Pennsylvania

State Coordinator

Department of Public Welfare/Office of Children, Youth and Families
Dave Derbes
Independent Living Coordinator
Post Office Box 2675
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2675
Phone: (717) 705-2911
Fax: (717) 214-3784
Email: dderbes@pa.gov

Agency Website

2012 Chafee Allocation

$5,017,075
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2012 ETV Allocation

$1,672,902
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Number of youth 16-21 (most current AFCARS data - 2009)

4791
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State's Chafee Mission Statement

Pennsylvania Independent Living practices engage youth and young adults in a coordinated, cross-system effort to improve their successes and permanent connections to become responsible and productive citizens.

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Who is eligible for Chafee services?

To be eligible for services funded with Title IV-E IL grant funds, a youth must:

  • be at least 16 years old but less than 21 years old at the beginning of the state fiscal year;
  • be in, or have been in, out-of-home placement on or after age 16 (non-Title IV-E eligible youth may receive services through this funding source); and
  • have been adjudicated dependent; or
  • have been dually adjudicated dependent AND delinquent; or
  • have been adjudicated delinquent with shared case management responsibility between the county children and youth agency and the juvenile probation office.

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

Pennsylvania defines room and board as financial support for those youth who have aged out or emancipated from substitute care on or after age 18 up to age 21.  This support includes payment or reimbursements for shelter, food, rent, security deposits, utilities, furniture, household items and other start up expenses that may be incurred in the youth's living situation.  Each county agency, which chooses to provide room and board services, designs their own room and board policy within the state definition listed above and creates a contract designed specifically for each individual youth.

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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?

If adjudicated dependent before 18 and requests the court to retain jurisdiction to complete a course of treatment or education. Additionally, county agencies can recommend a trial discharge option to youth who are approaching age 18 and no longer wish to remain in out of home care. This best practice is intended to provide youth with a short-term opportunity to return to a placement setting, insuring their health, safety and well-being.

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

No

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Is the Extended Medicaid Option available for youth until 21?

No

No additional information is available.

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Can youth in care get driver’s licenses?

Yes

Driver’s license policy is determined by each county agency.

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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 Pennsylvania Youth Advisory Board (YAB) is made up of youth who are currently in substitute care or have been in care.  The purpose of the YAB is to educate, advocate, and bring about positive change in the substitute care system.  Our goal is to represent the voice of older youth in the system and work with others for positive change.

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

Yes

Pennsylvania has a Foster Care Bill of Rights for youth defined on its Independent Living website and in the "Know Your Rights" manual. The website information and the manual were developed by the Pennsylvania Youth Advisory Board in 2010. At this time Pennsylvania has no sibling-specific Bill of Rights http://www.independentlivingpa.org/rights.htm

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