Tag Archives: extended foster care

Has CCR changed AB 12 eligibility?

Q: I am a CASA with a youth who is facing some decisions regarding her permanency plan. I understand there have been recent changes related to Continuum of Care Reform, impacting foster care placement. My question is, has CCR changed AB 12 eligibility at all — particularly in regards to the age of establishing guardianship and eligibility for extended Kin-GAP payments?

A: No. AB 12 eligibility has not changed as a result of Continuum of Care Reform (CCR). AB 12 eligibility, including eligibility for Extended Foster Care, extended Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (Kin-GAP) payments, and extended Adoptions Assistance Program (AAP) payments remains as follows:

Extended Foster Care:

There are four basic eligibility requirements for a youth to continue to receive support after the age of 18. The youth must:

  • have an order for foster care placement on his/her 18th birthday;[i]
  • continue under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court as a dependent, under transitional jurisdiction, or as a ward;[ii]
  • meet one of the five participation conditions*;[iii] and
  • agree to live in a supervised placement that is licensed or approved.[iv]

The youth must also sign a mutual agreement (although not a condition of payment)[v], meet with his/her social worker or probation officer monthly[vi], and participate in six-month court review hearings.[vii]

Extended Kin-GAP:

  • Youth, regardless of age of entry into Kin-GAP, may continue to receive Kin-GAP up until age 21 if he or she has a physical or mental disability that warrants continuing assistance beyond age 18 and up until 21.[viii]
  • Youth who began to receive the negotiated Kin-GAP payment after they turn 16 are eligible for extended Kin-GAP benefits to age 21, as long as the youth meets one of the participation conditions* and signs a mutual agreement.[ix]
  • Youth who began to receive the negotiated Kin-GAP payment before they turn 16 are eligible for extended Kin-GAP beyond age 18 if they have not yet graduated high school, but are expected to complete high school or an equivalent program before they turn 19. In this case, they can continue to receive Kin-GAP until they graduate or turn 19, whichever happens first.[x] There is one exception to this rule: Youth in a guardianship with a non-related extended family member (see next bullet).
  • Regardless of the age of entry into Kin-GAP, youth in a guardianship with a non-related extended family member (NREFM) are eligible for extended AFDC-FC benefits as a non-related guardian when they turn 18 and up until age 21, as long as the youth meets one of the participation conditions* and signs a mutual agreement.[xi]

Extended AAP:

  • A youth, regardless of age of entry into the Adoptions Assistance Program (AAP), may continue to receive AAP up until age 21 if he or she has a physical or mental disability that warrants continuing assistance beyond age 18 and up until 21.
  • Youth who do not have a physical or mental disability and who began to receive the negotiated AAP payment before turning 16 will receive AAP until age 18.
  • Youth who began to receive the negotiated AAP payment after turning 16 may be eligible for extended AAP benefits beyond age 18, and up until 21, as long as the youth meets one of the participations conditions*. There is no mutual agreement requirement for youth to receive AAP after age 18. [xii]

*The “five participation conditions” referenced above are as follows:

1) The nonminor is completing secondary education or a program leading to an equivalent credential.

2) The nonminor is enrolled in an institution which provides postsecondary or vocational education.

3) The nonminor is participating in a program or activity designed to promote, or remove barriers to employment.

4) The nonminor is employed for at least 80 hours per month.

5) The nonminor is incapable of doing any of the activities described above due to a medical condition.[xiii]

Citations:

[i] Welf. & Inst. Code § 11400(v)

[ii] Welf. & Inst. Code § 11400(v)

[iii] Welf. & Inst. Code § 11403(b)

[iv] Welf. & Inst. Code § 11402

[v] Welf. & Inst. Code §§ 303(d), 11400(u); All County Letter 11‐61

[vi] 42 U.S.C. § 622(b)(17); ACYF-CB-PI-10-11 (p. 11)

[vii] Welf. & Inst. Code §366.3(m)

[viii] Welf. & Inst. Code §§ 11363(c)(2), 11386(g)(2)

[ix] Welf. & Inst. Code §§ 11363(d), 11386(h); All County Letter 11‐86; Senate Bill §1013

[x] Welf. & Inst. Code § 11363(c)(3), 11386(g)(3); All County Letter 11‐15; All County Letter 11‐86

[xi] Welf. & Inst. Code §§ 11391(c), 11405(e)(2)

[xii] Welf. & Inst. Code §§ 16120(d); 16123

[xiii] Welf. & Inst. § 11403(b)

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Re-Entering Foster Care from Guardianship or Adoption

Q: I am a former foster youth who left foster care at age 17 when my aunt became my legal guardian. I am now 19 years-old and she is no longer providing me any financial support. It is possible for me to re-enter foster care?

A: Yes, Governor Brown recently signed Assembly Bill 2454 which will authorize a non-minor who has exited foster care to guardianship OR adoption to petition the court to resume dependency jurisdiction if the following conditions are met:

  1. the non-minor was under juvenile court jurisdiction when the guardianship was established or the adoption was finalized;
  2. the non-minor has to have received benefits after age 18;
  3. the non-minor’s former guardian or adoptive parents have died or are no longer providing ongoing support to the non-minor and are no longer receive payment on behalf of the nonminor;
  4. the non-minor is under age 21;
  5. the court determines that it is in the nonminor’s best interest for the court to assume dependency jurisdiction;
  6. The non-minor agrees to satisfy all other requirements of extended foster care.

The bill will be effective January 1, 2015.

Source: Welfare & Institutions Code § 388.1

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Non-minor dependent eligibility for CalFresh benefits

Q: Can a Non-Minor Dependent (NMD) in a Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP) receive CalFresh benefits (i.e. food stamps)?

