43105. Extended Foster Care (EFC) Program

Original Date:  June 22, 2011

Revised Date:  July 1, 2024

Sunset Review Date:  July 31, 2028

Approved by:  Natalie Green, Assistant Secretary of Child Welfare Division


The Extended Foster Care (EFC) Program is a voluntary program established to support eligible youth ages 18 through 20 in a successful transition to independence.


This policy applies to child welfare employees.


RCW 13.34.267  Extended Foster Care Services, Maintenance of Dependency Proceedings, Placement Care of Youth, Appointment of Counsel, Case Plan

RCW 13.34.268  Extended Foster Care Services, Voluntary Placement Agreement, Decline, Petition for Dependency

RCW 74.13.020  Definitions

RCW 74.13.031  Duties of Department, Child Welfare Services, Children's Services Advisory Committee

RCW 74.13.336  Extended Foster Care Services

RCW 74.15.020  Definitions

PL 110-351  Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act 2008


  1. Eligibility  
    1. EFC services, including placement resources, must be provided to eligible dependent youth. To be eligible for the EFC program, legally dependent youth, on their 18th birthday, must meet one of the following eligibility criteria: 
      1. Enrolled in high school or a high school equivalency program; 
      2. Enrolled, has applied for, or can show intent to timely enroll in a post-secondary academic or post-secondary vocational certification program; 
      3. Participating in a program or activity designed to promote or remove barriers to employment, including part-time employment; 
      4. Employed 80 hours or more a month; or 
      5. Unable to engage in any of the above activities due to a documented medical condition. 
    2. The following youth may be eligible if they meet the eligibility criteria above in 1.a. and are: 
      1. In the custody of Juvenile Rehabilitation (JR), Department of Corrections (DOC), county detention, or jail. 
      2. A tribal dependent youth, if the tribe’s code defines “child” up the age of 21. 
      3. A dependent youth living out of state. 
    3. Caseworkers must verify and document the youth meet the eligibility criteria on the FamLink EFC Eligibility page, prior to enrollment and for every subsequent court review. 
      1. If a youth has a documented medical condition, including a diagnosed developmental disability, preventing them from participating in any of the EFC eligibility criteria listed in policy section 1(a.) (i.-iv.), document and upload the medical condition documentation received from the licensed medical providers in the following pages in FamLink: 
        1. Health/Mental health, 
        2. Court Report 
        3. EFC Eligibility 
      2. If the youth has a temporary medical condition: 
        1. Document the medical condition in FamLink and verify the youth’s continued EFC eligibility during monthly health and safety visits
        2. Review the medical documentation from the licensed health care providers to determine if additional or updated information is needed. 
        3. Update documentation to reflect participation in one of the activities identified in policy section 1(a.) (i.-iv.), when temporary medical conditions are resolved. 
    4. Youth can transition between eligibility categories, but it must be documented in a case note in FamLink. 
  2. EFC Enrollment 
    1. Eligible youth must elect to participate in the EFC program: 
      1. Starting on their 18th birthday; or 
      2. Prior to their 21st birthday. 
    2. Caseworkers must: 
      1. Follow Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) policies for conducting shared planning meetings and a Multidisciplinary Meeting (17.5 staffing) to engage youth, and any supports identified by the youth, in their decision to enroll in EFC. 
      2. Coordinate with the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA), Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) or Guardian Ad Litem (GAL), attorneys, and the court to assist DDA eligible youth with the decision to enroll in the EFC program. 
      3. Coordinate with JR when enrolling JR youth in EFC. 
      4. Document the youth’s decision to participate in the EFC within the FamLink Eligibility page. 
      5. Complete the Extended Foster Care Participation Agreement DCYF 10-432 form, with youth electing to participate on their 18th birthday. This includes: 
        1. Obtaining the youth’s signature. 
        2. Providing the signed Extended Foster Care Participation Agreement DCYF 10-432 form to all parties involved and to the court. 
        3. Uploading the signed Extended Foster Care Participation Agreement DCYF 10-432 form into FamLink. 
      6. Request the court dismiss the youth’s dependency on their 18th birthday, if they elect not to participate in the EFC program. Once the case has been dismissed, end the placement episode in FamLink. 
  3. EFC Enrollment or Re-enrollment Prior to the Youth’s 21st Birthday 
    1. Any youth requesting to enroll in EFC for the first time or re-enter the EFC program after having their dependency dismissed, must: 
      1. Have been dependent on their 18th birthday. 
      2. Meet one of the eligibility criteria in policy section 1(a) (i.-v.). 
      3. Sign an Extended Foster Care Services Voluntary Placement Agreement (VPA) DCYF form 15-431 form and agree to entry of a dependency order within 179 days. 
      4. Sign an Extended Foster Care Participation Agreement form DCYF 10-432 form. 
    2. Eligible youth, including youth in the custody of juvenile rehabilitation, department of corrections, county detention, or jail, may enroll and exit the EFC program an unlimited number of times prior to their 21st birthday. 
