Is the caregiver still eligible for foster care benefits following approval as a resource family if a child in their care turns 18 before the Resource Family Approval (RFA) process is completed?
Yes. Once approved as a resource family, a caregiver will receive foster care benefits for providing care to a dependent child or a nonminor dependent. The fact that a youth turns 18 while the RFA application is pending does not change anything about the approval process.
However, foster care benefits are not provided until the family is approved. Under current law, if the youth’s dependency case closes before the youth turns 18 and before RFA is approved, the caregiver will not receive foster care benefits for the time that the youth was in their home.
A nonminor dependent could be approved to live in the caregiver’s home as a supervised independent living placement (SILP) after turning 18. If the home is approved as a SILP, the nonminor dependent may receive foster care benefits for the SILP directly and the caregiver would not need separate approval as a resource family. SILP approvals are distinct from the RFA standards and a youth can be approved to be in a SILP in a caregiver’s home without that home first being approved as a Resource Family. However, it is important to note that the SILP funding would be set at the basic foster care rate and would not provide additional funding for any of the youth’s special needs. The funding for a SILP also goes back to the date of the SILP approval, not to the initial date of placement of the youth in the home.