Sunday, March 20, 2011

Did You Know About This Progress in Florida?

Normalcy for Foster Care Youth
"For many years youth in state care were not able to participate in the same types of activities as their peers. In order to fix that problem, the state is now required to include a “normalcy” component in the case plan.

According to Fla. Admin. Code 65C-30.007(10), youth should be encouraged and supported in taking part in extracurricular activities, obtaining work, attending social events, learning how to drive and doing all the other normal things that youth do.

Preparation for Adulthood
Florida law requires that transition planning begin for youth in state care at age 13 with the adoption of an education or career plan The state is required to conduct a “pre-independent living assessment” for all youth between the ages of 13 and 15.

It should then identify services needed to meet the needs identified in the assessment. The state must then conduct a staffing once a year to ensure that the youth receives the services and training necessary to develop independent living skills. Florida Statute §409.1451(4)(a).

Forging An Education and Career Path
Beginning at age 13, the youth’s case plan must include “an educational and career path” component based on the abilities and interests of each child. Florida Statute §409.1451(3) (b)1.

This path must be incorporated in the case plan and must be reviewed at each judicial hearing. The youth, assisted by foster parents and DCF or the CBC, must chose one of these post-secondary goals:
1. Obtaining a 4-year university degree.
2. Obtaining a 2-year college degree.
3. Obtaining a career/technical certificate.
4. Beginning employment or apprenticeship after completing high school or enlisting in the military.

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