After 18 Foster Parents
It’s important to remember that extended foster care is a voluntary program, and that each emerging adult must make his or her own decision about participation. Still, foster parents can play a significant role in helping emerging adults reach their decisions by engaging in conversations about the future, discussing housing options and financial priorities, assisting with college tours and job shadowing opportunities, and asking to participate in exit conferences with social workers.
Further, it is helpful to review and discuss with emerging adults the Mutual Agreement for Extended Foster Care, which lays out the benefits of Extended Foster Care, as well as the commitments that emerging adults must make if they choose to participate. Emerging adults who choose to participate in Extended Foster Care may ask to continue to live with their current foster families, so reviewing this document can help foster parents decide whether taking on a new role as a caregiver for an emerging adult within Extended Foster Care is right for them.
- Ventura County Foster Parent Association
- Ventura County Human Services Agency
- National Foster Parent Association
- After 18 Videos & Conversation Guide
Extended Foster Care Placement Options
Emerging adults who reach agreements with their current foster families to continue living with them will transition into one of two placement arrangements depending on the level of independent living skills demonstrated by the emerging adult:
Foster Family – Extended Foster Care – appropriate for emerging adults who need more time to develop their independent living skills.
Emerging adults who reach agreements with their current foster families to continue living with them, but who need more time to develop their independent living skills, will enter into a Foster Family – Extended Foster Care placement arrangement. Under this arrangement, the foster parents will continue to receive the approved basic rate (plus any other allowable special reimbursements).
Supervised Independent Living – Extended Foster Care – reserved for emerging adults with adequate independent living skills.
Emerging adults who reach agreements with their current foster families to continue living with them, and who have adequate independent living skills, will enter into a “supervised independent living – extended foster care” arrangement. Under this arrangement, the emerging adult can receive the approved basic rate (plus any other allowable special reimbursements).
When considering these placement options, the emerging adult shall complete a Supervised Independent Living Program Readiness Assessment jointly with their social worker.
Financial arrangements for both types of placements as well as agreements for curfew times, chores, and other such household “rules” will vary according to the decisions reached by each household. Children & Family Services social workers will be available to help facilitate conversations, as needed, and agreements will be documented in the Mutual Agreement for Extended Foster Care.
Transitioning from childhood to adulthood while living in the same household will no doubt present growth opportunities for both emerging adults and their foster parents. Please know that emerging adults and foster parents will receive plenty of emotional support from Children & Family Services social workers in adjusting to the change.
Opting Out of Extended Foster Care
Emerging adults who choose not to participate in Extended Foster Care will exit the system, but they may choose to enter the program in the future by contacting the Coordinator for the Extended Foster Care program or completing the Extended Foster Care Program Re-Entry Agreement.