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Fostering Connections Act 2013 Legislation

Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008: H.R. 6893 / P.L 110-351

The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act (H.R. 6893/P.L. 110-351) of 2008 helps to: connect foster children with their relatives; better coordinate the health care and education of foster children; support permanent families through relative guardianship; and enhance adoption subsidies and supports to older youth in foster care.  Click here for a summary of the Act.

Updated Aug. 29, 2013

2013 INTRODUCED LEGISLATION

 

STATE

Bill Bill Summary Disposition Sponsor Provisions
California CA AB 787 Clarifies and makes technical changes to the California Fostering Connections to Success Act to ensure the continued implementation of the Act.  Clarifies that former non-minor dependents (NMD) who reached permanency, but whose guardian, relative, or adoptive parent died before their 21st birthday, may reenter extended foster care; authorizes probation officers to place NMDs in approved transitional placements;  adds the existing definition of "transition dependent" to the relevant code section which determines recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children Foster Care (AFDC-FC); and  clarifies how the court may terminate jurisdiction over a NMD, but still retain the ability to monitor them as a non-minor. Enacted Assembly Member Stone Youth to 21
California CA AB 985 Extends state Kin-GAP benefits to age 21 to youth who attain 18 years of age while receiving federal or state Kin-GAP benefits and who entered the program prior to reaching the age of 16, subject to the following criteria:
For youth who have attained 18 years of age in the state Kin-GAP program, state Kin-GAP benefits may continue to age 21 if the relative guardian continues to be responsible for the support of the youth.  The youth meets one or more of the following conditions:  completing high school or a program leading to an equivalent credential;  enrolled in a postsecondary or vocational education program; participating in a program or activity designed to promote or remove barriers to employment; employed at least 80 hours per month; incapable of activity due to a medical condition supported by information in the case plan.
For youth who have attained 18 years of age while receiving federal Kin-GAP benefits, but are no longer eligible under that program, state Kin-GAP benefits may continue to age 21 if:  the youth's relationship to the kinship guardian is related to the child by blood, adoption, or affinity within the fifth degree of kinship, including stepparents, stepsiblings, and all relatives whose status is preceded by the words "great," "great-great," or "grand" or the spouse of any of those persons even if the marriage was terminated by death or dissolution (excludes non-related extended family members); the youth was under 16 years of age at the commencement of Kin-GAP payments; the guardian continues to be responsible for the support of the youth; the youth meets one or more of the educational/employment provisions noted above for the state Kin-GAP program.  For both state and federal Kin-GAP programs, requires county social workers to, at the time of redetermination of eligibility closest to the child's 18th birthday, determine whether the child has a mental or physical disability that warrants continuation of assistance, as specified. Retains the provision under the federal Kin-GAP program authorizing continuation equivalent level of vocational or technical training on a full-time basis, who are reasonably expected to complete the educational or training program before age 19.
 
Pending Assembly Member Cooley Youth to 21, kinship guardianship
Florida FL SB 1036 Provides that a child who is living in licensed care on his or her 18th birthday and who has not achieved permanency is eligible to remain in licensed care if he or she meets specified criteria. Requires a young adult choosing to remain in care beyond 18 years of age to reside in a supervised living environment, approved by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) or a community-based care lead agency (CBC).  Allows a young adult to leave and reenter care an unlimited number of times before reaching 21 years of age.  Requires a CBC lead agency to provide regular case management reviews that ensure contact with a case manager at least monthly while a young adult participates in extended foster care and requires the court to review the young adult's status at least every six months and hold a permanency hearing at least annually.  Requires the creation of a transition plan after the 17th birthday of a child in foster care that will be reviewed and updated as necessary until the child leaves care.
 
