A “young adult”—defined as a “person who has attained the age of eighteen or older, but is less than twenty-one years of age,” Haw. Rev. Stat. § 346-392—may continue to receive services if: (1) the young adult was: (A) Under the permanent custody, foster custody, voluntary foster custody, or court-ordered temporary foster custody of the department at the time the young adult attained the age of eighteen; (B) A child who was placed in guardianship after attaining the age of sixteen and the legal guardians are no longer willing to provide emotional and financial support; or (C) A child who was adopted after attaining the age of sixteen and the adoptive parents are no longer willing to provide emotional and financial support; (2) The young adult voluntarily consents to participate in the young adult voluntary foster care program and meets the program requirements; (3) The court finds that exercising jurisdiction under this part is in the young adult's best interest; and (4) The young adult is: (A) Completing secondary education or a program leading to an equivalent credential; (B) Enrolled in an institution that provides post-secondary or vocational education; (C) Participating in a program or activity designed to promote or remove barriers to employment; (D) Employed for at least eighty hours per month; or (E) Incapable of doing any of the activities described in subparagraphs (A) to (D) due to a medical condition, which incapability is supported by regularly updated information in the case plan of the young adult. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 346-395.
Voluntary Care Agreement Requirement
Young adult and department shall enter into voluntary foster care agreement for re-entry. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 346-396.
Contents of Voluntary Care Agreement
The voluntary care agreement shall outline, at a minimum: (1) the obligation for the youth to continue to meet conditions (A) – (E) under Haw. Rev. Stat. § 346-395 and the program requirements for the duration of the voluntary care agreement; (2) the youth’s right to terminate the voluntary care agreement at any time; and (3) the voluntary nature of the youth’s participation in the young adult voluntary foster care program. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 346-396.
Case Management Requirements
As soon as the department determines that a young adult is eligible under section 346-395 and the young adult signs the voluntary care agreement as described in section 346-396, prior to the filing of the petition invoking the jurisdiction of the court or the court's determination of jurisdiction pursuant to section 346-398, the department may provide extended foster care services to the young adult. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 346-397.
(a) A case plan shall: (1) Establish goals for the young adult, including those pertaining to education; health; therapy; counseling; a relationship with the young adult's birth family, including visits; cultural connections; independent living; and transition plans; (2) Describe services needed to assist the young adult to achieve the goals set forth in paragraph (1); and (3) Describe the methods for achieving the goals and services set forth in paragraphs (1) and (2).
(b) The department shall prepare a report to the court, developed in collaboration with the young adult as developmentally appropriate, describing: (1) The young adult's progress toward achieving the goals of the case plan; (2) Proposed revisions to the goals of the case plan and reasons for the revisions; and (3) Proposed revisions to the methods for achieving the goals of the case plan and the reasons for the revisions.
(c) The report shall be submitted to the court seven days prior to a scheduled periodic review hearing date and a copy shall be provided to the young adult. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 346-400
Eligibility & Procedure
A young adult who was previously under jurisdiction pursuant to chapter 587A [Child Protective Act]* as the subject child who chooses to participate in the young adult voluntary foster care program may re-enter if the young adult meets the above eligibility criteria and enters into a voluntary care agreement with the department that includes, at a minimum: (1) The obligation for the youth to continue to meet conditions (A) – (E) above and the program requirements for the duration of the voluntary care agreement; (2) The youth’s right to terminate the voluntary care agreement at any time; and (3) The voluntary nature of the youth’s participation in the young adult voluntary foster care program. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 346-396.
The Department may provide extended foster care services upon completing the voluntary care agreement, prior to filing the petition invoking court jurisdiction. § 346-397.
Within thirty days after the voluntary care agreement is signed, the department shall file with the court in the county where the young adult resides a petition invoking the jurisdiction of the court under this part, which shall contain: (1) The young adult's name, date of birth, and current address; (2) A statement of facts that supports the eligibility of the young adult for foster care services that includes the following: (A) The reasonable efforts made to achieve permanency for the young adult; and (B) The reasons why it is in the best interest of the young adult to extend foster care services; and (3) A copy of the signed voluntary care agreement. Upon the filing of the petition, the court shall open a young adult voluntary foster care case for the purpose of determining whether extending foster care services is in the young adult's best interests. The court shall conduct a hearing and make its determination no later than fifteen days after the filing of the petition. The court shall set a periodic review to be held within one hundred eighty days after the signing of the voluntary care agreement. Id.
A young adult who was previously under the jurisdiction of the court under the young adult voluntary foster care program and who was terminated from the program may reestablish jurisdiction by signing a new voluntary foster care agreement, at which time the department shall proceed as above. § 346-405. * Pursuant to this definition, youth who were adopted or placed in guardianship arrangements after turning 16 are eligible for extended care.
Courts & Rights
Court Oversight of Extended Care
The family court retains exclusive jurisdiction over the young adult voluntary foster care program. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 346-394. The court must find that exercising jurisdiction is in the young adult's best interest. § 346-395.
Procedure for Continuing Court Oversight
Periodic judicial reviews shall occur not less than once every one hundred eighty days after the signing of the voluntary care agreement and may be conducted either by court hearing or court review. At the periodic review, the court shall issue the following findings: (1) Whether the young adult continues to meet the eligibility requirements set forth in section 346-395; (2) Whether the young adult continues to comply with the case plan developed in collaboration between the department and the young adult, and the appropriateness of the case plan; and (3) The young adult's progress toward achieving independence.appropriateness of the case plan; and (3) the young adult’s progress towards achieving independence. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 346-403.
Right to Counsel
The court may appoint an attorney sua sponte to the young adult or at the young adult’s request, if the court deems it in the youth’s best interest. Attorneys who are appointed by the court to represent a qualifying young adult may be paid by the court, unless the young adult for whom counsel is appointed has an independent estate sufficient to pay fees and costs. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 346-402.
Termination of Extended Care
Jurisdiction under this part shall terminate when: (1) The young adult has reached the age of twenty-one years; (2) The young adult chooses to terminate the voluntary care agreement and stop receiving extended foster care services if the young adult: (A) Has voluntarily signed a document attesting to the fact that the young adult no longer consents to the court's jurisdiction; (B) Has been informed in writing of the effects of terminating voluntary foster care early; and (C) Has been informed in writing of the option to reestablish jurisdiction before reaching age twenty-one and the procedures to do so; or (3) After a court finds that: (A) The young adult no longer meets the eligibility requirements as set forth in section 346-395; or (B) Despite the fact that the department has made ongoing reasonable efforts to provide the young adult with services, the young adult is in material noncompliance with the case plan. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 346-404
Eligibility for Extended Adoption Assistance
Adoption assistance may continue between ages 18 and 21 if “the child has a severe or chronic medical condition or physical, mental or emotional condition, behavioral disorder or other clinically diagnosed disability that warrants continued adoption assistance.” Haw. Code R. 17-1620-15; see also Haw. Rev. Stat. § 346-303 (requiring the Department to establish rules for adoption assistance eligibility and duration).
Eligibility for Extended Guardianship Assistance
Federally-funded kinship guardian assistance many continue between ages 18 and 21 if the child has a mental or physical handicap which warrants the continuation of assistance. Haw. Code R. 17-1621-18.
State-funded permanency assistance may continue until the end of the school year during which the child turns 20, if the child is attending school. R. 17-621-18, R. 17-621-25.