DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

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Handbook 6: Out of Home Placement and Services
6-8.2 THP-Plus Housing Program for Emancipated Foster Youth
Out of Home Placement and Services
6-8.2  THP-Plus Housing Program for Emancipated Foster Youth
Reference Points
Models to THP-Plus
Scattered Site Providers
Core Principles of the Model
Eligibility for THP-Plus
THP-Plus Referral Process
Contact Information for THP-Plus
When a THP-Plus Slot Becomes Available
Supportive Transition Emancipation Program /Transitional Independent Living Plan (STEP/TILP)
Other References

Reference Points
Effective Date: 4/23/07
Last Updated: 1/6/2016
 Legal Basis:
pdf California Assembly Bill (AB) 824
Popup Window Welfare and Institutions Code § 11403.2(a)(2)
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California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Manual of Policies and Procedures Social Services Standards Section 30-912-920

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California Department of Social Services (CDSS) All County Letter (ACL) #12-44 Transitional Housing Placement –Plus Foster Care and changed to Transitional Housing Program- Plus

Popup Window California Department of Social Services (CDSS) All County Information Notice (ACIN) 1-40-09: Transitional Housing Placement Program (THPP) and Transitional Housing Placement Program Plus (THP-Plus) Questions and Answers
Popup Window California Department of Social Services (CDSS) All County Information Notice (ACIN) 1-40-15: Transitional Housing Program-Plus Option to Extend Eligibility to Age 25 and for up to 36 Months
 Non CWS/CMS Forms:
MS Word Transitional Housing Program (THP)- Plus Referral (SCZ 2167)
MS Word Supportive Transitional Emancipation Program /Transitional Independent Living Plan (STEP/TILP)(SCZ2169)
 CWS/CMS Forms:


As part of the California Connected by 25 Initiative (CC25I), the Department of Family and Children's Services (DFCS) is committed to serving as many foster care and probation youth aging out of foster care to aid in their transition to independence and self-sufficiency. A major need former foster care and probation youth have is for stable, supportive housing. The Transitional Housing Program Plus (THP-Plus) allows Santa Clara County to meet the housing needs of emancipated foster care and probation youth.

Youth may be eligible to receive services for up to 36 cumulative months, up to age 25.  

Services range from monthly rent subsidies, job readiness training/support, educational advocacy/support, mentoring and 24-hour crisis intervention. Youth also receive basic furnishings for their apartment or room. Youth are Medi-Cal eligble until 26 years old. 

To help support youth with transitioning to self-sufficiency, an emancipation fund has been set up to help them save and prepare for living on their own after exiting the THP Plus program.

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Models to THP-Plus  

There are three models to THP-Plus:

  1. Host Family

    In this model, youth live with their former foster family or other life-long connection. 

    A potential Host Family must complete a certification process administered by the provider. 

  2. San Jose State University

    In this model, youth are full-time students and live in the SJSU residence halls while they attend an accredited college program which includes Community College, SJSU or Vocational School.

  3. Scattered Sites via Contracted Providers

In this model, youth can live in a variety of "scattered sites," including their own apartments, shared housing, room rentals or facilities/buildings owned by a provider with whom DFCS has contracted. 

Youth receive assistance with obtaining and finding affordable/sustainable housing in the community within 30 days of receipt of referral. 

Participants are eligible for support in achieving their educational and career goals.  The program emphasizes saving money, budgeting, and living independently with the ultimate goal of self-sufficiency and attainment of permanent housing.

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Scattered Sites Providers  

The contractors who provide transitional housing facilities for youth include:

  • Bill Wilson Center
    • Operates the following Housing Models:
      • Host Family
      • San Jose State University Residence Hall
      • Scattered Site
  • HomeFirst
    • Operates the following Housing Model:
      • Scattered Site

  • Unity Care Group
    • Housing opportunities are provided at:
      • Unity Place, a 12-Unit apartment complex
        • At Unity Place, each participant is provided a private, key accessible room within a two bedroom apartment unit. The apartment is shared with another THP-Plus participant (each participant has their own room).  Both THP-Plus participants share a kitchen, bathroom and living space.
      • Scattered Site Model

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Core Principles of the Models  

Regardless of the model under which the youth is provided services, the following core principles must be followed:

