Aftercare Services for Former Foster Youth Now Available to Age 23

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) announced that Pennsylvania will now offer and provide critical aftercare services to former foster youth up to age 23. Under previous policy, youth exiting foster care on or after age 14 were eligible for a myriad of services to support them in the transition to adulthood up to age 21. However, as a result of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), the federal law allows states to opt to extend services to age 23. The Commonwealth convened a workgroup to analyze the need to adopt these provisions, and PPC was an active participant advocating for the state to implement these provisions. DHS reviewed and agreed with the workgroup’s recommendations, leading to this necessary policy change.

Transition age youth who exit the foster care system have poorer adult outcomes compared to their peers in the general population, and struggle with educational attainment, homelessness and incarceration. This is especially the case for Black and Brown youth. Adoption of these provisions shows DHS’s commitment to ensuring that we together work to reverse this trajectory.