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  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

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Handbook24: Eligibility - Extended Foster Care
24-8: Eligibility - Extended Foster Care
Extended Foster Care Program
24-8  Eligibility - Extended Foster Care
Reference Points
Overview
State and Federal Extended Foster Care (EFC) Programs
Age Criteria
Not Eligible for Extended Foster Care Payments
Payments to Non Minor Dependents
Eligibility for Youth Eligible for Only CalWORKs
Eligibility for Youth Receiving Funds through KinGAP and Adoption Assistance Payment (AAP) Program
Eligibility Determinations for Re-entries into Extended Foster Care (EFC)
Six-Month Certification of Extended Foster Care Participation (SOC161)
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Pregnant and Parenting Teens
Infant Supplement
Earned Income in Extended Foster Care


Reference Points
Effective Date: 1/1/12 
Last Updated: 7/16/13
 Legal Basis:
Popup Window Welfare and Institutions Codes 17.1
Popup Window Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) § 11400
Popup Window W&IC § § 11403 and 11405(e)
Popup Window California Department of Social Services (CDSS) All County Letter (ACL) #11-61: Extended Foster Care (EFC)
Popup Window California Department of Social services (CDSS) All County Letter (ACL) #11-69: Extension of Foster Care Beyond 18: Part One
pdf

ACL # 11-78: California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs): Extending Benefits to Non-Minor Dependents

Popup Window ACL 11-86: Extension of Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (KinGAP) Program Benefits and Adoption Assistance Payments (AAP) to Age 21
pdf ACL #12-12: Re-entry into Foster Care
 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 Voluntary Re-entry Agreement for Extended Foster Care (SOC163)
MS Word Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (KinGAP) Agreement Amendment (SOC369A)
MS Word KinGAP Mutual Agreement for Nonminor Former Dependents (KG3)
MS Word Statement of Facts Supporting Eligibility for EFC (FC2 NM)
 CWS/CMS Forms:
Service Management Section: Contacts


Overview  

In order to be eligible for AFDC-FC benefits after age 18, a non-minor must meet the definition of a non-minor dependent (NMD)as defined in Welfare and Institutions Code (W&IC) § 11400.  The criteria defined in the Code apply to both state and federal extended foster care programs.

W&IC §11400(v):

“Non- minor dependent” means, on and after January 1, 2012, a foster child or ward of the juvenile court or a non-minor under the transition jurisdiction of the court  who satisfies all of the

following criteria:

  • He or she has attained 18 years of age while under an order of foster care placement but has not yet attained age 21.   
  •  He or she is in foster care under the placement, care, and responsibility of the county welfare department, county probation department, or Indian tribe.
  • He or she is participating in a transitional independent living case plan. 
  • He or she is participating in at least 1 of the 5 participation condition requirements. See OPP 24-2- Participation Conditions and Verification: Extended Foster Care.

 

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State and Federal Extended Foster Care  

The Extended Foster Care Program is both federally funded and state funded.  If a NMD was eligible for federal AFDC-FC at the time the youth turned age 18, the youth remains eligible for federal AFDC-FC as long as all other eligibility conditions are met which includes the participation condition requirements, six-month status review hearing and the youth’s subsequent permanency planning hearings.  A new Title IV-E determination is not necessary.

If a NMD was previously eligible for state AFDC-FC benefits, the youth remains eligible for state AFDC-FC benefits.
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Age Criteria  

Effective January 1, 2012, a youth who was in foster care under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court or a Title IV-E Indian tribe on his/her 18th birthday is eligible to receive foster care until age 21, regardless of funding source.   (WIC 11403)

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Not Eligible for Extended Foster Care  

Ineligible youth include those who:

  • Have terminated court dependency prior to January 1, 2012
  • Turn age 19 in 2011
  • Are married
  • Are in the military
  • Are incarcerated for a lengthy period
  • Are in a legal guardianship with an open dependency case.
  • Are living with their biological parent(s)

 

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Payments to an NMD  
  • A non- minor dependent (NMD) may receive all of the aid payment directly, providing he or she is residing in a supervised independent living placement (SILP) and a Mutual Agreement (SOC162) has been signed.
  • Eligibility for payment continues until the NMD reaches the limit of the age criteria, but aid may be suspended when the NMD no longer resides in an eligible facility or is terminated at the request of the NMD after the court terminates jurisdiction.
  • A county may transfer the case of a NMD to the county of residence once the NMD has lived in that county for one year, and expressed an intention to remain in that county. 
  • Out of state placements are subject to ICPC.    Placements out-of-state are allowable for Non-Minor Dependents (NMDs).  All monthly visit and service requirements applicable to NMDs placed in-state must be met for NMDs place out-of-state.  Sending states may request courtesy supervision from the receiving state through the ICPC, but such services are at the discretion of the receiving state.  Not all states will accept an ICPC request to provide services and supervision for youths in foster care beyond age 18.  It is permissible for NMDs to go out-of-state to attend college, to work, or to find an appropriate placement.   The sending county retains case management and financial responsibility for NMDs, whether placed pursuant to ICPC or not.
 If the other state is..
 then the social worker...
not willing to accept an ICPC request for an NMD

makes every effort to arrange for supervision, even if this requires contracting with a private agency in another state.

