Youth Re-Entering Foster Care: When Do Services Begin?

Q: I am a probation officer and have a question about re-entry into foster care. Is it necessary for the judge to “declare” a youth as a Non-Minor Dependent (NMD) before our county can provide services (including placement) or can we begin providing services upon re-entry, when the youth completes the SOC 163?

A: You do not have to wait and should not wait until the court’s resumption of transition jurisdiction to provide services, including placement. This is specified most directly, in All County Letter 12-12: “Authority for placement is initially met through the signing of a SOC 163 by both the youth and the county and maintained by the court’s resumption of dependency or assumption/resumption of transition jurisdiction under W&IC section 388(e).”

 The ACL further explains that the purpose of the 15 judicial day requirement is not to authorize the provision of services and is not a requirement for eligibility of the federal or state EFC payment program. Instead, its purpose is to ensure that the non-minor gets before the court and connected with his or her attorney as quickly as possible.

 Source: ACL 12-12

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