Educational Supports for Youth in Foster Care - Idaho

Date: April 2020

Support for Completing High School

Citation: Std. for Working With Older Youth

The Standard for Working With Older Youth provides for an independent living (IL) plan that includes the following supports to ensure that the youth completes his or her secondary education program:

  • Structure and coordinate educational advocacy
  • Provide educational case management
  • Involve parents and caregivers along with youth
  • Make basic skills acquisition a priority
  • Recognize the impact of trauma on a youth's ability to develop and learn
  • Coordinate special education services
  • Encourage cocurricular or extracurricular engagement
  • Ensure collection and retrieval of all educational records for the youth

Planning for Postsecondary Education

Citation: Std. for Working With Older Youth

The IL plan also will provide opportunities for career development and vocational and job training and arrange for postsecondary planning and supports.

Eligibility Requirements

Citation: Child Welf. Std. for Working With Older Youth

To be eligible for IL services in Idaho, youth must meet the following criteria:

  • A youth must be or have been the responsibility of the State or Indian Tribe through a court order.
  • Only youth between ages 14 and 21 are eligible for services and use of funds through the IL program.
  • A youth must have resided in an eligible placement setting that includes foster care, group care, an Indian boarding school, or similar foster care placement and excludes extended home visits, including extended stays with a noncustodial parent, protective supervision, in-patient hospital stays, detention facilities, forestry camps, or other settings primarily designed for services to delinquent youth.
  • A youth must have resided in an eligible foster care setting for 90 cumulative days after his or her 14th birthday.

If a youth is found eligible for IL services and subsequently reaches legal permanency status of adoption or guardianship, the youth remains eligible for IL services until age 21.

IL-eligible youth with legal permanency status of adoption or guardianship on/or after their 16th birthday are eligible for Education and Training Vouchers (ETVs).

ETVs are available to youth who are eligible for services under Idaho's IL program, however, for purposes of the voucher program, in cases where the youth has been adopted after reaching IL eligibility, ETVs are restricted to youth who have a legal permanency status of adoption or guardianship on or after their 16th birthday.

Youth participating in the ETV program on their 21st birthday remain eligible until age 23 as long as they remain enrolled in a full- or part-time postsecondary education or training program and are making satisfactory progress in completing their course of study or training. Satisfactory progress for ETV purposes is defined as maintaining a grade-point average of at least 2.0.

ETV program application requirements include the following:

  • An application must be completed by the youth and endorsed by his or her caseworker.
  • An application must include the written IL service plan for achieving educational goals, including documentation of collaboration with service providers and the department's role in supporting the youth.
  • An application must include a signed release-of-information form for the sharing of information between the department, institutions of higher or technical education, and service providers.
  • An application must be signed by the youth, the youth's case manager, the caseworker's supervisor, and the Child and Family Services program manager.

Due to the nature of the ETV program and the need to monitor the youth's educational progress, case managers must provide support to youth involved in the ETV program by maintaining monthly face-to-face, email, or telephone contact with the youth. The case manager must request semester or quarter grades to monitor the youth's academic progress.

Financial Supports for Postsecondary Programs

Citation: Std. for Working With Older Youth

The ETV program assists youth who have a high school diploma or general educational development (GED) diploma to attend an institution of higher education, as defined by the Higher Education Act.

Funding is available to eligible youth to assist with the cost of attendance, as defined by the educational institution up to $5,000 per academic year. Youth who were eligible for services under Idaho's current Chafee program are eligible for ETVs, except for youth who were adopted or had a completed guardianship before age 16.

Cost of attendance may include tuition and fees, room and board, child care, rental or purchase of required equipment, allowance for books, transportation, and other identified service needs to support the youth's education goals.