State Examples of Older Youth Advocacy

States that issued Executive Orders relating to transition age youth: Alaska, California, Georgia, Illinois, Ohio, and Rhode Island.  Additional states have issued administrative policy relating to older youth. Descriptions below.  

Alaska 

  • Executive Order (here) suspends age requirements for foster care placement to allow 21-year-olds to choose not to age out. The suspension is retroactive to April 8, 2020, and remains in effect until 11:59 pm May 11, 2020, unless otherwise noted.
  • Facing Foster Care in Alaska requests the Governor to grant a moratorium on youth aging out of extended care. Letter here.

California

  • Executive Order here.  Provisions include:
    • The Department may verify foster youth status for the purpose of facilitating foster youth access to programs providing cellular telephones or other communication technology to foster youth.
    • Waiver of State extended foster care eligibility for all youth entering or reentering extended foster care requiring any physical, in-person, face-to-face application, meetings, visits, and signature requirements.
    • Suspension of the maximum age criteria for nonminor dependents who turn 21 on or after the date of this Order.
  • A letter to the Governor and legislative leaders from a coalition of organizations urges action by the Administration and the California State Legislature on a set of policy recommendations to address the most urgent needs facing children and youth in foster care related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Letter here
  • A letter to the Governor from a coalition of advocacy organizations urges the Governor to issue an Executive Order to ensure that youth in foster care can access placements, have stability in their placements, are able to continue reunification efforts with their families, and can access and maintain eligibility for extended foster care. Letter here
  • Draft Executive Order here.
  • All-County Letter provides guidance to agencies regarding the Extended Foster Care program for nonminor dependents (NMDs) during the current state of emergency related to COVID-19 and pursuant to the authority in the Governor’s April 17, 2020 Executive Order N-53-20 (EO N-53-20). Letter here
  • Additional California administrative guidance here.

Connecticut

  • The DCF Commissioner issued administrative policy on April 21, 2020 that services to all youth in care will continue, including youth who would normally be aging out. The policy is effective until at least 9/1/2020. See agency memo here.  See related agency information here.

District of Columbia

  • Advocates in DC were successful in advancing legislation to enable youth who turn 21 during the COVID-19 emergency to remain voluntarily in extended foster care. Legislation here.

Georgia

  • Executive order suspends definition of “child” (related to age) for the purposes of receiving services for 90 days after the termination of the Public Health State of Emergency. See page 21 of Executive Order here

Illinois

  • Executive Order here.
  • DCFS agreed to expand services until June for young people who aged out of care recently and those who will be aging out of care during the COVID crisis. More here.

  • Advocacy letter to the Governor and DCFS Director from Foster Care Alumni Association-IL Chapter requests the Executive Order to provide assistance to youth who are in or aging out of foster care. Letter here.

  • Letter from DCFS Director to Foster Care Alumni Association-IL to express thanks for efforts to ensure that youth in transition are provided services and resources necessary to maintain their safety and health during this difficult time. The letter outlines the steps that DCFS is taking  to address the elevated needs of youth in transition.  Letter here

Ohio

  • Governor announces that Ohio will continue to cover the costs for youth in foster care who are turning 18 during the COVID-19 pandemic.See article here

  • Executive Order suspending participation and age requirements for extended foster care. 

  • Letter to Ohio Governor DeWine from Older Youth Advocacy Organizations from the Overcoming Hurdles in Ohio Youth Advisory Board and Alumni of Care Together Improving Outcomes Now Ohio organization. Letter here.

Pennsylvania

  • A letter to the Governor from Foster Care Alumni Association-PA Chapter requests action to meet the health and safety needs of older youth in the foster care system and youth who are aging out. Letter here.

Rhode Island

  • Executive Order, dated April 14, 2020, suspends age requirements for youth in extended care and aftercare programs to allow provision of services after a youth turns age 21.  Executive Order here

Letter to National Governors Association

  • Foster Care Alumni of America and National Center for Housing and Child Welfare write to Governor Hogan, Chair of the National Governors Association, to encourage his leadership in urging NGA members to take action to address the needs of young adults aging out of foster care this year. They encourage the following actions. Letter here.