Through the Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood (CFCP), the Children's Division is able to help young adults exiting foster care with aftercare services.

Aftercare services are meant to be short-term, used as a safety net to help when:

  • Remaining in state care after age 18 is not a realistic or practical option
  • The youth has requested to leave custody upon or after age 18 and his/her case manager has assisted him/her in developing an exit plan
  • Juvenile/Family Court has automatically terminated jurisdiction on or after age 18

Who is eligible?

You may be eligible for aftercare services if you:

  • Left foster care at age 18 or later, and
  • Are between the ages of 18 and 23

What services are available?

Aftercare services are meant to help young people leaving state care develop a support network with mentors and role models who can help as they become independent adults. Services available include:

  • Identifying the help and resources needed to become independent
  • Connecting youth to services that can help, such as Chafee services, the Educational Training Voucher Program, and MO HealthNet coverage
  • Funding for:
    • Emergency/crisis intervention
    • Housing/room and board
    • Educational assistance
    • Job training/employment assistance
    • Other support services, such as life skills, transportation, health care, mentoring, child care, and job training/employment assistance

Please note that funding may be available for a variety of reasons, but it is only used as a support for the young adult, not as an on-going source of funds.

How do I get help?

When you visit your local Children's Division office, staff will meet with you and provide you with the Independent Living Support application. You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Identifying information for the young adult
  • Current housing situation and household composition
  • Educational level and completion
  • Employment and salary information
  • Current and outstanding bills
  • Medical/mental health needs and access
  • Available family/community resources
  • Current/future needs
  • Ability/inability to reach self-sufficiency and continued independence
  • Present and future goals

Once you contact the Children's Division for services, a referral for Chafee aftercare services should be made to your local Older Youth Transition Specialist.   The Older Youth Transition Specialist will then refer you to your local contracted Chafee provider. They will assist you with coming up with a plan to help you continue to live independently. You will work together to form an agreement, which can be updated or revisited as often as needed.

What if I need help immediately?

In the event of a crisis, if your local Older Youth Transition Specialist is not accessible, the county liaison/contact person for former foster care youth may reach out to the Older Youth Transition Specialist's supervisor. Once the referral is received, the Older Youth Transition Specialist or Older Youth Program staff will immediately follow up with the county liaison/contact person for former foster care youth involved.

Healthcare for Former Foster Care Youth

If you exited Children's Division custody 30 days prior to your 18th birthday or any time after, and you are not yet 26 years old, you are eligible for MO HealthNet coverage until age 26 and are automatically enrolled upon your exit from foster care. Youth are eligible without regard to income or assets. If you have health insurance from another source such as employment, you must use your third party insurance before using MO HealthNet. You will need to inform your medical/behavioral services provider that you are eligible for MO HealthNet.

Former foster care youth should report address changes to any Children’s Division office so you receive new Medicaid cards and important notices about your coverage. You also can report address changes using the email noted at the bottom of this page.

If you are enrolled in a managed care plan, the plan will cover your medical expenses, while the MO HealthNet plan covers pharmacy and behavioral health services. You will have two different cards. The managed care plan also provides you a care manager who can help you navigate the health care system, locate health care providers, and answer questions about your health care. If you are not enrolled in a managed care plan, all services are covered by MO HealthNet; MO HealthNet does not provide care manager services.

MO HealthNet only works in Missouri. If you leave Missouri, and you are a full-time student in another state, or you are on a visit to another state, MO HealthNet services may still be available. Your out-of-state provider must be willing to participate in the MO HealthNet program. You should check with the child welfare agency in your new state to see if you qualify for former foster care coverage to age 26. Many states already provide this coverage for former foster youth no matter which state they exited care. All states must provide this by 1/1/23.

If you were in foster care at the age of 18 in any other state and are now living in Missouri, you may qualify for extended MO HealthNet coverage to age 26. You first must apply for Medicaid with the Missouri Family Support Division so they can determine if you qualify for another health care program that might better meet any unique needs you have. If not, they will automatically enroll you in the Health Care for Former Foster Care coverage until age 26. To learn more, you can contact any Children’s Division office, or you can contact the Family Support Division at 1-855-FSD-INFO (1-855-373-4636).

Additional Resources