Gov. Jay Inslee signed a proclamation today that would prevent foster youth from aging out during the pandemic.
Proclamation 21-02 ensures Washington’s foster care services can be provided during the COVID-19 pandemic to persons who would otherwise be too old to be eligible for such services and eliminates certain eligibility requirements for foster care services. The proclamation goes into effect immediately.
Prior to this proclamation, foster youth would no longer be eligible for foster care services once they turned 21. Under Proclamation 21-02, foster youth who turned 21 on April 1, 2020, or later are still eligible for foster care services through the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). DCYF provides additional details in this Extended Foster Care Fact Sheet.
Eligible youth who were previously aged out can call the intake number 1-866-END-HARM, to re-enroll in services.
The proclamation aligns with federal law. Last month, the Federal Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, was enacted, which forbids states from refusing foster care services to persons who during the COVID-19 pandemic either have or will become too old to be eligible for such services, and eliminates certain additional eligibility requirements for foster care services.