Young adult who turned 18 “while in the temporary or permanent managing conservatorship of DFPS” may receive foster care assistance until the end of the month of the young adult’s 21st birthday so long as, within 30 days of turning 18, the young adult is (A) attending high school or a program leading toward a high school diploma or high school equivalence certificate; (B) Regularly attending an institution of higher education or a post-secondary vocational or technical program; (C) Actively participating in a program or activity that promotes, or removes barriers to, employment; (D) Employed for at least 80 hours per month; or (E) Incapable of performing any of activities (A)-(D) due to a documented medical condition. 40 Tex. Admin. Code § 700.346(a), (c); see also Tex. Fam. Code §264.101 (a-1) (the department is responsible for paying the cost of care for youth eligible for extended care).
Youth who qualify for extended foster care under this section may transition between eligible activities for a period not to exceed 30 days. § 700.346(d).
Youth may also remain in foster care until 22nd birthday if otherwise eligible and if “regularly attending high school or a program leading toward a high school diploma or high school equivalence certificate.” § 700.346(c).
Voluntary Care Agreement Requirement
Youth must also “adult sign and continue to abide by the terms of a Voluntary Extended Foster Care Agreement, including monthly caseworker visits and participation in all required extended foster care review hearings.” § 700.346(a)(3).
Contents of Voluntary Care Agreement
Pursuant to the Voluntary Extended Foster Care Agreement, the youth must agree to allow the Department to use any monthly benefits the youth receives that are designated for the youth’s maintenance and support, including Supplemental Security Income or Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance. § 700.346(a)(5); see also Tex Dep’t of Family & Protective Servs., Voluntary Extended Foster Agrmt. & Financial Agrmt., Form K-908-2540 (2014).
Case Management Requirements
Per the Voluntary Extended Foster Care Agreement, youth agrees to monthly caseworker visits and participation in all required extended foster care review hearings. 40 Tex. Admin. Code § 700.346(a)(3).
"Extended foster care" means a residential living arrangement in which a young adult voluntarily delegates to the department responsibility for the young adult's placement and care and in which the young adult resides with a foster parent or other residential services provider that is: (A) licensed or approved by the department or verified by a licensed or certified child-placing agency; and (B) paid under a contract with the department. Tex. Fam. Code § 263.601 (1)
Eligibility & Procedure
A young adult may return to extended foster care at any time prior to the month before the young adult's 21st birthday, provided he is eligible. 40 Tex. Admin. Code § 700.346(e).
Courts & Rights
Court Oversight of Extended Care
"Young adult" means a person who was in the conservatorship of the department on the day before the person's 18th birthday. Tex. Fam. Code § 263.601(4)
Extended jurisdiction is permitted for youth eligible for extended foster care and during trial independence. Tex. Fam. Code § 263.602 (a),(b), and (e).
The court may also extend jurisdiction for youth who make such a request and are receiving transitional living services. Tex. Fam. Code § 263.6021.
The court may also extend jurisdiction on its own motion if it believes that young adult may be incapacitated. Tex. Fam. Code §263.603.
A court extending jurisdiction on its own motion for a youth believed to be incapacitated does so for the purpose of the department to refer the young adult to the Department of Aging and Disability Services for guardianship services as required by Section 48.209, Human Resources Code. Id.
Termination of Extended Care
"Trial independence" means the status assigned to a young adult under Section 263.6015. Tex. Fam. Code § 263.601 (3-1).
TRIAL INDEPENDENCE. (a) A young adult is assigned trial independence status when the young adult: (1) does not enter extended foster care at the time of the young adult's 18th birthday; or (2) exits extended foster care before the young adult's 21st birthday. (b) Except as provided by Subsection (c), a court order is not required for a young adult to be assigned trial independence status. Trial independence is mandatory for a period of at least six months beginning on: (1) the date of the young adult's 18th birthday for a young adult described by Subsection (a)(1); or (2) the date the young adult exits extended foster care. (c) A court may order trial independence status extended for a period that exceeds the mandatory period under Subsection (b) but does not exceed one year from the date the period under Subsection (b) commences. (d) Except as provided by Subsection (e), a young adult who enters or reenters extended foster care after a period of trial independence must complete a new period of trial independence as provided by Subsection (b)(2). (e)
The trial independence status of a young adult ends on the young adult's 21st birthday. Tex. Fam. Code §263.6015. "
Eligibility for Extended Adoption Assistance
Adoption assistance may extend until the last day of the month of the youth’s 21st birthday if the agreement became effective after the youth’s 16th birthday and the youth meets criteria (A)-(E) above. Tex. Fam. Code § 162.3041(a.1).
Eligibility for Extended Guardianship Assistance
Permanency care assistance may extend until the last day of the month of the youth’s 21st birthday if the agreement became effective after the youth’s 16th birthday and the youth meets criteria (A)-(E) above. Tex. Fam. Code § 264.855.