Monthly Archives: December 2013

When Has A Youth Officially Re-Entered?

Q: I am the Deputy Probation Officer for a youth who is re-entering extended foster care under 450 transition jurisdiction. He has signed the SOC 163, but the W&IC section 388(e) petition has not been heard by the court and jurisdiction has not been resumed.  At this point, has he officially “re-entered?” Does the county have to provide him with a placement at this time?

 A: Once the youth and the county child welfare agency or probation agency has signed the SOC 163, the non-minor dependent has re-entered foster care. The voluntary re-entry agreement provides the county with the initial authority for placement. Like other voluntary placements, the court must resume jurisdiction within 180 days of signing the agreement. But, the youth is considered to be in foster care and have all the rights of any other non-minor dependent during that 180 day period. 

Yes, the county must provide a youth who has signed his SOC 163 with an appropriate placement. A youth who re-enters extended foster care is entitled to the same placement options that were available to them previously and the supervising agency has the same placement and care responsibilities as if the NMD were a minor. The only exception to this would be if a NMD elects to be placed in a Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP). In this circumstance, the NMD is responsible for finding their own SILP unit.  However, if a re-entering NMD would like to be placed in a SILP but has not located one, the youth should be placed in another suitable placement until the youth can identify a SILP.

 Source: ACL 12-12

Eligibility for Extended Foster Care for Youth with Voluntary Placement Agreement

Q: I am working with a youth who is in foster care under a Voluntary Placement Agreement and will turn 18 in April 2014. Will she be eligible for extended foster care?

A: In order to be eligible to participate in extended foster care, there must be court order for foster care placement on the youth’s 18th birthday.  A Voluntary Placement Agreement is not a court order for foster care placement. Instead, it is an agreement between the county agency (either child welfare or probation) and the parent or guardian of a child that specifies that the child can voluntarily be placed into foster care for a period of time not to exceed 180 days. Prior to the expiration of the 180 days, the agency must take an additional action including returning the child home, releasing the child for adoption, filing a petition to formally remove the child from the home and place the child into foster care, or formally extend the Voluntary Placement Agreement.

In the case of a youth who is nearing 18, the agency must take one of these actions at least 90 days before the youth turns 18. For the youth you are working with, this deadline would occur sometime in January, depending on the exact date that she will turn age 18 in April.

If the agency chooses to file a removal petition, the petition shall be filed and the juvenile court shall issue a dispositional order, if appropriate, in the case prior to the minor attaining 18 years of age.

These provisions help to ensure that a youth who is voluntarily placed has his/her case assessed and, if appropriate, a petition is filed and acted upon in order to ensure that there is a court order for foster care placement on the youth’s 18th birthday.

Source:  Welf. & Inst. Code §§ 11400(p), 16507.6