Standards for Canadian organizations

2020 Edition

Family Foster Care and Kinship Care (CA-FKC) 15: Transition to Adulthood

Youth are supported in their transition to adulthood through individualized planning and preparation that promote well-being, strong support systems, access to needed resources, and skill development.
 
NA The organization does not serve youth 14 or older. 
2020 Edition

Currently viewing: FAMILY FOSTER CARE AND KINSHIP CARE (CA-FKC)

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Purpose

Children in Family Foster Care and Kinship Care live in safe, stable, nurturing, and often temporary family settings that best provide the continuity of care to preserve relationships, promote well-being, and ensure permanency.
Note: The transition to adulthood refers to both the developmental life stage and the transition out of the foster care system. CA-FKC 15.01 - CA-FKC 15.06 apply to all youth in care who are approaching adulthood, regardless of their plans for permanency. In cases where youth will transition from the system without having achieved legal permanency, CA-FKC 15.07 and CA-FKC 15.08 will also apply. 
1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Procedures for transition planning including collaborating with other service providers
  • Procedures for assessing independent living skills
  • Independent living skills assessment tool
  • Procedures for developing shared living agreements
  • Informational materials provided to youth
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Youth
    4. Resource parents
  • Review case records

CA-FKC 15.01

Preparation for adulthood begins well in advance of a youth’s transition and:
  1. ensures maximum youth participation in all aspects of exploring and planning for the future;
  2. includes adults and peers to the youth; and 
  3. involves collaboration and coordination among all service providers.

Interpretation

For youth who will be transitioning into adult systems of care, planning meetings and discussions should include providers from the adult-serving systems that will be working with the youth. This is especially critical for youth with developmental disabilities or mental health needs.
Examples: Adults and peers that are important to youth can include family members, friends, and natural mentors.

CA-FKC 15.02

Preparation for adulthood is a strengths-based process that promotes safety, permanency, and well-being by helping youth explore:
  1. their family relationships, including the family’s readiness for healthy participation in the youth’s life;
  2. relationships with supportive peers and adults, including involved adults’ commitment to the youth;
  3. strategies for coping with and healing from stress and trauma associated with grief and life transitions;
  4. the range of housing options available to them as well as the risks and benefits of different housing options;
  5. their academic needs and interests and available educational paths; and
  6. their work interests and skill sets, as well as different interests, career paths, and employment supports.
Examples: Housing options may include the full range of living situations from supported living to fully independent living environments.

CA-FKC 15.03

The organization works with youth, parents, and resource families, to assess the independent living skills of youth 14 years and older, at regular intervals using a standardized assessment instrument that includes the following areas:
  1. educational and vocational development;
  2. interpersonal skills;
  3. financial management;
  4. household management; and
  5. self-care.

Interpretation

The first assessment should be completed as soon as possible after children’s 14th birthdays to establish a benchmark for measuring progress in identified areas. Systematic assessment normally reoccurs at 6- or 12-month intervals.

CA-FKC 15.04

The organization ensures that youth transition to adulthood with basic social supports, including:
  1. strong, consistent relationships with committed, caring adults; 
  2. access to cultural and community supports; and
  3. connections to positive peer support.

CA-FKC 15.05

The organization assists youth in obtaining or compiling documents necessary to function as an independent adult, including, as appropriate:
  1. an identification card or driver's license, when the ability to drive is a goal; 
  2. a social insurance number; 
  3. a resume describing their work experience and career development; 
  4. an original copy of their birth certificate; 
  5. bank account access documents;
  6. religious documents and information; 
  7. documentation of immigration or refugee history and status; 
  8. death certificates if parents are deceased; 
  9. a life book or a compilation of personal history and photographs; 
  10. a list of known relatives, with relationships, addresses, telephone numbers, and permissions for contacting involved parties; 
  11. information about places they have lived (previous placement information); 
  12. educational records, such as high school diploma or general equivalency diploma, and a list of schools attended; and
  13. health and mental health records, including the names and addresses of youths’ doctors, as well as information regarding any special needs and appropriate treatment, including medication, as applicable.

CA-FKC 15.06

When youth continue to live with foster families past the age of 18, shared living agreements are developed in advance of youths’ 18th birthdays to promote independence, clarify new roles, and establish mutually agreed upon expectations.

Interpretation

In a developmentally appropriate manner, every youth turning 18 should be engaged in a conversation, documented in the case record, that explores and determines the mutual expectations and responsibilities of the living arrangement now that they are not a minor.

CA-FKC 15.07

At least six months before they will transition from care, the organization helps youth who will transition from the system without achieving legal permanency develop individualized plans for transition, by addressing the following areas:
  1. housing and transportation;
  2. education and academic support;
  3. employment and workforce support;
  4. finances/income, including public assistance when available;
  5. physical and behavioural healthcare, including needed medical, dental, mental health, and substance use treatment;
  6. transitioning to adult systems of care for mental health or developmental disabilities, when applicable;
  7. services and supports available to youth who were in foster care for education and independent living activities;
  8.  social, peer, cultural, and community supports, including support or mentoring available through community volunteers or individuals who have made a successful transition; 
  9. legal rights and requirements regarding consent to remain in care beyond the age of 18, if applicable; and
  10. how to contact the organization and what supports the organization can offer after case closing, including information regarding voluntary return to care, as appropriate.

CA-FKC 15.08

The organization provides youth who transition from the system without achieving legal permanency with at least six months advance notice of the cessation of any health, financial, or other benefits that may occur at transition or case closing.

Interpretation

In regards to element (d), when youth have developmental disabilities or mental health needs it is essential for the organization to collaborate with adult systems of care in these areas. Planning meetings should include representatives from the adult-serving systems that will be working with youth, and the organization should partner with the providers to facilitate access to services.