Extension of Foster Care Beyond Age 18 - Oklahoma

Date: March 2022

Availability of Foster Care to Age 21

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10A, § 1-9-107; Admin. Code § 340:75-6-110

An individual is eligible to receive services for the transition of a child to successful adulthood from ages 14 until 18 during the time the individual is in the custody of the Department or Human Services or a federally recognized Indian Tribe and in an out-of-home placement. Successful adulthood services may continue to the age 21, provided the individual is in the custody of the department or a federally recognized Indian Tribe due to abuse or neglect and is in an out-of-home placement at the time of the individual's 16th birthday. Individuals who are age 16 or older who have been released from the custody of the department or federally recognized Indian Tribe due to the entry of an adoption decree or guardianship order are eligible to receive successful adulthood services until age 21.

In regulation: A youth may request placement in a department-paid placement and services from the department on a voluntary basis—or, in special circumstances, a short-term voluntary placement while ages 18, 19, or 20—when any of the following circumstances apply:

  • The youth reaches age 18 prior to completing their general educational development (GED) or high school education.
  • The youth did not obtain a GED or high school education and left an out-of-home placement after reaching age 18.
  • The youth has specified reasons approved by the district director for the county where the youth resides.

Requirements for Remaining in Placement

Citation: Admin. Code § 340:75-6-110

A youth is eligible for the successful adulthood program when any of the following apply:

  • Youth aged 14-17 who are in an out-of-home placement in the legal custody of either the department or a federally recognized Indian Tribe
  • Young adults aged 18, 19, and 20 to whom either of the following apply:
    • They were in an out-of-home placement while in department or Tribal custody on their 18th birthday.
    • They entered a guardianship or adoption at age 16 and older to achieve permanency and who have not yet reached their 21st birthday.
  • Young adults aged 21-26 who participate for no more than 5 years in the Education and Training Voucher Program.

Placement Agreements

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10A, § 1-9-107; Admin. Code § 340:75-6-110

The permanency plan for the child in transition to a successful adulthood shall be developed in consultation with the child and, at the option of the child, up to two members of the permanency planning team to be chosen by the child, excluding the foster parent and caseworker for the child, subject to the following provisions:

  • One individual selected by the child may be designated to be the advisor and, as necessary, advocate of the child with respect to the application of the reasonable and prudent parent standard to the child.
  • The department may reject an individual selected by the child to be a member of the permanency planning team at any time if the department has good cause to believe that the selected individual would not act in the best interests of the child.

In regulation: The successful adulthood plan describes the services, supports, and activities the child welfare specialist, the permanency planning team, and youth identify as necessary for the youth to transition to successful adulthood, including the components required by Federal and State statutes. At a minimum, the successful adulthood plan is reviewed and updated each month with the youth and placement provider.

During the 90-calendar-day period immediately prior to a youth's 18th birthday, the department and, as appropriate, the youth's representatives provide the youth with assistance and support in developing an appropriate personalized transition plan that is based upon the youth's input and is as detailed as the youth elects.

Transition Supports Provided

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10A, § 1-9-107; Admin. Code § 340:75-6-110

The purpose of the Successful Adulthood Act is the following:

  • To ensure that eligible individuals who have been or are in the foster care program of the department or a federally recognized Indian Tribe due to abuse or neglect receive the protection and support necessary to allow those individuals to become self-reliant and productive citizens through the provision of requisite services that include, but are not limited to, transitional planning, housing, medical coverage, and education
  • To break the cycle of abuse and neglect that obligates the State to assume custody of children
  • To help children who have experienced foster care at age 14 or older achieve meaningful permanent connections with a caring adult

A child about to leave foster care by reason of having reached age 18 and who has been in foster care for at least 6 months shall be given the following documents pertaining to the child:

  • An official or certified copy of their birth certificate
  • Their Social Security card
  • Health insurance information
  • A copy of their medical records
  • A State-issued driver's license or identification card
  • Official documentation necessary to show that the child was previously in foster care

Individuals who are eligible for services pursuant to the Successful Adulthood Act and who are between the ages of 18 and 21 shall be eligible for Medicaid coverage, provided such individuals were also in the custody of the department or a federally recognized Indian Tribe on the date they reached age 18 and meet Medicaid financial eligibility guidelines.

In regulation: The successful adulthood plan shall include specific options regarding the following:

  • Housing
  • Health insurance
  • Education
  • Local opportunities for mentors and continuing support services
  • Employment supports and services

At each dispositional and review hearing, the following determinations are made:

  • For a youth aged 14 or older, whether the services needed to assist the youth in making the transition from out-of-home care to successful adulthood are being provided, not provided, or are not appropriate
  • Whether information was provided to the youth about the importance of designating another individual to make health-care treatment decisions on the youth's behalf if the following apply:
    • The youth becomes unable to participate in their health-care decisions.
    • The youth does not have, or does not want, a relative who would otherwise be authorized under State or Tribal law to make health-care decisions.
  • Whether the youth was provided with the option of executing a health-care power-of-attorney, health-care proxy, or other similar documents recognized under State or Tribal law

A variety of services, resources, and funds are provided to facilitate successful transition into adulthood. Independent living youth development funds are obtained through community-contracted providers and are designed to do the following:

  • Support the youth's successful adulthood case plan in preparation for living independently
  • Handle emergencies the youth encounters after leaving out-of-home care while learning to live independently

Each youth, beginning at age 14 and continuing until the youth is discharged from out-of-home care, receives the following:

  • An annual copy of the youth's consumer credit reports
  • Assistance interpreting the reports
  • Assistance resolving any inconsistencies in the reports