Age Timeline

Welcome to the Youth Guide. In a little while, you’re going to age out of foster care. We have some great tips to help you prepare for that day. Check out the Age Timeline to see what steps you can take this year to get you in a good place now and get you ready for your future.

Your Age

Event | Initial Independent Living (IL) Assessment

The Casey Life Skills Assessment is required to be administered within 30 days after you turn 14 years of age if you are in foster care; if you are just entering foster care, the assessment is required to be administered within 30 days of your entering. The IL Assessment is to be re-administered every 12 months.

Your Opportunities

The IL Assessment helps you identify your strengths and what you need to work on to prepare for transitioning to adulthood. The IL Assessment is NOT a test – it’s a tool that gives you information for developing your IL Services and Transition Plan.

Event | IL Services and Transition Plan (ILSTP)

This Plan is required to be developed for every youth in foster care age 14 or older. The Plan is to be reviewed and updated every 12 months.

Your Opportunities

  • YOU have a central role in all service planning and decision making.
  • YOU identify family members and others you trust to become part of YOUR TEAM to help prepare you for adulthood.
  • YOU set the goals for learning.
  • YOU select the independent living services and activities you’ll complete to achieve your goals.
  • YOU identify how YOUR TEAM members can support you.

Event | IL Needs Assessment – Update

Your Opportunities

  • You get an updated look at your strengths and what you need to work on next.
  • You will use this information to update your IL Services and Transition Plan.

Event | IL Services and Transition Plan – Review and Update

Your Opportunities

With your TEAM, you will

  • Record your progress,
  • Select what you will work on next, and
  • Identify how members of your team will assist you.

Event | IL Needs Assessment – Update

Your Opportunities

  • You get an updated look at your strengths and what you need to work on next.
  • You will use this information to update your IL Services and Transition Plan.

Event | NYTD Survey

You may be asked to respond to a National Youth in Transition (NYTD) Survey. If you respond when you are 17, you will be asked to complete the survey again when you are 19 and 21.

Your Opportunities

YOUR responses are important! They will be used to help improve the foster care system.

Event | 90-Day Transition Plan

The Transition Plan is completed during the 90-day period before you turn 18 years of age. At 18, you are legally an adult.

The 90-Day Transition Plan for Success has three sections:

1. A list of your Rights and Responsibilities. When you turn 18, you are legally an adult. Your status in foster care changes and you may choose to stop Independent Living services. The Rights and Responsibilities list explains these changes in detail, the options you have and conditions that are attached to the options.

2. Your Current Plan for Successful Transition from foster care to adulthood. This lays out your specific plans for transitioning from foster care to independence. It also confirms the status of your critical documents (such as birth certificate) and contains an updated list of your connections with trusted adults.

3. Independent Living Services and Transition Plan for Young Adults. Just as in the past, your independent living transition plan is to be completed by you, with your worker and your team. This is the plan you intend to follow for as long as you continue to receive Independent Living services.

Your Opportunities

This Plan represents the culmination of all your prior efforts and documents the ways you are prepared for transition.
With involvement of your TEAM, you will document your plans for:

  • Permanency
  • Housing
  • School and career
  • Your money
  • Health care

You will also be given copies of all your essential documents.

Event | IL Transition Plan for Young Adults

Your Opportunities

If you continue to receive IL services, you will have a Transition Plan for Young Adults that describes the support you will receive and any conditions that apply.

Event | Upon high school graduation or GED completion, you may be eligible for:

  • Tuition Grant Program.
  • Education and Training Vouchers (ETV).
  • Other needs-based scholarships.

When you turn 18 years of age, your status in foster care and in many other areas of life changes.

Under Virginia law, you are an adult. As you assume the rights of an adult, you also assume the  responsibilities. Some of the rights you have at age 18 that you didn’t have before include:

  • The right to vote.
  • The right to enter into a contract.
  • The right to apply for credit in your own name.

Some of the new responsibilities that you have include:

  • You are responsible for your actions. If you violate the law, you will be tried and sentenced as an adult, not as a juvenile.
  • You may be sued by others if you fail to keep the terms of contracts you make.
  •  Your Opportunities

    • Before you graduate, begin the process by completing the Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA)
    • Tuition Grant Program covers tuition and fees at any Virginia Community College
    • ETV helps with post-secondary education and training expenses.
    • Other grants and scholarships may be available

    Event | If you are 18 years of age but under 21 and leave foster care, then wish to return, you have only 60 days to apply for services to resume.

    Your Opportunities

    If you apply within 60 days and abide by conditions set, you may continue to receive services.

Event | Foster care and independent living services end.

Your Opportunities

You make successful transition to adulthood with support from trusted adults connected to you!

Event | IF you are enrolled in college and are already an ETV participant, benefits may continue until age 23.

Your Opportunities

  • You continue to receive help with education expenses if you meet the qualifications.