Monthly Archives: April 2013

Extended Foster Care Eligibility for a youth who has been adopted

Q: Are youth who are placed in group homes by adoption assistance eligible for extended foster care?

A: No; a youth who has been adopted and is receiving Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) benefits and is placed into a group home is not eligible for extended foster care because they do not meet the eligibility requirement of having an order for foster care placement on their 18th birthday[i].

However, a youth who has been adopted is eligible to be placed in a temporary out-of-home placement, which may include placement in a group home, if the youth is eligible for AAP.  Eligibility for AAP benefits ends at different times depending on when the youth was adopted and whether the youth has a mental or physical disability:

  • Youth who have an initial AAP agreement signed before their 16th birthday are eligible for AAP benefits until age 18;
  • Youth who have an initial AAP agreement signed on or after their 16th birthday are eligible for AAP benefits until age 21;
  • Youth who have a mental or physical disability that warrants the continuance of assistance is eligible to receive AAP benefits until age 21 regardless of the age of the child when the initial AAP agreement is signed[ii].

[i] Welf. & Inst. Code § 11400(v)

[ii] Title 22, Division 2, Adoptions Manual, Subchapter 7, Sections 35333 & 35334

Education Travel Reimbursement eligibility for a NMD placed in a SILP or THP+FC

Q: Is a non-minor dependent (NMD) placed in a Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP) eligible to receive an education travel reimbursement? How about a NMD living in THP+FC?

A: Yes, a NMD who is placed in a SILP, meets all other eligibility requirements and is attending high school at their school of origin is eligible for an education travel reimbursement. This was established in the federal Fostering Connections to Success Act (PL 110-351) which “provides for the cost of reasonable travel for the child to remain in the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement as an allowable foster care maintenance cost.”

The education travel reimbursement is intended to pay the travel expenses for a NMD to remain in the school of origin, not to pay for education-related travel costs generally. However, a NMD living in THP+FC is not eligible to receive an education travel reimbursement. For more information about the mileage reimbursement and public transportation reimbursement, read ACL 13-03 and ACL 11-51.

Extended foster care: family planning services

Q: I am a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for a youth who will soon turn 18 and intends to participate in extended foster care. Once she turns 18, does she still need the permission of her social worker, attorney or a judge to access family planning services, such as getting a prescription for contraception?

A: No. In fact, the young woman did not require the consent of any of these parties before age 18. There are a number of services that minors of any age may consent to in California, including medical care related to pregnancy, contraception, abortion and emergency medical services among others. Other services require a youth to be 12 years of age in order to consent. These include outpatient mental health services, drug and alcohol abuse treatment and shelter services among others. At age 15, a minor may consent for their general medical care under certain specific circumstances. 

The National Youth Law Center has developed a user-friendly fact sheet that summarizes California minor consent and confidentiality laws, which includes all applicable legal citations.

Specialized Care Increment benefits & Non-Related Legal Guardianship (NRLG) benefits eligibility

Q: I am a non-related legal guardian to a 17 year-old girl, who will turn 18 in July. Does she remain eligible for benefits after she turns 18? Also, is she eligible to receive a Specialized Care Increment if she meets the criteria established by the county child welfare agency?

A: Yes, a non-minor youth whose non-related guardianship was ordered in juvenile court is eligible for AFDC-FC benefits until age 21, provided that the youth enters into a mutual agreement with the county agency responsible for his or her guardianship, and the youth is meeting one of the five conditions of eligibility.

As for the Specialized Care Increment (SCI), a non-minor dependent whose non-related guardianship was ordered in juvenile court is eligible for a SCI, provided that the county offers one. Currently, 54 of the 58 counties offer a specialized care increment and each county establishes its own criteria and methodology to determine the specialized care increment. To learn more about the SCI process in your county, follow this LINK.

(Reference: Welf. & Inst. Code § 11405(e)(1),11405(h)