Category Archives: Eligibility

Financial aid eligibility for reunified youth

Q: I am working with a young woman who has turned 21 and was previously in foster care. She was reunified with her mother approximately 7 weeks before she turned 18. Does this preclude her from educational financial aid that is tied to her foster youth status? Can she access Chafee and the other types of financial aid?

A: No, reunifying at age 17 does not preclude this young woman from any financial aid that she may be eligible for as a foster youth. Yes, she is categorically eligible for the Chafee Education & Training Voucher, the Board of Governors (BOG) Fee Waiver, the Cal Grant, and the Pell Grant. Provided below is more information about foster care status and eligibility for these types of financial aid.

For the Chafee Grant, a youth must have been a dependent or ward of the court living in foster care on or after their 16th birthday. However, it is important to note in this case because she is 21 years old, that if she turns 22 before July 1st of the award year she would not be eligible for Chafee.

For the BOG Fee Waiver, the Cal Grant and the Pell Grant, eligibility is linked to the student’s “independent” status on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Being “independent” means the student does not need to report parental income (but if their own income exceeds the income standards, they will not get aid). In order to qualify for independent status, a youth needs to have been in care at least one day after their 13th birthday.

Citation: California Student Aid Commission (Chafee eligibility: https://www.chafee.csac.ca.gov/), U.S. Department of Education Office of Federal Student Aid (https://fafsa.ed.gov/)

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Eligible placements for AB 2464 re-entries

Q: I’m working with an 18 year old in guardianship who is no longer being provided support by their guardian, and is without a place to live. She has asked if she can access a Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP).

Is there a way for this youth to re-enter foster care and access a SILP, and will she be eligible to receive her foster care payment directly as her own payee?

A: If this youth’s guardian is no longer providing ongoing support to her and she successfully re-enters Extended Foster Care through the process established by Assembly Bill 2454 (more information about this process in a previous Q of the W), then she would be eligible for the placement options available to non-minor dependents, including the Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP).

To access a SILP, she would have to pass a SILP Readiness Assessment and her housing would have to pass a Health & Safety Inspection. Youth placed in SILPs are eligible to receive their foster care payment directly.

Citation: Assembly Bill 2454 (2014), All County Information Notice I-17-15 (October 20, 2015), All County Letter 11-69 (October 13, 2011), All County Letter 11-77 (November 18, 2011)

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Can non-minors in guardianships be placed in a SILP or THP+FC?

Q: I work for Child Protective Services and would like to know whether youth in Non-Related Legal Guardianships (NRLG) are eligible for placement in a Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP) or in a transitional housing placement (THP+FC).

Also, is there a certain age these youth had to have gone into the guardianship to be eligible for extended benefits?

A: Youth in guardianships, including Non-Related Legal Guardianship (NRLG) are not eligible for Extended Foster Care, and so they cannot be placed in foster care placements such as a SILP or THP+FC.

Some youth in guardianships are eligible for extended Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (Kin-GAP) benefits:

  • Youth in NRLG established in dependency court are eligible for extended Kin-GAP to age 21, regardless of the age the guardianship was established.[1]
  • Youth in NRLG established by the probate court are only eligible for extended Kin-GAP as follows: If they are still in high school when they turn 18, they can remain receiving benefits until they graduate high school or turn 19, whichever comes first. “This is called the high school completion rule”.[2]
  • Youth in kin guardianships are eligible for extended Kin-GAP to age 21 if the guardianship was established after the youth turned 16[3] (with the exception of the condition stated in the next bulletin). If the guardianship was established prior to turning 16, they are only eligible for extended benefits under the terms of the high school completion rule stated in the previous bullet.[4]
  • Youth in kin guardianships who have a physical or mental disability, the Kin-GAP benefits can be extended to age 21 regardless of the age the guardianship was established.[5]

Citation:

[1] Welfare & Institutions Code § 11400(2)(aa)
[2] All County Letter 11‐69
[3] Welfare & Institutions Code §§ 11363(d), 11386(h); All County Letter 11‐86; Senate Bill 1013
[4] Welfare & Institutions Code § 11363(c)(3), 11386(g)(3); All County Letter 11‐15; All County Letter 11‐86
[5] Welfare & Institutions Code §§ 11363(c)(2), 11386(g)(2)

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THP-Plus – are married youth eligible?

Q: Are there any restrictions regarding married former foster youth applying for the THP-Plus program?

A: No, there is no restriction regarding married former foster youth participating in THP-Plus. If they are otherwise THP-Plus-eligible, youth who are married can participate in THP-Plus.

Youth are eligible for THP-Plus who were in foster care or out-of-home probation on or after their 18th birthday, and who are ages 18 up to age 24,[1] and up to age 25 in counties who have opted into the THP-Plus extension[2] established by SB 1252.

Citations:

[1] Welfare & Institutions Code Section 11403.2(a)(2)(A)

[2] Welfare & Institutions Code Section 11403.2(a)(2)(B)

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Adopted at 16 but in need of services

Q: I was adopted when I was 16, but things didn’t really work out and I’ve been on my own since I turned 18. Now I’m 19 years-old and I work part-time, but it’s not enough to rent an apartment even with a roommate. I’m staying on my friend’s couch right now but I need to be out of here soon. My adoptive parents will not allow me to move back in. Am I eligible for AB 12 or for the THP-Plus program for former foster youth? 

A: Yes, you may be eligible to re-enter Extended Foster Care (EFC) through a process that was established by Assembly Bill 2454.

As of January 1, 2015, a youth who is over 18 years of age and, while a minor, was a dependent child or ward of the juvenile court when their guardianship or adoption was established, may seek re-entry to foster care if the legal guardian(s) or adoptive parent(s) received aid* after the youth attained 18 years of age, but no longer provide ongoing support to, and no longer receive aid on behalf of the non-minor between 18 and (up to) 21 years old.

Once the petition is filed and the court determines there is sufficient information to indicate that the non-minor meets one of the conditions for re-entry, a hearing will be scheduled within 15 judicial days.

The child welfare or probation department will prepare a court report that addresses how the non-minor will meet one of the five EFC participation criteria cited in ACL 11-69 and the appropriate placement setting for the non-minor. If re-entry into foster care is in the non-minor’s best interest, the court will assume dependency jurisdiction over the non-minor and order placement and care responsibility with the child welfare or probation agency.

As for your eligibility for the THP-Plus program for former foster youth, you are not eligible. Youth are eligible for the THP-Plus program who were in foster care or out-of-home placement on or after their 18th birthday and there is currently no mechanism to petition this, as there is for Extended Foster Care.

*Received aid under the state or federal Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (Kin-GAP), as a Non-Related Legal Guardian whose guardianship was established in dependency court, or through the Adoption Assistance Program (AAP)

Citation: Assembly Bill 2454 (2014), All County Information Notice I-17-15 (October 20, 2015), All County Letter 11-69 (October 13, 2011)

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