Extension of Foster Care Beyond Age 18 - South Dakota

Date: March 2022

Availability of Foster Care to Age 21

Citation: Ann. Laws §§ 26-6-6.1; 26-6-14

Any child welfare agency, including the Department of Social Services, may continue to provide foster care for a person over the age of majority (age 18) but younger than age 21 if the person was in foster care immediately prior to reaching the age of majority and has not yet completed the 12th grade of school or is in a continuing course of remedial treatment and if the person consents in writing to continued foster care.

A child welfare agency shall be licensed for providing supervision and training in self-sufficiency and responsible independent living for youth aged 16 through 20 who are wards of the State. This shall be known as an independent living preparation program (ILPP).

Requirements for Remaining in Placement

Citation: Admin. Code § 67:42:13:02

The following requirements must be met before a placement agency may place an adolescent into an ILPP:

  • The adolescent is aged 16-21.
  • The adolescent agrees with the case plan developed by the ILPP and the placement agency.
  • The ILPP or placement agency has completed an assessment of the adolescent's life skills.

Placement Agreements

Citation: Admin. Code § 67:42:13:03

The placement agency must develop a written case plan for each adolescent before placing the adolescent into the ILPP. When preparing the case plan, the placement agency must involve the adolescent in care, the ILPP, and the parent or guardian. The case plan must contain at least the following information:

  • A delineation of the respective roles and responsibilities of the ILPP, the adolescent, and other involved parties
  • The goals and services to be provided or arranged by the ILPP, including a plan for supervisory contact between the adolescent and the licensed child welfare agency staff
  • The financial support needed and how it will be provided to cover the adolescent's basic medical, educational, shelter, nutritional, clothing, and recreational needs
  • The projected length of stay and conditions under which the adolescent may be discharged

The financial support may be provided directly by the ILPP; the placement agency; a parent, guardian, or custodian; the adolescent, through earnings from employment, financial aid, scholarships, grants, loans, or work-study; or any combination of these financial sources.

Each individual involved in developing the case plan must sign the plan. The ILPP must review and evaluate the adolescent's case service plan at least once every 3 months. The updated plan must include the progress made toward achieving the goals established in the previous plan and any amendments made to the plan.

Transition Supports Provided

Citation: Admin. Code §§ 67:42:13:04; 67:42:13:06; 67:42:13:07

Before an adolescent is placed into an ILPP, the placement agency or the ILPP must prepare an assessment of the adolescent's life skills. The assessment must identify any potential area of risk to the adolescent and must cover at least the following areas:

  • Money management and consumer awareness
  • Food management
  • Personal appearance
  • Health
  • Housekeeping
  • Transportation
  • Educational planning
  • Job seeking skills
  • Job maintenance skills
  • Emergency and safety skills
  • Knowledge of community resources
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Legal skills
  • Leisure activities
  • Housing

The ILPP must provide supervision for each adolescent. Documentation of supervisory contact must be maintained in each adolescent's case file. At least once every 2 weeks, the adolescent's supervisor from the ILPP must meet with the adolescent in care. At least once a month, the meeting must take place in the adolescent's residence or living environment. As a result of the meeting, the supervisor must document at least the following:

  • That there is no reasonable cause to believe that the adolescent's residence or lifestyle presents a risk to the adolescent's health or safety
  • That the adolescent is receiving necessary medical care
  • That the current treatment program plan provides appropriate and sufficient services for the adolescent

The licensed ILPP shall ensure that adolescents have the necessary household utensils, bedding, bathroom supplies, and cleaning supplies needed to maintain an independent living arrangement. If the living arrangement for an adolescent in an ILPP is a site other than in a licensed group-care center for minors or a licensed residential treatment center, the following additional requirements must be met:

  • The living arrangement must meet local zoning ordinances.
  • No firearms or other projectile weapons may be kept onsite.
  • The living arrangement must be equipped with a smoke detector on each level of the building.
  • The water supply must be derived from a public water system and must be safe for household use.
  • The living arrangement must have a working heating system.
  • The living unit must be kept clean, neat, and free of litter and rubbish.
  • The facility must have operating hand washing, bathing, and toilet facilities located in the living facility.
  • The living facility must have an operating B-C portable chemical fire extinguisher in the cooking area.