Chapter 5 : Section 32

Voluntary Extended Foster Care

Policy

Extended Foster Care

The Department may provide out-of-home care services and supervision to an eligible qualified young adult who reached the age of 18 years while in the custody of the Department as a dependent child, when the young adult:

  • is 18, 19, or 20 years of age;

  • is a resident of Arizona;

  • has signed a Voluntary Extended Foster Care Agreement;

  • resides in a supervised living arrangement approved by the Department;

  • has an individualized case plan that outlines the activities the young adult identifies as necessary to aid in the successful transition to adulthood, and the supportive services the Department will provide the young adult to work toward the identified goals; and

  • is in one or more of the following:

    • completing secondary education or an educational program leading to a GED or be enrolled in an institution that provides postsecondary or vocational education;

    • employed at least eighty hours a month;

    • participating in a program or activity that promotes employment or removes barriers to employment; or

    • unable to be a full-time student or to be employed because of a documented medical condition.

The Department shall ensure young adults in care are aware of their rights, including the right to utilize established complaint/grievance processes to assist in conflict resolution, and are provided a copy of their rights outlined in Notice of Rights for Children in Out-of-Home Care, CSO-1141.

Procedures

Prior to the young adult’s 18th birthday, the DCS Specialist shall:

  • assist eligible young adults to pre-enroll in an AHCCCS program through completion of the Young Adult Transitional Insurance (YATI) Referral, FAA-1097A, and submit to FAA Internal Operations at Site Code 759C for processing the month prior to the young adult's 18th birthday;

  • involve the qualified young adult and out-of-home caregiver in a discussion about continued care;

  • identify any barriers which may prevent a young adult from program engagement that must be remedied in order for the young adult to continue in care past the age of 18, including any contract, licensing, certification or other issues related to the current or proposed living arrangement; and

  • involve the young adult, out-of-home caregiver, and young adult’s team in a discussion about voluntary extended foster care, including, but not limited to:

    • the benefits of remaining in care,

    • extended foster care program guidelines,

    • the ability to decline participation in extended foster care, and

    • the young adult’s questions or concerns.

Hold an Age of Majority TDM meeting within six months of the young adult’s 18th birthday to revise the current plan to reflect the young adult’s goals in relation to permanent personal connections, housing, education, employment, well-being (including physical, emotional, mental health or other therapeutic needs) and life skills. See Team Decision Making.

If the young adult declines participation in extended foster care services, proceed with the established discharge plan and provide information on aftercare services, including the opportunity to return to DCS supervised services until the age of 21. See Discharge from Voluntary Extended Foster Care. Young adults who desire to return to DCS may pursue services such as the Transitional Independent Living Program. See Transitional Independent Living Program and Re-Entry into Voluntary Extended Foster Care.

Voluntary Extended Foster Care Agreement

Upon the young adult’s 18th birthday, the DCS Specialist is responsible for:

  • providing the young adult with and reviewing the Voluntary Extended Foster Care Agreement, CSO-2176;

  • working collaboratively with the young adult in a manner that is age and developmentally appropriate and engages the young adult in planning and problem solving when barriers arise;

  • providing the young adult and caregiver with information on any services, support and other opportunities that will support the young adult’s desired living arrangement, education, training, employment and well-being;

  • informing the young adult of any concerns related to participation in voluntary care and providing specific guidance on how concerns can be addressed;

  • ensuring the young adult has an original birth certificate, social security card, state identification card, credit report, educational records, and a copy of the proof of foster care letter; and

  • providing the young adult with adequate family history, including medical history information, and any photos, letters or other family history available in the case record (if the DCS Specialist believes a portion of the information may be harmful to the young adult, therapeutic intervention/assistance will be requested, as appropriate, to meet each young adult’s needs).

Within 10 days of the qualified young adult signing the Voluntary Extended Foster Care Agreement, the DCS Specialist shall prepare the Motion for Extended Foster Care and Addendum Report detailing why participation in extended foster care is in the young adult’s best interest. Submit a copy of the signed Voluntary Extended Foster Care Agreement and the Addendum Report to the Duty Assistant Attorney General to file a motion with the court.

The DCS Specialist will maintain monthly in-person contact with the young adult.

If the young adult will be attending an out-of-state educational program and maintains residency in Arizona, follow procedures outlined in ICPC to obtain courtesy case management to provide monthly in-person contact with the young adult.

Living Arrangement

The Department shall assist the young adult in identifying a supervised independent living arrangement. The living arrangement must be acceptable to both the Department and the young adult. Options for a living arrangement may include:

  • a foster home;

  • DCS contracted group home; and

  • supervised independent living arrangement that allows the young adult to live independently while under the supervision of the Department such as:

    • an apartment,

    • shared housing,

    • relative’s home,

    • college and non-college dorm settings,

    • a host home, or

    • other approved living environment.

Case Plan Development

The DCS Specialist shall facilitate the development of a case plan that reflects the young adult’s personal goals and clearly documents those services and supports necessary to assist the young adult to achieve positive outcomes, including permanent connections with supportive adults, using the Youth Thrive framework. See Services and Supports to Prepare Youth for Adulthood.

The DCS Supervisor will review and approve the case plan for continued care, or may recommend changes in the plan prior to approval.

