Extended Foster Care

What is Extended Foster Care (EFC)?

Extended foster care (EFC) is a program that gives young adults with support to help them be successful in adulthood. If you qualify, you can stay in EFC from ages 18-21, OR until the age of 22 if you have a disability.

How do I qualify for EFC?

There are three main requirements to be in EFC. These are:

  • You must have been in licensed care on your 18th birthday
  • You must be in a supervised living environment that both you and the EFC program agree on
  • You must have a “qualifying activity” unless you have a disability that makes you unable to be in a “qualifying activity.”

What does being in licensed care on my 18th birthday mean?

This includes foster care or a relative/non relative home that has a level 1 license. If you were on the run or on a visit with a relative you may still qualify. If your legal placement was licensed care on your 18th birthday then you qualify for extended foster care.

What is a supervised living environment?

This can be a home that the EFC program finds for you- usually called “transition homes” where you may live with other young adults in EFC OR this could be a place you find on your own if the EFC program agrees. Examples are living with a friend, a relative, a college dorm room, an apartment or other housing options. The extended foster care program will provide the funding for you to live in these places.

College dorms may not provide housing over summer breaks or holidays so another housing option may need to be explored during those times.

What are some places I cannot live if I want to be in EFC?

Some places you can’t live while in EFC are: a place you are living that you did not choose (such as jail or a mental health facility), or a placement that the EFC program does not approve of for a different reason.

You may still be able to enter a different program even if you do not meet housing qualifications for EFC. Make sure to talk to your case manager about your options.

What qualifying activities do I need to do to stay in EFC?

You need to do one of the following activities to be in EFC:

  • Attend school (high school, college, GED school, or another education program).
  • Work at least 80 hours per month.
  • Be in a program that can help you get a job like Job Corps, career source, (link) or Vocational Rehab if you have a disability (link)

If you are not doing anything listed above, you can still be in EFC if you have a letter from a doctor that you have a disability that makes you unable to go to school, work, or be in a program to help you get a job.

What else do I have to do to stay in the program?

To stay in the extended foster care program you must:

  • Meet with your case manager once a month.
  • Show proof that you are doing one of the activities that allow you to be in EFC. Proof can be: pay stubs from a job, a copy of school attendance or grades, a letter from a doctor stating you are unable to go to school or work due to a disability
  •  Attend your court hearings every 6 months if you are able. Make sure to ask your case manager if you need help getting there. At the court hearing the judge will ask how you are doing in EFC and if you are meeting the program requirements. You can also bring up anything you might need.

What is opting-in and opting-out?

You have the choice to enter EFC when you turn 18. You can leave at any time– this is called “opting-out.” You can also come back into EFC at any time called “opting-in”. You can opt-in even if you did not enter EFC right when you turned 18 and even if you left EFC and changed your mind and want to come back in. To “opt-in” to EFC you have to submit an application. Your local CBC will help you fill out an application to see if you qualify.

The Law

Fla. Stat. sec 39.6251, Fla. Admin Code 65C-41.0031

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