A: Yes.  According to a FAQ document provided by CDSS, a NMD living in a SILP can apply for CalFresh. Eligibility for CalFresh is made on a case by case basis and considers the household composition, the individual’s income, earned and unearned, including the foster care grant, assets, the amount of rent and utility expenses, student status and other factors. The fact that the NMD is receiving a foster care payment does not, in and of itself, make the young adult ineligible. Eligibility will be based on the combined income and resources of the young adult and may include the income and resources of other persons living in the SILP who purchase and prepare meals with the NMD. If the NMD is employed, that income will factor into the eligibility decision. Additionally, if the NMD is attending college, eligibility considerations are different. NMDs living in a SILP should be encouraged to apply for CalFresh, as they may be eligible, but should be informed that a variety of factors go into the eligibility determination, so it is not guaranteed.

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Nurse Family Partnership program: a resource for parenting non-minor dependents

Q:  I participated in JBF’s web seminar last week on the needs of parenting youth in foster care. There was information presented about the Nurse Family Partnership program, which the presenters said improves prenatal health and outcomes for mothers.  Where can I learn more about this program and find an agency in my county?

A: The Nurse Family Partnership is an evidence-based program that has demonstrated benefits for both the child and the mother. Given the high incidence of parenting youth in extended foster care, making timely referrals to the Nurse Family Partnership is an important resource for non-minor dependents who are pregnant. To learn more about the Nurse Family Partnership and to locate an implementing agency, follow this LINK.

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THP-Plus under realignment

Q: The Administration’s realignment trailer bill was released last Friday and it appears to give county child welfare agencies the option as to whether or not to implement THP-Plus and THP-Plus Foster Care. Was THP-Plus Foster Care an option under AB 12 or was it required? How will this ultimately be determined?

A: Yes, language in the Administration’s trailer bill provides counties with the discretion to use funding provided for THP-Plus and THP-Plus Foster Care for other purposes (page 79). This is a change in the policy adopted by the California State Legislature with AB 12, which required counties to establish THP-Plus Foster Care as a placement option for non-minor dependents. The decision as to whether THP-Plus Foster Care is optional or required will be determined by the Legislature and the Administration as part of the passage of the Fiscal Year 2012-13 budget package.

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Re-entry to foster care: county of jurisdiction vs. county of residence

Q:  If a youth who exited care has moved to a new county and wants to reenter foster care, do they have to contact the child welfare agency in the county that had jurisdiction when they exited or can they contact the child welfare agency where they currently live?

A:  According to ACL 12-12, the original county retains jurisdiction, but a youth who wishes to re-enter can contact either the county of jurisdiction or the county of residence.  If the child welfare agency that the youth contacts is not the one that has jurisdiction over the case, the county of residence is required to immediately assist the youth in determining the county of jurisdiction and allow the youth to phone the point of contact in the county of jurisdiction in order to begin the application process.  In some cases the county of residence may be able to provide assistance to the youth with completing the necessary forms and send them to the county that has jurisdiction.  If they are not able to provide this assistance, the county of jurisdiction must assess the circumstances of the youth’s request and get the completed forms from the youth in a timely manner.

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Re-entry to foster care after involvement with adult criminal justice system

Q:  If a youth exits foster care and becomes involved with the adult criminal justice system, does that disqualify him from re-entering extended foster care?

A:  No; the existence of a criminal conviction does not bar the court from resuming dependency jurisdiction. If placement in a licensed or approved foster or relative home with dependent minors in the residence is planned for a youth who is re-entering, the county may elect to do a background check of the youth.  The background check is solely for purpose of determining appropriate placement.  Although the Health and Safety Code requires that adults residing in a licensed foster family home are subject to criminal background clearances, these sections do not apply to non-minor dependents residing in licensed foster family homes, because they are considered clients. This also applies to non-minor dependents in relative and non-related extended family member homes. For more information, refer to ACL 12-12.

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Continuing to meet extended foster care participation conditions post-partum

Q:  I am working with a non-minor dependent who recently gave birth to a child. She is taking time off from her job to be with her newborn. Does she still qualify for extended foster care and if so, under which of the participation conditions?

A: Yes, the non-minor dependent would still be eligible for extended foster care. Birth of a child does not disqualify a non-minor dependent from participating in extended foster care. Under these circumstances, she would likely meet participation condition #5, which states that the non-minor dependent is incapable of meeting participation conditions #1 to #4 due to a medical condition.

The medical condition must be verified by a healthcare practitioner and written documentation is required that the medical condition renders the individual incapable of doing any the activities that would allow her to meet one of the other four participation conditions. For more information about condition #5, refer to ACL 11-61.

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Specialized Care Increment (SCI) in extended foster care

Q: My question is about the Specialized Care Increment. If a youth receives a SCI in their placement as a minor, are they able to continue to receive it as a non-minor dependent participating in extended foster care?

A:  Yes. Non-minor dependents who were eligible for a Specialized Care Increment remain eligible for it as participants in extended foster care if they are placed in a foster family home or with a relative caregiver placement. SCI is not available in THP-Plus FC, placements through a Foster Family Agency (although, NMDs placed through an FFA may be eligible for the Intensive Treatment Foster Care rate), Group Home placements, or in Supervised Independent Living Placement.

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Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program

Q: Are refugee children who are placed into the Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) program and receive refugee foster care services and benefits eligible for extended foster care?

A: AB 12/212 does not have any effect on children in the Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) program.  AB 12 concerns foster care benefits in the AFDC-FC program.  AFDC-FC is paid for children who are in state foster care and is administered by the state.  URM is a federal program.  Children in the URM program do not receive AFDC-FC.

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