Monthly Archives: July 2016

County Policies on Out-of-County Youth in THP-Plus

Q:  I’m 22 years old and currently live in a THP-Plus program in the county I exited care from in Southern California. I’d like to move to Northern California so that I can attend a community college that has a transfer agreement with the university I plan to ultimately attend up north. I have only been in THP-Plus for 7 months, and do not have much of a savings. I would like to find a THP-Plus program in the area where I plan to move so that I can afford to attend school without having to work full-time.

I’ve heard that some THP-Plus programs have stipulations about accepting youth who did not exit foster care from their county. Is there some sort of list that will tell me which counties will accept out-of-county youth in their THP-Plus programs?

A:  Yes, the John Burton Foundation has developed a list that includes almost all counties with THP-Plus programs’ policies on whether they accept out-of-county youth. This information was gathered from the THP-Plus contact at each county. The majority of counties do accept out-of-county youth, however some have stipulations, such as requiring that the youth reside in the county of the program, or that they have ties to the community and/or a purpose for residing there (i.e. a job, a school, family, etc.). The list is posted on the THP-Plus website at

FAFSA Now Available Starting October 1st

Q: I’m a CASA volunteer working with a high school student who is about to enter her senior year. She plans to attend college the fall after graduating. I want to make sure she receives the financial aid she is eligible for as a foster youth. I understand that completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step. Someone mentioned that starting this year, the FAFSA will be available at an earlier date. Is this true? If so, will the  Chafee application be available earlier too?

A: Yes, this is true. Previously, the FAFSA could be completed starting January 1st for the following fall semester or quarter. Now, the California Student Aid Commission will accept the FAFSA, the California Dream Act application, and the Chafee application for the 2017-18 school year starting October 1, 2016.

The deadline for completing the FAFSA has not changed. For maximum financial aid, it is very important for the youth you work with to submit the FAFSA no later than March 2, 2017. Consideration for priority funding is given to those whose complete application is submitted on or before this day as funding is limited and applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. If a student misses this deadline, he or she should still submit a FAFSA because additional financial aid is available.

You should work with your CASA youth to submit the FAFSA (or the CA Dream Act application if she is undocumented) and the Chafee application as early as October 1st. You should also make sure she checks with her high school to see whether they will submit her Cal Grant GPA verification form directly to the California Student Commission, or whether she will need to submit it using the paper form (also a March 2nd deadline). By completing the FAFSA, your youth will automatically be applying for a federal Pell Grant.

The FAFSA application is available at The Chafee application is available at

EFC Re-Entry Guidelines – Waiting Period?

Q: We just discharged a youth in my county from extended foster care (EFC) because she has not fulfilled a participation condition for six months now, and has indicated that she no longer wants to attempt to fulfill a participation condition nor plans on working toward the goals in her Transitional Independent Living Plan (TILP).

The next day she called me and said that she would like to re-enter EFC. I’m concerned that she may not be serious. Can I insist that this young woman wait a specified amount of time before re-entering EFC, or that she show me that she is serious by managing on her own for a while?

A: No. Specifying an amount of time that an NMD must wait before she is allowed to re-enter foster care is not permitted by state law or regulation. As long as this former non-minor dependent (NMD) is meeting the eligibility criteria specified below, she has the right to re-enter EFC:

  1. age (not yet 21)
  2. under a foster care placement order on their 18th birthday*
  3. agree to meet participation conditions
  4. authority for placement (completing the Voluntary Re-entry Agreement-SOC 163, following by resumption of juvenile court jurisdiction)
  5. willing to live in an eligible placement [1]

(*the exception this this is for youth who have re-entered EFC after a failed permanency plan as provided by AB 2454 so were not in foster care on their 18th birthday)

Signing the Voluntary Reentry Agreement is sufficient to indicate the NMD’s willingness to meet a participation condition and satisfies that requirement pending the NMD’s completion of the TILP, which documents the NMD’s continuing participation.[2]

There is no limit on the number of times a youth can opt-out and re-enter foster care as long as the youth is still under age 21.[3]


[1] Welf. & Inst. Code §§ 388(e), 388.1; All County Letter 12‐12 (March 23, 2012)

[2] All County Letter 12-12 (March 23, 2012)

[3] Welf. & Inst. Code §§§11400(z), 388(e); 366.31(c); All County Letter 12‐12 (March 23, 2012)