In a probate guardianship with a dismissed case and foster care payments on 18th birthday.

  • Continues to live in the guardian’s home.
  • Attending high school or equivalent.
  • Reasonably expected to complete high school or equivalent by 19th birthday.
  • Signs a mutual agreement. 
  • Continued foster care payments through 19th birthday or completion of high school/equivalent, whichever comes first. 

Adopted and receiving AAP benefits.

  • Was age 16 or older when AAP payments began.
  • Is meeting one of the participation criteria.
  • Continued AAP payments until 21st birthday. 

 

 

To be eligible for benefits after the age of 18, a non-minor must:

      • Remain under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court or
      • Sign the Mutual Agreement for Extended Foster Care (SOC162) as a non-dependent youth in a non-related legal guardianship or
      • Sign the KinGAP Mutual Agreement for Non Minor Former Dependent (KG3) as a non-dependent youth in a relative legal guardianship.

The court may terminate its dependency, delinquency, or transition jurisdiction over an NMD when the NMD is between 18 and 21. If jurisdiction is terminated, the NMD remains under the general jurisdiction of the court in order to allow for a Welfare and Institutions Code § 388(e) petition for re-entry.

 

Please refer to OPP Chapter 24-7 Re-entering the Extended Foster Care(EFC) Program.
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Ineligible for EFC Benefits  

Non-minors who are ineligible for extended foster care include those who:

  • Were age 19 or older on January 1, 2012
  • Are married
  • Are in the military  
  • Are incarcerated for a significant length of time
  • Are in a Legal Guardianship.  Note: Youth in Legal Guardianships may still be eligible for extended benefits. Please see OPP Chapter 11-9 Legal Guardianship and OPP Chapter 11-9.1 Non-Relative Guardianships with Dependency Dismissed.
  • Are living with their biological parent(s)
  • Are in an adult residential facility, such as a board and care.
    • An adult residential facility is not an eligible placement option.  State and federal requirements are that a NMD be placed in an eligible foster care facility that is either approved or licensed.
    • If a young adult is disabled and eligible for SSI, a case plan consideration may be for the young adult to:
      • Exit extended foster care and court dependency
      • Become his or her own payee for SSI
      • Move into an adult board and care home funded by SSI
    • Depending upon the type of disability, the young adult may be eligible for case management services from the Regional Center.

 

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Legal Status of a Non-Minor Dependent  

Legal Status of a Non-minor Dependent:

  • A non-minor dependent (NMD) retains all of his or her legal decision-making authority as an adult.
  • The NMD has the right to travel without court authorization
    • No application and order is needed for NMD to travel.
    • If travel is out of the country the social worker will notify the agency Director by submitting a memo that conveys the youth’s intentions and dates to travel out of the country. Social workers must not suggest to the youth that he or she is prohibited from leaving to travel out of the country.       
    • If financial payment for a trip out of the country is being requested by the youth, the procedures in OPP Chapter 10-4.1 Authorization for Travel for a Child Under DFCS Supervision will need to be followed in order to pay for the youth’s trip out of the country.
  • The NMD can sign contracts, consent to all medical procedures, etc.
    • Court authorization is not required for an NMD to take psychotropic medications.
  • The same rights of minor foster youth apply to NMDs in extended foster care.

                    

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Youth in

Non-Relative Legal Guardianships

 

Non-dependent youth under a Non-relative Legal Guardianship (NRLG) established in juvenile court are eligible for extended state-only AFDC-FC payment benefits under the following conditions:

  • Dependency case must be dismissed
  • Must meet at least one participation requirement for extended foster care.
    • See participation criteria above. 
  • Must sign a Mutual Agreement for Extended Foster Care (SOC 162).
    • The SOC162 must be signed during the month the youth turns 18, and also initialed and dated as soon as  possible after turning 18.
  • Require a Transitional Independent Living Plan (TILP) as part of their case plan.
  • Require six-month case plan updates.
  • Require in-person contacts, which can be waived to once every six months frequency with a signed Contact Waiver.

