Youth in Transition Program | Jefferson County, CO
HB21-1094: The Foster Youth In Transition Program Act establishes a transition program that allows eligible foster youth to voluntarily continue to receive certain child welfare services until their twenty-first birthday, or age higher eligibility for foster care, as required by federal law. The services provided are client-focused and developmentally appropriate as outlined and agreed upon under a Voluntary Services Agreement developed and entered into between the Department of Youth and the County. Every year, young people leave the foster care system without permanent placement or social support. The Foster Youth In Transition program helps enroll in Medicaid; assistance in finding suitable accommodation; and case management services that include developing a roadmap to success, securing employment, obtaining critical documents and records, and accessing information about loved ones, siblings and sisters, if available and appropriate.
- Youth must be eighteen years of age or older, but under the age of twenty-one, or higher age of eligibility for foster care, as required by federal law.
- Must be in foster care on or after 16th birthday or in uncertified foster care on or after 16th birthday. Young people should be seen as dependent and neglected.
- The youth actively chooses to enter into a Voluntary Service Agreement (VSA) with the county department or has entered into and is substantially in compliance with the VSA.
- Young people must work and complete secondary education or take a program leading to a qualification such as a secondary school diploma.
- Be enrolled in a college, university, or job-related educational program.
- Work part-time or full-time at least 80 hours per month
- Participating in a program or activity that helps you find employment, or unable to participate in any of the foregoing due to a medical condition.
- Staying in the system from a D&N case to a Foster Youth in Transition program case
- On its 18th anniversary, Guardian ad Litem (GAL) will begin to act as counsel and provide direct representation to clients
- The young person has the choice of continuing with the same lawyer or having a new person appointed at the first hearing following the young person’s 18th birthday
- Re-entering the system through the Foster Youth in Transition program
- Youth applies to Department of Social Services
- The Department of Social Services explains the program and provides a Voluntary Service Agreement
- The Department of Social Services prepares and executes the Voluntary Service Agreement with the youth and provides a copy.
- When entering into a Voluntary Service Agreement, the Department of Social Services refers to the Office of the Child’s Representative (OCR)
- The Office of the Child’s Representative receives the referral and appoints a lawyer
Photo by: Ashley Chase & Cara North
Voluntary Services Agreement (VSA)
What is that?
- An agreement drafted by the county department and youth stipulating the terms of youth participation in the bridging program.
- Required to participate in the program
- Agreement allows youth to continue to receive DHS services
Petition: form and consent
- Can be filed by the young person
- Must be filed by county when youth is in a Section 3 case
- Must be filed no later than 90 days after the young person signs the VSA
- VSA is filed with the motion
- The roadmap to success must be attached to young people in cases of D&N
- A description of the youth’s goals, programs and services provided during an open case.
- Emancipation Transition Plan
- The plan addresses how the young person will meet their needs after leaving foster care.
- 90 days before the youth’s release hearing
Who can make a recommendation for the Foster Youth in Transition program?
- To research
- Community providers