Extended foster care: nonminor dependent placement options

Q: I just turned 18 and am participating in extended foster care; do I have to remain in the same foster care placement?

A: No, a non-minor dependent (NMD) does not have to remain in the same foster care placement after age 18; although, they are certainly permitted to continue living in the same placement, if appropriate. NOTE: There are limitations on a NMD remaining in a group home placement beyond the time he/she finishes high school or an equivalent or turns 19, whichever occurs first.

As NMDs are adults, it is expected that NMDs will be provided placements that are the least restrictive and encourage as much independence as possible, based on the NMDs’ developmental needs and readiness for independence. The decision regarding whether to continue the current placement or move to a new placement should be a collaborative decision between the NMD and his/her caseworker. If the NMD wants to move into a SILP, there must be an assessment of the NMD’s readiness to live in that particular setting as part of the decision making process. (Reference: Welf. & Inst. Code § 16501.1 (c)(1); All County Letter 11-77)

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