Q: I am a supervisor of Extended Foster Care in a county child welfare agency. I am wondering if you can direct me to information regarding Non-Minor Dependents who are placed in a Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP) and become homeless, living temporarily with their biological parents.
I know that funding would not be provided while the NMD is living temporarily at his parents. However, I am wondering what, if any, timelines apply. Specifically, is there a time by which the county may terminate jurisdiction because the NMD cannot locate a SILP placement? I would appreciate any direction you can provide.
A: A NMD has a review hearings every 6 months and the court has to review program eligibility, including placement. As long as a the NMD is meeting the eligibility criteria for extended foster care, a recommendation to terminate jurisdiction based on the county agency’s inability to locate appropriate housing is not appropriate and would not meet the requisite burden for a court to terminate jurisdiction. Ultimately, the county agency is responsible for placement of NMDs. The county agency worker must continue to meet with the youth monthly and make efforts to assist the youth in identifying appropriate housing.
In circumstances where the county and the NMD are struggling to identify options, the following suggestions might be helpful: First, determine if the young person is willing to live in a placement other than a SILP, such as THP+FC. If so, refer the youth to a local program. If there is no placement, the county is obligated to provide a placement for youth, in the same way that the county is obligated to provide a placement for a minor. One approach that has been used by counties facing this circumstance is to pay for the youth to live a hotel while the youth and social worker are waiting for a THP+FC opening to become available.
If the youth is not willing to live in a placement other than a SILP, the county agency worker must continue to meet with the youth monthly wherever he or she is temporarily located and make efforts to assist the youth in identifying appropriate housing.