The department may provide extended foster care services to "youth"--defined as an individual between ages 18 and 21 under Mich. Comp. Laws § 400.643(c)--if the youth is: (a) completing secondary education or a program leading to an equivalent credential; (b) enrolled in an institution that provides postsecondary or vocational education; (c) participating in a program or activity designed to promote employment or remove barriers to employment; (d) employed for at least 80 hours per month; or (e) incapable of doing any part of the activities (a)-(d) due to a medical condition. Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 400.643(c), 400.649.
Voluntary Care Agreement Requirement
If an eligible youth chooses to participate in extended foster care services, the youth shall sign a voluntary foster care agreement. Mich. Comp. Laws § 400.651
Contents of Voluntary Care Agreement
The voluntary foster care agreement shall include, at a minimum, information regarding: (a) The obligation for the youth to continue to meet the conditions for eligibility; (b) Any obligation considered necessary by the department for the youth to continue to receive extended foster care services; (c) Any obligation considered necessary by the department to facilitate the youth's continued success in the program; (d) Termination of a voluntary foster care agreement and program participation; (e) The voluntary nature of the youth's participation in receiving extended foster care services. Mich. Comp. Laws § 400.651
Case Management Requirements
The department shall conduct periodic case reviews not less than once every 180 days to address the status of the youth's safety, continuing necessity and appropriateness of placement, extent of compliance with the case plan, and projected date by which the youth may no longer require extended foster care services.” Mich. Comp. Laws § 400.661.
Eligibility & Procedure
A youth who exited foster care after reaching 18 years of age but before reaching 21 years of age may reenter foster care and receive extended foster care services. Mich. Comp. Laws § 400.647.
Courts & Rights
Court Oversight of Extended Care
Within 150 days after the voluntary foster care agreement is signed, the department shall file with the court a written report that contains, inter alia, a statement of facts that supports the voluntary foster care agreement and a copy of the agreement. Mich. Comp. Laws § 400.655.
Not later than 21 days after the date the report was filed with the court, the court shall make a determination whether continuing in voluntary care is in the youth’s best interest. § 400.657.
The court shall close the case following this determination. § 400.659.
Eligibility for Extended Adoption Assistance
Assistance may extend until age 21 if the youth began receiving adoption assistance at 16 years of age or older and meets eligibility criteria (a) – (e) for extended care. Mich. Comp. Gen. § 400.671.
Eligibility for Extended Guardianship Assistance
Assistance may extend until age 21 if the youth began receiving guardianship at 16 years of age or older and meets conditions (a) – (e) above for extended care. Mich. Comp. Gen. §§ 400.665, 400.667.
Court retains jurisdiction over youth receiving guardianship assistance. § 400.669.