Under the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, states have the option of offering extended foster care benefits to qualifying youth. In Minnesota, this means that you can receive foster care maintenance payments directly if living on your own, as well as retain the health insurance and case management benefits of being in foster care.
Important Timelines if you Are Considering Extended Foster Care Beyond Age 18:
Six months prior to the 18th birthday of a youth in foster care under Chapter 260C or 260D, counties are required to advise youth, their parent or legal guardian, and foster parents of the availability of continued foster care benefits up to age 21. This requirement is located in Minnesota Statute § 260C.451, subdivision 1. If a youth does not wish to remain in extended foster care, the youth and caseworker must begin working on a personalized transition plan in the 90 days leading up to the youth's 18th birthday. Youth who are not able to return home or otherwise achieve permanency prior to age 18, and who desire to continue in foster care past age 18, must meet at least one of the following conditions on an ongoing basis.
In order to be eligible, a youth must be doing one or more of the following:
- Still attending high school or an equivalent program
- Enrolled in college or a vocational school
- Participating in job training programs or activities, or other programs designed to remove barriers to employment
- Working at least 80 hours per month, or
- Incapable of doing any of the activities described above due to a medical condition.
Learn much more about extended foster care at the Department of Human Services website. Contact your social worker if you have any questions.