V-9 Extended Care Policy
- L-1, Extension/Termination of Care at Age 18
- Procedures: Extension of Care
- Social Security, Veteran's Administration, and Other Benefits
- L-2, Apartment Living - Leases
Procedures: Extension of Care
The Department's caseworker will offer the Voluntary Extended Care Agreement (V9) and clearly relate the purposes for the Agreement to all youth in care at least 3 months prior to the youth's 18 birthday. There are three exceptions to this:
- The youth is being transferred to another Department or agency program for continued services.
- The youth has been living with their parent/s prior to age 18 and will continue to do so after the age of 18. There is some exception to this if the youth's home living arrangement is such that continued Departmental support is determined to be necessary by the caseworker and their supervisor; particularly if it appears that the youth may not be able to safely remain in their parent's home for any length of time.
- The youth has had an unresolved history of criminal offenses against persons (sexual crimes or crimes of violence) and/or has continued to be consistently noncompliant with the Department's expectations regarding placement and other services.
The offer and negotiation of the V9 Agreement will take into account the youth's individual circumstances.
The caseworker will document, in the youth's Maine Automated Child Welfare Information System (MACWIS) case record, that the V9 Agreement was offered and the youth's response.
For youth refusing the offer of the V9 Agreement, their case will remain open for a 90 day grace period, beginning on the youth's 18th birthday, to allow for the youth to change their mind. The youth will be advised in writing of the 90 grace period by their caseworker prior to age 18. If the youth can be contacted, the caseworker will state the Department's expectations with regard to the V9 Agreement and let the youth know that they have 90 days within which to negotiate a mutually satisfactory agreement. The youth's (MACWIS) case record will remain open as a "V9" for 90 days to allow for the youth to negotiate the agreement. The youth's caseworker should document the offer of the V9 Agreement in the MACWIS "Narrative Log" and indicate what the V9 expectations would be should the youth decide to sign the V9 Agreement. An unsigned "draft" V9 Agreement may be entered in MACWIS at the discretion of the caseworker and their supervisor.
A discharge interview will be conducted with each youth leaving Departmental care with the following exceptions:
- The youth refuses to meet with the caseworker.
- The youth's whereabouts are unknown.
Information regarding the discharge interview and the status of the youth leaving care will be documented by the caseworker in the MACWIS "Narrative Log."
Should youth who are already on the Voluntary Extended Care Agreement (V9) not meet the terms of their Agreement, or wish to voluntarily terminate the Agreement, the Agreement will remain in effect for a period of 90 days before being terminated. The caseworker and their supervisor shall determine whether or not to continue to provide financial support such as rent, clothing purchase orders, and other forms of financial support during the 90 period.
The Department's caseworker will inform the youth in writing that they have 90 days within which to come back into compliance with the terms of the Agreement, or to renegotiate the terms of the Agreement. The youth will also be informed that they have the option of scheduling a meeting with their caseworker and the casework supervisor to discuss the terms of the V9 Agreement. If the youth has been working with a Department life skills caseworker, the life skills caseworker should also be included in any meeting to discuss the terms of the youth's V9 Agreement.
Youth will be included in any discussions with regard to any proposed changes to the terms of their original V9 Agreement before any changes are made to their V9 Agreement. The decision making remains with the Department.
For those youth who engage in violent, other seriously criminal behavior, or are consistently non-compliant with the terms of the agreement while on the V9 Agreement, the caseworker and supervisor shall have the option of immediate termination of the V9 agreement.
The youth's V9 agreement should be reviewed by the caseworker and supervisor every three months to assess the youth's progress with regard to the terms of the agreement and the need for any revisions to the agreement.
There will be some exceptional cases where the youth has been out of care for a period of time exceeding 90 days and contact the Department asking to reenter care and do what is necessary to reenter care. In these exceptional cases the following protocol will be followed:
The Department's caseworker will discuss the specifics of the youth's situation with their supervisor, the regional Program Administrator, and the Bureau of Child and Family Service's Youth Transition Program Manager. The Youth Transition Program Manager will then consult with the Bureau of Child and Family Service's Division Director of Child Welfare Policy and Practice and the Director of District Operations. If all of the above named Departmental staff are in agreement that the youth should be allowed to reenter care, the youth will be reopened for continued services under the terms of a V9 Agreement.