In California, youth in foster care can continue to receive services through the system after their 18th birthday as long as they are in school or working.
This was not always the case: before 2010, teens in foster care faced a cliff – on one side, they had access to food, shelter, family support, a social worker, and a lawyer. On the other side of their 18th birthday was a void. Because of this structural injustice, youth in foster care faced dismal outcomes: 25% became incarcerated, 33% homeless, and fewer than 2% graduated from college.
The existence of extended foster care represents an incredible change in support for foster youth in California and stems from Assembly Bill 12 (AB 12), a culmination of decades of hard work from advocates, former foster youth, and their supporters.
AB 12 was passed in 2010 through the California Fostering Connections to Success Act. If you choose to work with an older youth or if a younger person you’ve been working with has questions about becoming a non-minor dependent, the resources on the right will help you.
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