Minnesota law allows youth that are in foster care immediately prior to their 18th birthday 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 180 days 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 immediately prior to their 18th birthday and meet at least one of these criteria:
completing secondary education or a program leading to an equivalent credential;
enrolled in an institution that provides postsecondary or vocational education;
participating in a program or activity designed to promote or remove barriers to employment;
employed for at least 80 hours per month; or
incapable of doing any of the activities described in clauses (1) to (4) 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.