  • Age appropriate living conditions and support
  • Distinction from foster care, recognizing that these are young adults making their own decisions and choices
  • Greatest amount of freedom possible to prepare for self-sufficiency
  • 15 distinct services provided, as outlined by CDSS THP-Plus guidelines:
    • Coordination of the Independent Living Skills Program (ILP) Program to meet the goals outlined in the STEP/TILP
    • Case Management Services
    • Twenty-four hour crisis intervention and support
    • Individual and group therapy
    • Education advocacy and support
    • Assistance in pursuing college or other post-high school training
    • Mentoring
    • Services to build and support relationships with family and community
    • System of payment for utilities, telephone and rent
    • Financial Support
    • Apartment furnishings
    • Assistance and information finding or maintaining affordable housing at the completion of the program
    • Aftercare services
    • FDIC insured savings account for funds retained by the provider for youth, also known as the youth's Emancipation Fund.
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Eligibility for THP-Plus  

For a youth to be eligible for THP-Plus, he/she:

  • Must be at least 18-years-old and not yet 25-years-old.
  • Completes a county approved STEP/TILP.
  • Provides evidence of regular school and/or job/training attendance
    • The youth must be committed to either attend school full or part-time and /or be employed full or part-time.
  • Must be emancipated from foster care
    • In foster care on the day before their 18th birthday and one of the following must apply:
        • The applicant was a dependent of the court; or
        • The applicant was in foster care placement pursuant to a voluntary placement agreement; or
        • The applicant was a ward of the court and receiving AFDC-Foster Care payment: or
        • The applicant was the ward of a legal guardian and receiving State AFDC- Foster Care Payment.


  • KinGAP youth.

A determination of whether a youth meets the eligibility requirements for THP-Plus Services is made by the ILP coordinator upon receipt of a Transitional Housing Program (THP)- Plus Referral (SCZ 2167).

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THP-Plus Referral Process  

 To refer a youth to the THP-Plus Program, social workers and community agency providers complete a Transitional Housing Program (THP)- Plus Referral (SCZ 2167) to request that an in-care or emancipated foster/probation youth be placed on the waiting list for housing.  Youth may also complete and submit the referral on their own behalf. 

The following criteria must be met: 

  • Youth in-care must be at least 18 years of age, in an out-of-home placement, and on track to emancipate.
  • Youth must demonstrate self-sufficiency skills and commit to attend school full or part-time and/or be employed full or part-time.
  • Youth must reside in Santa Clara County.

The completed THP-Plus Referral is delivered to the ILP THP-Plus in-basket located on the 5th floor of 373 W. Julian Street, or it may be faxed to the ILP Unit at (408) 408-792-1415. 

The youth receives a call from the ILP coordinator to confirm his/her status on the wait list.  The referral does not determine eligibility and is only used for placement on the wait list. 

It is the responsibility of the youth to call the ILP Social Worker at (408) 501-6825 at least once per month to express interest in housing and to update address or phone number changes, immediately. 

To learn about what THP-Plus Programs have vacancies or waiting lists, view the current THP-Plus Capacity Chart, available on the THP-Plus website.

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When a THP-Plus Slot Becomes Available  

When the youth is on the wait list and a THP-Plus slot becomes available, eligibility for THP-Plus services are determined by the ILP Coordinator.  Youth are contacted and referred to THP-Plus services as specified on the THP-Plus Referral Form.  Within 30 days of THP-Plus placement, the ILP social worker contacts the youth to schedule an appointment to develop the STEP/TILP.  The agency provider must also be present and assist with the development of the STEP/TILP. 


When a THP-Plus slot becomes available for a youth who remains in dependency status and not yet emancipated, the youth's assigned social worker is notified by ILP of the youth's THP-Plus enrollment, pending the youth's emancipation from the juvenile dependency system. 

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THP-Plus participants are required to complete a Supportive Transitional Emancipation Program/Transitional Independent Living Plan (STEP/ TILP) which describes the educational/vocational, or other goals related to self-sufficiency, mutually agreed upon by the youth, agency provider, and the Santa Clara County ILP Coordinator.  The youth must be participating in the activities identified in the STEP/TILP. 

The STEP/TILP must be updated annually or as needed.

The agency provider assists the youth in the completion of the goals and activities as described in the STEP/TILP. 

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  • Marisela Martinez, Project Manager

Tel:  408-501-6839

Email:  Marisela.Martinez@ssa.sccgov.org

  • Matt Gibson, Social Worker II, ILP Unit

Tel: 408-501-6825

Email: Matt.Gibson@ ssa.sccgov.org

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Other References  
PDF THP-Plus Information Flyer

CDSS Transitional Housing Website

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