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Resources for Foster Care Youth

Right to Extended Foster Care

Extended Foster Care for Youth Ages 18 – 21:  

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.

Find out about your rights at the following website: MN Department of Human Services

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 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:

  1. Were you ever in foster care in Minnesota? (If yes, question b appears)
  2. Did foster care stop when you were age 18 or older? (if yes, question c appears)
  3. Were you on Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare at the time foster care ended?

Help Paying for College/Accredited Training – Education and Training Voucher Applications 

Current and former foster youth can get up to $5,000 per school year for post-secondary education at college, university, vocational, technical or trade schools.

The Minnesota Education and Training Voucher (ETV) Program provides the funds. The money does not need to be paid back.:  Information about the ETV program can be found at: MN ETV Voucher

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. You can find out more about your Consumer Credit Report at the following link: Consumer Credit Report

Youth Resources

  • Apartment Search
  • LGBTQ Resources
  • Health & Wellness
  • Jobs
  • Local Resources
  • Money Management
  • Parenting
  • School
  • Resources for Native American Youth
  • Youth Leadership Opportunities

Family & Caregiver Resources

  • Mental Health
  • Drug & Alcohol Resources

Mental Health Resources

Mental Illness

Trauma and Abuse