Extension of Foster Care Beyond Age 18 - Idaho

Date:

Availability of Foster Care to Age 21

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 16-1604; 16-1622(5); Admin. Code §§ 16.06.02.442; 16.06.02.530

Jurisdiction obtained by the court under this chapter shall be retained until the child's 18th birthday, unless terminated earlier or extended by the court pursuant to § 16-1622(5). Jurisdiction of the court shall not be terminated by an order of termination of parental rights if guardianship and/or custody of the child is placed with the Department of Health and Welfare.

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the court may order extended foster care for a person between the ages of 18 and 21 to help such a person achieve a successful transition to adulthood, provided the person must have been in the custody of the department until their 18th birthday and must meet the criteria set forth in 42 U.S.C. 675(8)(B)(iv). The extension shall be for a fixed period of time and shall not extend past the person's 21st birthday.

In regulation: A child in foster care who reaches age 18 may continue in a foster care placement until age 21 if the safety, health, and well-being of other children in foster care residing in the home are not jeopardized. No more than two such individuals receiving continued care may reside in the foster home at the same time.

Individuals who are in the care of a licensed child care program prior to turning age 18 may remain in the program for up to 90 days after their 18th birthday or until the close of the current school year for individuals attending school.

Requirements for Remaining in Placement

Citation: Admin. Code § 16.06.01.030

To be eligible for independent living services, a current youth in foster care must meet the following criteria:

  • Be between the ages of 14 and 19
  • Currently be under departmental or Tribal care and placement authority established by a court order or voluntary agreement with the youth's family or be under a voluntary agreement for continued care if the youth is between the ages of 18 and 19
  • Have been in foster care or a similar eligible setting for a minimum of 90 total days

To be eligible for independent living services, a youth formerly in foster care must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a youth formerly in foster care who is currently younger than age 21
  • Have been under departmental or Tribal care and placement authority established by a court order or voluntary agreement with the youth's family or under a voluntary agreement for continued care after the youth has reached age 18
  • Have been placed in foster care or a similar eligible setting for a minimum of 90 days total after reaching age 14
  • Be between the ages of 18 and 21, provide verification of meeting the independent living eligibility criteria in another State, and currently be a resident of Idaho

Once established, a youth's eligibility is maintained up to their 21st birthday, regardless of whether they continue to be the responsibility of the department or Tribe or be in foster care.

Placement Agreements

Citation: Admin. Code §§ 16.06.02.530; 16.06.02.531; 16.06.02.656

Continued care is permitted for individuals receiving services by, through, or with the authorization of the Department of Health and Welfare or the Department of Juvenile Corrections prior to their 18th birthday. Prior to accepting an individual into continued care, the following Prior to accepting an individual into continued care, the following documentation must be obtained:

  • A signed voluntary agreement to remain in the program or a copy of a court order authorizing continued placement after the individual's 18th birthday
  • An assessment to ensure that an individual in continued care does not jeopardize the health, safety, and well-being of the children in care of the organization
  • A plan that prohibits individuals in continued care from sharing a bedroom or other sleeping quarters with a child
  • Documentation verifying the individual in continued care was in the care of the organization prior to their 18th birthday
  • Documentation verifying the individual in continued care needs to remain in order to complete treatment, education, or other similar needs

A children's agency must develop and follow a plan of supervision and support services for a youth in transitional living consistent with the youth's needs. The plan of supervision will include the following:

  • Current documentation of financial support sufficient to meet the youth's housing, clothing, food, and miscellaneous expenses
  • The date, location, and documented purpose of each contact between the social worker or service worker and the youth and a summary of the findings describing the youth's adjustment, relationship with family members, and the children's agency efforts to resolve any conflicts

A children's agency will have a mutually agreed upon contract between the youth and the children's agency that specifies the responsibilities of the children's agency and the youth that is signed and dated by the youth and the assigned social worker. The contract will be reviewed and updated at least once every 90 calendar days. A copy of the contract and any amendments to the contract will be maintained in the case record.

There will be face-to-face contact at least monthly with the youth by the assigned caseworker to assess whether the youth is functioning at an acceptable level, is carrying out prescribed expectations, is managing their money, and is residing in a safe and acceptable environment.

Transition Supports Provided

Citation: Admin. Code §§ 16.06.02.654; 16.06.02.658

An agency licensed to provide transitional living services must provide or arrange for the following service components, as appropriate to the youth's needs:

  • Individualized, youth-centered placement planning
  • Counseling and support groups, as appropriate to individual needs
  • Life skills, self-care, daily living skills, money management, and housing
  • Education, vocational, or technical training
  • Health and medical care
  • Legal services
  • Socialization, cultural, religious, and recreational activities
  • Aftercare following termination of transitional services

A children's agency must document that each youth who ends transitional living services is provided with basic information on health care, housing, counseling services, and emergency resources and will be provided their birth certificate, Social Security card, funds, and personal property held by the children's agency.