Did or do you have an order for foster care placement on your 18th birthday? If the answer is yes, you may qualify for the After 18 - Extended Foster Care Program! There are 4 basic eligibility requirements for a youth to continue to receive support after the age of 18, under the California Fostering Connections to Success Act. The youth must:
- Have an order for foster care placement on your 18th birthday
- Continue under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court as a dependent, under transitional jurisdiction or as a ward
- Meet one of 5 participation conditions
- Agree to live in supervised placement that is licensed or approved under new standards for people ages 18 to 21
In addition, a youth has to sign a mutual agreement (note: this is not a condition of payment), meet with his/her Social Worker or Probation Officer every month, and participate in 6-month review hearings.
Now you might ask, "What does After 18 - Extended Foster Care do for me?!" The answer is simple, staying in foster care can provide youth with options for housing, financial assistance, support and more. You may even be able to live on your own, with a roommate, or with a relative and still qualify for these benefits. So make sure you know your options before you go and talk to your Social Worker, Probation Officer or Attorney today for more information!
Know Before You Go
Know Before You Go started as a collaboration between the Alliance for Children's Rights and Children's Law Center after California extended foster care to age 21. The Alliance and CLC joined forces to create the Know Before You Go campaign to educate and support young adults transitioning from foster care to independence.
The mission of Know Before You Go is to empower youth to become their own advocates, armed with the knowledge and information they need to succeed in work, school and life. Know Before You Go breaks down complicated issues and helps youth tackle the barriers they face.
Know Before You Go is an excellent resource for youth participating in Extended Foster Care, including information on Jobs Skills, Interviewing, Budgeting, Housing, School, Health and much more. They recently launched a YouTube Web series for Foster Children.