Juvenile Law Center

Fostering Connections to Success Act in Pennsylvania: Older Youth Provisions

Re-Entering Foster Care After Age 18

In July 2012, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed into law new legislation that expands the criteria for youth to stay in care past age 18, allows youth to re-enter care before turning 21 if they aged out at 18 or older, and extends guardianship and adoption subsidies to age 21 for eligible youth who enter these arrangements at age 13 or older. Visit our Fostering Connections page for more information on this legislation, including law and legal resources, research, and resources for youth. 

Why would anyone want to re-enter foster care?

Most young people are not ready to live on their own at age 18 and continue to need support and guidance as they get ready to be independent adults. Re-entering foster care gives you a place to live, health insurance and other services you may need until you turn 21 years old or are ready to be on your own. This support can help you meet your goals for education, employment, saving money, and even connecting or re-connecting with your family. 

Who is eligible to re-enter care?

You must have aged out of foster care, still be under 21, and currently be doing or willing to do at least one of the following:

  • Completing high school or an equivalent program (like a GED preparation program); 
  • Enrolled in college, community college, a vocational program or trade school; 
  • In a program or activity that will help you get a job; 
  • Working at least 80 hours per month; or
  • You cannot do one of the activities listed above because of a medical or mental health condition. 

What help can I get if I re-enter care?

If you re-enter care, you will have:

  • A place to live;
  • Health insurance and access to medical and mental health treatment providers;
  • Help from people like social workers, case managers, your lawyer and child advocates who can help you get services and plan for your future; and
  • Court reviews of your case where a judge will make sure you are getting what you need. 

Who do I talk to about re-entering care?

To learn more and find out how to re-enter care contact:

  • Your county caseworker, private provider caseworker, and Independent Living worker
  • Your lawyer and your CASA
  • Juvenile Law Center at 1-800-875-8887

 

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