| Volunteer Resources | Legal | Non-Minor Dependents
With the passage of AB 12/212, California created a new process for serving foster youth who are between the ages of 18 and 21. This process began on January 1, 2012.
When a young person turns 18 years old, the youth will become a “nonminor dependent” unless the young adult “opts out” of the foster care system. Then, even if the young adult does opt out, he or she may petition the court to re-enter foster care at a later date.
The details and procedures for providing Extended Foster Care benefits can be complicated, and the details are still being ironed out. However, this is something that CASA volunteers and the Social Worker should be helping the youth consider as he or she nears adulthood.
CASA volunteers who are serving these young adults, or who expect to be appointed to reentering youth, will need to learn about the process and the best way to provide CASA advocacy. California CASA is working on a curriculum and we expect it to be prepared in the upcoming months. Meanwhile, it is important to know that the same program requirements and rules apply regardless of whether CASAs are serving children or adults.
One key point for advocates to remember is that the juvenile court may maintain juvenile court jurisdiction over a dependent of the court until he or she turns 21 years old—regardless of whether the youth is eligible for these AB12 benefits. (See Cal. Rule of Court 5.555(a)(2) and Welf. & Inst. Code 303.) Thus, the decision to keep a dependent is still up to the judge, in consultation with the young adult.
Below are the resources that provide information about AB12 and that can help CASA volunteers serve young adults.
Here you will find the latest and greatest collection of AB 12/212 materials:
- AB12 Primer (Updated 1/1/14)
- AB 12/212 All County Letters and Information Notices
Here are some direct links to helpful AB12/212 resources:
California CASA Association
Pathways to Positive Futures
Better Futures Project, Research and Training Center for Pathways to Positive Futures, Portland State University
My Life, My Rights
Public Counsel has a fabulous resource for foster youth education, employment, identity theft, and issues related to transitioning out of foster care.