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Child Welfare

Extended Foster Care Program

5 teenagers smiling facing forward

Governor John Bel Edwards signed legislation to extend foster care to age 21 for all youth in care on their 18th birthday. The voluntary program allows the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to provide intensive services to aid in youths' transition to adulthood. 


Program Partners

Louisiana continues to work with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, as well as nonprofit partners Youth Villages and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to implement its extended foster care program.

YVLifeSet Model for Extended Foster Care

Youth Villages awarded the state a $3 million grant to implement the Youth Villages YVLifeSet model, the only proven case management program like it in the country. The program uses highly trained case workers with small caseloads to provide high-intensity services, including at least one face-to-face session with youth per week. Case workers help youth achieve their education, employment, housing permanency and independent living skills.

Photo of foster child

YVLifeSet, Louisiana Extended Foster Care Featured on Good Morning America

Benefits of Extended Foster Care

Studies have found, without additional support, youth who exit foster care at age 18 typically experience poor outcomes at a higher rate than their peers in the general population, including reduced rates of completing high school, post-secondary or vocational programs, and increased rates of homelessness, incarceration, substance abuse, unemployment, early pregnancy and dependence on public assistance.

Eligibility for Extended Foster Care

  • Reach age 18 while in foster care; and
  • Not yet reached age 21; and
  • Meet at least one of the following criteria:
  • Enrolled in a post-secondary vocational or educational program;
  • Enrolled in a program or activity designed to promote, or remove barriers to, employment;
  • Employed at least 80 hours per month; OR
  • Have a medical condition that renders the young adult incapable of engaging in any of these activities.

 

Extended Foster Care Bill Timeline 
2018-2019 Extended Foster Care Bill Progress
August 2018 State Launches Efforts to Extend Foster Care
February 2019 Extended Foster Care Task Force Report Findings
May 2019 DCFS Launches New Recruitment Campaign for Foster Parents for Teens
June 2019 Governor Signs Bill Extending Foster Care to Age 21

DCFS Youth Newsroom

Articles and information that affect foster care youth.

DCFS Youthlink

Resources that help foster youth answer frequently asked questions.