Extension of Foster Care Beyond Age 18 - Michigan

Date: March 2022

Availability of Foster Care to Age 21

Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 400.645; 400.647

The Department of Human Services shall implement the young-adult voluntary foster care program for youth who are at least age 18 but younger than age 21 in accordance with the State's approved title IV-E State plan.

A youth who exited foster care after reaching age 18 but before reaching age 21 may reenter foster care and receive extended foster care services.

Requirements for Remaining in Placement

Citation: Comp. Laws § 400.649

The department may provide extended foster care services if the youth meets one of the following conditions for eligibility:

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

Placement Agreements

Citation: Comp. Laws § 400.651

If a youth chooses to participate in extended foster care services and meets the eligibility criteria set forth in § 400.649 the department and the youth shall sign a voluntary foster care agreement that shall include, at a minimum, information regarding all the following:

  • The obligation for the youth to continue to meet the conditions for eligibility for the duration of the voluntary foster care agreement
  • Any obligation considered necessary by the department for the youth to continue to receive extended foster care services
  • Any obligation considered necessary by the department to facilitate the youth's continued success in the program
  • Termination of a voluntary foster care agreement and program participation
  • The voluntary nature of the youth's participation in receiving extended foster care services

Transition Supports Provided

Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 400.653; 722.982; 722.984

As soon as the department determines that a youth is eligible under § 400.649 and the youth signs the voluntary foster care agreement, the department may provide extended foster care services to the youth in accordance with this act.

Subject to the availability of Federal, State, and local funds, the program may include the following services:

  • Identifying young adults who are likely to remain in foster care until age 18 and helping these youth make the transition to self-sufficiency by providing services such as the following:
    • Assistance in obtaining a high school diploma
    • Career exploration
    • Vocational training
    • Job placement and retention
    • Training in daily living skills
    • Training in budgeting and financial management skills
    • Substance abuse prevention
    • Preventive health activities, including smoking avoidance, nutrition education, and pregnancy prevention
  • Helping young adults who are likely to remain in foster care until age 18 receive education, training, and services necessary to obtain employment
  • Helping young adults who are likely to remain in foster care until age 18 prepare for and enter postsecondary training and education institutions
  • Providing personal and emotional support to youth aging out of foster care through mentors and the promotion of interactions with dedicated adults
  • Providing financial, housing, counseling, employment, education, and other appropriate support and services to former foster care recipients between ages 18 and 21 to complement their own efforts to achieve self-sufficiency and to ensure that program participants recognize and accept their personal responsibility for preparing for and then making the transition from adolescence to adulthood

The department may provide the following goods and services to eligible young adults in the foster care independence program:

  • Services that are not available from other funding sources or agencies for eligible young adults currently in the foster care system and for young adults released from foster care before reaching age 21
  • Educational support
  • Classes or groups on interpersonal communication and building and maintaining relationships and classes or groups on independent living skills
  • Stipends to cover the cost of utility deposits, security deposits, and first month's rent to eligible young adults who are leaving foster care or have left foster care because they have reached age 18 but have not reached age 21

The first month's rent and damage deposit may only be provided to young adults ages 18€“21 who are leaving foster care or who have left foster care because they reached age 18 or 19 and have not reached age 21.

The department shall make known a list of goods and services provided under the program established in this act.