North Dakota

State Coordinator

North Dakota Department of Human Services,
Children and Family Services Division

Kelsey M. Bless
Independent Living Administrator
600 East Boulevard Avenue
3rd Floor, Judicial Wing
Bismarck, ND 58505
Phone: (701) 328-4934
Fax: (701) 328-3538
Email: kmbless@nd.gov

Youth Website

2012 Chafee Allocation

$500,000
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2012 ETV Allocation

$117,515
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Number of youth 16-21 (most current AFCARS data - 2009)

314
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State's Chafee Mission Statement

It is mission of the ND Chafee Foster Care Independence Program to ensure that youth involved in the foster care system receive services and support which will enable them to successfully transition to living independently. North Dakota goals state that every youth in the North Dakota Foster Care System as a teenager will meet the following outcomes by age 21:

  • have sufficient economic resources to meet their daily needs;
  • have a safe and stable place to live;
  • shall attain academic or vocational/educational goals that are in keeping with the youth’s abilities and interests;
  • have a sense of connectedness to persons and community;
  • shall avoid illegal/high risk behaviors;
  • shall postpone parenthood until financially established and emotionally mature; and
  • have access to physical and mental health services.

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Who is eligible for Chafee services?

Youth age 16-21 years of age who have been identified as likely to age out of foster care (Priority 1). However, in more rural communities foster care youth ages 14-15 can be Chafee IL participants with no funding to support their needs until age 16 (Priority 2). In addition, those eligible for the ETV Program are eligible until their 23rd birthday, providing they were participating in the ETV program prior to their 21st birthday.

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What is the state's definition of room and board?

Youth who age out of foster care at the age or 18 or older are eligible for “Room and Board”  flex funds until they turn 21 years of age.  These youth must be a Chafee IL participant and have a Chafee Independent Living Plan in order to access funds.  Funding is intended to help youth get moved into a permanent home, not to prolong unnecessary dependency nor to pay for continued residential treatment.  Examples of allowed expenditures include: rent, rent deposits, room and board arrangements, and utilities.

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Maximum age that youth may remain in state funded foster care

21

No additional information is available.

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Under what conditions can a youth remain in state funded foster care beyond 18?

ND 18+ Continued Care is available to eligible current and former foster care children up to the age of 21 years old if the youth meets certain criteria. The youth must have aged out of foster care while in the custody of a North Dakota public agency including; county social services, tribal social services, and the Division of Juvenile Services (DJS). Tribal Social Services foster care youth must have been Title IV-E eligible prior to discharge in order to qualify for 18+ Continued Care. The length of time that a youth is in foster care does not determine their eligibility for 18+ Continued Care. The 18+ Continued Care program philosophy encourages youth to stay in family foster care while they continue to pursue independence.

A youth must:

1.Be between the ages of 18 and 21.
2.Need continued foster care services.
3.Have aged-out of ND foster care at age 18 or greater from public agency.
4.Qualify in at least one of the program eligibility categories.
5.Agree to and sign the 18+ Continued Foster Care Agreement (SFN 60).
6.Return to foster care within six months of their last discharge date

For more information on ND 18+ Continued Care Program contact: Dean Sturn, ND Foster Care Administrator at drsturn@nd.gov or 701-328-1018

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Does the state have an approved plan to extend Title IV-E (Federal foster care) beyond 18?

Yes

Age of extension: 21

Conditions used to extend title IV-E foster care:

  • Secondary Education: Yes
  • Postsecondary Education: Yes
  • Barriers to Employment: Yes
  • Employed 80 Hours: Yes
  • Incapable of Activities: Yes

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Is the Extended Medicaid Option available for youth until 21?

Yes

North Dakota provides Medicaid benefits to individuals who were in North Dakota foster care and on Medicaid in the month they turned 18. ND Medicaid coverage is available to eligible youth until the month the individual reaches the age of 26. Eligible youth must complete the application at the local county social service office. Note: Youth who aged out of foster care from another state, will not be covered by ND Medicaid

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Can youth in care get driver’s licenses?

Yes

A foster youth who is expected to be in care until adulthood may obtain their driver’s license providing that a parent, legal guardian, or another responsible adult (e.g., a foster parent), assumes responsibility and provides insurance coverage.  A foster parent or other responsible adult may not assume this responsibility if the youth’s custodian or the youth’s parents are opposed.

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Does the state offer tuition waivers for foster youth?

No

No additional information is available.

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Does the state have a youth leadership program?

Yes

The ND Youth Leadership Board is made up of members from the eight Regional Leadership Advisory Councils. This group meets quarterly to address issues, concerns, and work on projects related to foster care.  In addition,  North Dakota has a group of youth that is utilized for speaking engagements, panel presentations, attendance at conferences, etc.

ND Youth Information Website is http://www.nd.gov/ndyouth

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Does the state have a foster care bill of rights or sibling bill of rights?

No

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