Eligibility

General Eligibility

“Transitioning adults”—defined as, inter alia, “an individual with a transfer plan to move to an adult setting who is between 18 and 21 years old and [who] was adjudicated abused, neglected, or in the custody of the Department upon reaching age 18 and enters into a contract with the Department of Health and Human Resources to continue in an educational, training, or treatment program which was initiated prior to the eighteenth birthday” § 49-1-202(B)—may remain in foster care. W. Va. Code § 49-4-110(b).

Pursuant to Department policy, to be eligible for extended care, youth must be: (i) completing secondary education or a program leading to an equivalent credential; (ii) enrolled in an institution which provides postsecondary or vocational education; (iii) participating in a program or activity designed to promote or remove barriers to employment; (iv) employed at least 80 hours per month; or (v) incapable activities (i) – (iv) due to a medical condition. W. VA. DEP’T OF HEALTH AND HUMAN RESOURCES, OFFICE OF CHILDREN & ADULT SERVS. FOSTER CARE POLICY, No. 5.31 (2017). Id.

Justice-Involved Youth

“Transitioning adult” eligible to remain or return to care also includes “an individual with a transfer plan to move to an adult setting who is between 18 and 21 years old, and [who] committed an act of delinquency before reaching eighteen years of age, was in the custody of the Department upon reaching age 18, remains under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, and requires supervision and care to complete an education and or treatment program which was initiated prior to the eighteenth birthday. W. Va. Code § 49-1-202(A).

Re-Entry

Eligibility & Procedure

Pursuant to Department policy, former foster between 18 and 20 who left care at age 18 or older may apply to return to care if circumstances support the need. W. VA. DEP’T OF HEALTH AND HUMAN RESOURCES, OFFICE OF CHILDREN & ADULT SERVS. FOSTER CARE POLICY, No. 5.31.

Courts & Rights

Court Oversight of Extended Care

The court shall continue to hold status review hearings every three months until permanency is achieved (only if in foster care). W. Va. Code § 49-4-110(b).

Subsidies

Eligibility for Extended Adoption Assistance

Pursuant to Department policy, adoption assistance may continue between 18 and 21 if the State determines the child has a mental or physical disability which warrants the continuation of such assistance or if the youth meets criteria (i) – (v) above. W. VA. DEP’T OF HEALTH AND HUMAN RESOURCES, OFFICE OF CHILDREN & ADULT SERVS. ADOPTION POLICY, No. 12.3.1 (2017).

Eligibility for Extended Guardianship Assistance

Pursuant to Department policy, guardianship assistance may continue if the youth meets criteria (i) – (v) above. W. VA. DEP’T OF HEALTH AND HUMAN RESOURCES, OFFICE OF CHILDREN & ADULT SERVS., LEGAL GUARDIANSHIP POLICY, No. 5.2.1 (2017).