What court hearings will I have at 17?
No more than 90 days after you turn 17, you will have a “17 year old Judicial Review court hearing” where the court will make sure you have important documents you will need once you turn 18. The purpose of the 17 year old Judicial Review is to make sure you have everything you need for adulthood. The plan for where you will live once you turn 18 should also be discussed. The court can also issue an order removing the disability of nonage- which means that you can do things like open your own bank account or sign a lease before you turn 18.
You can have more hearings if they are needed so be sure to tell the judge, your case manager, or your guardian ad litem or attorney if you have one if you feel you need to have extra court hearings before you turn 18.
You will have one more Judicial Review hearing before you turn 18. The judge will ask if you plan to enter extended foster care and what your qualifying activity will be. The judge will also ask where you will be living and make sure you have been informed of all programs you may qualify for.
Will court hearings continue after I turn 18?
If you are in extended foster care you will have a Judicial Review hearing every 6 months to check in on how you are doing. If you are not in extended foster care but still need services or support that the judge wants to keep up with, the court may keep the case open for one more year. This is called retaining jurisdiction. If you think you may need some extra support from the court but are not entering extended foster care you can request the court to retain jurisdiction.
What if I decide I don’t want to be in any programs when I age out?
Your local CBC must continue to try and contact you at least once a year to tell you that you can re-enter programs that may help you. Even if you don’t hear from anyone, you can also contact your local CBC at any time to reapply for a program.
Fla Stat sec 39.701, 409.1451