Enacted Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee Youth to 21, transition planning
Hawaii HI SB 1340 Establishes the Young Adult Voluntary Foster Care Program extending foster care services to provide care and supervision of eligible foster youth until their twenty-first birthday. Enacted Senator Hee Youth to 21
Montana MT HB 262 Extends Medicaid eligibility for minors placed in a subsidized guardianship. Enacted Representative Hill Kinship guardianship
Nebraska NE LB 216 Establishes the Young Adult Voluntary Services Act. Former foster children between the ages of 19 and 21 can voluntarily request continued services from the state, if certain conditions are met. Those who enter into a guardianship or adoption after January 1, 2014 are also eligible, if they entered into the guardianship or were adopted at age 16, if they also met the conditions outlined in the bill. Extended care and support includes, but are not limited to Medicaid coverage, housing support and case management.  The Department of Health and Human Services shall conduct a redetermination of income eligibility for Title IV-E for young adults who sign up for voluntary services and support under this act. Enacted Senator McGill Youth to 21
Nebraska NE LB 265 Kinship and relative homes are exempt from the licensure requirement, although such homes should make efforts to be licensed. The department may provide licensure assistance including information on licensure, kinship-specific and relative-specific foster care training, referrals to local service providers and support groups, and information on funding and resources available to address home safety or other barriers to licensure. Kinship and relative homes shall be approved by the Division of Children and Family Services of the Department of Health and Human Services. The division shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations on requirements for approval, which shall include: a home visit to assure adequate housing and criminal background checks of all adult residents.
 
Enacted Senator Coash Licensing Standards for Relatives
Nebraska NE LB 269 Requires HHS  to adopt new foster care licensing regulations that minimize the mandates for non-safety issues and provides alternatives to address non-safety
issues regarding housing and provide assistance to overcome licensing barriers, especially in child-specific relative and kinship placements.
Enacted Senator Nordquist Licensing Standards for Relatives
New York NY AB 3699 Provides for the establishment of kinship guardianships for kinship foster parent; establishes the guardianship after a hearing and determination upon a petition filed by the kinship foster parent; provides that establishment of such guardianship does not affect or impair the natural parents visitation rights. Pending Assembly Member Peoples-Stokes Kinship guardianship
New York NY SB 1173 Provides for the establishment of kinship guardianships for kinship foster parent. Pending Senator Robach Kinship guardianship
Rhode Island RI HB 5275 Companion bill to RI SB 311.  Provides that Rhode Island licensed child placing agencies and Rhode Island governmental agencies would promote the educational stability of children in foster care by considering the child's school attendance area when making placement decisions. More specifically, the act would provide that a student who is in foster care would have the right to remain enrolled in and attend school in a district where the student previously resided. Pending Representative. Naughton Education stability
Rhode Island RI SB 311 Companion bill to RI HB 5275.  Provides that Rhode Island licensed child placing agencies and Rhode Island governmental agencies would promote the educational stability of children in foster care by considering the child's school attendance area when making placement decisions. More specifically, the act would provide that a student who is in foster care would have the right to remain enrolled in and attend school in a district where the student previously resided. Pending Senator Cool Rumsey Education stability
Virginia VA SJR 282 Requests the Department of Social Services to develop and present options for implementing the extension of foster care maintenance and adoption assistance payments for individuals up to 21 years of age. Adopted Senator Favola Youth to 21
Washington WA SB 5405 Provides for the extension of foster care for youth over 18 if they are participating in a program or activity designated to promote or remove barriers to employment; provides the services to be included in extended foster care; provides that youth in foster care must be informed of such extension at age 17. Enacted Senator Murray Youth to 21


 

2012 INTRODUCED LEGISLATION

 

STATE

Bill

Bill Summary

Disposition

Sponsor

California AB 1712, Chap. 846 Makes the non-minor dependents or youth participating in Foster Care to 21 eligible for the court-appointed special advocate (CASA) program so that volunteer CASAs can provide designated services and support to youth under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. Enacted Assembly Member Beall

California

CA SB 1568, Chap. 578

Requires a local educational agency to allow a former foster child to continue his or her education in a school of origin through the end of the highest grade maintained at that school.

Enacted

Senator DeSaulnier

Colorado

CO SB 66, Chap. 86

Expands persons eligible as guardians in the guardianship assistance program to include relatives, persons ascribed by the family as having a family-like relationship with the child or persons who have had a prior significant relationship with the child. 

