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New Jersey Department of Children and Families Policy Manual




Child Protection and Permanency

Effective Date:



Case Management







Service Eligibility



Services to Adolescents 18 to 21



Purpose        12-3-2007


This policy applies to adolescents under CP&P supervision age 18 to 21 years old living at home or in an out-of-home placement.  Our goal is to successfully transition adolescents to independence and self-sufficiency.


Authority       12-3-2007


·         N.J.S.A. 9:17B-3 (defines person age 18 or older, as an adult)


·         N.J.S.A. 30:4C-2.3 (gives DCF authority to provide services to youth age 18 to 21)


·         Safe and Timely Interstate Placement of Foster Children Act of 2006


Definition of Terms           12-3-2007


·         "Adolescent" for the purposes of this policy section, means a person between the ages of 18 to 21.


·         "Age of Majority" means the age at which a child becomes an adult in the eyes of the law. In New Jersey, the age of majority is age 18.


Actions When an Adolescent Turns 18 Years of Age         12-14-2009


When an adolescent turns 18 years of age, the decision to keep a case open, or to close the case, is determined on an individual, case-by-case basis.  See CP&P-II-C-1-200.  The expectation is that staff will actively engage the adolescent in planning for his or her future, including continued involvement with CP&P.  A case may continue to be open and a youth can receive services up to age 21.  It is not CP&P policy to automatically close a case based solely on an adolescent turning 18 years of age, the age of majority.


Criteria for Continuing Services            12-3-2007


DCF provides services to adolescents who meet at least one of the following requirements:


  • The adolescent received services from DCF at age 16 or older.


  • The adolescent is in a CP&P supervised or funded out-of-home placement and agrees to accept continued case management services from CP&P, including continued board payments.  This includes adolescents in foster care or independent living settings.


  • The Worker and Supervisor, as part of an assessment that actively engages the adolescent, conclude that continuation of services is in the adolescent's best interest.  For example, it is determined that continued assistance is needed to facilitate the adolescent to attend, and/or complete, high school or GED classes, or receive post-secondary education which includes college or vocational training programs.


  • There may also be clinical reasons, when it is in the adolescent's best interest, for the case to remain open.  For example, a severely depressed adolescent may need continued counseling services and support.


  • The adolescent is continuing to work towards the goals outlined in his or her Transitional Plan for Adolescents (CP&P Form 5-43).


  • An adolescent is fully employed (30 hours per week or more) and earns less than 150% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines for a family of one or needs non-financial CP&P services.  See the Federal Register Poverty Income Guidelines at


Note:  A pregnant adolescent's need/eligibility for CP&P services is automatic and is only reevaluated following the baby's birth.  See CP&P-V-A-1-600, Services to Pregnant Women.


Advance Notification - Continuation of Services     12-3-2007


Six months prior to the adolescent's 18th birthday the Worker engages the youth in a service needs assessment.  Areas assessed include the need for services to achieve the goal of independence and self-sufficiency, education, finances, housing and health care.


The Worker (ideally with the adolescent) contacts significant case collaterals to discuss the adolescent's need for services after age 18. Depending on the case, these collaterals may include:


  • A parent or foster parent, or other "caring adults" involved in the case plan;


  • An agency overseeing the child's residence/living arrangement;


  • An agency providing life skills instruction; or


  • Other individuals or agencies that are currently providing services, such as a therapist who may be providing counseling services, or a teacher or guidance counselor, if the adolescent is attending school.


Contacts with these interested parties are documented in the case record.


The Worker sends out a letter to the adolescent, under the Local Office Manager's signature (use CP&P Form 5-61, Notification: Services May Continue Beyond Age of Majority), to reiterate that CP&P services may continue until the adolescent turns age 21.


Documentation of Continuation of Services  12-3-2007


For adolescents in out-of-home placement, use CP&P Form 26-81, Case Plan Assessment, to document the services that will continue beyond the adolescent's 18th birthday.  The adolescent signs the plan.


For adolescents in their own home, use CP&P Form 26-81, Case Plan Assessment, to document the services that will continue beyond the adolescent's 18th birthday. The adolescent signs the plan.


When the adolescent is unable to sign the Case Plan due to a developmental or emotional disability, the adolescent's parent, legal guardian, legal custodian or other person acting in loco parentis may sign for the adolescent.


Placement Reviews           12-3-2007


The Division continues to conduct internal placement reviews for adolescents age 18 and older.


The Child Placement Review Board may continue to review an adolescent's case, if the court indicates that it will retain jurisdiction after the adolescent turns 18 years of age.  See CP&P-IV-A-3-200.


MVR Schedule        12-3-2007


See CP&P-III-C-3-100, Visitation Schedules Between Once Per Week and Monthly.


