New Law on Re-Entry or Voluntary Return to Care

  • Youth between 18 and 21 who within last 24 months were discharged at their own request, can move to return to foster care – ACS/DSS must notify youth of this if they leave
  • NEW FCA § 1091
  • Where a youth needs assistance and supervision but not willing to physically stay in foster care, you can do ongoing  “trial discharge” where DSS/ACS still has care and custody but child not in a foster care but if the youth will not agree, the youth may simply just leave at any time
  • Youth left care after age 18 – would not consent to remain or to a trial discharge
  • Youth not 21 yet, out of care for less than 24 months
  • Youth or DSS/ACS makes motion or brings Order to Show Cause
  • Can have help of former Attorney for the Child
  • Court finds compelling reason that youth has no reasonable alternative to foster care, youth consents to go to educational or vocational program and return is in child’s best interests
  • Both youth and local district consent to youth’s return EXCEPT court can do over local district objection if finds district is “unreasonable” in refusal to consent, must make a finding in writing – unreasonable is defined as court making the findings required to make youth eligible
  • Court can order the return to care to be immediate if compelling reason why that is in youth’s best interests
  • Court must set up and do Permanency Hearings again
  • NOTE – not sure if IV-E eligible MAKE IV-E ORDERS in case!
  • If voluntarily returned once, youth can make a second motion to return a second time but not again –Youth should understand that only allowed twice!
  • If second time, court must make all the same findings again and must consider the youth’s compliance with previous order including the participation in an educational or vocational program
  • Return to care provision seemingly applies to youth who had previously refused to remain in care if otherwise qualified

Additional Resources:

Source: AFFCNY 2012 Conference workshop by Margaret Burt, Esq., mburt5@aol.com .

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