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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 22. Social Services
Agency 40. Department of Social Services
Chapter 201. Permanency Services - Prevention, Foster Care, Adoption and Independent Living
5/22/2024

22VAC40-201-105. Foster Care for youth 18 to 21 years of age (Fostering Futures program).

A. Foster care services shall be provided to youth who turn 18 years of age while still in foster care on or after July 1, 2016, until they reach 21 years of age if they qualify and have chosen to participate in the Fostering Futures program.

B. Youth who qualify for the Fostering Futures program are those youth who (i) turn 18 years of age on or after July 1, 2016, and were in the custody of a local Virginia department of social services but have not yet turned 21 years of age, including those who were in foster care under an entrustment agreement and (ii) are:

1. Completing secondary education or an equivalent credential;

2. Enrolled in an institution that provides post-secondary or vocational education;

3. Participating in a program or activity designed to promote employment or remove barriers to employment;

4. Employed at least 80 hours a month; or

5. Are incapable of doing any of the activities described in subdivisions 1 through 4 of this subsection due to a medical condition, which incapability is supported by regularly updated information in the program participant's case plan.

C. Fostering Futures program participants are eligible for independent living services as well as placement services; placements in congregate care are not allowable.

D. Entry into the Fostering Futures program is considered a new foster care episode, and the youth shall be evaluated for Title IV-E funding or eligibility upon entering the program.

E. There is no limit to the number of times a youth may exit and reenter the Fostering Futures program prior to his 21st birthday.

F. Youth in foster care who are committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice prior to 18 years of age, turn 18 years of age on or after July 1, 2016, and are not yet 21 years of age, are eligible to enter the Fostering Futures program upon discharge from commitment.

G. To enter the Fostering Futures program, participants and the local department shall enter into a Voluntary Continuing Services and Support Agreement (VCSSA). The VCSSA documents the following:

1. The youth's agreement to voluntarily reenter foster care through self-entrustment.

2. The requirement that the youth continue to meet one of the requirements listed in subsection B of this section and the youth's agreement to provide the local department with information related to verifying compliance, progress, or status or to otherwise provide consent for the local department to receive such information directly.

3. The youth's agreement to participate in service and supports outlined in the foster care plan and transition plan and that the services and supports are to be provided to the youth no later than 30 days after execution of the VCSSA.

4. The youth's legal status as an adult.

5. The youth's agreement to report changes to the worker, be supervised by the local department, reside in a supervised independent living setting, and comply with program requirements and eligibility conditions.

6. An explanation of the voluntary nature of program participation and termination.

7. The specific conditions that may result in termination by the local department.

8. That the youth agrees to regular contact with the local department.

9. That the youth agrees to timely payment of housing fees and other requirements deemed necessary based on the unique circumstances and needs of the youth related to a specific safety concern.

a. The local department shall explore a variety of options to support the youth in timely payment of housing fees, including reviewing the youth's budget and money management assistance with the youth and discussing with the youth the option to have part of the maintenance payment sent directly to the housing provider.

b. Any additional requirements outlined in the VCSSA shall be related to a specific safety need of the youth.

H. The local department shall petition the juvenile and domestic relations court for a review of the agreement and approval of the youth's case plan no more than 30 days after execution of the VCSSA.

I. The local department shall identify services and supports to be provided to the youth through use of the foster care plan and transition plan. Services and supports to be provided under Fostering Futures shall include where necessary:

1. Medical care through the State Plan for Medical Assistance as long as eligibility is met;

2. Housing, placement, and support in the form of foster care maintenance payments; and

3. Case management services, including resources and services to be provided to the youth to meet the youth's individualized goals. All case plans shall be developed with the youth and, at the youth's option, include up to two members of the case planning team who are selected by the youth.

J. The local department may issue a notice of intent to terminate the youth from the Fostering Futures program due to substantial violations of the VCSSA. When the local department believes the youth is at risk of substantial violation of the VCSSA, efforts shall be made to actively engage the youth in understanding the ramifications of noncompliance and to encourage the youth's compliance. The local department shall provide the youth a notice of the youth's right to appeal the termination decision. Services and supports provided to the youth shall continue for a minimum of 30 days from the date of the appeal notice.

Statutory Authority

§§ 63.2-217 and 63.2-319 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 35, Issue 5, eff. December 1, 2018; amended, Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 2, eff. October 15, 2020.

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