Extension of Foster Care Beyond Age 18 - Oregon

Date: March 2022

Availability of Foster Care to Age 21

Citation: Admin. Rules § 413-030-0400

The Department of Human Services is responsible for providing comprehensive transition planning to support all children, young adults, and individuals formerly in foster care who have experienced foster care at age 14 or older in their transition to adulthood through transitional services, such as the following:

  • Obtaining a high school diploma or an equivalent credential
  • Pursuing postsecondary education
  • Career exploration, vocational training, job placement and retention
  • Training and opportunities to practice daily living skills, such as financial literacy training and driving instruction
  • Substance abuse prevention and preventative health activities (including smoking avoidance), nutrition education, and sexual or reproductive health
  • Opportunities to make meaningful, permanent connections with caring adults and the community
  • Opportunities to engage in age- or developmentally appropriate activities, positive youth development, and experiential learning that reflects what their peers in intact families experience
  • Financial, housing, counseling, employment, education, and other appropriate support and services to young adults and individuals formerly in foster care to complement their own efforts to achieve self-sufficiency
  • Assistance in recognizing and accepting personal responsibility for preparing for and making the successful transition from adolescence to adulthood

Requirements for Remaining in Placement

Citation: Admin. Rules § 413-030-0410

A child, young adult, or individual formerly in foster care must meet the following eligibility criteria for life skills training:

  • Be a child aged 14 or older or a young adult who is in substitute care through the State or a federally recognized Tribal nation's child welfare system
  • Be an individual formerly in foster care

A child or young adult must meet the following eligibility criteria for an independent living housing subsidy:

  • Be aged 16 or older
  • Be in the care and custody of the department
  • Be engaged in full-time activity unless they are unable to engage in full-time activity due to a declared State or national emergency
  • Have had at least one prior substitute-care placement
  • Have the approval of the court to participate in the independent living housing subsidy service
  • If a high school diploma has not been achieved, be working actively to achieve their educational goals
  • Be enrolled concurrently in a skill-building service as described in the Child Welfare Procedure Manual

An individual formerly in foster care must meet the following eligibility criteria for housing under the John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood:

  • Be aged 18 or older but not yet age 24
  • Be an individual formerly in foster care who left a child welfare substitute-care placement at age 18 or older
  • Be engaged in full-time activity unless unable to engage in full-time activity due to a declared State or national emergency
  • Have at least 4 hours of paid employment per week
  • If a high school diploma has not been achieved, be actively working to achieve their educational goals
  • Be enrolled in a skill-building service as described in the manual

The individual formerly in foster care is only eligible for Chafee housing and an education and training voucher when the cost of room and board is not included in the calculation of the cost of attendance.

Placement Agreements

Citation: Admin. Rules § 413-030-0445

The department must initiate the development of the comprehensive transition plan for the following:

  • A child aged 14 or older and in substitute care or a young adult
  • An individual formerly in foster care who requests services and would benefit from a comprehensive transition plan

The department must ensure the comprehensive transition plan includes the completion of a life skills assessment, which includes the following:

  • Assessment of the skills and readiness of the child or young adult through interviews with the substitute caregiver, parent or guardian, and any other significant adult
  • Assessment of the skills and readiness of the individual formerly in foster care through interviews with the individual formerly in foster care and any other supportive individuals the individual formerly in foster care may identify
  • Completion of a written independent living assessment

The written life skills assessment must include a description of the following:

  • The personal growth, social development, and strengths of the youth
  • Their need for ongoing skill development in the following ability areas:
    • Family support and healthy relationships through interactions with and connection to adults who can assist in the transition to interdependent living
    • Management of their physical and mental health through health education and risk prevention
    • Engagement in educational and vocational interests, indicating high school skills and supports, postsecondary skills and supports, and employment and/or career preparation
    • Achievement of residential stability through money management, housing and home management, transportation, and other living skills

After completing the assessment, the department must convene a planning meeting to develop the comprehensive transition plan. The department must do the following:

  • Ensure the youth plays a central role in planning for and participating in the meeting, when developmentally appropriate
  • Involve the youth in determining who may participate in the planning meeting, which may include a parent or guardian, substitute caregiver, service providers, a court-appointed special advocate, authorized representative of the Indian child's Tribal nation, the attorney for the youth, or other adults important to the youth
  • At the option of the youth, involve the two additional members of the case planning team chosen by the youth
  • If the youth makes the request, include any additional members the youth would like to add to their comprehensive youth transition planning meeting when it is determined to be in the best interests of the youth

The comprehensive transition plan must identify goals and services in each of the following domains:

  • Personal growth and social development
  • Family support and healthy relationships, including cultural and community connections
  • Health education and risk prevention
  • Education
  • Employment and career preparation
  • Money management, transportation, and other life skills
  • Housing and home management

The youth must have safe and stable housing so that they are not likely to become homeless due to dismissing the case.

The child aged 14 or older, the young adult, or the individual formerly in foster care must agree to the comprehensive transition plan, and the plan must be signed by each person who participated in the planning meeting.

Transition Supports Provided

Citation: Admin. Rules §§ 413-030-0430; 413-030-0456; 413-030-0460

The range of services available to a young adult transitioning to independent living includes the following:

  • Skill-building services, which may include the following:
    • Instruction in basic living skills, such as money management, home management, consumer skills, legal issues, sexual and reproductive health, parenting, health care, access to community resources, employment readiness, transportation, educational assistance, and housing options
    • Educational and vocational training support, such as high school diploma or GED preparation, postsecondary education and academic support, job readiness, and job search assistance and placement programs
    • Training, workshops and conferences, individual and group skill building for improved self-esteem and self-confidence, and interpersonal and social skills training and development
    • Development of healthy relationships, cultural connection, community networks, and supports to transition successfully to adulthood
  • The independent living housing subsidy
  • Chafee housing
  • Education and training grants to assist with the costs of a postsecondary education or training program
  • Youth transition discretionary funds to provide limited financial assistance in meeting the transition goals to interdependence and adulthood

The department must provide any young adult in its care or custody with the following information regarding health-care treatment:

  • The importance of designating another individual to make health-care treatment decisions on their behalf if they become unable to participate in such decisions and do not have or do not want a relative who is otherwise authorized under State law to make such decisions
  • The option to execute a health-care power-of-attorney, health-care proxy, or other similar document recognized under State law

The department must ensure that any child age 14 or older and in its custody annually receives a copy of a consumer credit report when one exists and receives some assistance in interpreting the credit report and resolving any inaccuracies in that report.

When the court relieves the department of the custody of the young adult reaching interdependence, the department must provide the young adult with the following written records:

  • To the extent permitted by law, information concerning the case of the young adult, including family and placement history, location and status of each sibling, and contact information the young adult may use to seek additional information about their case or family history
  • Health and education records, including the following:
    • Health and immunization records
    • Educational summary and records
    • Information on how to identify a health-care representative, complete an Oregon Advance Directive, and complete the Oregon Health Plan Application to access the Former Foster Care Youth Medical Program
  • A copy of each of the following and documentation that each has been provided to the young adult in official form:
    • The birth certificate of the young adult
    • Official proof of the citizenship or residence status of the young adult in a form acceptable to an employer required to verify immigration status
    • The Social Security card of the young adult
    • A driver's license or another form of State identification of the young adult
    • When applicable, a death certificate of a parent of the young adult
    • Written verification of placement in substitute care through the department or one of the federally recognized Tribal nations
    • The young adult's credit report