Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 63.2. Welfare (Social Services)
Chapter 9. Foster Care
12/4/2021

Article 2. Fostering Futures.

§ 63.2-917. Fostering Futures program; established.

The Fostering Futures program is established to provide services and support to individuals 18 years of age or older but less than 21 years of age who were in foster care upon turning 18 years of age. Such services and support shall be designed to assist the program participant in transitioning to adulthood, becoming self-sufficient, and creating permanent, positive relationships. The program is voluntary and shall at all times recognize and respect the autonomy of the participant. The Fostering Futures program shall not be construed to abrogate any other rights that a person 18 years of age or older may have as an adult under state law.

2020, cc. 95, 732.

§ 63.2-918. Definitions.

For purposes of this article:

"Case plan" means the plan developed by the local department for a program participant in accordance with 42 U.S.C. § 675(1).

"Child" means an individual who is (i) less than 18 years of age or (ii) for purposes of the Fostering Futures program set forth in this article, less than 21 years of age and meets the eligibility criteria set forth in § 63.2-919.

"Fostering Futures" means the services and support available to individuals between 18 and 21 years of age who are participating in the Fostering Futures program.

"Local department" means the local department of social services under the local board having care and custody of the program participant when he reached 18 years of age.

"Program participant" means an individual who meets the eligibility criteria set forth in § 63.2-919.

"Voluntary continuing services and support agreement" means a binding written agreement entered into by the local department and program participant in accordance with § 63.2-921.

2020, cc. 95, 732.

§ 63.2-919. Fostering Futures program; eligibility.

The Fostering Futures program is available, on a voluntary basis, to an individual between 18 and 21 years of age who:

1. Was (i) in the custody of a local department immediately prior to reaching 18 years of age, remained in foster care upon turning 18 years of age, and entered foster care pursuant to a court order; or (ii) in the custody of a local department immediately prior to commitment to the Department of Juvenile Justice and is transitioning from such commitment to self-sufficiency; and

2. Is (i) completing secondary education or an equivalent credential; (ii) enrolled in an institution that provides postsecondary or vocational education; (iii) employed for at least 80 hours per month; (iv) participating in a program or activity designed to promote employment or remove barriers to employment; or (v) incapable of doing any of the activities described in clauses (i) through (iv) due to a medical condition, which incapability is supported by regularly updated information in the program participant's case plan.

2020, cc. 95, 732.

§ 63.2-920. Continuing services and support.

Continuing services and support provided under the Fostering Futures program shall include the following, where necessary:

1. Medical care under the state plan for medical assistance;

2. Housing, placement, and support in the form of continued foster care maintenance payments in an amount not less than the rate set immediately prior to the program participant's exit from foster care. Policies and decisions regarding housing options shall take into consideration the program participant's autonomy and developmental maturity, and safety assessments of such living arrangements shall be age-appropriate and consistent with federal guidance on supervised settings in which program participants live independently. For program participants residing in an independent living setting, the local department may send all or part of the foster care maintenance payments directly to the program participant, as agreed upon by the local department and the program participant. For program participants residing in a foster family home, foster care maintenance payments shall be paid to the foster parents; and

3. Case management services, including a case plan that describes (i) the program participant's housing or living arrangement; (ii) the resources available to the program participant in the transition from the Fostering Futures program to independent adulthood; and (iii) the services and support to be provided to meet the program participant's individual goals, provided such services and support are appropriate for and consented to by the program participant. All case plans shall be developed in consultation with the program participant and, at the participant's option, with up to two members of the case planning team who are chosen by the program participant and are not a foster parent of or caseworker for such program participant. An individual selected by a program participant to be a member of the case planning team may be removed from the team at any time if there is good cause to believe that the individual would not act in the best interests of the program participant.

2020, cc. 95, 732.

§ 63.2-921. Voluntary continuing services and support agreement; services provided; service worker; duties.

A. In order to participate in the Fostering Futures program, the eligible program participant shall enter into a written voluntary continuing services and support agreement with the local department. Such agreement shall include, at a minimum, the following:

1. A requirement that the program participant maintain eligibility to participate in the Fostering Futures program in accordance with the provisions of § 63.2-919 for the duration of the voluntary continuing services and support agreement;

2. A disclosure to the program participant that participation in the Fostering Futures program is voluntary and that the program participant may terminate the voluntary continuing services and support agreement at any time;

3. The specific conditions that may result in the termination of the voluntary continuing services and support agreement and the program participant's early discharge from the Fostering Futures program; and

4. The program participant's right to appeal the denial or delay of a service required in the case plan.

B. The services and support to be provided to the program participant pursuant to the voluntary continuing services and support agreement shall begin no later than 30 days after both the program participant and the local department sign the voluntary continuing services and support agreement in accordance with § 63.2-921.

C. The local department shall assign a service worker for each participant in the Fostering Futures program to provide case management services. Every service worker shall have specialized training in providing transition services and support for program participants and knowledge of resources available in the community.

D. The local department shall make continuing efforts to achieve permanency and create permanent connections for all program participants.

E. The local department shall fulfill all case plan obligations consistent with the applicable provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 675(1) for all program participants.

F. Upon the signing of the voluntary continuing services and support agreement by the program participant and the local department, the local department shall conduct a redetermination of income eligibility for purposes of Title IV-E of the federal Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 672.

2020, cc. 95, 732.

§ 63.2-922. Termination of voluntary continuing services and support agreement; notice; appeal.

A. A program participant may terminate the voluntary continuing services and support agreement at any time. Upon such termination, the local department shall provide the program participant with a written notice informing the program participant of the potential negative effects resulting from termination, the option to reenter the Fostering Futures program at any time before reaching 21 years of age, and the procedures for reentering if the participant meets the eligibility criteria of § 63.2-919.

B. If the local department determines that the program participant is no longer eligible to participate in the Fostering Futures program under § 63.2-919, the local department shall terminate the voluntary continuing services and support agreement and cease the provision of all services and support to the program participant. The local department shall give written notice to the program participant 30 days prior to termination that the voluntary continuing services and support agreement will be terminated and provide (i) an explanation of the basis for termination, (ii) information about the process for appealing the termination, (iii) information about the option to enter into another voluntary continuing services and support agreement once the program participant reestablishes eligibility under § 63.2-919, and (iv) information about and contact information for community resources that may benefit the program participant, including state programs established pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 677. Academic breaks in postsecondary education attendance, such as semester and seasonal breaks, and other transitions between eligibility requirements under § 63.2-919, including education and employment transitions not longer than 30 days, shall not be a basis for termination.

C. Appeals of terminations of voluntary continuing services and support agreements or denials or delays of the provision of services specified in the agreement shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of § 63.2-915 and Board regulations.

2020, cc. 95, 732.

§ 63.2-923. Court proceedings; administrative reviews.

A local department that enters into a voluntary continuing services and support agreement with a program participant shall file a petition for review of the agreement and the program participant's case plan in accordance with § 16.1-283.3. If no subsequent hearings are held by the court to review the agreement and case plan after the initial review hearing held pursuant to § 16.1-283.3, the local department shall conduct administrative reviews of the case for the remaining term of the voluntary continuing services and support agreement no less than every six months.

2020, cc. 95, 732.