Children’s Service Workers shall notify youth in the process of transitioning out of care about assistance available under the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program, the Educational Training Voucher Program, and MO HealthNet Insurance.
Youth may also contact the Division for services after they have left care. There may be several avenues former foster care youth take to return to the Division for services. Youth may directly contact their former Children’s Service Worker or Older Youth Transition Specialist. Youth may come to the Division for assistance through Family Support Division (FSD) or referrals from other agencies (e.g., homeless shelters, Workforce Development, etc.). Once a youth contacts the Division for services, a referral for Chafee Aftercare Services should be made via the Referral – Chafee Aftercare Services screen in FACES. The Older Youth Transition Specialist will refer the youth to the contracted Chafee provider in the region of the youth’s residence and open the youth as an LS-8 in the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) Aftercare screen.
Older Youth Transition Specialists are located and serve in the Regions/Circuits throughout the state as listed below:
Northwest Region: Circuits – 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 17, 18, 43 Northeast Region: Circuits – 1, 2, 10, 11, 12, 13, 19, 20, 23, 41, 45 Southeast Region: Circuits – 24, 25, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 42 Southwest Region: Circuits – 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 38, 39, 40, 44 Jackson County Region: Circuit – 16 St. Louis City Region: Circuit – 22 St. Louis County Region: Circuit – 21
County offices shall establish the following protocol to ensure eligible young adults who were former foster care youth coming into the agency shall have access to services:
- Ninety days prior to a youth being released from foster care on or after age 17.5, the child’s Children’s Service Worker must have a discussion with the youth informing them of services available when they do exit custody. Each county office should have Exit Packets readily available to give to youth. The Exit Packet should contain MO HealthNet information, the Chafee Aftercare Pamphlet, an Education and Training Voucher (ETV) brochure, health care treatment decisions information sheet, the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) Pamphlet and any additional resources pertinent to their own local communities.
- Upon leaving care, a letter signed by the child’s Children’s Service Worker shall be provided to the youth on state letterhead verifying the youth’s time in care and exit date. This will aid youth in receiving assistance after leaving care within the state and out of state for services that require eligibility verification.
- When the young adult’s first contact with the agency after leaving care is through FSD, the FSD worker shall follow procedures instructed through the Income Maintenance memorandum, IM00-191, dated December 27, 2000, on the process of collaborating with or referring the young adult to Children’s Division (CD). FSD staff will refer the young adult to the Children’s Division (CD) liaison/contact person for former foster care youth during the application process.
- If the liaison/contact person is not available in a county, then the CD supervisor will be responsible for the assignment of the referral. In the absence of, or if there is not a CD supervisor based in the county, the assignment of the referral shall be the responsibility of the Circuit Manager.
- The assigned CD staff shall meet with and provide the young adult with the CFCIP Support Application, CS-ILP-4, form to complete. When completed the form will provide the following information:
- Identifying information for the young adult;
- Current housing situation and household composition;
- Educational level and completion;
- Employment and salary information;
- Current and outstanding bills;
- Medical/mental health needs and access;
- Available family/community resources;
- Current/future needs;
- Ability/inability to reach self-sufficiency and continued independence;
- Present and future goals; and
- Willingness to accept personal responsibility.
Upon making contact with the young adult and receiving information of the young adults need for Chafee Aftercare services, the CD county liaison/contact person for former foster care youth shall immediately notify the Older Youth Transition Specialist assigned to their county by faxing or mailing the CFCIP Support Application, CS-ILP-4, to the Older Youth Transition Specialist. The Older Youth Transition Specialist shall open the youth in the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) Aftercare screen as an LS-8 youth and complete the Referral – Chafee Aftercare Services screen. The CFCIP contracted agency will assist the young adult in designing a plan that is realistic and supports their efforts to become self-sufficient or to continue to live independently. The agreement shall be updated or renegotiated as often as needed. In the event of a crisis, if the Older Youth Transition Specialist is not accessible, the county liaison/contact person for former foster care youth may contact the Older Youth Transition Specialist’s supervisor. Even in a crisis situation, the county liaison/contact person for former foster care youth will follow the procedure of referring the young adult to the designated Older Youth Transition Specialist by notifying available Older Youth Program staff. The Older Youth Transition Specialist or Older Youth Program staff shall immediately follow up with the county liaison/contact person for former foster care youth involved with the young adult.