Q: If a Non-Minor Dependent is severely developmentally delayed and is placed into a conservatorship, does that make the youth ineligible for extended foster care?
A: No, being placed into conservatorship does not make a NMD ineligible. Many youth in extended foster care have been conserved with no impact to eligibility. These youth meet participation criteria #5, which allows youth who are incapable of meeting any of the other participation conditions due to a medical condition to be eligible for extended foster care.
If a NMD is deemed incompetent, the court can appoint a decision maker if it is in the NMD’s best interest. A decision maker can be any “responsible adult” such as a caretaker, relative, CASA, etc. The decision maker will be authorized “to make educational or developmental services decisions” for the NMD and court form JV-535 has been modified for this purpose. Further, the law that states that a NMD who is determined “incapable of making an informed agreement” does not need to complete a mutual agreement.
Source: WIC§361, WIC § 303(d), Code of Civil Procedure§372, WIC§361, ACL 11-61