Provides resources & services to foster youth 18 - 21 to support their successful transition to adulthood.
Voluntary Extension of Care
Effective July 1, 2018, the Voluntary Extension of Care (VEC) creates an option for youth who are aging out of foster care at age 18 to continue to receive placement services and other supports until his/her 21st birthday. Participation is entirely voluntary.
DCYF must inform youth in care who are almost 18 of the option to ask for assistance with housing and other support services under they are 21. If you left DCYF at age 18, you may still be able to get assistance from the DCYF VEC until you reach age 21.
Who IS ELIGIBLE?
Youth who were in DCYF custody at age 18 and in foster care or
Former foster youth who were adopted or placed in a legal guardianship on or after age 16 whose need for care and placement services cannot or will not be met by their parents or guardians AND
Youth who are finishing high school or have received GED or are enrolled in college, or a certificate program or
Youth who are enrolled in vocational education or a job training program or
Youth who are employed at least 80 hours per month or
Youth who are not capable of doing any of these things because of a documented medical condition
Youth should be present at all court hearings and case plan reviews. This is the plan for the future!
Once the VEC agreement is signed the Family Court will need to have a hearing to make sure that everyone is on the same page and the best plan is made. These decisions must be made within the first 180 days after the VEC agreement is signed.
The court will review the service plan to be sure it reflects the goals and desires for an independent and successful adulthood.
Youth case will be under the legal supervision of the court. That means that the court must hold a hearing at least once per year in order to review the case plan and the progress in meeting the goals.
Youth can request to have a CASA attorney or a court-appointed attorney with them in court.
MAKING A PLAN
Together, youth and DCYF will create a contract called a VEC Agreement and individualized service plan. The VEC Agreement spells out DCYF’s efforts to help as well as the youths responsibilities to prepare for independent adulthood. Youth can invite important people to planning meetings.
The plan may include:(as needed)
Such as supervised independent living, apartment living(by self or with a roommate), living with a foster family or kinship, college dorms, mentor homes
A job, job training and/or individual employment plan
Meeting medical and mental health needs
Maintaining relationships with important people, siblings and other relatives
WHO TO CALL
DCYF VEC Unit 401-528-3895
Child Advocate 401-462-4300
Adoption RI 401-865-6000
Foster Forward 401-438-3900