Extended Foster Care in Pennsylvania
“Child” includes, inter alia, a youth is under the age of 21 years who was “adjudicated dependent before reaching the age of 18 years, who has requested the court to retain jurisdiction, and who remains under the jurisdiction of the court as a dependent child because the court has determined that the child is: (i) completing secondary education or an equivalent credential; (ii) enrolled in an institution which provides postsecondary or vocational education; (iii) participating in a program actively 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 (i) – (iv) due to a medical or behavioral health condition. 42 Pa. C.S. § 6302.
Eligibility & Procedure
“At any time prior to a child reaching 21 years of age, a child may request the court to resume dependency jurisdiction if:” (1) the child continues to qualify for extended foster care; and “(2) dependency jurisdiction was terminated: (i) within 90 days prior to the child's 18th birthday; or (ii) on or after the child's 18th birthday, but before the child turns 21 years of age.” 42 Pa. C.S. § 6351(j).
Courts & Rights
Court Oversight of Extended Care
Court retains jurisdiction over youth up to age 21. 42 Pa. C.S. § 6302, Pa. R. Juv. Ct. Pro. §§ 1610, 1611.
Procedure for Continuing Court Oversight
Youth re-entering foster care must motion for resumption of jurisdiction followed by a court hearing on the resumption of jurisdiction. Juv. Ct. Pro. §1634 (Motion for Resumption of Jurisdiction) & Juv. Ct. Pro. §1635 (Hearing on Motion for Resumption of Jurisdiction).
Eligibility for Extended Adoption Assistance
Adoption assistance may extend until age 21 if the youth was 13 before the agreement became effective and the young adult meets criteria (i)-(v) above. 62 P.S. § 772 (defining “child” for purposes of adoption assistance).
Eligibility for Extended Guardianship Assistance
Permanent legal custodian assistance may extend until age 21 if the youth was 13 before the agreement became effective and the young adult meets criteria (i)-(v) above. 62 P.S. § 1301 (defining “child” for purposes of permanent legal custody).