Federal Law

Federal Law

1. Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, 110 P.L. 351; 122 Stat. 3949; 2008 Enacted H.R. 6893; 110 Enacted H.R. 6893 (complete statute)


2. Older Youth Provisions of Fostering Connections

a. Option to Provide Extension of Care—Amendment of "Child" Definition 42 U.S.C.A. 675 (8)(A)

    Subject to subparagraph (B), the term "child" means an individual who has not attained 18 years of age.

    (B) At the option of a State, the term shall include an individual—

    (i)(I) who is in foster care under the responsibility of the State;
    (II) with respect to whom an adoption assistance agreement is in effect under section 673 of this title if the child had attained 16 years of age before the agreement became effective; or
    (III) with respect to whom a kinship guardianship assistance agreement is in effect under section 673(d) of this title if the child has attained 16 years of age before the agreement became effective;
    (ii) who has attained 18 years of age;
    (iii) who has not attained 19, 20, or 21 years of age, as the State may elect; and
    (iv) who is—

           (I) completing secondary education or a program leading to an equivalent credential;
           (II) enrolled in an institution which provides post-secondary or vocational education;
           (III) participating in a program or activity designed to promote, or remove barriers to, employment;
           (IV) employed for at least 80 hours per month; or
           (V) incapable of doing any of the activities described in subclauses (I) through (IV) due to a medical condition, which incapability is supported by regularly updated information in the case plan of the child.

      b. Transition Plan Requirement—42 U.S.C.A. 675 (5)(H) & (I)

      (H) during the 90-day period immediately prior to the date on which the child will attain 18 years of age, or such greater age as the State may elect under paragraph (8)(B)(iii), whether during that period foster care maintenance payments are being made on the child's behalf or the child is receiving benefits or services under section 677 [the Chafee Foster Care Independent Act] of this title, a caseworker on the staff of the State agency, and, as appropriate, other representatives of the child provide the child with assistance and support in developing a transition plan that is personalized at the direction of the child, includes specific options on housing, health insurance, education, local opportunities for mentors and continuing support services, and work force supports and employment services, includes information about the importance of designating another individual to make health care treatment decisions on behalf of the child if the child becomes unable to participate in such decisions and the child does not have, or does not want, a relative who would otherwise be authorized under State law to make such decisions, and provides the child with the option to execute a health care power of attorney, health care proxy, or other similar document recognized under State law,  and is as detailed as the child may elect.

      (I) each child in foster care under the responsibility of the State who has attained 16 years of age receives without cost a copy of any consumer report (as defined in section 1681a(d) of Title 15) pertaining to the child each year until the child is discharged from care, and receives assistance (including, when feasible, from any court- appointed advocate for the child) in interpreting and resolving any inaccuracies in the report.

      c. Creation of a New Title IV-E Reimbursable Setting for Youth 18-21—Supervised Setting in Which a Child Lives Independently—42 U.S.C.A. 672 (c)

      “Foster family home” and “child-care institution” defined:

      For the purposes of this part ... (2) the term “child-care institution” means a private child-care institution, or a public child-care institution which accommodates no more than twenty-five children, which is licensed by the State in which it is situated or has been approved, by the agency of such State responsible for licensing or approval of institutions of this type, as meeting the standards established for such licensing, except, in the case of a child who has attained 18 years of age, the term shall include a supervised setting in which the individual is living independently, in accordance with such conditions as the Secretary shall establish in regulations,  but the term shall not include detention facilities, forestry camps, training schools, or any other facility operated primarily for the detention of children who are determined to be delinquent.

      3. Federal Guidance on the Implementation of Fostering Connections

      The "Implementation of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 Working Document" contains links to all program instructions and policy guidance on Fostering Connections issued by the Administration on Children, Youth and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services.

      To date, the following Program Instruction relates most directly to the older youth provisions of Fostering Connections: "Guidance on Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, Program Instruction, ACYF-CB-PI-10-11, July 9, 2010."