Board Rate for Adolescents in Resource Homes     12-3-2007


Resource parents continue to receive a standard board rate for adolescents placed in their home who are 18 to 21 years old.  This includes adolescents who are working, and/or going to school.  See the Level of Care Rate Table  Resource Family Board Rate, Subsidized Adoption, and Clothing Schedule


Resource parents are paid on a per-diem basis for adolescents who return to the resource home on a temporary basis during college breaks and dorm closures.


Vacation Board Rate for College Students     12-3-2007


Adolescents, as well a youth age 17 who were in an out-of-home placement prior to attending college, who leave the resource home to attend school, may require temporary placement in a resource home during school breaks, dorm closures, or for other reasons, such as illness.  The temporary placement is not to exceed 150 calendar days unless approved by the Local Office Manager, in 30-day increments.


The Resource Parent is paid by a CP&P Form K-100.  See the Level of Care Rate Table: Resource Family Board Rate, Subsidized Adoption, and Clothing Schedule.


Note:  The adolescent's case remains in open status, while at college. Conduct MVR's while the adolescent is on break at the resource home.


Medicaid - Individual Under Age 21      12-3-2007


An adolescent in placement continues to receive Medicaid.


An adolescent is eligible for Medicaid Extension for Young Adults (MEYA), if he or she was in out-of-home placement on or beyond his or her 18th birthday, and the case is closed.  The Worker gives the adolescent the toll free telephone number, 1-888-235-4766, to enroll in MEYA.  See CP&P-V-A-3-500, Medicaid Extension for Young Adults (MEYA), Also Known as Chafee Medicaid.


An individual under age 21 may be eligible for Medicaid Special through the County Welfare Agency (CWA), even though the adolescent is not eligible for Medicaid coverage under TANF.  Financial eligibility for Medicaid Special is established when the income of the adolescent does not exceed the allowance standard for TANF.  For further information about Medicaid Special, contact the CWA responsible for the jurisdiction where the adolescent resides.


Reasons to Close the Case of an Adolescent Age 18 to 21          12-3-2007


There are three situations when it is appropriate to consider whether to close the case:


  • Adolescent refuses to cooperate or participate in the case plan or transitional plan, or requests that his or her case be closed despite attempts by CP&P to actively engage the adolescent


  • The adolescent and Worker mutually agree that he or she is no longer in need of services or support from CP&P; or


  • Adolescent turns 21 years of age.


Note:  An adolescent's case cannot be closed if CP&P has custody or the case is active in CP&P litigation.


When the adolescent refuses to cooperate or participate with the case plan, make every effort to reengage him or her in the planning process.  Discuss with the adolescent the reasons for lack of cooperation.


The Worker contacts others involved in the case plan, e.g., Legal Guardian, parent, resource family, third party agencies, and other caring adults, to explore possible alternatives or revisions to the plan.


Case Closing Practice for Adolescent 18 to 21         7-20-2009


Regardless of the reason for closing the case, the Worker follows these procedures:


·         Within 90 days prior to case closing, meets with the youth to complete/update, as directed by the youth, CP&P Form 5-43, Transitional Plan for Adolescents.  Provide the youth with a copy.  See CP&P-VI-B-1-300;


·         Provides two month written notification prior to case closing, using CP&P Form 5-62, Termination of Services to Adolescent Client (see next section);


·         Completes CP&P Form 5-66, Adolescent Case Closing Agreement, with the adolescent;


·         Completes CP&P Form 5-67, Adolescent Case Closing Checklist;


·         Prepares the adolescent for termination of CP&P services;


·         Reinforces with the "caring adult" the importance of their role; see CP&P-VI-B-1-300, Adolescent Services Toward Self-Sufficiency;


·         When applicable, notifies the caregiver, independent living program/house parent or transitional living program and aftercare service provider that CP&P will be terminating services within two months;


·         Aftercare case management for an adolescent is available with third party agencies, to continue working with the adolescent after CP&P closes the case;


·         The Worker refers the adolescent through the local aftercare liaison agency;


·         Facilitates referrals to other agencies that may become involved with the adolescent after the case is closed,  such as agencies involved with financial benefits, housing, employment, education, and health care;


·         Gives the adolescent, who is exiting care at or beyond age 18, CP&P Form 11-10, Health Passport and Placement Assessment, in accordance with the federal Safe and Timely Interstate Placement of Foster Children Act of 2006;


·         Gives the adolescent, who is exiting care at or beyond age 18, CP&P Form 5-16, Child's Education Record, in accordance with the federal Safe and Timely Interstate Placement of Foster Children Act of 2006;


·         Has a face-to-face meeting with the adolescent prior to case closure.  See CP&P-III-B-5-500, Family Engagement.


Advance Notification - Intent to Terminate     12-3-2007


The Worker is required to send notification to the adolescent and other interested parties of the intent to terminate two months prior to the termination date. This notification is sent to the following, as applicable; the adolescent, parents, legal guardian, legal custodian, resource family, and other agencies involved in the case plan.


The letter provides the reason, the date for termination, and that CP&P will provide the adolescent with assistance in securing post-termination supportive services (use CP&P Form 5-62, Termination of Services to Adolescent Client).  The letter explains the adolescent's right to appeal the impending action.


