Extension of Foster Care Beyond Age 18 - Louisiana

Date:

Availability of Foster Care to Age 21

Citation: Ch. Code Art. 686; Rev. Stat. § 46:288.3; Admin. Code Tit. 67, Part V, § 3901

A judgment of disposition shall remain in force only until a child reaches their 18th birthday. It may expire earlier by its own terms if it is modified or if it is vacated.

The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) shall notify all children in foster care and their foster parents or other custodians in writing of the availability of extended foster care services upon the child's 17th birthday and every 90 days thereafter until the child's 18th birthday unless the child in foster care and their foster parents or other custodians have already consented in writing to participation in this program.

In regulation: The DCFS Child Welfare Division will provide a Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) to assist youth in preparing for living independently. CFCIP provides opportunities for youth to interact with other youth from similar backgrounds and to receive supportive services until age 26, except for educational assistance via the Chafee educational and training voucher, which is available until age 23.

Requirements for Remaining in Placement

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 46:288.3; Admin. Code Tit. 67, Part V, § 3901

DCFS may provide extended foster care services for a youth who satisfies one of the following conditions for eligibility:

  • Is completing secondary education or a program leading to an equivalent credential
  • Is enrolled in an institution that provides postsecondary or vocational education
  • Is participating in a program or activity designed to promote employment or remove barriers to employment
  • Is employed for at least 80 hours per month
  • Is incapable of doing any part of the preceding activities due to a medical condition, as documented and supported by regularly updated information in the youth's case plan

In regulation: Eligibility for CFCIP is limited to youth who meet the requirements of the program and is based on the availability of Federal funding. Participants should be one of the following:

  • DCFS youth in foster care from ages 14 to 18
  • Youth in foster care who aged out of foster care from ages 18 to 26
  • Youth in foster care who were adopted from foster care after ages 16 to 26
  • Office of Juvenile Justice youth from ages 14 to 26
  • Youth in a court-ordered guardianship from foster care initiated after ages 16 to 26
  • Native American youth from ages 13 to 26 who are in State or Tribal custody

Placement Agreements

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 46:288.4; 46:288.8; Admin. Code Tit. 67, Part V, § 3903

If a youth chooses to participate in extended foster care services and meets the eligibility criteria, DCFS and the youth shall sign an extended foster care voluntary placement agreement that shall include, at a minimum, the following:

  • The obligation for the youth to continue to meet the eligibility conditions for the duration of the voluntary extended foster care agreement
  • Any obligation considered necessary by DCFS for the youth to continue to receive extended foster care services if the youth is eligible for those services
  • Any obligation considered necessary by DCFS to facilitate the youth's continued success in the program
  • Termination of an extended foster care voluntary placement agreement and program participation as set forth in § 46:288.8
  • The voluntary nature of the youth's participation in receiving extended foster care services
  • The opportunity for a fair hearing if the youth believes that they have been denied extended foster care services or that their request has not been acted upon with reasonable promptness

Once DCFS determines that a youth is eligible and the youth signs the extended foster care voluntary placement agreement, DCFS may provide extended foster care services to the youth in accordance with this chapter. Acceptance of these benefits and services shall in no way deprive the youth in foster care of any rights or obligations conferred by attaining the age of majority.

A youth may choose to terminate the extended foster care voluntary placement agreement and stop receiving extended foster care services at any time. If at any time DCFS determines that the youth is not in compliance with the extended foster care voluntary placement agreement or any program requirements, DCFS may terminate the extended foster care voluntary placement agreement with the youth and stop providing extended foster care services to the youth. DCFS shall provide written or electronic notice to the youth regarding termination of the extended foster care voluntary placement agreement and the youth's participation in the program.

In regulation: The youth initiates extended foster care services through signing a voluntary placement agreement. The young adult in foster care shall be eligible for all foster care services in accordance with their voluntary placement agreement and case plan, and their foster parents, custodian, or other placement provider may receive continued services and benefits for the period of time the young adult is eligible and participating in the extended foster care program.

Transition Supports Provided

Citation: Admin. Code Tit. 67, Part V, § 3901

The allowable services and activities provided by CFCIP must be purposefully planned by the foster care worker and the youth to meet specific needs that have been identified and addressed in the youth's transitional living plan. The allowable services may include the following:

  • Training delivered by Chafee independent living providers contracted with DCFS to prepare youth for living independently
  • An assessment and survey of independent living skills to identify which skills are needed
  • A written individualized independent living skills plan based on the assessment
  • A monetary payment or stipend upon completing the CFCIP coursework and questionnaire
  • Assistance with obtaining an independent living arrangement and/or housing
  • Resume writing
  • Budgeting, banking, and other financial skills
  • Conflict management skills
  • Assistance with educational expenses, which could include educational and training voucher services