Young people who are leaving foster care to transition to adulthood are often at different levels of development. With growing recognition that most young people are not fully prepared for complete self-sufficiency at age 18, States offer various programs, including extended foster care, to this population. Child welfare caseworkers and others interested in learning about the benefits of extended foster care can use the following resources to learn about Federal and State efforts to support youth in out-of-home care past age 18. Resources include State and local examples.
Extended Foster Care Explained
Annie E. Casey Foundation (2021)
Summarizes extended foster care, which allows youth to remain in out-of-home care beyond age 18. Extended foster care allows for more time to transition to adulthood and makes a positive difference in the lives of young people.
Housing for Young Adults in Extended Federally Funded Foster Care: Best Practices for States
Dworsky & Dasgupta (2018)
Examines the housing options typically available for young adults in extended foster care, factors affecting the type of housing in which these young people live, challenges, and recommendations for housing improvements for this population.
Improved Outcomes at Age 21 for Youth in Extended Foster Care
Courtney, Okpych, & Park (2018)
Presents the results of a study that shows remaining in care beyond age 18 helps youth to better meet their basic needs, which allows them to pursue further education, gain additional work experience, save money, and reduce negative outcomes.
Know Your Rights Guide: Chapter 10 - Extended Foster Care and Re-Entry
Juvenile Law Center
Explains why youth need extended foster care and how to implement extended foster care using a trauma-informed approach. The resource also offers a listing of State policies when it comes to extended foster care.
Supporting Older Youth Beyond Age 18: Examining Data and Trends in Extended Foster Care
Rosenberg & Abbott (2019)
Presents a study on extended foster care that found youth who stay in out-of-home care past 18 are more likely to be employed, be enrolled in school, receive educational aid, and achieve housing stability.
State and local examples
Extended Foster Care (EFC)
Florida Department of Children and Families
Outlines requirements for participation in Florida's Extended Foster Care program that allows youth in care to remain in the system beyond age 18. The information includes details on possible living arrangements and provides additional links and resources to learn about extending care.
Extended Foster Care
Texas Department of Health and Human Services
Describes the extended foster care program in Texas, which allows youth in foster care to remain in the system beyond age 18. Includes requirements to stay in care, forms, and other information foster youth might need to know if they're planning on participating in the extended program.
Extended Foster Care Program
Independence for Washington State Foster Youth
Reviews Washington State's program for extended foster care, which provides an opportunity for youth to continue receiving foster care services beyond age 18. The site lists services, such as transitional living services, case management, and referrals that may be available and includes eligibility information and how to apply.
Extended Foster Care to Age 21
Minnesota Department of Human Services (2021)
Explains Minnesota's extended foster care program for youth up to age 21, including an overview, eligibility, benefits, and links to additional resources and more.
Extension of Foster Care
Tennessee Department of Children's Services
Provides information about Tennessee's Extension of Foster Care program, which allows youth to remain in care up to age 21. The site gives information on reasons to extend care, benefits available such as education vouchers and living allowance, and other supports and services provided by the program.
Foster Care Extension Overview
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Describes Michigan's extended foster care program and discusses eligibility, support services, and how to apply.
Housing for Extended Foster Care
Know Before You Go
Discusses housing for youth who remain in foster care in California under the state's extended care program and provides information on where youth can live and what kinds of assistance is available to youth who extend care.