See OPP Chapter 24-2: Participation Conditions and Verification - Extended Foster Care and

OPP Chapter 11-9.1: NonRelative Guardianships with Dependency Dismissed

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Youth Receiving KinGAP or AAP  

There are two ways that Kinship Guardian Assistance Payments (KinGAP) Program and Adoption Assistance Payments (AAP) Program benefits  may be extended beyond the child's age of 18.

  1. Children/youth receiving funds through KinGAP or AAP who have a documented mental or physical disability that warrants the continuation of assistance are eligible to receive benefits to age 21 regardless of the age of the youth when the initial guardianship was ordered or adoption assistance agreement was signed.

  2. Youth who do not have a documented mental or physical disability that warrants continuation of benefits may be eligible for continued KinGAP or AAP benefits if they meet one of the five extended foster care participation requirements.

    Additionally, if the youth meets requirement 2, above, then:

    • For KinGAP
        • Youth must have attained 16 years of age before the KinGAP payment commenced.
        • The social worker must work with the guardian in completing the Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (KinGAP) Agreement Amendment (SOC)369A and the KinGAP Mutual Agreement for Non-minor Former Dependents (KG3).
        • The guardian has the responsibility to report if the NMD is not participating in one of the five conditions. 

      • For AAP
        • The initial AAP agreement must have been signed when the youth was at least 16-years-old.


(Information repeated in OPP Chapter 24-8: Eligibility—Extended Foster Care.)

 

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Youth Who Are ICWA Eligible  

 Youth who are ICWA eligible:

  • Non-minor dependents (NMDs) whose dependency cases as minors were governed by the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) can decide whether or not they wish for the provisions of ICWA to continue to apply to them after turning age 18.  This includes tribal involvement in case planning and tribal notification of court hearings.  If the NMD no longer wishes to have the provisions of ICWA apply, he or she can elect to no longer be considered an Indian Child for purposes of the extended foster care program.   
  • If the NMD elects to continue to have ICWA apply, the tribe needs to be notified of hearings and must be consulted in the development of the TILP.  
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Social Worker's Responsibility for Informing Youth of the Extended Foster Care Program  

For the last court  review hearing that occurs before the youth turns 18, the social worker:

  • Informs the youth of the option to remain in EFC, and the benefits of extended care;
  • Works with the youth to identify the participation activities in the TILP, so the youth remains eligible if he or she chooses to stay in care;
  • Informs the youth of the right to re-enter EFC and how to re-enter EFC.
  • Complete the JV460 form and attach to the Court report.
  • Complete the SOC 161
Non-minor Dependent Information Packets are available to all youth.  Please contact Natalie Faulds (408) 501-6823 to request a packet for your youth. Packets are also available at court.
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Forms Related to Extended Foster Care  

Forms related to foster care include:

  • Six-Month Certification of Extended Foster Care Participation (SOC 161)
    • The purpose of this form is to certify a non-minor’s participation in extended foster care (EFC) activities and transmit it to the eligibility worker (EW).  This form is completed with the non-minor dependent every six months to avoid discontinuance of payments.

  • Mutual Agreement for Extended Foster Care (SOC162)
    • The purpose of this form is to establish and document a non-minor's voluntary request to remain in extended foster care.

  • Voluntary Re-entry Agreement for Extended Foster Care (SOC163)
    • The purpose of this form is to establish and document a non-minor's voluntary request to re-enter extended foster care after a break or termination from the program.

  • Placement Agency – THP Plus Foster Care Provider Agreement (SOC152)
  • Placement Agency – Foster Family Agency Agreement (SOC153)
    • The purpose of this form is to specify and verify agreement as to the roles and responsibilities of the Placement Agency (DFCS) and Foster Family Agency (FFA) with respect to a non-minor placed by DFCS in an FFA home.

  • Agency – Group Home Agreement (SOC154B)
    • The purpose of this form is to specify and verify agreement as to the roles and responsibilities of the Placement Agency (DFCS) and Group Home with respect to a non-minor placed by DFCS in Group Home.

