Resources for Foster Care Youth
Right to Extended Foster Care
Bulletin #15-68-16, Extended Foster Care for Youth Ages 18 – 21, has been issued. This bulletin includes updated policy guidance regarding foster care for youth ages 18 – 21, including Title IV-E claiming, eligible settings, parenting youth, Northstar Care for Children, Education and Training Vouchers, vulnerable adults and amendments to state law.
Affordable Care Act (ACA) for Former Foster Care Youth
As of Jan. 1, 2014, youth leaving foster care on their 18th birthday or later are eligible for Medical Assistance up to age 26.
The former foster care category for Medical Assistance (MA) also includes individuals who turned 18, or aged out of foster care, prior to Jan 1, 2014. For example, an applicant who is age 23 in January 2014, and who was receiving MA at the time they turned 18 (in 2009), may qualify for MA under the former foster care category.
Former foster care youth interested in applying for MA should go to the MNsure website at www.mnsure.org/. Individuals do not need to apply specifically for MA eligibility. They apply for health care insurance, and the system determines whether they qualify for MA under the former foster care category, or another category of MA, MinnesotaCare, or enrollment in a qualified health plan with or without advanced premium tax credit. Individuals must create an account to apply online. The online application asks a series of questions designed to identify applicants who quality for MA as former foster care youth, including:
- Were you ever in foster care in Minnesota? (If yes, question b appears)
- Did foster care stop when you were age 18 or older? (if yes, question c appears)
- Were you on Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare at the time foster care ended?
For more general information on the ACA extension of Medicaid for former foster youth, check out the (Pennsylvania) Juvenile Law Center's FAQ page. For more specific information on ACA extension of Medical Assistance benefits for former foster youth in Minnesota, review bulletin #14-68-05.
Help Paying for College/Accredited Training – Education and Training Voucher Applications Accepted up to Sept. 30, 2015
The Education and Training Voucher (ETV) program is accepting applications up to Sept. 30, 2015. Students must submit a complete ETV online application by Sept. 30, 2015, to be awarded funds, if funds are available. A complete application is the application, budget, and all required supporting documents attached to the application.
The following criteria apply:
- First time applicants are eligible to apply if they are under age 21, graduated from high school or received a General Educational Development (GED) diploma, accepted into an accredited federal Pell Grant eligible institution of higher education, awarded financial aid, and one of the following:
- In foster care at age 18
- Adopted, including customary adoption, from foster care after age 16
- In foster care on or after age 16 when the court ordered transfer of permanent legal and physical custody to a relative
- Under state or tribal guardianship at age 18.
- Renewal applicants can continue to apply each year they need funds, if they participated in the ETV program on their 21st birthday and have not reached their 23rd birthday, attend an accredited federal Pell Grant eligible institution of higher education, are awarded financial aid, and are making progress in school.
Right to Consumer Credit Reports
In October, 2011, the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act required that youth in foster care age 16 and older receive their credit reports each year until discharge, and assistance in interpreting and resolving inaccuracies in the report. In 2015, this federal requirement was expanded to include foster care youth ages 14 to 15
- In response to this change the department submitted the names of 534 youth ages 14 to 17 to the three consumer credit agencies for the April to June, 2015 quarter
- The department is in the process of emailing or mailing to county and tribal agencies the credit reports of all youth submitted for the April – June, 2015 quarter
- An updated bulletin is being drafted and will soon be available.
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Mental Health Resources
- What Families Can Do When a Child May Have a Mental Illness
- Updated List of Mental Health Med Management and Prescribers
- Mental Health Resource Book
- Mental Health Resources for College Students
- Adult Mental Health Resources
- Suicide Prevention Resources for Parents, Guardians & Families
Trauma and Abuse