Tag Archives: foster care benefits

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?

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.

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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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Emergency Child Care Bridge Program

Q: I have a parenting foster youth who needs help with child care. I’m hoping to connect her to the new Emergency Child Care Bridge Program for Foster Children. She lives outside of her county of origin/jurisdiction. My question is, which county does she go through to access the Bridge Program, and how do we find out whether that county has opted into the program?

A: To receive assistance from the Emergency Child Care Bridge Program, her county of origin/jurisdiction would have to be participating. This is the county she would access the funding/services through.

According to the recently released County Fiscal Letter 17-18/50, all counties have opted into the program with the exception of the following:

  • ALPINE
  • AMADOR
  • DEL NORTE
  • INYO
  • LASSEN
  • MADERA
  • MARIPOSA
  • MODOC
  • PLUMAS
  • RIVERSIDE
  • SANTA BARBARA
  • SIERRA
  • SISKIYOU
  • SUTTER
  • TUOLUMNE
  • YUBA

In the CFL, if the county has funding allocated to it, it has opted into the program.

Citation: California Department of Social Services County Fiscal Letter 17/18-50 (January 23, 2018)

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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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Extended foster care eligibility: attending school as a participation condition

Q:  My foster child will be turning 18 in the summer and wants to attend community college. Will that qualify him to be eligible for extended foster care?

A:  In order to be eligible for extended foster care, a youth must meet with one of five participation criteria. One of the five criteria is being enrolled in an institution which provides postsecondary or vocational education. In order to satisfy the criteria, a nonminor dependent must be enrolled at least half-time. In most institutions, including the California public college and university systems, this will consist of enrollment in at least six semester course units or quarter course equivalent.  As stated in ACL 11-69 on page 10, “a nonminor dependent on summer break from school is still considered participating as long as they are enrolled for the following semester.”  (Scheduled school breaks do not affect the eligibility status of nonminor dependents). There is more information about the post-secondary or vocational education participation criterion starting on page 23 of ACL 11-69.

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Non-minor dependents’ eligibility to receive foster care payment directly

Q: Can a youth participating in extended foster care receive the foster care benefits directly?

A: A youth living in a Supervised Independent Living placement may receive the payment directly. It is not guaranteed. If the young adult is receiving the payment directly it needs to be documented in the Transitional Independent Living Plan (TILP).

NMDs all other types of placements (like group homes, THP‐ Plus Foster Care, or a foster family home) do not receive the benefit directly, but a provider may agree to give part of the benefit to the NMD to manage in order to help the NMD to develop financial skills and greater levels of responsibility. All County Letter 11‐69; All County Letter 11‐77

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