Act 91 FAQs: Placement for Youth Who Re-Enter Care
This FAQ represents the interpretation of Juvenile Law Center. We will update this FAQ as we learn new information, so please check back frequently for updates. For more information, please contact Jenny Pokempner at Juvenile Law Center at (215) 625-0551, ext. 111., or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where can youth who re-enter care be placed?
See the section above, Questions about Placements for Youth in Care Between Ages 18 and 21. Youth who re-enter care under Act 91 have access to the same types of placements as youth who extend in care past age 18, including the more flexible SIL placement.
However, because some youth who seek re-entry may be facing emergency situations where they need placement immediately, child welfare agencies are encouraged to develop temporary placements to meet these immediate needs.
Case Example: County A did an analysis of the number of youth that had discharged from care around age 18 and were still under 21. It also examined how many placement options it had in the county that could accommodate youth 18-21. As County A worked on increasing the number of foster homes that could serve youth 18-21 and contracting with two new providers to develop SILs, it worked with a foster care provider that had a good reputation working with teens. It recruited four homes, each with the capacity to serve three youth, to serve as temporary placements for youth who were re-entering care so that their immediate needs could be met. These foster parents and the provider staff received specialized training in working with older youth and were connected with the behavioral health system so that they could easily access support if needed. The county IL staff also provided training and other support to the foster homes and provider.
County A hopes to phase out these “temporary” placements as they develop their older youth placement continuum, but wanted to have resources in place to meet the immediate needs of youth and keep them engaged.