COVID-19 extended foster care

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued guidance regarding flexibility in Extended Foster Care, waivers of age and time limits for Transitional Housing Program-Plus and remote approval of Supervised Independent Living Placements.

Counties must temporarily continue maintenance payments for otherwise eligible non-minor dependents who do not meet any one of five participation criteria: completing secondary education or a program leading to an equivalent credential, enrolled in an institution which provides post-secondary or vocational education, participating in a program designed to promote or remove barriers to employment, employed at least 80 hours per month, or incapable of doing any of these because of a medical condition.

County caseworkers must continue to work with youth to help them to meet one of these participation criteria.

Caseworkers should continue to assist non-minor dependents by review of a previous Transitional Independent Living Plan and helping them to establish goals that meet their needs.

Counties must serve nonminors between age 18 and 21 requesting entry or reentry into extended foster care.  A nonminor’s inability to satisfy participation conditions because of COVID-19 is not a basis to deny entry or reentry into extended foster care because only nonminor’s intent to satisfy at least one participation condition is required.

A placing agency must offer the least-restrictive safe and appropriate available housing for a nonminor upon their entry or reentry into care.

Effective July 1, 2020, counties can complete Supervised Independent Living Placement inspections for non-minor dependents through methods other than in-person visit.

Any county decision to grant, deny, change or terminate payments to a non-minor dependent must be communicated by adequate written notice to the provider and/or non-minor dependent. (ACL 20-112, October 12, 2020.)