  • Agency – Foster Parents Placement Agreement (SOC156A)
    • The purpose of this form is to specify and verify agreement as to the roles and responsibilities of the Placement Agency (DFCS) and Foster Family Home with respect to a non-minor placed by DFCS in a foster home.

  • Supervised Independent Living Plan (SILP) Approval and Placement Agreement (SOC157A)
    • The purpose of this form is for the non minor's signature of agreement as to the non minor's readiness for a SILP living arrangement, to the identification of roommates, and to the non-minor's responsibilities while in the SILP living arrangement.

  • SILP Inspection: Checklist of Facility Health and Safety Standards (SOC157B)
    • The purpose of this form is to serve as a Checklist of SILP Facility Health and Safety Standards that is used by the social worker to approve the suitability of a SILP for residence by a non-minor participating in extended foster care.
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Six-Month Certification of Extended Foster Care Participation (SOC161)  

Before every Non-minor Dependent Review Hearing, the Case Plan, Transitional Independent Living Plan (TILP), and the Six-Month Certification of Extended Foster Care Participation (SOC 161) should be updated.

The social worker:

  • Updates the TILP with the NMD.
  • Reviews the documentation of participation.

  • Completes the Six-Month Certification of Extended Foster Care Participation (SOC161)
    • The SOC161, signed by the case manager, verifies the NMD’s participation for continued eligibility, and provides the eligibility worker with the necessary information to continue payments.

  • Files a copy of the SOC161 in the NMD’s case plan.

  • Forwards the SOC161 and verification of participation to the eligibility worker for receipt by the eligibility worker by the end of the first month of the next six-month certification period to avoid discontinuation of benefits.
    • The SOC161 must be completed if the NMD receives foster care payments or CalWORKs payments and is sent to either the foster care eligibility worker at the W. Julian office or the CAlWORKs eligibility worker at one of the district offices.
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Mutual Agreement for Extended Foster Care (SOC162)

 

Foster youth who choose to participate in extended foster care (EFC) must sign a Mutual Agreement for Extended Foster Care (SOC 162) at or after attaining age 18 but no later than six months after turning 18. The SOC 162 is a required condition for participation in EFC but not a condition of foster care payments. The NMD must sign the SOC162 to acknowledge that he/she is voluntarily agreeing to:

  • Remain:
    • In foster care
    • In supervised placements (although not guaranteed a certain placement)
    • As a court dependent
  • Be responsible for reporting changes in eligibility to the social worker
  • Be supervised by the Department while residing in approved or licensed eligible facilities, and
  • Comply with program requirements and eligibility conditions.

The purpose of the Agreement is to:

  • Act as the legal agreement between the NMD and the Department of Social Services to enable the NMD to remain in extended foster care;
  • Provide clear expectations to both the NMD and the case manager as to what the responsibilities are for each party; and
  • Specify what services and assistance the NMD receives from the Department.

The social worker must send a copy of the SOC 162 to:

  • The foster care eligibility worker
  • The NMD
  • CalWORKs eligibility worker, if applicable.
  • Attorney for the NMD

The Agreement is valid throughout a continuous stay in EFC.   Foster youth should be referred to their attorney if they need help understanding the Mutual Agreement.

 

 

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Authority for Placing a Non-Minor Dependent  

Placement authority is established for:

  • Non-minor dependents (NMDs) at each Non-Minor Dependent review hearing through the court’s order for placement.
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Exits from Extended Foster Care   A non-minor dependent (NMD) may choose to exit the EFC program at any time after reaching age 18.  A Termination of Jurisdiction court hearing is required when the NMD chooses to leave the program or when they no longer meet the participation requirements, and the Department is recommending termination.

and the Department is recommending termination.  The case cannot be closed through an Application and Order or a JV-180. There must be a Hearing even if everyone is in agreement.

In addition to filing the JV-180, the social worker must prepare a court report and attach a JV-365, JV-367 and an Emancipation letter for the Hearing.

 

At this hearing, NMDs are informed of their options to remain in care or to re-enter the program at a later date if they are still within the age limits.  The NMD also receives personal documents and assistance in transition services.  
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Other References  
PDF

OPP Chapter 24-6: Court Processes-Extended Foster Care

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