Policy for Addressing Disagreement with the Decision to Terminate Case     12-3-2007


If the adolescent or his or her advocate disagrees with termination, the agency's actions may be challenged.  See CP&P-IX-E-1-100, Formal and Informal Dispute Resolution Policy and Procedures.


Youth Ages 18 to 21 Requesting to Re-Open Their CP&P Case  5-10-2010


CP&P is committed to providing services to adolescents, age 18 to 21, to assist with a successful transition to independence.  CP&P encourages youth who are 18 or older to remain service-active with CP&P until they turn age 21.  However, when there are no CPS concerns or other legal reasons to keep a service case open, an older youth (age 18 or older) may request that his or her case be closed; CP&P is required to heed such a request.  This is a reversible decision, however, when all of the following are true:


·         The adolescent was receiving services from the Department, on or after his or her 16th birthday;


·         The adolescent has actively requested that services be provided and is now willing to accept services; and


·         Continuation of services would be in the adolescent's best interest and would help the adolescent to become an independent and productive adult.  (N.J.S.A. 30:4C-2.3)


Any youth who meets all of the conditions above can request his or her case be re-opened for appropriate services.  The State Central Registry, SCR, shall reopen the adolescent's case, based upon his or her request and professed willingness to accept services.  The SCR Screener documents the request as a Child Welfare Service (CWS) referral.  SCR assigns the referral to the appropriate Local Office for response, an assessment of the adolescent's needs, and the provision of services, as necessary and applicable.  The adolescent's case may remain open until his or her 21st birthday.


Health Insurance for Adolescents in Post-Secondary School     9-24-2012


Pursuant to New Jersey Statutes - Title 18A, Education, N.J.S.A. 18A:62-15 - every student enrolled as a full-time student at a public or private institution of higher education in New Jersey shall maintain health insurance coverage which provides basic hospital benefits.  The coverage shall be maintained throughout the student's enrollment period in school.


To meet this requirement, CP&P assures that all adolescents in active case status, up to age 21, enrolled and attending a post-secondary education program - college, vocational or trade school - whether full time or part time - shall have health insurance coverage, including basic hospital benefits.


The assigned Worker counsels the adolescent as to the benefits of having health insurance.  The Worker helps the adolescent obtain health insurance from one of the following sources, presented here in order of preference:


1.    Health insurance under a parent's health insurance plan, as permitted under the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, whereby a child can receive health insurance under a parent's plan until age 26 (coverage is available to the end of the calendar year December 31 in which the child turned age 26).


2.    Medicaid.  Adolescents may receive Medicaid under one of the following circumstances:


·         While residing in a CP&P-paid out-of-home placement or a CP&P-supported independent living setting, see CP&P-V-A-2-100, Medicaid; CP&P-V-A-2-200, Children Eligible for the Medicaid Code 60 Program Through CP&P.

·         Through the Medicaid Extension for Young Adults, MEYA, whereby adolescents are eligible for Medicaid up to age 21, if they were in a CP&P placement under the care and custody of CP&P on their 18th birthday, and whose maintenance is paid in whole or in part from public funds.  See CP&P-V-A-3-500, Medicaid Extension for Young Adults (MEYA).

·         Through Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  See CP&P-III-C-2-400, Supplemental Security Income. Also see CP&P-IX-F-1-250, Federal Benefits.

·         Other assistance through State, county, or municipal government.


3.     Health insurance provided by the college or university for full-time students, as mandated by Title 18A, generally appearing as a line item in associated tuition costs and fees. 


·         For adolescents in the NJ Foster Care Scholars Program, this cost may be picked up by scholarship dollars.  See CP&P-VII-A-1-300, New Jersey Foster Care Scholars Program (NJFC Scholars Program).


4.     Health insurance premiums paid by Flex Fund dollars, when no other funding is available.  Flex funding may be available to students in active case status only.  See CP&P-IX-F-1-400, Flex Fund Expenditures. Select NJS value "Medical and Dental - Medical" for this use.


For adolescents attending a post-secondary education program who are known to CP&P, but whose cases are not currently active, the cost of health insurance may be met through the NJ Foster Care Scholars Program, if he or she meets eligibility requirements.  Students may have the opportunity to participate beyond age 21.


Relevant NJS Windows and Forms      12-3-2007


·         CP&P Form 5-43, Transitional Plan for Adolescents

·         CP&P Form 5-61, Notification:  Services May Continue Beyond Age of Majority

·         CP&P Form 5-62, Termination of Services to Adolescent Client

·         CP&P Form 5-66, Adolescent Case Closing Agreement

·         CP&P Form 5-67, Adolescent Case Closing Checklist

·         CP&P Form 26-81, Case Plan Assessment


Websites       12-3-2007


Transitions for Youth Website, which lists resources for adolescents and young people:


To access and print out the CP&P Adolescent Services Guide go to: