Youth who left the care of the Children's Division after the age of 17 but are not yet 21 may choose to come back into care (see S.B. 205 and S.B. 208). If it's determined to be in the best interest of the youth, they may have their custody returned to the Children's Division through a petition to the Court from the youth, Children's Division or Juvenile Officer. This is considered re-entry.
How do I get help?
How do I request re-entry?
If you would like to request re-entry services from the Children's Division, you must complete a Chafee Foster Care Independence Support Application. Make sure to include how re-entry would be in your best interest when answering the question "What would you like the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program to do for you?" If you need help, contact your local Children's Division office.
Once you submit your application, Children's Division staff will make a referral to the Division of Legal Services (DLS) for help with a petition for re-entry. DLS may need additional information in order to file the petition. The attorney assigned to your case will reach out to you if more information is needed.
A petition for re-entry can be filed in:
- The court that previously exercised jurisdiction
- The county where the youth resides
- An adjacent county
What happens when I come back into care?
Once you are back in care of the Children's Division, normal case-opening procedures will be followed. All case management services you would have received if you remained in care, such as placement, adult support, and clothing allowances, may resume.
Services will be provided by your previous case manager when possible, unless you request otherwise. If your case was managed by the Children's Division, you will work with your local Children's Division office. If your case was previously managed by a Foster Care Case Management Agency and you are still within that agencies service region, you will be assigned back to the agency for help.
You will be expected to participate in your case plan and meet with your Children's Service Worker, Juvenile Officer and Chafee provider, and/or go to school and work to show you are making an effort towards independence.
The Court will hold review hearings at least every six months and more often if necessary. You may request to be appointed a guardian ad litem to assist with court appearances.
What if I need help immediately?
If you are in need of help through our services immediately, a referral for aftercare services can be made. A petition for re-entry may take some time to be heard in court.