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Independent Living Advocacy


Ensure assessment has been provided within month of 17th birthday ... Case management continues upon the states wishes and needs of the young adult ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Independent Living Advocacy

Independent Living Advocacy
  • Presented by
  • Gerard F. Glynn
  • Associate Professor of Law
  • Barry University School of Law
  • 321-206-5750

What are independent living skills?
  • What do we do everyday to survive?
  • How did we learn these skills?
  • How did we learn what we needed to be successful
    in work?
  • How did we learn what we needed to maintain our
  • The question for today is how can we help foster
    youth learn all of this?

Barriers to learning IL skills
  • Bad role models
  • Group Home and Foster Home Practices
  • Other Barriers
  • Barriers to extracurricular activities
  • Barriers to normal friendships
  • Barriers to jobs
  • Barriers to drivers licenses
  • Barriers to financial literacy

What does the law require?General IL Services
  • Opportunities to participate in life skills
    activities in their foster families and
    communities which are appropriate for their age
  • Provide training to staff and foster parents
  • Develop list of age appropriate activities
  • Maximize foster parents authority to approve
  • Provide opportunities for mentors
  • Give direct access to allowances

Two Major Age Groups
  • 13 to 18 year olds
  • Pre-Independent Living Services
  • Independent Living Services
  • Subsidized Independent Living
  • 18 to 23 year olds
  • After Care Services
  • Transitional Services
  • Services Not just cash
  • Road To Independence Program

13-14 year olds
  • Assessment of skills
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  • Annual Staffing
  • INDIVIDUALIZED Services based on assessment
  • Revised Case Plans including educational and
    career plan
  • Childs participation reinforced by mandate that
    a good faith effort to fully explain prior to
    signature on any document.
  • Information in Judicial Review Reports (IL
    Staffing information shall be put in writing and
    submitted as part of judicial report to the

13-14 year olds
  • Direct access to and management of allowance
  • Written plan for age appropriate activities
    developed by foster parent, child and case
    manager. The plan is to be reviewed no less than
    quarterly 409.1451(3)(a)(3)
  • Ask that these be added to the court reports.
  • An example is included in the materials.
  • Immigration status clarified if needed

Educational Planning
  • Any child in foster care who is 13
  • Set Educational Goals and Career Path
  • Attend 4 year college
  • Receive 2 year degree
  • Attain career and technical certificate or
  • Begin employment (apprenticeship) or enter
  • Identify plan to accomplish goals
  • Created by child, foster parent, teacher or other
    school staff member.
  • Shall be reviewed at all judicial reviews
  • All of this complements requirement of
    interagency agreements

15-16 year olds
  • Staffing every six months
  • Assessment needs to have been done
  • Services should continue based on assessment
  • Life skills
  • Evaluate progress in developing needed skills
  • Continue with Educational Goals
  • Revise Case Plans to meet individual needs
  • Consider Subsidized Independent Living as an
    option for 16-17

Open Bank Accounts
  • Courts can remove disability of nonage of 16 or
    17 foster youth to allow them to open bank
    accounts F.S. 743.044
  • Child has to have completed a financial literacy
  • Should get court orders for youth at judicial
    review hearings.
  • This is a limited removal of disability of

Subsidized Independent Living
  • Not many children
  • 16 17 year old foster children
  • Permits children to remain in foster care while
    living outside a foster home
  • Why?
  • Educational stability when turning 18 in the
    middle of the year
  • Relative Placement or non-relative but want to
    qualify for IL Program
  • Receive monthly stipend and continuing services
  • Qualifications in Operating procedure not rules
  • All foster children 16-17 must be evaluated for
    possible SIL.

17 year old
  • Ensure continued staffings every 6 months
  • Ensure assessment has been provided within month
    of 17th birthday
  • Ensure services are being provided
  • Continue with educational goals
  • Ensure Revised Case Plan

17 Year Last Chance!
  • Ensure Compliance with Fla. Stat. 39.701
  • Have case reviewed more frequently by court
  • Make sure the child comes to the hearings

17 year old
  • 39.701(6)(c)
  • At the time of the 17 year old judicial review
    hearing held pursuant to this subsection, if, in
    the opinion of the court, the department has not
    complied with its obligation as specified in the
    written case plan or in the provision of
    independent living services as required by s.
    409.1451 and this subsection, the court shall
    issue a show cause order.

What do 17 years olds get? 39.701(6)Have before
judicial review when 17
  • Medicaid Card and information to apply for
    Medicaid after 18.
  • Certified copy of birth certificate
  • Drivers license or Florida Identification card
  • Information about Social Security
  • Master Trust Account full accounting
  • Training related to budgeting, interviewing and

What do 17 years olds get?
  • Information related to Road-To-Independence
  • Information that they can remain in their foster
    home or another foster home provider.
  • An open bank account
  • Information on public assistance
  • An understanding of where he or she will be
    living on his or her 18th birthday and how
    expenses will be paid.