If the young adult identifies case plan goals for extended foster care that do not meet eligibility criteria, the Program Manager or designee will meet with the DCS Specialist, DCS Program Supervisor, and young adult to review and remediate concerns with the plan.

Upon approval of the case plan for continued care, provide services that include, but are not limited to:

  • cost of care (includes Independent Living Subsidy for young adults who qualify);

  • allowances;

  • medical and dental services, (through AHCCCS unless the young adult is otherwise ineligible);

  • transportation;

  • counseling;

  • independent living skills training, and

  • other transitional support services.

The Specialist will review and update the case plan for voluntary extended foster care with the young adult and the young adult’s supports no less than every six months, and when unexpected life circumstances that affect the case plan arise.

Young Adult’s Responsibilities

The young adult is responsible for:

  • signing a Voluntary Extended Foster Care Agreement;

  • agreeing to meet in person with the DCS Specialist at least monthly;

  • participating in an administrative review every 180 days; and

  • engaging with the DCS Specialist to develop an individualized case plan that outlines activities that support the young adult’s transition plan, which may include:

    • participating in educational, vocational, employment or employment readiness activities of their choice, which may include paid employment, volunteer work or other activities defined in the case plan that will assist the young adult to strengthen their employability;
    • identifying their physical and mental health needs and participating in supportive health services, including mental health services, of their choice;

    • identifying and maintaining a safe living arrangement of their choice that will allow for continuous daily living skill development and practice;

    • participating in activities or services to build, strengthen or maintain positive, healthy relationships with relative and non-relative persons, including supportive adults with whom the young adult desires to establish a long-term connection; and

    • a plan of how the young person will communicate anticipated changes to living arrangements, education, training, employment, or health needs as soon as possible so that DCS can support the young adult and address potential needs.

Extended Foster Care Quality Review

The Department shall ensure a case review is completed during an Extended Foster Care Quality Review (EFCQR). The EFCQR team will review the case record of a young adult in voluntary extended foster within 180 days of the young adult signing a Voluntary Extended Foster Care Agreement, and no less than every 180 days after the initial review until case closure. For additional information, see Extended Foster Care Quality Review.

Prior to the review, the DCS Specialist shall:

  • ensure the young adult’s contact information is updated in the case record;

  • assist the young adult to identify a supportive adult to attend the review with the young adult, and provide this individual’s information to the EFCQR team at least 60 days prior to the review;

  • provide information regarding the EFCQR, including the review process and importance of attendance, to the young adult and supportive person; and

  • submit documentation at least 15 days in advanced of the review to the EFCQR team of the young adult’s progress including:

    • EFC Progress Report detailing the young adult’s progress in successful transition to adulthood, and

    • documentation regarding the young adult’s services and progress not available in Guardian, if applicable.

The DCS Specialist shall participate in the Extended Foster Care Quality Review to provide information regarding the services and supports offered to the young adult to achieve the goals of the case plan, and the young adult’s progress in successful transition to adulthood.

Young adult in a secure care setting beyond age eighteen

A dually adjudicated young adult who is in secure care as defined by A.R.S. §8-201(31) through a delinquency action at the time of his or her 18th birthday, and remains under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court to age 19, is not eligible for Title IV-E Extended Foster Care. The Department will provide non-federal, State funded services to be the same as those eligible for Extended Foster Care using the same guidelines for eligible young adults.

The DCS Specialist will maintain monthly in-person contact with the young adult in the secure setting and attend the monthly MDT (in person or telephonically).

Prior to the discharge of the young adult into a community setting, the DCS Specialist will engage with ADJC staff and the DCS placement center to coordinate an appropriate living arrangement for the young adult.

The Young Adult must sign a Release of Information and Notification Preference form(s), for the DCS Specialist to receive information, and ensure the ability to conduct in person visits with the young adult monthly. (ADJC Forms 4010.01A, 4010.01B, 4010.01C and 4010.01D.)

Documentation

Document the plan for continued care in the Independent Living section of the Case Plan. Obtain the young adult’s signature on the case plan and provide a copy to the young adult.

Enter a removal end date on the date of the young adult’s 18th birthday.

Enter in a removal start date that is the same date as the start of the Voluntary Extended Foster Care Agreement.

Document any changes in the current living arrangement in the Independent Living section of the Case Plan. Provide information which supports the change in the current living arrangement, including the young adult’s approval of the new living arrangement.

Document in Notes the provision of vital records and documents, including birth certificate, social security card and state issued identification card to the young adult.

Place a copy of the young adult’s vital records and documents including the young adult’s birth certificate, social security card and state issued identification card in the hard copy file prior to case closure.

Update Guardian to reflect the young adult’s change in legal status or living arrangement and to extend any purchased services.

Complete form Young Adult Transitional Insurance (YATI) Referral, FAA-1097A, and submit to FAA Internal Operations staff at Site Code 759C. (Retain a copy in the case record.)

Program Supervisor

Document the review and approval of case plan for continued care using Notes.

Effective Date: April 1, 2021
Revision History: November 30, 2012, July 1st, 2013, December 18th, 2017, August 03, 2018, May 10, 2019, August 26, 2019, October 1, 2019, December 3, 2019, June 24, 2020, February 1, 2021