Q: Did the Governor’s veto of Senate Bill 912 impact the COVID-19 extension of foster care for youth who turned 21 on or after April 17th?
A: No, it did not. The 2020-21 state budget included $32 million to protect non-minor dependents by allowing youth who turn 21 between April 17, 2020 and June 30, 2021 to remain in care until June 30, 2021. Senate Bill 912 (Beall) would have made additional changes to this extension, including changing the date range of eligibility and making the extension automatic for any future states of emergency. The veto of Senate Bill 912 did not impact the existing extension to June 30, 2021. A full description of how the extension was included in the state budget follows.
The budget trailer bill, Assembly Bill 89 states that $29,021,000 million is available to:
1) Fund the assistance costs associated with continuing an extended foster care benefit assistance payment for any nonminor dependent who met eligibility requirements for the Extended Foster Care program, has lost their employment or has experienced a disruption in their education program resulting from COVID-19, and cannot otherwise meet any of the participation requirements; and
2) Extend foster care eligibility for nonminor dependents who turn 21 years of age while in extended foster care on or after April 17, 2020, through June 30, 2021.
Another budget trailer bill, Senate Bill 115 states that $2,979,000 is available to fund the administrative costs associated with the above provisions. An All County Letter with more in-depth guidance about this extension is forthcoming from the California Department of Social Services. In the meantime, questions can be directed to TAYPolicy@dss.ca.gov.