AB12 is put in place to give Non-Minor Dependents a possible 36 months to transition from dependency to independence. It is a voluntary program and begins the day that the youth turn 18 though every youth has the right to opt-out of AB12.
This should be a time of growth where youth are accepting more responsibilities for their financial future (budgeting rent, transportation, food, basic necessities) and take over the reigns of their decision making (career, education, health, etc.). Youth will be responsible for providing proof that they are meeting their AB12 responsibilities and making sure that they meet with their worker each month.
Benefits to extending foster care
- Helps youth transition with lifelong connections to caring adults
- Increases postsecondary education attainment
- Receives Medi-Cal, clothing allowance, and case management and Independent Living Program Services
- Medi-Cal has been extended until the age of 26 for youth who are in-care until their 18th birthday.
What do social workers need to do now?
- Educate youth starting six months before they turn 18 years of age about AB 12.
- Schedule the Youth Transition Meeting (YTM) 90 days before the youth turns 18.
- Ensure the case plan and the court report address AB 12 at the 6-month hearing review before the youth’s 18th birthday.
Who is Eligible?
Youth who turn 18 years old and have an open foster care case or are 18 and in an out-of-home placement through probation. Youth who are 18 year olds and are in KinGAP (Kinship Guardian Assistance Program) placements are eligible if their KinGAP case was established at age 16 or older but payment will go to care provider. If KinGAP case was established before age 16 then AB12 will continue only until the 19th birthday.