Extension of Foster Care Beyond Age 18 - Hawaii

Date: March 2022

Availability of Foster Care to Age 21

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 587A-35

The court may retain jurisdiction under this chapter until the full term for which any order entered expires or until the child reaches age 19, whichever comes first.

Requirements for Remaining in Placement

Citation: Code of Rules § 17-1610-2

The term 'foster child' means any child who meets the following criteria:

  • Is younger than age 18 in out-of-home care under the placement responsibility of the Department of Human Services
  • Is in State-funded foster care and, upon reaching age 18 while residing in a resource family home with a goal towards independent living, is able and willing to complete high school education or an equivalent within 6 months or within the following school year
  • Is in State-funded foster care, living in a resource family home, and receiving special educational services as defined by the Department of Education and remains in high school until the end of the school year in which the foster child reaches age 20

Placement Agreements

Citation: Code of Rules § 17-1610-26

When the department has been awarded permanent custody of a child pursuant to chapter 587A, the department shall have a case plan for the child, in accordance with departmental procedures, that, where appropriate and in accordance with departmental procedures, includes an independent living transition plan that identifies goals, services, and activities that may assist the child to prepare for a transition to independent living.

During the 90-day period immediately prior to the date on which the child will reach age 18, whether during that period foster care maintenance payments are being made on the child's behalf or the child is receiving benefits or services under 42 U.S.C. § 677, the department shall provide the child with assistance and support in developing a transition plan that is personalized at the direction of the child; includes specific options on housing, health insurance, education, local opportunities for mentors and continuing support services, and workforce supports and employment services; and is as detailed as the child may elect.

Transition Supports Provided

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 587A-3A; Code of Rules § 17-1610-2

Beginning at age 12, a child in foster care will be provided with age-appropriate life skills training and a transition plan for appropriately moving out of the foster care system, including reunification or other permanency, and written information concerning the following:

  • Independent living programs
  • Organizations for youth in foster care
  • Transitional planning services that are available to all children in foster care who are age 12 or older and their resource families

If a child in foster care is age 14 or older, they have the right to be involved in developing a case plan and planning for their future.

If the child in foster care is age 14 or older, they will receive their credit report, free of charge, annually during the child's time in foster care and receive assistance with interpreting the report and resolving inaccuracies, including, when feasible, assistance from the child's guardian ad litem.

If the child is age 17, they will receive, prior to aging out of care, certain personal records, including the following:

  • An official or certified copy of their U.S. birth certificate
  • Their Social Security card
  • Health insurance information
  • A copy of their medical records or information to access their medical records free of charge
  • Immigration documents
  • A driver's license or civil identification card issued by the State

In regulation: 'Independent living services' means programs and activities that assist an eligible child to prepare for the transition from out-of-home care to independent living.