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News & Updates

Affordable Care Act for Former Foster Care Youth (April 2014)
Youth who leave foster care on their 18th birthday or later are now eligible for Medical Assistance up to age 26.

The former foster care category of Medical Assistance (MA) includes individuals who turned 18, or aged out of foster care, prior to Jan 1, 2014. For example, an applicant who is age 23 in January 2014, and who was receiving MA at the time they turned 18 (in 2009), may qualify for MA under the former foster care category.

Former foster care youth interested in applying for MA should go to the MNSure a website at Individuals do not need to apply specifically for MA eligibility. They apply for help paying health care costs, and the system determines whether they qualify for MA under the former foster care category, or another category of MA, MinnesotaCare, or enrollment in a qualified health plan with or without advanced premium tax credit. Individuals must create an account to apply online. The online application asks a series of questions designed to identify applicants who quality for MA as former foster care youth, including:

a. Were you ever in foster care in Minnesota? (If yes, question b appears)
b. Did foster care stop when you were age 18 or older? (if yes, question c appears)
c. Were you on Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare at the time foster care ended?

For more information on the Affordable Care Act Extension of Medical Assistance Benefits for Former Foster Care Youth, review bulletin #14-68-05.

Scholarships for Adopted, Transitioning Youth (June 2013)
Voice for Adoption (VFA), an advocacy organization focused on improving adoption policies, produced a factsheet with resources and information on college scholarships, tuition waivers/vouchers, financial aid provisions, and internships. The factsheet is intended for adoptive parents, adoptees, and youth formerly in foster care. Resources include the following:

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Fostering a Future Scholarship (specific to adopted youth from foster care)
  • UMPS CARE Charities All-Star Scholarship for Adopted Youth
  • States with college tuition waivers for youth formerly in care
  • General scholarship search engines
  • FosterClub All-Star Internship Program
  • CCAI’s Foster Youth Internship (FYI) Program

This factsheet, and more resources and possible financial aid opportunities, are available on the A website:

Minnesota youth may stay in foster care until they are 21 years old if they comply with certain educational and employment qualifications or are incapable to complying due to a medical condition.
Read more here

Foster Care

Please see the Department of Human Services page: Commissioner’s Designated Format for Completion of an Adoption and Child Foster Care Study on the Department of Human Services website for more information.

The job of a foster caregiver is to provide temporary care for a child whose family of origin is experiencing problems and cannot adequately care for a child. The goal of foster care is to reunite the child with his or her birth family as quickly and as safely as possible. In Minnesota, the statutory time limit for reunification is 12 months.

Foster care providers receive a monthly stipend to help provide for the child in their temporary care. The stipend varies and is determined by the child’s needs. Being a temporary resource for a child can also include providing respite foster care, shelter foster care, treatment foster care and emancipation home foster care. The process and requirements for becoming a foster care provider varies depending on the county of residence. For more detailed information about foster care contact your county social services agency.

Kinship Care

Kinship care is similar in many ways to foster care except that a relative (kin) cares for the child. The goal of kinship care is to provide care for the child and support to the family within the context of an extended family relationship. For more information about kinship contact your county social services agency.

Concurrent Planning Foster Care

Please see the Commissioner’s Designated Format for Completion of an Adoption and Child Foster Care Study on the Department of Human Services website for more information.

Concurrent planning, also called permanency planning foster care, provides foster care for a child and is willing to work closely with the child’s birth family toward reunification. However, should the child’s reunification with the birth parents become impossible, the permanency planning family is willing to become the permanent legal family for the child. Most of the children who have this option as part of their case plans are under the age of eight years old.

Permanency planning resource families must be able to support a child with a “dual track” case plan. This may be a good alternative for families interested in adoption a young child or infant.

~updated March 2016

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