Presentation on theme: "Training Objectives Understanding : The Role of the GAL Extended Foster Care (EFC) Postsecondary Education Services and Support (PESS) Aftercare Services."— Presentation transcript:
Training Objectives Understanding : The Role of the GAL Extended Foster Care (EFC) Postsecondary Education Services and Support (PESS) Aftercare Services Grandfathered IL Programs Transition Planning Judicial Review – 17 Year Olds www.GuardianadLitem.org April 2014 1 Independent Living Redesign Common Sense and Compassion Independent Living Act & The Role of the Guardian ad Litem
A law was passed in Florida, which took effect January 1, 2014, that gives young adults in foster care more choices and flexibility when they turn 18. The law offers Extended Foster Care, Postsecondary Education Services and Support, and Aftercare Services. Senator Nancy C. Detert Common Sense and Compassion Independent Living Act
The Guardian ad Litem’s Role When a young adult reaches 18 its is important for a GAL to transition from being a child advocate to being a significant adult in the life of young adult
The Guardian ad Litem’s Role To become a significant adult in the life of young adult. Treat the youth as a partner who is taking on ever- increasing responsibility for his/her life Help the youth recognize his/her strengths and build on them
The Guardian ad Litem’s Role To become a significant adult in the life of young adult. Recognize that young people have differing backgrounds that require different approaches Remember that it is healthy to have respectful disagreement
The Guardian ad Litem’s Role To become a significant adult in the life of young adult. Acknowledge the youth’s dreams, hopes and ideas; assist the youth with using them as they prepare for their transition plan meeting Help them stay focused on activities with outcomes --- securing housing; making decisions about their education; applying for a job; health insurance Celebrate their successes, big and small
Monthly contact between the GAL and youth should continue. Face –to - face contact is preferred, but not required. Time spent with the youth should focus on doing things together and helping them to gain new skills, knowledge and tools in order to have a sense of control over their own lives. The Guardian ad Litem’s Role
The GAL will submit a court report for all judicial review and permanency hearings that addresses the youth’s living arrangements, education and needed services that have been identified The GAL is encouraged to attend court hearings in support of the youth The Guardian ad Litem’s Role
The GAL will attend transition plan meetings and support the young adult in making their decisions Explain Extended Foster Care, Postsecondary Education Services and Support (PESS), and Aftercare Services to the young adult including the ability to re-enter the programs and how to re-enter. Pros and Cons of each and any other information necessary for the young adult to make decisions. The Guardian ad Litem’s Role
Extended Foster Care Extended Foster Care (EFC) automatic extended court jurisdiction allows young adults to remain in foster care until their 21st birthday, or 22nd birthday if they have a documented disability. Young adults can leave and re-enter foster care at any time.
In licensed foster care on their 18th birthday AND Are working at least 80 hours per month OR Are in high school / GED/College, etc. OR Are participating in a job skills program OR Are unable to participate in any of the above activities due to a disability. Young adults can choose Extended Foster Care (EFC) if:
Young Adults Who Choose EFC Will: Live with foster parents, or in a group home, apartment, dorm or other supervised independent environment. Be given living expenses like food and transportation and have an allowance to practice budgeting.
Attend Court reviews every six months – or more often if requested Young Adults Who Choose EFC Will: Meet with a caseworker every month Continue to participate in at least one of the activities listed above (job, school, job skills program)
Everything remains status quo, and GAL duties remain the same unless the young adult decides they want to have their case closed. They can re-enter EFC at any time. The GAL Attorney may file any pleadings throughout extended foster care even if the young adult is no longer in licensed care. What Does Extended Foster Care Mean For GALs?
Postsecondary Education Services and Support (PESS)
Postsecondary Education Services and Support (PESS) provides $1,256 per month to young adults 18 years of age but are not yet 23 and are enrolled in college, a university or vocational school that is Florida Bright Futures eligible at least 9 hours a semester (like a new RTI)
Young adults can choose Postsecondary Education Services and Support (PESS) if : They turned 18 while residing in licensed care and have spent a total of six months in licensed out-of- home care before turning 18 OR They were adopted after the age of 16 from foster care or placed with a court-approved dependency guardian after spending at least 6 months in licensed care within the 12 months immediately preceding such placement or adoption AND Have earned a standard high school diploma, or its equivalent.
If in EFC, then the young adult must live in an approved living arrangement If the Young Adult is not in EFC, the Young Adult may live in any place of his or her choosing For the Young Adult who is not in EFC, there is no prohibition against living with a parent or relative, nor does being married or adult-adopted disqualify a Young Adult from receiving PESS PESS & Living Arrangements
Aftercare Services are available to young adults 18 years old but not yet 23 years old who are not enrolled in EFC or PESS
Aftercare Services Provides Temporary Emergency Services Housing Electric bills Transportation Security deposits for rent or utilities Furnishings Household goods Water Gas Sewer service Food
Services Being Phased-Out and Grandfathered Services
Pre-independent Living Subsidized Independent Living Transitional Support Services Services Being Phased Out As of Jan. 1, 2014 “Old” RTI = PESS
Grandfathering of Existing Independent Living Programs Young Adults currently in the “old” Road to Independence program can continue in that program until they leave due to age, college graduation, termination based on ineligibility or a voluntary exit. A young adult currently receiving Transitional Services can continue until March 31, 2014.
