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