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Q&A on Extension of Foster Care, Adoption Subsidy and Guardianship Assistance to Age 21

YOUNG ADULT VOLUNTARY FOSTER CARE
Extending Foster Care to Age 21: On Adoption Day, Nov. 22, 2011, Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law the Young Adult Voluntary Foster Care Act (Public Acts 225 through 230 of 2011) that will allow Michigan foster youth to voluntarily remain under state care until age 21 if they are in job training, in college, employed or disabled. Extended benefits are made possible by the Federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, which gave states the option to receive matching federal funds to extend financial assistance through federal Title IV-E funding to eligible foster youth.  

The Michigan Department of Human Services is awaiting approval of the state plan from the federal government, with the program launch planned for April 2012. The Q&A below provides an overview of the program. 

Who is eligible for the Young Adult Voluntary Foster Care program?

The Young Adult Voluntary Foster Care program offers 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds who were in state-supervised foster care at the age of 18 or older the option of living in a licensed foster family home, a child care institution or a supervised independent living arrangement until age 21. Payment can also be made to the adoptive parents receiving adoption assistance payments and the legal guardians of youth where a juvenile guardianship was established through a court action.

 

What are the requirements to participate?
Participating youth must comply with the specific requirements of the program established in the federal legislation. Youth must be enrolled in college or vocational training or be working at least 80 hours a month, unless they are incapable due to a documented medical condition, to receive services.

 

How does the application process work?
The youth will need to sign an agreement confirming his or her desire to enroll in the Young Adult Voluntary Foster Care program.  The court will authorize the youth's participation in the program. The youth will be required to provide verification of eligibility documentation to his or her case worker.
 

Youths will be informed about the program at the annual transition meetings held for them beginning at age 16. The program will also be discussed at the youth's 90-day discharge meeting and at least 30 calendar days prior to the youth's 18th birthday, as part of a caseworker monthly home visit.

 

What benefits are youth eligible for and what do they cover? 

Extending foster care to age 21 offers eligible youth a safety net of supportive services and financial benefits during the critical transition to adulthood, including:

 

  • Extension of foster care maintenance payments to youth or foster care providers, guardianship providers and adoptive parents who continue to care for the youth.
  • Continued oversight by DHS caseworkers to ensure the youth's services and needs are pursued and secured before the case is closed.
  • Counseling services.
  • Continued health care coverage.
  • Training in independent living skills.
  • More time to finish high school and pursue vocational or secondary education.

 

How can I learn more about the program?

Further information is available by emailing Allison Beckman (beckmana@michigan.gov) or Ann Rossi (rossia@michigan.gov).


YOUNG ADULT ADOPTION ASSISTANCE EXTENSION PROGRAM
Extending Adoption Subsidy to Age 21: On Adoption Day, Nov. 22, 2011, Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law the Young Adult Voluntary Foster Care Act (Public Acts 225 through 230 of 2011). This Act will allow eligible youth who were adopted from the Michigan public child welfare system to receive adoption subsidy until age 21, if they are in school, in job training, employed or disabled.

The Michigan Department of Human Services is awaiting approval of the state plan from the federal government, with the program launch planned for April 2012. The Q&A below provides an overview of the program.

Who is eligible for the Young Adult Adoption Assistance Extension?
The Young Adult Adoption Assistance Extension Program is offered to youth who are placed for adoption after their 16th birthday who had an adoption assistance agreement effective through the adoptee's 18th birthday and is between the ages of 18 and 20.

What are the requirements to participate?
Adoptive parents and adopted youth must apply to participate in this program and the youth must comply with specific requirements for the program. The youth must be actively completing high school or a program leading to a general equivalency diploma (GED) exam, or enrolled in a college, university, vocational or trade school program or be working at least 80 hours per month or is incapable of doing any of the above educational or employ¬ment activities due to a documented medical condition.

How does the application process work?
Adoptive parents or youth who receive adoption subsidy payments will be sent notice that their current subsidy case will be ending at the end of the month in which the youth will become 18 years of age, unless they apply for an extension. This notice will be mailed to the adoptive parent 60 days prior to the youth's 18th birthday. Enclosed with the notice will be the application for the Young Adult Adoption Assistance Extension Program and documents required to verify that the youth is actively completing high school or a program leading to a general equivalency diploma (GED) exam, is enrolled in a college, university, vocational program or trade school or is working at least 80 hours per month or is incapable of doing any of the above educational or employ¬ment activities due to a documented medical condition. The application and applicable verification form must be submitted to the Adoption Subsidy Office within 30 calendar days following the youth's 18th birthday.

How can I learn more about the program?
Further information is available by emailing Erin Setla (setlae@michigan.gov).


YOUNG ADULT GUARDIAN ASSISTANCE EXTENSION PROGRAM
Extending Guardianship Subsidy to Age 21: On Adoption Day, Nov. 22, 2011, Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law the Young Adult Voluntary Foster Care Act (Public Acts 225 through 230 of 2011). This Act will allow eligible youth who were placed in Juvenile Guardianship with subsidy from the Michigan public child welfare system to receive guardianship subsidy until age 21, if they are in school, in job training, employed or disabled.

The Michigan Department of Human Services is awaiting approval of the state plan from the federal government, with the program launch planned for April 2012. The Q&A below provides an overview of the program.

Who is eligible for the Young Adult Guardianship Assistance Extension?
The Young Adult Guardianship Assistance Extension Program is offered to youth whose guardian began receiving guardianship assistance at age 16 or older, who had a guardianship assistance agreement effective through the youth's 18th birthday, who are between the ages of 18 and 20, and the original guardianship order remains in effect.

What are the requirements to participate?
The guardian(s) and youth must apply to participate in this program and the youth must comply with specific requirements for the program. The youth must be actively completing high school or a program leading to a general equivalency diploma (GED) exam, enrolled in a college, university, vocational or trade school program or be working at least 80 hours per month or is incapable of doing any of the above educational or employ¬ment activities due to a documented medical condition.

How does the application process work?
Guardians of youth who receive guardianship subsidy payments will be sent notice that their current subsidy case will be ending at the end of the month in which the youth will become 18 years of age, unless they apply for an extension. This notice will be mailed to the guardian 60 days prior to the youth's 18th birthday. Enclosed with the notice will be the application for the Young Adult Guardianship Assistance Extension Program and documents required to verify that the youth is actively completing high school or a program leading to a general equivalency diploma (GED) exam, is enrolled in a college, university, vocational or trade school program or is working at least 80 hours per month or is incapable of doing any of the above educational or employment activities due to a documented medical condition. The application and applicable verification form must be submitted to the DHS Subsidy Office within 30 calendar days following the youth's 18th birthday.

How can I learn more about the program?
Further information is available by emailing Erin Setla (setlae@michigan.gov).

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