Hello! My name is Megan Carriveau, and I am an MSW student interning part time this summer at CASCW. When I am not at CASCW, I am interning at Hennepin County Social Services Extended Foster Care Unit. As a way to introduce myself and my interests, I wanted to briefly discuss how Hennepin County has implemented the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act (FCSIAA) of 2008 in terms of Extended Foster Care.
Previously in Minnesota, youth were only allowed to remain in foster care past age 18 if they were state wards or still in high school. They could not receive financial support through foster care payments for supervised independent living. With Minnesota's implementation of FCSIAA, youth ages 18 to 21 can remain in foster care or supervised independent living, or potentially even return to foster care after exiting, and receive financial support until age 21 if they are:
- completing secondary education or an equivalent program;
- enrolled in a postsecondary or vocational education institution;
- involved in activities to remove barriers to employment;
- employed for at least 80 hours per month; or
- incapable of doing these activities due to a medical condition.
Look for a blog post next week on how Minnesota's work in this area will be changing as of August 1, 2012.
The social workers in Hennepin County's Extended Foster Care Unit work diligently to help their clients on the road to success by:
- assisting youth in getting needed paperwork for independence, such as their birth certificates, state IDs, medical records, and educational records;
- facilitating the Support for Emancipation and Living Functionality Program (SELF), which is Minnesota's Chafee independence program;
- coordinating the Educational and Training Voucher Program (ETV);
- assisting youth in the completion of forms and applications (e.g. college and job applications, rental agreements, etc.);
- providing advice, resources, and referrals to help clients meet their needs; and
- reporting to the court on the status of their clients and attending court review hearings.
In addition to my interest in creating stability for children aging out of care, I also am interested in father engagement in the child welfare system, using solution focused frameworks in child protection, and the intersect of policy and practice. My previous experience has included conducting both traditional child protection investigations and family assessments as well as working as a Children's Mental Health Case Manager. You can find my blog posts using this URL: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/cascw/policy/author/carri198/.