Chapter 5 : Section 33

Young Adult Living Arrangements

Policy

The Department shall have care and placement responsibility to assist a qualified young adult in identifying the most appropriate living arrangement.

A Qualified Young Adult participating in Voluntary Extended Foster Care shall reside in a licensed foster home, congregate care, or a Supervised Independent Living setting that is acceptable to both the Department and the Qualified Young Adult.

A Semi-Independent Living Arrangement provides youth with the experience of community living while receiving support and services from the Department. This program is an out-of-home care option, which could include the monthly stipend provided to the youth in lieu of any other foster care payment.

All proposed living arrangements and roommates must be approved by the Department.

The Independent Living Subsidy is available to qualified young adults who are residents of Arizona and have signed a voluntary agreement for continued care after age 18, but may not extend past the young adult’s 21st birthday.

The Independent Living Subsidy may be available to youth age 17 who are employed or full-time students upon order of the court into Independent Living.

The Department, in determining eligibility for Independent Living Subsidy, shall not discriminate based on the youth’s race, national origin, ethnicity, religious or spiritual beliefs, gender or gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, child-bearing or parenting status, or for youth age 18 and older, marital status.

The Department shall not create a discharge plan to homelessness for a child.

Procedures

A Qualified Young Adult participating in Voluntary Extended Foster Care shall reside in either:

  • a living arrangement that is contracted and/or paid for the by the Department either through partial payment or in its entirety; or

  • housing the qualified young adult has obtained independently that is acceptable to the Department.

Semi-Independent Living

Semi-Independent Living (SIL) is a type of voluntary extended foster care living arrangement where qualified young adults can live on their own, while receiving supervision through Department case management and support services to help them become independent and self-sufficient.

A young adult residing in a SIL may be eligible for Independent Living Subsidy if the living arrangement is not receiving financial payment from the Department.

Different housing options may be considered an appropriate Supervised Independent Living setting. Young adults may reside in a SIL while receiving DCS case management. These may include:

  • Apartment Settings: A room or suite of rooms with kitchen facilities designed as a residence and generally located in a building occupied by more than one household. This setting may include on-site management.

  • Shared Housing Settings: A number of people living cooperatively as an unrelated family in a house with an individual or a shared bedroom with a limited number of persons to a bedroom. This involves people renting a house in the community, similar to an apartment situation. This may include on-site management.

  • Host Home Settings: A family home, not with the parent or guardian with a room or garage apartment with access to a kitchen. The young adult agrees to the household rules and has the independence to come and go as needed for employment, school and other personal and social activities. This includes a kinship caregiver’s home.

  • Non-College Dorm Settings: A building containing a number of private or semiprivate bedrooms for housing a number of persons in a community whose inhabitants are either employed and/or in school and commute to these and other personal and social activities. This is similar to a college dorm without the relationship to an institution of higher learning. This may include on-site management. Example: Job Corp; or a general residential operations using an empty facility building (housing unit) on the property.

  • College Dorm Settings: A building provided by a college or university containing a number of private or semiprivate bedrooms for housing a number of persons in a setting whose inhabitants are in school and commute to these and other personal and social activities. This includes dorms on or off-campus and college co-ops. This may include on-site management.

Establishing Independent Living Subsidy

To determine the young adult’s readiness to participate in the Independent Living Subsidy, consider the following:

  • a potential living arrangement has been identified which will provide supervision and support appropriate to the young adult’s level of readiness;

  • supportive adults have been identified to provide support to the young adult during the time the young adult is receiving the Independent Living Subsidy; and

  • the young adult demonstrates the ability to assume responsibility and work toward self-sufficiency, as reflected in mastery of the following areas:

    • task completion;

    • goal setting;

    • decision making;

    • job readiness;

    • knowledge of basic living skills;

    • money management (including establishment of a savings account);

    • willingness to participate in program requirements; and

    • willingness to complete Independent Living Skills Training, if needed and not previously accomplished.

The DCS Specialist will assist the young adult who is potential candidate for subsidy to develop an initial monthly outline of expected living expenses, expected income, and start-up costs, including a savings plan, utilizing current subsidy allowances.

The Independent Living Subsidy amount approved for any young adult is to be supported by the individual young adult’s budget as documented in the Independent Living Subsidy Agreement and Approval Form, CSO-1033A. The approved subsidy may not exceed the maximum amount allowable by DCS and is subject to availability of funds. For a young adult who shares living expenses with a roommate(s), the agreement must reflect an equal contribution by all roommates towards the expenses of the household.

Funds provided through the Independent Living Subsidy may only be used by the young adult for personal living expenses and the living expenses of a child in the young adult’s care, which may include daycare. Funds may not be used for the expenses of any other person.

Complete the New Subsidy Request with the young adult and in consultation with the community advisor. Submit the request to the DCS Supervisor for review and to the Program Manager for final approval. For young adult age 17, the Program Administrator shall review and approve.

If the DCS Program Supervisor, Program Manager or Program Administrator identifies changes needed to the agreement, the DCS Program Supervisor will deny the request and have the DCS Specialist revise the request. The DCS Specialist will consult with the young adult and community advisor to make the necessary revisions and resubmit for approval.

The above information shall be available in the case record for review with a copy provided to the youth and community advisor.

For youth under age 18, request a court order placing the youth in the physical custody of the Arizona Independent Living Program.

Maintaining Independent Living Subsidy

Continue to provide case planning and case management services, as described in Developing and Reassessing the Family-Centered Case Plan with the following additions:

  • meet with youth at least twice a month for the first three months, and monthly thereafter;

  • have at least one of the meetings in the youth’s residence; and

  • for youth under age 18, provide quarterly reports to the court and to the Foster Care Review Board.

Documentation

Complete the New Subsidy Request with the young adult and in consultation with the community advisor. Ensure the DCS Program Supervisor and Program Manager approve the service. Keep a copy of the artifact in the hard file.

Document the case plan staffing using Notes.

Document barriers and issues that impact the youth's ability to utilize subsidy for the purpose which it is issued, and services provided to remedy issues, in the Transition Plan.

Keep a copy of all memos and reports in the youth’s case record as an Artifact.

Update Guardian to reflect the youth’s change in status or living arrangement and to end any services.

Effective Date: February 1, 2021
Revision History: June 24, 2020