This publication reviews promising state approaches to extended foster care. Programmatic elements covered include: eligibility, placement settings, case management models, case review and transition services. The end goal? Help child welfare leaders continue to improve the design of extended care programs and better support the unique needs of older youth.
Nationwide, 28 states and territories have Title IV-E approved extended foster care programs. Within this group, only one state — Oregon — lacks a provision on how youth can re-enter extended care.
Given the significant overlap in child welfare and youth justice populations, states should view designing an extended care system that supports both populations as a critical priority and opportunity. Currently, just two states — California and Indiana — offer extended foster care to young adults leaving the juvenile justice system.
In California, young people ages 18 – 21 can remain in kinship care, foster care or congregate care while they complete high school.
Statements & Quotations
To be effective, foster care for older youth and young adults must look and feel different than traditional foster care for young children.
To be effective, foster care for older youth and young adults must look and feel different than traditional foster care for young children. In the next decade, state leaders have new opportunities to further build out and strengthen a robust and high quality extended foster care program as a core foundation of services for older youth and young adults.
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