If DFCS contracts with a private agency, the social worker:

  • Requests documentation of the visits from the contract agency.
  • Inputs the documentation into Contacts in CWS/CMS.

According to federal requirements, monthly visits must be face-to-face, therefore, video conferencing and Skyping are not sufficient to meet the contact requirement. 

willing to accept an ICPC request for an NMD

  • Requests documentation of the visits from the receiving state.
  • Inputs the documentation into Contacts in CWS/CMS.
 

 

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Eligibility for Youth Eligible for Only CalWORKs  

Under AB 12, a non-minor dependent (NMD) who is eligible only for CalWORKs (not eligible for state or federal foster care) is required to:

  • Meet at least one of the five participation conditions
    • NMDs are not subject to CalWORKs program rules, including Welfare-to-Work (WTW) or reporting requirements.
  • Agree and adhere to the Mutual Agreement (SOC 162).
    • The NMD's social worker is responsible for completing the Mutual Agreement and providing a copy to the CalWORKs eligibility worker.
  • Cooperate with the non-minor dependent review hearings.
  • Complete a Six-Month Certification of Extended Foster Care Participation Form (SOC 161) verifying that the NMD intends to meet one or more of the five participation activities for extended foster care during the next six-month period.

Program requirements for the NMD are managed by the social worker. Once the social has determined the NMD is meeting program requirements, the social worker:

  • Provides documentation of eligibility to the CalWORKs eligibility unit who then issues the CalWORKs payment.
  • Provides the Six-Month Certification of Extended Foster Care Participation Form (SOC 161) to the CalWORKs eligibility worker to avoid disruption of benefits.
  • Continues documentation of eligibility every six months.

CalWORKs eligibility:

  • Receives initial documentation of the NMD's eligibility for extended CalWORKs benefits from the social worker
  • Completes an intra-program transfer
  • Assigns the NMD a new case number and aid code
  • Places the NMD in his/her own assistance unit (AU).

 

To remain eligible for extended CalWORKs benefits, NMDs must:

  • Be living with an approved relative caregiver (as determined by the social worker) who is not eligible for federal or state foster care payments.
    • NMDs may live with needy or non-needy caretaker relatives.
    • Caretaker relatives are not eligible for CalWORKs if the NMD is the only "eligible child."

 

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Eligibility for Youth and Young Adults Receiving KinGAP or AAP  

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

  1. Children/Youth receiving funds through KinGAP or the AAP Program 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 KinGap 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.
  3. The definition of a “relative” for KinGAP purposes has significantly broadened, so that youth living with nonrelated guardians may also be eligible for KinGAP.
     

For AAP:

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

    Note:  If a youth was not yet 16-years of age when the KinGAP payments commenced, the youth may continue to be eligible for KinGAP up to age 19 under the existing high school completion rule which allows for extended payments if the youth is expected to complete high school by the age of 19.


There is no requirement for case management or case plans and case plan updates for these cases.  Relative guardians who receive KinGAP and adoptive parents who receive AAP are responsible for reporting to the responsible public agency if the non-minor former dependent is not satisfying at least one of the participation criteria.

  • Documentation of participation criteria for EFC benefits must be filed in the eligibility case file.
    • Documentation must include the SOC369A and the KG3.

  • The guardian must agree to continue to provide support for the non-minor and receive the financial benefits.
    • Payment cannot be made directly to the non-minor.

  • KinGAP extended payments continue regardless of the state of residency in which the relative guardian and non-minor reside.

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Eligibility Determinations for Reentries into EFC  

Youth who voluntarily re-enter foster care after turning 18 years of age following dismissal of dependency are considered to be entering a new foster care episode.  Therefore, a new eligibility episode is required.  When determining Title IV-E eligibility, the AFDC linage must still be satisfied. 

The AFDC eligibility determination is based on the youth's status as an adult; only the income and property of the youth is considered, without regard to the parents/guardians or others in the assistance unit in the home from which the youth was originally removed as a younger child and without regard to relatives with whom the youth is currently residing. 

Deprivation is met so long as the youth is not living with a biological or adoptive parent.  Authority for placement is initially established through the signing of a SOC163 by both the youth and the social worker and maintained by the court's resumption of dependency or assumption/resumption of transition jurisdiction under Welfare and Institutions Code 388(e).

Aid can be resumed at the request of the NMD by completing a voluntary re-entry agreement, followed by or concurrent with the filing of a W&IC § 388 petition for re-entry.  DFCS completes the Voluntary Re-entry Agreement for Extended Foster Care (SOC163) with the NMD, if the NMD agrees to satisfy the participation conditions. 

The beginning date of aid to the NMD re-entering EFC is the date the voluntary re-entry agreement is signed or the day the youth is placed in an eligible facility, whichever occurs later, provided all other eligibility criteria are met. 

The SOC 163 serves as a valid authority for placement for no more than 180 days.  A copy of the fully executed SOC163 and a copy of the previous termination of jurisdiction court order must be submitted to eligibility to determine funding eligibility.  When the court order is made for resumption of jurisdiction that order should be forwarded to eligibility.

