Placement responsibility for non-minor dependants in extended foster care

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued guidance regarding extended foster care and placement responsibilities for non-minor dependents.   Extended foster care must be offered to all persons in the foster care system who turn 18 in order to continue to receive supportive services.  Young adults who decline extended foster care may be able to enter between age 18 and 21.

A placing agency must offer the least-restrictive, safe and appropriate available placement to non-minor dependents.  Placement should also be based on the developmental needs of young adults.  Non-minor dependents must be included in placement decisions.  The placement agency must offer a safe and suitable placement that is immediately available.

Counties must have a documented process for young adults seeking to re-enter extended foster care.  There should be no delay when an agreement to re-enter is signed and the agency determines the requirements to reenter are met. If at the time the agreement is signed the youth does not have safe, appropriate housing, the placing agency must immediately offer a placement prior to a re-entry hearing.

If a non-minor dependant is at risk of losing or leaving their placement, the case worker should try to engage the non-minor dependant.  The placing agency should work toward preserving and strengthening the placement.  If the youth loses or leaves placement, the county pleacement agency remains responsible for offering a safe and appropriate placement which the youth remains under juvenile court jurisdiction or is a party to a reentry agreement.  (ACL 19-105, October 29, 2019.)