Eligibility

General Eligibility

A child in foster care immediately prior to the child's 18th birthday may continue in foster care until age 21 unless: (1) the child can safely return home; (2) the child is in placement pursuant to the agency's duties to provide services for persons with developmental disabilities and the child will be served as an adult; or (3) the child can be adopted or have permanent legal and physical custody transferred to a relative prior to the child's 18th birthday. Minn. Stat. § 260C.451(3).

The child must be: (1) completing secondary education or a program leading to an equivalent credential; (2) enrolled in an institution that provides postsecondary or vocational education; (3) participating in a program or activity designed to promote or remove barriers to employment; (4) employed for at least 80 hours per month; or (5) incapable of doing any of the activities (1)-(4) due to a medical condition. § 260C.451(3a).

Extension Process

Case Management Requirements

“The responsible social services agency must ensure that an administrative review . . . is completed at least six months after each of the court's annual reviews.” § 260C.451(9)(c).

Re-Entry

Eligibility & Procedure

A child who left foster care while under guardianship of the commissioner retains eligibility for foster care at any time prior to 21 years of age upon request. An individual who had not been under the guardianship of the commissioner prior to 18 years of age may reenter foster care upon request if the individual: (1) was in foster care for the six consecutive months prior to the person's 18th birthday and was not discharged home, adopted, or received into a relative's home under a transfer of permanent legal and physical custody; or (2) was discharged from foster care while on runaway status after age 15. Minn. Stat. § 260C.451(6).

Eligible youth must request to reenter care and responsible agency must move to reinstate court jurisdiction. Minn. Stat. §§ 260C.451(6), 260C.229(b).

Courts & Rights

Court Oversight of Extended Care

“The court shall conduct reviews at least annually to ensure the responsible social services agency is making reasonable efforts to finalize the permanency plan for the child.” Minn. Stat. § 260C.451(9)(a).

Procedure for Continuing Court Oversight

If the child is not already under court jurisdiction, the agency shall file a motion to reopen the matter. Minn. Stat. § 260C.229(b).

Termination of Extended Care

Child may not be discharged from foster care until “the responsible social services agency provides the child written notice that foster care will terminate 30 days from the date the notice sent,” which child may contest by filing a motion within 15 days of receiving the notice. “The child shall not be discharged from foster care until the motion is heard.” Minn. Stat. § 260C.451(8).

Subsidies

Eligibility for Extended Adoption Assistance

Adoption assistance may extend until age 21 if the youth was 16 or older prior to finalization of the adoption assistance agreement, the youth is dependent on the adoptive parent for care and financial support, and the youth meets extended care eligibility criteria. Minn. Stat. § 256N.23(12)(e).

If the youth was younger than 16, then assistance may continue if the youth is dependent on the adoptive parent for care and financial support and (i) is enrolled in a secondary education program or a program leading to the equivalent; or (ii) possesses a physical or mental disability that impairs the capacity for independent living and warrants continuation of financial assistance as determined by the commissioner. § 256N.23(12)(f).

Eligibility for Extended Guardianship Assistance

Guardianship assistance may extend until age 21 if the youth was 16 or older prior to finalization of date of the kinship assistance agreement, the youth is dependent on the adoptive custodian for care and financial support, and the youth meets extended care eligibility criteria. Minn. Stat. § 265N.22(11)(e).

If the youth was younger than 16, then assistance may continue if the youth is dependent on the guardian for care and financial support and (i) is enrolled in a secondary education program or a program leading to the equivalent; or (ii) possesses a physical or mental disability that impairs the capacity for independent living and warrants continuation of financial assistance as determined by the commissioner. § 265N.22(11)(f).