Becoming a successful adult takes planning and support from many people including family, mentors, your case planner and your peers.
ACS can help by working with your case planner and your foster care agency to make sure you have the information and the resources to succeed.
Once you reach age 18, your foster care agency must obtain your written consent to remain in care. You can choose to stay in care until your 21st birthday and continue to work with your agency towards your discharge from care.
Every six months, your agency will schedule a Family Team Conference to help you review your plan. It is important to make sure you attend each conference, and you can bring anyone you want to support you at the meeting.
If you decide to leave foster care before your 21st birthday, you and your case planner must have a transition plan in place that addresses emergency housing, income support, and identifies a support network in your community.
Keep this information in a safe place with all other important personal documents.
If your permanency goal is Another Permanent Planned Living Arrangement (APPLA+), in addition to all the information above, your agency should help you:
You can always talk to your agency case planner or your attorney if you have questions about transitioning from care and the support and services you may need.
Going out on your own can be scary and difficult. Youth ages 18-21 who leave care typically receive a trial discharge period of up to six months, to provide you with a safety net as you transition out of care. During the trial discharge, ACS and your agency will continue to offer you services where needed, and you have flexibility to return to foster care during your trial discharge period.
Before trial discharge, your agency and ACS will schedule a Family Team Conference to review your plan and make sure you have everything in place to be successful. Your case planner must also:
If you are discharged between the ages of 18 and 21, you can still get help when you need it.
ACS’s Older Youth Services unit will work to stay in contact with you until you reach age 21, and you can contact the unit for help by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you did not give your written consent to remain in care after reaching age 18 and you were final discharged, you may be able to return to care for up to two years after leaving. If you now have a compelling reason to return to care, ACS has a process in place to help you re-enter.
You can contact your former foster parent or foster care agency, your former attorney, or email ACS at FPSReEntry@acs.nyc.gov to receive help.