Pennsylvania's Act 91: Extending and Re-entering Foster Care
Act 91 implemented within Pennsylvania the requirements of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, a federal law that provided financial reimbursement to states for implementation of extended foster care. Youth age 18- 21 are eligible to remain in foster care if they are under 21 and they aged out of foster care within 90 days of turning age 18 or after 18. Pennsylvania also chose to go above and beyond Fostering Connection’s basic parameters by implementing resumption of dependency jurisdiction, often called “re-entry,” alongside extended foster care, meaning that youth who age out as described above can leave foster care and later make the decision to return if they are under 21. Beyond the age out requirement, youth who chose to remain in foster care or re-enter after age 18 must also meet one of Act 91’s activity criteria.
Youth must be doing one of the following:
- Completing secondary education or an equivalent credential
- Enrolled in an institution that provides post-secondary or vocational education
- Participating in a program actively designed to promote or remove barriers to employment
- Employed for at least 80 hours per month
- Incapable of doing any of the activities described above due to a medical or behavioral health condition, which is supported by regularly updated information in the permanency plan of the child.