    3. If the youth’s dependency was dismissed and the youth is requesting EFC enrollment for the first time or re-enrollment, the caseworker must: 
      1. Connect youth to an intake worker so they may request EFC services or verify an intake has been created on their behalf. The intake must be assigned to the local office in the nearest area where the youth currently resides. 
      2. Contact the youth requesting EFC within 10 calendar days of the date of intake. Determine and document program eligibility on the EFC Eligibility page in FamLink. 
      3. If youth are determined eligible for EFC: 
        1. Obtain the youth’s signature on the Extended Foster Care Services Voluntary Placement Agreement (VPA) DCYF form 15-431. Upload the signed VPA in FamLink. 
        2. Obtain the youth’s signature on the Extended Foster Care Participation Agreement DCYF 10-432 form.  
        3. Notify the assistant attorney general within 90 days of the youth returning to care, once the VPA is signed. 
        4. File and establish a non-minor dependency action within 179 days from date the VPA was signed. VPAs cannot exceed 179 days. 
        5. Update the existing or create a new transition and case plan with the youth prior to the first court review hearing. 
      4. If youth are determined not eligible for EFC: 
        1. A youth is only denied access to the EFC program when they: 
          1. Were not dependent on their 18th birthday. 
          2. Do not meet any of the eligibility criteria, in policy section 1(a.)(i.-v.), at the time of their request; 
          3. Are 21 years old or older. 
        2. Staff the case with the EFC regional lead prior to sending the EFC Denial Letter DCYF 06-165 form. 
        3. Send the youth an EFC Denial Letter DCYF 06-165 form within 10 calendar days of DCYF’s denial decision. 
  4. Case Planning and Service Provision
    Caseworkers must: 
    1. Provide written information about the EFC program to youth between the ages of 17 and 17.5, at the 17.5 year-old shared planning meeting. 
    2. Document in a case note in FamLink and in the court report that the youth has been provided information about the EFC program prior to their 18th birthday. 
    3. Obtain a signed Consent for Release of Information DCYF 14-012 form from the youth prior to tribal collaboration if there is reason to know they are or may be an Indian child and:  
      1. Under  DCYF placement and care authority.
      2. Agree to the caseworker collaborating with the tribe.    
    4. Provide youth, including youth who are in the custody of JR, DOC, county detention, or jail the following: 
      1. Monthly health and safety visits, whether placed in-state or out-of-state. 
      2. Regular court hearing reviews. 
      3. Case planning activities, including shared planning meetings, which must cover: 
        1. A current Transition Plan for Youth Exiting Care DCYF 15-417 form, that is updated and attached to the court report. 
        2. A case plan focusing solely on the youth, because, as a legal adult, the youth becomes the only party to the case. 
        3. A case plan that assesses the following: 
          1. The youth is safe in their placement; 
          2. The youth continues to be eligible for EFC; 
          3. The current placement is developmentally appropriate; 
          4. The youth is developing independent living skills; and 
          5. The youth is making progress towards transitioning to full independence within their ability. 
        4. The case plan must also include the youths progress in the following areas:  
          1. Education  
          2. Employment  
          3. Workforce supports and employment services 
          4. Local opportunities for mentors and continuing support 
          5. Health insurance (Apple Health Core Connections) 
          6. Housing  
          7. Identification and support of permanent connections 
          8. If DDA eligible, the transition plan to adult DDA services once the youth exits EFC 
      4. Services tailored to meet their transition needs while participating in the program. This includes participating in discharge or release planning and identification of post release supports for youth who are in the custody of JR, DOC, county detention, or jail. 
      5. Referrals to community services within the youth’s community. 
      6. Referrals for a Wraparound Intensive Services (WISe) screen when youth have complex behavioral health needs per Wraparound with Intensive Services (WISe) policy.  
      7. Assistance obtaining and reviewing a copy of their consumer credit report annually per the Transitioning Youth to a Successful Adulthood policy.
      8. Assistance when the youth’s foster care placement or Supervised Independent Living (SIL) setting disrupts. This includes: 
        1. Assisting youth in locating another foster home or SIL placement, and 
        2. Referring youth to other resources and supports. 
      9. Develop or update the transition plan to include all of the case plan elements no more than 90 days prior to the dismissal of the EFC case. The plan must be attached to the court report. 
    5. Request court dismissal of the dependency when youth: 
      1. Are not eligible on their 18th birthday. 
      2. Are eligible but choose not to participate in the program on their 18th birthday. 
      3. Are enrolled in EFC but no longer meet eligibility criteria. 
      4. Turn 21 years old or chooses to leave the program. 
      5. Are not complying with the dependency court order, case plan, or placement rules. 
      6. Has left their approved placement for more than 72 hours without approval. 
