Service Array: Extended Foster Care, Postsecondary Education Services and Support (PESS), Aftercare Services, & Fostering Success
What is Extended Foster?
Senate Bill 1036, the Nancy C. Detert Common Sense and Compassion Independent Living Act," was signed into law on June 24th, 2013. Effective January 1, 2014, current and former foster youth will have a variety of independent living services available to support their success. “My Future, My Choice? is the theme for this program because it gives youth a variety of eligibility options which allow them to remain foster care until 21, or 22 if they have a documented disability. Extended Foster Care will provide young adults with case management services, judicial oversight of their progress toward independence, and room and board, as well as any other services they need to provide them with a sound platform for success as independent adults.
Youth who previously would age-out of licensed care at age 18 can now to opt to stay in while finishing school or gaining work skills and experience.
Requirements for Participation:
- Age 18-21 to enroll or re-enroll
- Turned 18 years old in licensed foster care
Involved in at least one of the following activities:
- Finishing high school or completing G.E.D.
- Enrolled in post-secondary education
- Working at least 80 hours/month
- Participating in a job skills program
- Unable to participate in one of the above full time due to a documented disability
- Participate in transition planning and case planning, agree to meet regularly with IL case manager and grant them access to records and living environment
Benefits of Extended Foster Care:
Extended Foster Care gives participants the opportunity for consistency in their lives and access to an array of services and supports while they continue their academic career, maintain employment, or participate in activities that remove barriers to their employment. Furthermore, young adults have the option to leave and re-enter EFC as long as they meet the eligibility requirements. With continued case management services, long term placements, and services to promote personal growth and independence, Extended Foster Care participants have a platform for progress and success.
Postsecondary Education Services and Support (PESS)
What is Postsecondary Education Services and Support (PESS)?
PESS provides a monetary stipend for youth who turned 18 in licensed care after spending at least 6 months in care to attend postsecondary or vocational school until age 23. PESS is available to young adults, whether they decide to enroll in Extended Foster Care or not.
Requirments for Participation:
- Age 18-22
- Spent 6 months in care prior to turning 18 in care, or adopted or placed in guardianship over the age of 16 after spending 6 of the most recent 12 months in licensed care.
- Completed high school diploma or equivalent
- Enrolled full time (9 credit hours) in Bright Futures eligible post-secondary or vocational school.
What is Aftercare Services?
The Aftercare program is temporary in nature and intended to provide only a safety net; services should be designed to help transition the young adult either to independence or to help them return to Extended Foster Care or PESS. Aftercare Services, including temporary financial assistance, are available to help youth upon request if they meet the following requirements:
- You are not currently in Extended Foster Care;
- You reached the age of 18 while you were in licensed out-of-home care;
- You are not currently receiving financial assistance under the Road to Independence Postsecondary Education Services and Support (PESS) Program or the Road to Independence Program as administered prior to January 1, 2014; and
- You are not yet 23-years-old