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. Recent state legislation, AB 110 and AB 1811, commonly referred to as emergency caregiver funding, provides foster care funding to families caring for a child while completing RFA. Once approved as a resource family, a caregiver will continue to 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.
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.