COVID-19 end of foster care flexibilities

The California Department of Social Services has issued guidance regarding the end of flexibilities in the foster care program because of COVID-19.

Rate flexibility for continued funding of an emergency caregiver pending approval as a Resource Family or Tribally Approved home beyond 365 days expired on July 1, 2021.  The approval to use COVID-19 as a static criteria to issue the Static Rate or Family Only Rate expired on July 1, 2021.  Alternative funding models and individualized rates for children to remain in the least restrictive, most family-like setting possible remain available.

Waiver of the 50 percent investigation fee and the 180 day time frame for court report submission for independent adoptions expired effective July 1, 2021.

Extension of the timeframe for required medical and dental examinations beyond 30 days for children placed out of home expired effective July 1, 2021.  Children placed out of home on or before June 30, 2021 must receive their examinations on or before July 31, 2021.

The option for counties to waive the age limit and length of stay for Transitional Housing Plus expired on July 1, 2021.  The ability for counties to temporarily approve a Supervised Independent Living Placement pending forms submission by the nonminor dependent also expired effective July 1, 2021.  The ability for counties to virtually inspect Supervised Independent Living Placements has not expired.

For Extended Foster Care, the following provisions continue to apply until September 30, 2021: 1) nonminor dependents should continue to get Extended Foster Care placement, services and supports even if they reach age 21, 2) Youth who aged out of case on or after January 27, 2021 may reenter Extended Foster Care even if they have reached age 21, and 3) participation requirements are waived for Extended Foster Care, including nonminor dependents, young people age 21 or older, and yound people who re-enter Extended Foster Care.  (ACL 21-77, June 28, 2021.)