Extension of Foster Care Beyond Age 18 - Virginia

Date:

Availability of Foster Care to Age 21

Citation: Ann. Code § 63.2-905.1

Local departments and licensed child-placing agencies shall provide independent living services to any person between the ages of 18 and 21 who is in the process of transitioning from foster care to self-sufficiency. Any person who was committed or entrusted to a local board or licensed child-placing agency may choose to discontinue receiving independent living services any time before their 21st birthday in accordance with regulations adopted by the State Board of Social Services. A local board or licensed child-placing agency shall restore independent living services at the request of that person provided that (i) the person has not yet reached age 21 and (ii) the person has entered into a written agreement with the local board or licensed child-placing agency less than 60 days after independent living services have been discontinued.

Local departments and licensed child-placing agencies shall provide independent living services to any person between 18 and 21 years of age who (i) was in the custody of the local Department of Social Services immediately prior to their commitment to the Department of Juvenile Justice, (ii) is in the process of transitioning from a commitment to the Department of Juvenile Justice to self-sufficiency, and (iii) provides written notice of their intent to receive independent living services and enters into a written agreement for the provision of independent living services with the local board or licensed child-placing agency within 60 days of their release from commitment to the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Local departments shall provide any person who chooses to leave foster care or terminate independent living services before their 21st birthday written notice of their right to request restoration of independent living services in accordance with this section by including such written notice in the person's transition plan.

Requirements for Remaining in Placement

Citation: Admin. Code Tit. 22, § 40-201-100(E), (I)

A youth placed in foster care before age 18 who turns age 18 years prior to July 1, 2016, may continue to receive independent living services from the local department between the ages of 18 and 21 if the following apply:

  • The youth is making progress in an educational or vocational program, has employment, or is in a treatment or training program.
  • The youth agrees to participate with the local department in (i) developing a service agreement and (ii) signing the service agreement. The service agreement shall require that the youth shall cooperate with all services.
  • The youth is in permanent foster care and is making progress in an educational or vocational program, has employment, or is in a treatment or training program.

Local departments shall provide independent living services to any person between the ages of 18 and 21 who meets the following criteria:

  • They turned age 18 prior to July 1, 2016.
  • They were in the custody of the local board immediately prior to their commitment to the Department of Juvenile Justice.
  • They are in the process of transitioning from a commitment to the Department of Juvenile Justice to self-sufficiency.
  • They provide written notice of their intent to receive independent living services and enter into a written agreement that sets forth the terms and conditions for the provision of independent living services with the local board within 60 days of their release from commitment.

Placement Agreements

Citation: Ann. Code § 63.2-905.1; Admin. Code Tit. 22, § 40-201-100(A) & (D)

The written agreement for independent living services shall provide details regarding the terms and conditions of the youth's receipt of independent living services.

In regulation: Independent living services shall be identified by the youth, foster or adoptive family, local department, service providers, legal community, and other interested individuals and shall be included in the service plan. Input from the youth in assembling these individuals and developing the services is required. Local departments shall assess the youth's independent living skills and needs and incorporate the assessment results into the youth's service plan.

Transition Supports Provided

Citation: Ann. Code § 63.2-100; Admin. Code Tit. 22, § 40-201-100

'Independent living services' mean services and activities provided to a person who (i) was in foster care on their 18th birthday and has not yet reached age 21 or (ii) is between the ages of 18 and 21 and who, immediately prior to their commitment to the Department of Juvenile Justice, was in the custody of a local board of social services; or (iii) is a child at least age 16 or a person between the ages of 18 and 21 who was committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice immediately prior to placement in an independent living arrangement. Such services shall include counseling, education, housing, employment, money management skills development, access to essential documents, and other appropriate services to help children or persons prepare for self-sufficiency.

In regulation: Independent living services shall be provided to all youth aged 14-18 and shall be offered to any person between the ages of 18 and 21 who is in the process of transitioning from foster care to self-sufficiency. Independent living services include education, vocational training, employment, mental and physical health services, transportation, housing, financial support, daily living skills, counseling, and development of permanent connections with adults.

A youth aged 16 and older is eligible to live in an independent living arrangement, provided the local department utilizes the independent living arrangement placement criteria developed by the Department of Social Services to determine that such an arrangement is in the youth's best interests. An eligible youth may receive an independent living stipend to assist them with the costs of maintenance. The eligibility criteria for receiving an independent living stipend will be developed by the department.

Local departments shall assist eligible youth in applying for educational and vocational financial assistance. Educational- and vocational-specific funding sources shall be used prior to using other sources.

A youth who has been in care 6 months or more and turns age 18 while in foster care shall receive a certified copy of their birth certificate, Social Security card, health insurance information, medical records, and State-issued identification or driver's license.

The local department shall run annual credit checks on all youth in foster care who are age 14 and older. The local department shall assist a youth in resolving any discrepancies in the youth's credit report. The local department shall assist a youth in foster care who is over age 18 in obtaining the youth's annual credit report.

The local department shall ensure that any youth in foster care on the youth's 18th birthday is enrolled in Medicaid, unless the youth objects or is otherwise ineligible.