Enacted

Senator Nicholson

Delaware De HJR 18 This resolution is in response to recommendations from Delaware's Youth Advisory Council, which is comprised of youth who have experienced foster care and who speak on behalf of all youth in care. The Youth Advisory Council provides the opportunity for youth, who are sincere about improving foster care, to assemble and discuss issues and possible solutions. The Youth Advisory Council members, in collaboration with the Delaware Youth Opportunities Initiative, have asked the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families and the General Assembly to consider creating a developmentally appropriate foster care program for youth/young adults up to the age of 21 to assist with their successful transition to adulthood. This resolution requires significant youth participation in submitting a timely analysis and report on the practical and fiscal impacts of extending Delaware's foster care program to age 21 Enacted Representative Barbieri

Illinois

IL HB 5592, Public Act 1076

Requires the Department of Children and Family Services to place a child with the child's sibling or siblings unless the placement is not in each child's best interest, or is otherwise not possible under the Department's rules. If the child is not placed with a sibling under the Department's rules, the Department shall consider placements that are likely to develop, preserve, nurture, and support sibling relationships, where doing so is in each child's best interest.

Enacted

Representative Feigenholtz

Louisiana

LA SB 152, Act 730

Requires that at least six months prior to the release of a child from foster care, the department shall prepare a written, individualized, and thorough transitional plan developed in collaboration with the child and any agency or department assuming his custody, care, or responsibility. 

Enacted

Senator Broome

Maryland

MD SB 605, Chap. 505

Companion bill to MD HB 757. Determines that a child in state-supervised care may remain in their school of origin regardless of whether the child resides within a school’s geographic attendance area if it is in the child’s best interest. The law provides that the local department of social services shall pay the cost of transportation of the child to the school. 

Enacted

Senator Kelley

Michigan SB 1232 (5) The department shall exercise due diligence to determine, document, and contact the Indian child's extended family members in accordance with the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, Public Law 110-351. If applicable, determinations and documentation should be conducted in consultation with the child or parent's tribe. Enacted Senator Emmons
Pennsylvania PA HB 1261, Act 2012-80

Extends  Foster Care to youth age 21.

 

Except in situations of family or domestic violence, the county agency shall exercise due diligence to identify and notify all grandparents and other adult relatives to the fifth degree of consanguinity or affinity to the parent or stepparent of a dependent child within 30 days of the child's removal from the child's home.

 

The Subsidized Permanent Legal Custodianship Program is established in the department.  The department shall establish and develop criteria and promulgate necessary regulations for county agencies to implement the Subsidized Permanent Legal Custodianship Program in accordance with the provisions of this article. The criteria and regulations shall include, but not be limited to, identification of eligible children and eligible permanent legal custodians, procedures for implementing the program and reporting requirements by county agencies

Enacted Rep. Quigley
Tennessee TN H 2337, Ch. 653 Continues the Transition Planning Program for older youth aging out of foster care. Enacted

Representative

McCormick

Utah UT HB 237

Requires a caseworker to file a report explaining why a particular placement is in the child's best interest when a child is removed from the child's immediate family but not placed with kin.

Enacted Representative Harper

Washington

WA HB 2254, Chap. 163

Companion bill to WA SB 6374.   Enacts the educational success for youth and alumni of foster care act. Requires the department of social and health services to contract with at least one nongovernmental entity to administer a program of education coordination for foster youth, birth through twelfth grade in Washington state.

Enacted

Representative Carlyle

Washington

WA HB 2592, Chap. 52

Allows all youth currently enrolled in the foster care to 21 program for the purposes of postsecondary education to remain enrolled until they turn twenty-one, are no longer otherwise eligible, or choose to leave the program. Within three years of the effective date of this act, the "foster care to 21" program will cease to operate, and youth seeking a postsecondary education will be solely served by the extended foster care program.

Enacted

Representative Roberts

 

 

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