The filing of a petition within 15 days of the signing of the SOC163 is not a requirement for eligibility of EFC payments at the 15th day.  However, the court must make the best interest finding before the 180 days expire for continued federal or state eligibility.



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Six-Month Certification of EFC (SOC161)  

The Six-Month Certification of EFC must be completed prior to NMD turning 18 and updated every six months.  So long as the Six-Month Certification of Extended Foster Care Participation (SOC 161) is received by the end of the month following the month in which the next update was due, the form is considered timely.

Example:  An updated SOC161 is due November 15.  As long as the Eligibility Worker receives the form on or before December 30, the form is timely.

A copy of the SOC 161 must be submitted to the SOC 161 Inbox located at 373 W Julian, on the 5th Floor, ILP Unit, (408) 501-6823.

 

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Pregnant and Parenting Teens  

All pregnant or parenting teens may establish their own CalWORKs case at age 18 if otherwise eligible. Non-minor dependents (NMDs) have the option to remain a dependent as a NMD, or to establish their own CalWORKs case.

  • Opt to Remain in Extended CalWORKs as a NMD
    • Teens who opt to remain in extended CalWORKs as a NMD:
      • Continue to be subject to the rules established under AB 12
      • Receive cash aid for themselves only.
      • Can continue to get cash aid as part of his or her caretaker's case after his or her 18th birthday ONLY if he or she is:
        • A full-time student in high school, or in a vocational or technical training program, and expected to finish school/program before reaching 19 years old, or
        • A full-time student in high school, or in a vocational or technical training program and has been or is considered disabled and meets the disability criteria pursuant to the CalWORKs regulations or
        • Is a foster child living with an approved relative and are completing high school or an equivalency program, enrolling in post-secondary or vocational school, participating in a program or activity that promotes or removes barriers to employment, employed at least 80 hours per month, or unable to participate in school or employment due to a documented medical condition.
        • May need to have a fingerprint and photo image taken by the county.
        • Are not able to get cash aid until the third trimester or pregnancy, if the teen is pregnant and does not have other children.  

 

  • Opt to Establish Their Own CalWORKs Case
    • Teens who opt to establish their own CalWORKs case:
      • Must call his or her county eligibility unit right away
      • Does NOT have to move out of his or her caretaker's home to be in his or her own case.
      • Must report all changes to your the eligibility worker each Quarter
      • Are subject to all of the program and reporting rules under the "regular" CalWORKs program unless exempt and will be eligible to receive benefits for both themselves and their child.
        • Time limits for getting cash aid will start.
        • Welfare-to-Work (WTW) requirements for pregnant and parenting teens who do not have a high school diploma or GED may be found in ACL 11-36, dated April 21, 2011.
        • Regular WTW requirements apply to those who have received their diploma or GED. These teens/NMDs must continue to be informed of their possible continuing eligibility options and responsibilities, including WTW program requirements and sanctions.
      • May need to have a fingerprint and photo image taken by the county.
      • Should be aware that the caretaker may get less cash aid or if the youth is the only child the caregiver's cash aid may be stopped.
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Infant Supplement  

For eligible parenting non minor dependents (NMDs) who remain in extended foster care (EFC), the infant supplement for the nondependent child residing with the NMD is still available in all placements, including the supervised independent living program (SILP) and THP+-FC placements.

The assigned social worker must obtain a copy of the infant’s birth certificate and attach to a completed Statement of Facts Supporting Eligibility for Foster Care (FC2).  The form must be submitted to Foster Care Eligibility for receipt of infant supplement.

If a youth re enters foster care with an infant and there is a new eligibility determination then the Social Worker will complete:

  • An FC2 for the infant and attach a copy of the infant’s birth certificate and an FC2-NM for the youth and submit to Foster Care Eligibility.
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Supplemental Security Income   Non minor dependents (NMDs) receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are eligible to participate in extended foster care (EFC) even if they receive the SSI payment benefit instead of AFDC-FC or a combination of both.  If a federally eligible NMD receives the AFDC-FC in lieu of the SSI payment (payment placed in a suspension) because the AFDC-FC payment is higher, the child welfare agency must ensure that the NMD receive state-only funded AFDC-FC at least one month in any 12 month period to ensure the NMD maintains SSI eligibility at the time the youth does exit care.  It is county's responsibility to inform the Social Security Administration that the NMD is not receiving any foster family payment (FFP) during the one month in order to permit the NMD to receive an SSI benefit during a single month of every 12 month period. 
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Earned Income - EFC  

Earned income from the NMD is disregarded from eligibility determination purposes provided that it is documented in the TILP to gain knowledge of needed work skills and the responsibilities of maintaining employment. 

  • Including this documentation in the TILP results in income earned by the NMD to be disregarded for AFDC-FC eligibility determination purposes. 

 

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Other References  
PDF

OPP 18-8 KinGAP: Relative Kinship Guardian Assistance Payment Program

OPP 24-2: Participation Conditions and Verification

OPP 24-7: Re entering the Extended Foster Care Program
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