What do 17 years olds get?
  • Notice of right for extended court jurisdiction
    for one year.
  • Encouragement to attend judicial review hearings
  • Removal of Disability of Nonage to permit
    entering into leases F.S. 743.045
  • Need court order at judicial review when 17
  • Limited emancipation to enter into leases
  • To contract for the lease of residential
    property upon the upon the youths 18th birthday

Post 18 Year Olds
  • Three Programs
  • Aftercare Services
  • Transitional Services
  • Road To Independence Program (RTI)
  • New name not scholarship to avoid tax and other
    federal eligibility programs

Aftercare Services
  • Not about cash but about services
  • Assist former foster youth in their efforts to
    develop the skills and abilities necessary to
    live independently
  • Not just referrals but should include services
  • The obligation can be met by referrals
  • A youth can get emergency cash for housing,
    electric, water, gas, sewer service and emergency
    food to prevent homelessness

Aftercare Services
  • Services to be provided include
  • Mentoring and tutoring
  • Mental Health Services
  • Substance Abuse Counseling
  • Life Skills Classes
  • Including credit management and preventive health
  • Parenting Classes
  • Job and career Skills Training
  • Counselor Consultations
  • Financial Assistance
  • Financial Literacy Skills Training
  • Shall be provided expeditiously

Transitional Services
  • Services that are critical to the young adults
    own efforts to achieve self-sufficiency and to
    develop a personal support system.
  • Community-based care provider and youth shall
    develop a joint transition plan
  • Young adult must have specific tasks to complete
    and be accountable

Transitional Services
  • Housing
  • Counseling
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Mental Health
  • Disability
  • Financial
  • Available for three months but youth may apply

Road to Independence Program Eligibility
  • Turn 18 in Foster care, or adopted after reaching
    the age of 16 while in foster care, or placed in
    guardianship after turning 16
  • Spent at least 6 months in foster care
  • More restrictive if adopted or placed in
  • Must be 6 months within the 12 months immediately
    preceding placement or adoption
  • Some under 18 year olds can qualify if
  • Received a regular or special high school diploma
    or special certificate of completion

Road to Independence Program Eligibility
  • Stay in school or return to school full-time
  • High school
  • Post-secondary
  • Adult education program
  • Exception to full-time if disability prevents
    full-time attendance
  • Resident of the State
  • Making appropriate progress in academic program
  • Only 20 qualify

Road to Independence ProgramWhat does a young
adult get?
  • A financial award not to exceed minimum wage 40
    hour week equivalent (892)
  • Based on living and educational needs of
  • No award shall be less than 25
  • Awards shall be made by direct deposit unless
    opted out by youth
  • May remain in a foster home if they desire after

Road to Independence Program
  • Department shall assist in application
  • Allow special diploma or special certificate kids
  • Must apply for grants and other scholarships
  • DCF must assist in this effort
  • Must apply early connect with school counselors
  • Program continues as long as student
  • Considered full time by the institution
  • Maintaining appropriate progress as required by
    the institution

Road to Independence Program
  • Program terminates upon reaching educational goal
    or age 23 whichever comes first

Tuition Fee Exemption
  • The following students are exempt from the
    payment of tuition and fees, including lab fees,
    at a school district that provides postsecondary
    career and technical programs, community college,
    or state university
  • Student who was in the custody of the Department
    at the time he or she reached the age of 18
  • Relative Care receiving benefits from foster care
  • Student who was adopted from foster care (at any
  • After spending 6 months in foster care was placed
    in a guardianship by the court
  • This is an exemption not a waiver or

Medicaid Coverage
  • Any young adult eligible for post 18 services
    receives Medicaid until he or she reaches the age
    of 21.
  • How do we get them to access the services?

Applicable to all Former Foster Youth
  • Recipient can designate in writing a third party
    payee for Aftercare, Transitional or RTI Program
  • Decisions on acceptance, rejection or termination
    must be timely within 10 days
  • Decisions must be put in writing
  • Appellate Rights
  • Go to juvenile court until 19
  • Administrative Appeal
  • Case management continues upon the states wishes
    and needs of the young adult formerly in foster
  • A young adult who is eligible for any of the post
    18 programs and desires shall be allowed to
    reside in a licensed foster home or group care

What happens when a child returns after leaving
at 18?
  • Able to access these services prior to age 23
  • Aftercare
  • RTI Program
  • Transitional Services

Other Aspects to Law
  • Each Community Based Care Lead Agency has to
    provide a plan on implementing services for over
    18 year olds
  • Statutorily a financial report/plan on meeting
    needs within the budget
  • Practically an opportunity to more expansive
    strategic planning
  • Upon Completion of plan Agencies can purchase
    housing, transportation and employment services
  • Funding there is new money but less federal
  • Programs are available to the extent funding is

Importance of Advocacy Outside the Courtroom
  • Educational Plans
  • Importance to have goals
  • Obligations of specific persons
  • Independent Living Plans
  • Case Plans
  • Services to the Child not obligations of the
  • Tool for enforcements

  • No foster care youth who is eligible for services
    should be homeless when they turn 18!!!

Independent Living New Legislation
  • Presented by
  • Gerard F. Glynn
  • Associate Professor of Law
  • Barry University School of Law
  • 321-206-5750