Support Services After Adoption
Did you know there are additional free-of-charge resources families can take advantage of even after families have moved from fostering to adoption? There used to be a disincentive to adopt children from foster care because the family would lose their monthly foster care benefit. That is not true anymore. The Adoption Assistance agreement minimizes this financial obstacle. So what does the Adoption Assistance or AAP cover?
- Families may receive direct assistance in the form of monthly payments until the child reaches age 18, or, in some states, age 21. The payments come from the state of origin but can continue even if the family moves out of state.
- The maximum AAP payment is a negotiated rate based on the child’s special needs and the family’s circumstances. If the child’s needs are greater and require a higher level of care and supervision, he or she may qualify for a Special Care Increment (SCI) in addition to the age-related, state-approved adoption assistance rate.
- A child’s AAP benefits terminate at age 18 unless the child has a mental or physical disability that warrants the continuation of benefits to age 21.
- Youth who have an initial AAP agreement signed on or after their 16th birthday may be eligible for the extension of AAP benefits to the age of 21. Extensions are available if the youth is:
- Currently completing high school or an equivalency program;
- Enrolled in a post-secondary or vocational school;
- Participating in a program or activity that promotes or removes barriers to employment;
- Employed at least 80 hours per month;
- Is incapable of participating in 1 through 4 above, due to a physical or mental disability.
- Parents may be reimbursed for up to $400 per child for eligible adoption expenses such as reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees, and other expenses directly related to the legal adoption of the child. Families must apply for this reimbursement before adoption finalization. International adoptees are not eligible.
There are more services and supports available for families and youth adopted from foster care that we will share with you in our next blog. Stay tuned.