Monthly Archives: March 2018

Transportation to reproductive & sexual health appointments

Q: Theresa, a sixteen-year old foster youth, has shared with her foster parent that she is pregnant and wants to terminate her pregnancy. Theresa has scheduled an appointment for an abortion and asked her caregiver to drive her. The caregiver shares with Theresa’s social worker she is not comfortable with taking Theresa to an appointment for an abortion.  Theresa’s social worker feels it is the caregiver’s responsibility to transport Theresa to the appointment. What is social worker required by law to do? 

A: The case manager should remind the caregiver of the requirement for her to provide Theresa transportation to medical appointments, which includes appointments for reproductive and sexual health related services. If the caregiver continues to refuse to take Theresa to the appointment, the case manager must transport the youth or elect another trusted adult to transport the youth to the appointment. An appointment for an abortion is time-sensitive, therefore it is important that the case manager ensure that someone, whether it be the caregiver, case manager or another trusted adult, transports Theresa to this appointment promptly. The case manager can also provide the caregiver with a copy of ACL 16-82, which outlines the youth’s right to be provided transportation and other reproductive health rights.

This scenario is from A Guide for Case Managers: Assisting Foster Youth with Sexual Development and Pregnancy, page 14.

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Minimum Income for Filing Taxes

Q: I am working with youth to ensure they file their income taxes before the April 17 tax filing deadline. What is the minimum income level after which an individual is required to file taxes?

A: Assuming the youth is single, those who make $10,400 and over are required to file a tax return for 2017. However, even if they do not meet the minimum required income, youth should consider filing taxes if they can get money back.  According to Efile.com, an individual can get money back for the following reasons:

  • If they had taxes withheld from their pay, they must file a tax return to receive a tax refund.
  • If they qualify, they must file a return to receive the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • If they are claiming education credits, they must file to be refunded the American Opportunity Credit.
  • If they have a qualifying child but owe no tax, they can file to be refunded the Additional Child Tax Credit.
  • If they qualify, they must file to claim the refundable Health Coverage Tax Credit.
  • If they overpaid estimated tax or applied a prior year overpayment to this year, they must file to receive the refund.

For assistance with filing taxes, please visit a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site near you.  You can find a site near you by visiting www.CalEITC4Me.org and using the Free Tax Prep Finder Tool, or call the IRS at 1-800-906-9887.

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Foster Care Payments for NMDs

Q: When do foster care payments for non-minor dependents cease – the day the NMD turns 21 or at the end of their birthday month?

A: As of February 16, 2018, foster care payments for non-minor dependents (NMDs) will end no later than the day before their 21st birthday. This is a change from the previous practice of the foster care payment covering the entire month during which the NMD turned 21.

Unless you hear otherwise from your county that they intend to use county-only funding to provide a full month’s payment, be aware that the payment will be pro-rated based on the number of days in the month that preceded the NMD’s 21st birthday or preceded their juvenile court jurisdiction termination date (which in some cases may be set prior to their 21st birthday).

Citation: California Department of Social Services, All County Letter 18-15 (February 16, 2008)

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