Section 4, Chapter 5 (Older Youth Program), Subsection 11 – Aftercare Program

Effective Date:  7-9-20


The Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood (CFCP) provides funding to states for the independent living program.  This allows the Division to serve youth with an array of services to meet their needs.  Eligible youth are between the ages of 18 to 23, who left foster care at age 18 or after. Services end on the youth’s 23rd birthday.

Aftercare services are meant to be flexible, short term and are intended to be used as a safety net in order to meet the needs of the young adult when:

  • Remaining in state care and custody after age 18 is not a realistic or practical option;
  • The youth has requested to leave custody upon or after age 18 and his/her case manager has assisted him/her in developing a reasonable and acceptable exit plan; or
  • The Juvenile/Family Court has automatically terminated jurisdiction on or after age 18.

Chafee Aftercare services are not to be part of the exit plan formulated while a youth is in care; rather a resource available to a youth after exit should the youth encounter difficulties in which assistance is needed.

5.11.1   Referral and Assessment

Children’s Service Workers shall notify youth in the process of transitioning out of care about assistance available under the Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood, the Educational Training Voucher Program, MO Reach, 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 Program (CFCP) 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, 41, 45
  • Southeast Region: Circuits – 23, 24, 25, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 42
  • Southwest Region: Circuits – 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 38, 39, 40, 44, 46 
  • 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:

  1. Ninety days prior to a youth being released from foster care on or after age 18, the youth’s case manager 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, MO Reach brochures, the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) Pamphlet, Re-Entry pamphlet, and any additional resources pertinent to their own local communities.
  2. Upon leaving care, a letter signed by the child’s case manager 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.  This is referred to as the “verification letter” and can be found in e-forms under CD-276, Custody Verification Letter.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 CFCP Support Application, CS-ILP-4, 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 adult’s 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 CFCP 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 Program (CFCP) Aftercare screen as an LS-8 youth and complete the Referral – Chafee Aftercare Services screen.  The CFCP 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.

5.11.2   Health Care for Former Foster Care Youth

Youth who were in foster care under the responsibility of the State of Missouri on the date they attained the age of eighteen (18) years, or at any time during the thirty-day (30-day) period preceding their 18th birthday, are eligible for Medicaid coverage without regard to their income or assets, if such persons:

  1. Are under twenty-six (26) years of age;
  2. Are not eligible for coverage under another mandatory coverage group (Example: MO HealthNet for Pregnant Women, MO HealthNet for the Aged, Blind, or Disabled, MO HealthNet for Families, etc.) This group includes youth who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or are receiving Medicare; and
  3. Were covered by Medicaid while they were in foster care, per RSMo 208.151.1. 

The youth’s most current address must be entered in FACES on the Health Care for Former Foster Care Youth screen in order for it to cross over to MO HealthNet Division’s (MHD) system where eligibility will show.  The youth may be enrolled into a Managed Care plan for their physical, vision and dental health care needs.  Their behavioral health care and pharmacy needs will be covered by MO HealthNet Fee-for-Service (“straight Medicaid”).   The youth can enroll in a managed care plan, or change their managed care plan, by calling the MO HealthNet Enrollment Broker Helpline at 1-800-348-6627.

For youth who are Missouri residents but are attending an out-of-state school or on a visit outside of Missouri, the out-of-state provider must be willing to enroll in the MO HealthNet program for services to be covered.  Per federal requirements, Medicaid cannot be opened in two states at the same time.

When a youth exits CD custody, the case manager will close the Alternative Care Client case in FACES, in order to capture the exit data in our information system.  Upon closing, the system will automatically calculate eligibility and open the Health Care for Former Foster Care Youth coverage the following day, if eligible. Staff should enter the youth’s current address once this occurs.

Eligible youth receiving MO HealthNet services through Family Support Division (FSD) will continue with their current health care coverage.  If the youth receiving FSD coverage becomes ineligible for health care through FSD, FSD will close its coverage and the Health Care for Former Foster Care Youth coverage will automatically open.

If the former foster care youth already has health insurance or obtains health insurance from another source such as employment, this private or commercial insurance becomes primary and MO HealthNet will serve as secondary coverage.

Youth living in Missouri who exited foster care in any other state are eligible for the Health Care for Former Foster Care coverage to age 26 if they:

  1. Exited foster care in another state at the age of 18 or later, and are not yet 26;
  2. Have documentation from the state they exited foster care verifying they were in foster care and receiving Medicaid coverage at the age of 18; and
  3. Are determined ineligible for other mandatory coverage through FSD, such as MO HealthNet for Pregnant Women, MO HealthNet for the Aged, Blind or Disabled, etc.

The Family Support Division determines eligibility for youth living in Missouri but who exited foster care in another state. Whether a former foster care youth makes contact with a county office and asks about the extended coverage, or staff otherwise learn a former foster care youth from out-of-state is under age 26 and is uninsured, staff should refer the individual to the designated Older Youth Transition Specialist (OYTS) for that region. Provide the OYTS the youth’s name, date of birth, current address, phone number and email. The OYTS will contact the youth to gather additional information before referring the youth to designated Family Support Division staff for eligibility determination.

5.11.3   Procedural Guidelines for Service Delivery

A critical piece for young people exiting care is the ability to develop a support network, and the influence of informal role models to serve as mentors in a support network.  While each of the young adult’s needs is important in its own right, we are increasingly learning the importance of significant adult relationships in supporting young adults during the transition to adulthood.   As we identify the important resources which will be needed by these young adults to support their efforts to achieve independence, we must develop partnerships with public and private agencies that already offer the needed services.  Emphasis is placed on connecting or referring youth rather than providing financial assistance.  Chafee funds may be expended for a variety of reasons and should be used as a support for the young adult, not as an on-going supplemental funding source.

Expenditures may include, but should not be limited to, emergency/crisis intervention, housing/room and board, educational assistance, job training/employment assistance, and support services. Support services should include, but are not limited to life skills, transportation, health care, mentoring, child care, and job training/employment assistance.

5.11.4   Education Financial Assistance and Support

The Education and Training Vouchers (ETV) Program, Missouri Reach Tuition Waiver, and Missouri Reach Credential Completion and Employment Programs are also available to former foster care youth eligible for Aftercare services.

5.11.5   Timeframes and Exceptions

For youth who do not have the option of remaining in state care and custody after 18 years old, or if the youth has developed a reasonable and acceptable aftercare plan and requested to leave custody, Chafee services should be used as a safety net, not a supplemental funding source, to assist them in reaching self-sufficiency and independence.

Former foster youth who left care at 18 years old or after, but have not reached age 23 may choose to request assistance only once or return intermittently to seek assistance as needed. The Act is very clear; funding cannot be expended for room and board for any child who has not reached 18 years of age or for young adults upon reaching their 23rd birthday.  There are no exceptions to this law.  Former foster youth who left care prior to age 18 are not eligible for Chafee Aftercare services, with the exception of youth who obtained kinship guardianship or adoption after the age of sixteen, who are eligible for full Chafee services.  Most Chafee services, except Education and Training Vouchers, must end for the young adult upon reaching his/her 23rd birthday, regardless of the legal status, with the exception of youth who obtained adoption or guardianship after the age of sixteen, who are eligible for full Chafee services.