Providing Medicaid to Youth Formerly in Foster Care under the Chafee Option. Providing Medicaid to Youth Formerly in Foster Care under the Chafee Option : Table 7


: Table 7

StateMaximum AgeaBrief Description b
Arizona21Youth may remain in care to age 21 under a voluntary agreement. Youth who leave care at age 18 or older may return to care at any time before their 21st birthday.
California18Youth can stay in care past their 18th birthday if they intend to graduate from high school before their 19th birthday.
Colorado21Youth can stay in care “under special circumstances.” Examples of special circumstances are mental illnesses, developmental issues, or pursuing postsecondary education. The choice to stay in care is one that is made in the best interest of the youth and happens among the court, county department, guardian ad litem, youth, caseworker, and administrator.
Connecticut23Anyone committed to the Department of Children and Families prior to their 18th birthday is eligible for D04 services for transitioning out of care. They must reside in Connecticut. Youth can decline services and still be eligible for the program with some modifications.
Florida18Young adults may request an extension of jurisdiction until age19 so that they can complete high school. The court may also retain jurisdiction beyond a youth’s 18th birthday under special circumstances determined by the court (e.g., extended jurisdiction for youth awaiting decision on their immigration status). The jurisdiction terminates upon the final decision by the federal authorities or when the young adult turns 22, whichever is earlier.  
Georgia21Youth may remain in care through age 21 if they have an educational plan and sign an agreement with the resource provider and the county. Youth may remain in care until 21.5 years if the additional six months will allow time to complete an educational program.
Indiana21Youth in high school and making a concerted effort to graduate may be maintained in care by the courts beyond age 18. Youth waiting for adult services, such as disability services, may also stay in care past 18.
Iowa20Youth can stay in care until age 20 as long as they are pursuing a GED or high school diploma.
Kansas21Youth need a transition plan. Youth who want to stay in care beyond their 18th birthday must have a court approved transition plan that demonstrates the need to stay in care. Youth have always been able to stay in care until age 21; however few stay in care past age 18.
Louisiana18There is no formal extension of care, but youth may enter a “voluntary contract between the ages of 18–21 to receive ongoing case management and financial support for housing if they are in a vocational or educational program or are working and taking classes full time. This includes postsecondary education, a GED, or a high school diploma. Payments to the caregiver or for independent living will continue. Regardless of the contract, any former foster youth may contact a caseworker to ask questions without any associated costs. Caseworkers can continue to act as a resource for youth up to age 21.
Maryland21Youth can remain in care if they are working, attending school or a vocational program, or are disabled. In 2010, the State developed a new policy that allows foster youth who leave care after age 18 to return to care.
Massachusetts22Youth can sign a voluntary placement agreement with the Department of Children and Families when they turn 18 if they are willing to continue pursuing their education or vocational training (including postsecondary education) and comply with their service plan. They may also stay in care longer if they are applying for adult services such as mental health or disability services.
Michigan21Youth can sign a voluntary agreement to continue to receive services if meet Fostering Connections requirements. At time of this writing, at each county’s discretion, foster youth could continue foster care payments if they have reached age 19 and were still in a school or training program.
Mississippi21Youth may remain in care until age 21 under a court order.
Missouri21Youth may remain in care if they are in school, have a court order, or if it is in their best interest. The juvenile judge has ultimate authority regarding whether a youth remains in care.