Extending Out-of-Home Care for Youth Past Age 18
The following resources provide more information on Federal and State efforts to support youth in out-of-home care past age 18. Resources include State and local examples.
State by State Facts
National Resource Center for Youth Development
Provides a search tool for State-specific information on services for youth over 18, as well as administration of Chafee dollars, youth leadership activities, tuition waivers, and more.
Extending Foster Care Beyond 18: Improving Outcomes for Older Youth (PDF - 914 KB)
National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections (2012)
Provides a summary of the issues around extending foster care beyond the age of 18, focusing on the impact of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. This information packet also provides statistics, research, promising practices, and online resources.
Extending Foster Care to Age 21: Weighing the Costs to Government Against the Benefits to Youth
Peters, Dworsky, Courtney, & Pollack (2009)
Estimates costs and benefits if States extend foster care to age 21, focusing on the possibility for an increase in postsecondary educational attainment and a resulting increase in lifetime earnings for youth.
Foster Care to 21: Doing It Right (PDF - 300 KB)
Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative (2011)
Explains how the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 provides support to States to extend foster care to age 21 and discusses best practices for providing extended foster care. The poor outcomes for young people aging out of care at 18 are described, as well as the outcomes for those who remain in care until 21 and the costs benefits of extending foster care to 21.
Implementation of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008: Working Document
Children's Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Provides a reference for stakeholders interested in locating Children's Bureau policy, guidance, and other implementation activities related to the Fostering Connections Act, including the option to extend eligibility for title IV-E payments to age 21.
The Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth
Dworsky, Courtney et al. (2010)
Presents a longitudinal study that follows a sample of young people from Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois as they transition out of foster care into adulthood. The study aims to provide a comprehensive picture of how youth are faring during transition since the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 became law. Issue briefs are available that use data from the study and explore the impact of extending foster care beyond age 18.
The Option to Extend Care Beyond Age 18: An Important Opportunity for States
American Bar Association
Judges' Page Newsletter, July 2011
An overview of the provisions of the Fostering Connections to Success Act and the roles of representatives of the courts and child welfare community in its implementation.
State and local examples
Bulletin #10-68-12: Fostering Connections Guidance and Changes to Foster Care for Youth Ages 18–21
Minnesota Department of Human Services (2010)
Issues policy guidance on associated changes to foster care for youth ages 18–21, including expansion of title IV-E claiming and amendments to State law, and provides an overview of various provisions of the Fostering Connections Act.
California's Fostering Connections to Success Act and the Costs and Benefits of Extending Foster Care to 21 (PDF - 471 KB)
Courtney, Dworsky, & Peters (2009)
Uses data from Illinois on college participation rates and public assistance receipt by youth aging out of foster care to analyze the potential costs and benefits of allowing youth in foster care to remain in care until age 21 in California.
Continuing in Foster Care Beyond Age 18: How Courts Can Help (PDF - 386 KB)
Peters, Bell, Zinn, Goerge, & Courtney (2008)
Finds that strong advocacy within the juvenile court on behalf of youth in foster care plays a primary role in keeping youth in care in Illinois past age 18.
Extending Foster Care To Age 21: Measuring Costs and Benefits in Washington State (PDF - 156 KB)
Washington State Institute for Public Policy (2010)
Compares outcomes for participants in Foster Care to 21, a Washington State program enacted in 2006 that annually allowed up to 50 youth who were enrolled in a post-high school academic or vocational program to remain in foster care until they reached age 21, with a matched group of youth who completed high school before the program was available. In 2012, Washington State phased out the Foster Care to 21 program and replaced it with the Extended Foster Care Program.
Keeping Your DYFS Case Open Until 21 in New Jersey: The Experiences of Young People Like You [Video]
New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services
Features interviews of youth talking about the benefits of keeping their case open past age 18 and receiving voluntary services, including housing, financial, transportation, life skills, employment, education, Medicaid, and other services.
Sample State Legislation to Extend Foster Care, Adoption, and Guardianship Protections, Services and Payments to Young Adults Age 18 and Older (PDF - 433 KB)
American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, Center for Law and Social Policy, Children's Defense Fund, & Juvenile Law Center (2010)
Provides sample legislation as a tool that State policymakers, administrators, and advocates can use as they advocate for and develop legislation to extend support to young adults beyond age 18 in response to the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act option. It can be the basis for new legislation or help in evaluating current State laws or pending legislation.