Minnesota law allows youth who are in foster care on their 18th birthdays to receive extended foster care services and payments.
Six months prior to the youth's 18th birthday, the county or tribe will send a notice to the youth, their parent(s) or legal guardian, guardian ad litem and foster parents explaining options for the youth when they turn 18, which are:
Continue in foster care up to age 21
Leave foster care when they turn 18, in which case a personalized transition plan must be developed during the last three months they are in foster care.
In some cases, youth who left foster care at age 18 may be able to return to care.
To qualify, a youth must be in foster care on their 18th birthday and meet at least one of these criteria:
Completing high school or an educational program leading to an equivalent diploma like a GED
Enrolled at a college, university, community college, technical or vocational school
Participating in a program or activity to help them get a job
Working at least 80 hours per month
Unable to do any of the activities listed above due to a medical condition.
Social workers will work with the youth to create a plan for extended care.
Return to care
In some cases, youth who left foster care at age 18 may be able to return to care. Youth should contact the county or tribe that handled their case just before they left foster care to request this. The worker will determine if they can return to care.
All youth in extended foster care are eligible for foster care maintenance payments which include a basic rate and an assessed supplemental rate.
For youth living in a supervised independent living setting the county or tribe may pay all or part of the foster care maintenance payment directly to the youth.
Youth may stay in traditional foster care settings or move to supervised independent living settings, such as a dorm or apartment. Where they live will depend on:
What is in their best interest
An assessment of their needs, goals and personal preference.
Check with your worker to find out what might be available in your area.