      7. Are no longer living in a DCYF or court-approved placement and refuses to accept all other identified placement or housing options. 
    6. Document in FamLink their placement has ended once the court dismisses the dependency. 
  5. Placement Types
    EFC youth may be placed in the following settings: 
    1. Licensed foster care, such as, but not limited to, licensed foster homes or kinship care or group care facilities. EFC youth placed in these settings, will: 
      1. Continue in their current placement setting as long as they are eligible, it is age appropriate, and the caregiver agrees to continue to serve the youth. 
      2. Have their EFC payments assessed and adjusted as needed, using the foster care rate assessment or rate determination process for therapeutic placements. 
    2. Supervised Independent Living (SIL) settings 
      1. A SIL setting is any placement that is not a licensed foster care placement and may include, but not limited to: 
        1. Apartments  
        2. Room and board arrangements 
        3. College or university residence halls or dormitories 
        4. AmeriCorps or Job Corps 
        5. Shared roommate 
        6. Renting a room 
        7. Parents or guardians 
        8. Relative or other suitable adults 
        9. A licensed foster home with a room and board arrangement.  When this occurs, the foster care reimbursement stops and SIL payments are made directly to the youth. 
      2. If youth request to reside in a SIL setting, caseworkers must: 
        1. Assess the youth’s ability to live independently. 
        2. Visit the proposed SIL setting to assess for safety or request courtesy     supervision for out-of-state placements. 
        3.    Approve the setting and document in a case note in FamLink. 
        4.  Obtain court approval, if the caseworker denied the setting. 
        5. EFC youth in the following circumstances are not prohibited from living in an approved SIL setting: 
          1. Enlisted in the military 
          2. An EFC youth in an approved SIL setting, who is in basic training or has completed basic training and is serving part-time in the National Guard or in the reserves. 
          3. If an EFC youth is in an approved SIL setting and is or becomes married, their spouse is not eligible for services or funding unless they have their own EFC case. 
          4. Parenting  
          5. Adopted as an adult 
          6. In a voluntary or involuntary substance use or behavioral health treatment facility. 
      3. SIL payments for EFC youth are: 
        1. Provided when the youth is in a SIL setting approved by DCYF or the court. 
        2. Paid directly to the youth, for room and board and basic necessities. 
        3. Fixed at the current basic foster care reimbursement rate, and must continue unless: 
          1. The youth is no longer in a DCYF approved placement setting; and 
          2. A court hearing was held and the court did not approve the SIL setting or 
          3. The court dismisses the dependency. 
        4. Not paid when: 
          1. Other foster care placement payments are being paid including payments made for dependency guardianships. 
          2. A youth in the custody of JR, DOC, county detention, or jail at the time they turn 18 years old and remain in custody. 
        5. Discontinued when youth: 
          1. Complete the armed services basic training and are on full-time active duty status. 
          2. Are in the custody of JR, DOC, county detention, or jail for more than 30 days. 
          3. Choose to stop participating in EFC, and the case is dismissed. 
    3. For Interstate Compact Placement of Children (ICPC) cases when: 
      1. Washington (WA) state: 
        1. The caseworker must contact the ICPC Unit to determine if the receiving state will provide courtesy supervision to EFC youth. 
        2. If the receiving state does not provide courtesy supervision, caseworkers must conduct health and safety visits, per the policy and review the documentation of these visits to verify the youth’s needs are met. 
      2. Another state: 
        1. WA provides EFC services to ICPC youth who were placed in WA prior to their 18th birthday when the sending state has an EFC program and requests WA to continue to provide this service. 
        2. EFC funding must be provided from the sending state. 
        3. WA does not provide courtesy supervision to youth residing in WA who have an EFC case in another state and who were not residing in WA prior to their 18th birthday. 
  6. Normal Youth Activities
    EFC youth may: 
    1. Leave a placement setting to participate in normal youth activities for up to 72 hours. Youth in licensed placements must comply with the requirements of the placement regarding offsite activities. 
    2. Be gone for longer than 72 hours with assigned caseworker or other designated DCYF employee approval. For in-state, or out-of-country travel requests exceeding 72 hours, the caseworker must follow the Approving Client Travel and Transportation Activities policy. 


Consent DCYF 14-012

EFC Denial Letter DCYF 06-165 

Extended Foster Care Participation Agreement DCYF 10-432

Transition Plan for Youth Exiting Care DCYF 15-417

Voluntary Placement Agreement for Extended Foster Care Services DCYF 15-431


Apple Health Core Connections

Approving Client Travel and Transportation Activities policy 

Court Report policy

Courtesy Supervision policy

Extended Foster Care brochure

Health and Safety Visits with Children and Monthly Visits with Caregivers and Parents policy

Indian Child Welfare Reason to Know policy

JR Policy 4.80 Serving Youth in Partnership with Children’s Administration

Wraparound with Intensive Services (WISe) policy