In the state of Texas, children are aging out of foster care at the age of 18. At this age, CPS is no longer responsible for you, and you do not legally have to answer to all the restrictions that were once placed on you, including the 24/7 oversight that you received in the foster care system. That doesn’t mean, however, that you’ll be shoved out the door on your own! While you can choose to leave the foster care system at the age of 18, there are also several options that will allow you to more effectively manage your financial needs and other care needs.
Extended Foster Care
Extended foster care can, depending on your circumstances, last until the end of the month in which you turn 22. During this period of time, you must either be attending college, working at a job at least 80 hours per month, working through some certification program, or another program that will help remove barriers to employment. Extended foster care will allow you to continue to receive many of the services that you currently have in foster care, making the transition easier. You can choose to return to extended foster care even if you’ve left. However, it’s important to note that if you’ve left, there may no longer be a place open for you, so it’s important to carefully think through this decision.
Supervised Independent Living
The idea of living your own sounds appealing, especially if you’ve had problems with foster care placements in the past. With supervised independent living options, you’re still under the care of a caseworker and receive some basic services, but you’re primarily responsible for yourself. Under this arrangement, you’ll have your rent, some food costs, and your phone paid for by the state while you attend school or work. You’ll be responsible for preparing your own food, taking care of your own laundry, and doing your own cleaning, but you do have options that will allow you to get help if necessary.
Learn More about Aging Out of Foster Care
Aging out of the foster care system is an intimidating step for many young people. Fortunately, you have options that will allow you to continue to receive the help you need. If you’re interested in helping to care for young people who have aged out of the foster care system, contact us today to learn more about the program and how you can help.