Through the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Act, 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 17.5 is not a realistic or practical option
  • The youth has requested to leave custody upon or after age 17.5 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 17.5

Who is eligible?

You may be eligible for aftercare services if you:

  • Left foster care at age 17.5 or later, and
  • Are between the ages of 17.5 and 21

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 Foster Care Independence Program, 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 have exited Children's Division custody 30 days prior to or after your 18th birthday and are not yet 26 years old, you are automatically eligible for MO HealthNet coverage.

Youth are eligible without regard to your income or assets (per RSMo 208.151.1, SB 577, 2007 and SB 127, 2013). If you need help applying for MO HealthNet, please contact the Family Support Division at 1-855-FSD-INFO (1-855-373-4636).

Once you receive your MO HealthNet card, you will need to enroll into a MO HealthNet Managed Care Plan for your physical care (if this is available in your area). Any behavioral healthcare will be covered on a fee-for-service basis.

If you are a Missouri resident but are attending an out-of-state school or on a visit outside of Missouri, the out-of-state provider must be willing to enroll in the MO HealthNet program. Please note that per federal requirements, Medicaid cannot be opened in two states at the same time.

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.