Grandfathering of Existing Independent Living Programs Once the young adult leaves the program the grandfathering expires – no reinstatement A young adult that was in the “old” RTI may apply for EFC, PESS or Aftercare Grandfathered programs can continue until December 31, 2018
Grandfathering of Existing Independent Living Programs Chart – Grandfathered Programs – Double Click Icon
Young adults who choose extended foster care will participate in developing a transition plan. It should be updated as needed, include input from significant adults in the young adults life and will be regularly reviewed by the court
Transition Planning Development of Transition Plan During the 6 month period after young adult reaches 17 Time, date, and place must be convenient for the young adult Time, date, and place must be convenient for the individual whom the young adult would like to include
Transition Planning Development of Transition Plan (continued) Conducted in the child’s primary language If child is leaving care upon age 18, must be approved by the court To be reviewed and updated as needed as long as child remains in care
Young adults are required to participate Department Community-based care provider Transition Plan – Who Participates Caregiver Adult significant to youth would like to invite to participate in the meeting – this can be their GAL
Must address options for the young adult to obtain some or all of the following services Housing Health Insurance Education Transition Plan Workforce support & Employment services Information to establish and maintain naturally occurring mentor relationships and other personal support services
Transition Plan The CBC shall Coordinate independent living services with transition plan If the young adult is a parent, then the transition plan should include parenting skills If the young adult has a disability Make reasonable accommodations Coordinate with Transition Individual Education Plan (TIEP)
Transition Plan If a child is planning to leave care upon reaching age 18, the transition plan must be approved by the court before the child leaves care
Transition Plan Meeting – GAL Role Prior to the Meeting Coordinate schedules with attendees Visit with young adult Communicate with parties suggested by the child. Review most recent case plan and transitional plan Review Individual Education Plan IEP
Transition Plan Meeting – GAL Role During the Meeting help the young adult lead a discussion to create an achievable plan with action steps addressing: Housing Health Insurance Education Workforce Support Employment Services Mentoring Relationships/ Healthy Relationships Personal Support Services The GAL should be available to assist and support the youth with his/her discussion.
Transition Plan Meeting – GAL Role During the Meeting (continued) Ensure that the child has vital documentation, including driver’s license, state ID, Social Security card, birth certificate, and Medicaid card. Ensure that the services identified as needed are initiated within thirty days of the meeting; obtain a court order, if necessary.
Judicial Review - 17 Year Old Must be held w/in 90 days of 17th birthday The Transition Plan will be approved at the final Judicial Review prior to the young adults 18 th birthday Order removing disability of nonage residential leases – (banking, utilities too)
Judicial Review - 17 Year Old The CBC shall provide the following documents or information – Transition Plan Educational Records Health and Medical Records Process for Accessing Case File Medicaid Card & Information Certified Copy of Birth Certificate Florida ID or Driver’s License Master Trust Accounting, if Applicable Information Regarding PESS, EFC & Aftercare Services Interviewing Skills Training Open Bank Account or Obtain ID Necessary Banking and Budgeting Skills Public Assistance Information Living Arrangements – Housing Issues How Expenses Will Be Paid School Information Notice of the Right to Extend Foster Care A letter providing the dates the child will be under court jurisdiction Removal of Disability of Non-Age – Banking, Utilities, Lease Child Has Separate Signed Order A statement encouraging child to attend JR hearings
Judicial Review 18 years and older Regular Judicial Reviews every six months until the youth's 21st birthday Can be more often if requested
Department and CBC shall file report to include: Young adult’s case plan goals progress Independent living plan progress Transition plan progress Modifications as necessary to further the young adult’s goals Judicial Review 18 years and older
Court must make sure appropriate services are being provided Court may order additional services Judicial Review 18 years and older
Permanency goal for young adult who remains in care: “transition from licensed care to independent living” Must be held at least yearly Signed consent (or alternatives) for young adult to exit foster care Permanency Review
During the permanency review, the court shall consult with and ensure the young adult understands: Permanency Plan Case Plan Individual Education Plan Permanency Review
Closing the Case Case will stay open (protective services & court jurisdiction) unless the young adult attends court or the court finds the young adult has: Waived their right to attend the hearing (in writing) after being informed of their right to attend; Understands all that is available to them before age 21 and has signed a document stating they have been informed; or The young adult has voluntarily left the program, has not signed the document, and is unwilling to participate in any further court proceeding.
13-15 YEAR OLD SERVICES OLD PROGRAM Assessment / Plans at 13 Education and Career Path Goal Normalcy Plans every 90 days Independent Living Meetings – annually NEW PROGRAM Foster Parent works with child on skills Caregiver participates in case plan, team meetings and court hearings Caregiver statement on progress for court Life Skills Progress Report 15-17 YEAR OLD SERVICES OLD PROGRAM Independent Living meetings every six months Special JR within 90 days of 17th Birthday Specific court reports on services to child NEW PROGRAM Foster Parent works with child on skills Transition Plan Special Judicial Review continues Child additionally receives: Complete education, medical, mental health records Process for accessing case file 18 YEARS AND OVER OLD PROGRAM Foster Care ends at 18 Three programs post 18 Road to Independence Transitional Support Aftercare NEW PROGRAM Extended foster care until 21 (22 for kids with disability) RTI for post secondary only RTI now called Postsecondary Education Services and Support PESS set at $1256 – no more needs assessments Old Program v New Program