Extension of Foster Care Beyond Age 18 - Kansas

Date: March 2022

Availability of Foster Care to Age 21

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 38-2203

When the court acquires jurisdiction over a child in need of care, jurisdiction may continue until any of the following occur:

  • The child has reached age 18 or until June 1 of the school year during which the child reaches age 18 if the child is still attending high school, unless there is no court-approved transition plan, in which event jurisdiction may continue until a transition plan is approved by the court or until the child reaches age 21.
  • The child has been adopted.
  • The child has been discharged by the court.

Any child age 18 or older may request, in writing to the court, that the jurisdiction of the court cease. The court shall give notice of the request to all parties and interested parties, and 30 days after receipt of the request, jurisdiction will cease.

Requirements for Remaining in Placement

Citation: Pol. & Proc. Man. § 7100

In policy: Specific eligibility requirements apply to all services and supports offered through the independent living and self-sufficiency program. A youth's marital status does not impact eligibility for services or supports.

Service component eligibility criteria include the following:

  • Youth who were in an eligible out-of-home placement in the custody of the Department for Children and Families (DCF), Kansas Department of Corrections-Juvenile Services (KDOC-JS), or a Tribal authority for any length of time on or after their 14th birthday are eligible for Basic Chafee. Eligibility for Basic Chafee ends when the youth reaches age 21.
  • Youth who were released from the custody of DCF, KDOC-JS, or a Tribal authority and from an eligible out-of-home placement on or after their 18th birthday are eligible for a subsidy and start-up costs.
  • Youth who were in the custody of DCF, KDOC-JS, or Tribal Authority and were in an eligible out-of-home placement on their 18th birthday are eligible for Medicaid coverage through age 26. No income or resource testing is required for eligibility.

Education & Training Voucher services are available to youth who have earned a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma; are enrolled in a postsecondary education that is a preaccredited, accredited, or certified training program; and the youth meets one of the following:

  • Was in the custody of DCF, KDOC-JS, or a Tribal authority and in a foster care placement on the date the youth reached age 18
  • Left a foster care placement subject to a permanent custodianship or guardianship on or after the youth's 16th birthday
  • Was adopted from a foster care placement on or after the youth's 16th birthday
  • Was in an eligible out-of-home placement for any length of time on or after the youth's 14th birthday

Placement Agreements

Citation: Pol. & Proc. Man. § 7212

Foster Care Transition Support is a time-limited service for youth released from the custody of the Secretary of DCF at age 18 or older who are not released to a permanent connection through reintegration, adoption, or custodianship. This service provides housing and other support such as transportation for a limited period of time during the youth's transition to college, training program, or employment.

Youth shall have a current signed PPS 7000 Self Sufficiency Plan, completed and signed Monthly Budget Plan PPS 7000A, and a written current education or employment plan. A youth's marital status does not impact eligibility.

Transition Supports Provided

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 38-2202; Pol. & Proc. Man. §§ 7200; 7213

'Transition plan' means, when used in relation to a youth in the custody of the secretary of DCF, an individualized strategy for the provision of medical, mental health, education, employment, and housing supports as needed to live independently.

In policy: The services and supports address common needs of youth, including the following:

  • Applying for Medicaid and navigating their benefits
  • Facilitating need-based financial support
  • Educating or referring youth to services that assist with budgeting, money management, and daily living skills
  • Assisting youth with maintaining and developing connections for success
  • Assisting youth with locating and maintaining housing
  • Assisting youth with career planning and accessing employment services
  • Assisting youth with secondary and postsecondary education and/or certified training, including, but not limited to, collaboration with educational advocates and implementation of individualized education programs
  • Assisting youth in accessing transportation for education or employment purposes
  • Assisting youth in accessing services to maintain their mental and physical well-being
  • Assisting youth with other training and/or services identified by the youth
  • Discussing referrals to services and the benefits of such services with youth who are pregnant and/or parenting and assisting with referrals, as appropriate, including, but not limited to, parent skill-building programs
  • Determining the need for referral to appropriate community services and programs that are not limited to but may include:
    • Kansas Legal Services for assistance with a Supplemental Security Income application
    • Vocational rehabilitation services
    • Economic and employment services
    • Adult protective services
    • Workforce centers
    • Low Income Energy Assistance Program
    • Child support services
    • Kansas Department of Health and Environment programs and services
    • Parenting and early childhood education and development services
    • Kansas Housing Resources Corporation
    • Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence
  • Assisting youth with requesting a credit report from current credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax) and resolving any inaccuracies or instances of identity theft
  • Assisting and encouraging youth to participate in regional and State youth advisory council activities

Youth receive life skills services provided by child welfare case management providers during out-of-home placement. A young adult who is no longer in placement may have continued needs after the transition as identified in the young adult's court-approved transition plan. Life skills services may include, but are not limited to, the following domains:

  • Communication
  • Daily living
  • Home life
  • Housing and money management
  • Self-care
  • Social relationships
  • Work life
  • Work and study skills
  • Career planning

Life skills supplemental assessments for parenting infants and parenting young children may be used as resources in working with young parents.

Youth will be provided information regarding all aspects of health care and information regarding avoidance of unsafe health practices, including the following:

  • Use of tobacco products, drugs, and alcohol
  • Sexually transmitted diseases or unplanned pregnancies
  • Factual information on how and when to seek medical care
  • Basic first aid training
  • Discussions on health insurance
  • Specific information for any youth who has special medical needs