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5600 Extension of Court’s Jurisdiction When a Youth Turns 18

CPS April 2014

This section of the CPS Handbook explains the legal requirements related to a court’s jurisdiction in matters involving young adults who were previously in DFPS conservatorship.

Specifically, the section covers extended jurisdiction under Chapter 263 of the Texas Family Code for young adults who either:

  •  are in extended foster care;

  •  have left foster care and are on trial independence;

  •  are receiving transitional living services, or

  •  are waiting for the results of a referral to DADS for guardianship.

See also 5500 Hearings Required by Chapter 263 and Final Orders for Children Under 18.

5610 General Provisions: Extending a Court’s Jurisdiction When a Youth Turns 18

5611 Overview of Extending a Court’s Jurisdiction When a Youth Turns 18

CPS April 2014

DFPS conservatorship ends when a youth reaches adulthood at age 18.

Although conservatorship ends, there are both mandatory and voluntary provisions in the Texas Family Code for continuing the court’s jurisdiction beyond the dismissal of conservatorship. Continuing jurisdiction beyond conservatorship is known as extended jurisdiction.

A court’s extended jurisdiction never extends beyond a young adult’s 21st birthday.

For a diagram of the extended jurisdiction process, see the Extended Court Jurisdiction Flow Chart.

For a description of the various types of and requirements for extended jurisdiction, see the Extended Court Jurisdiction – (explanation for youth).

5611.1 Mandatory Extension of a Court’s Jurisdiction

CPS April 2014

Extended Foster Care

The court must extend its jurisdiction over any young adult who remains in extended foster care; that is, remains in foster care after reaching adulthood at age 18. Extended jurisdiction may extend up to the young adult’s 21st birthday.

For the purposes of a court’s extended jurisdiction, a young adult is considered to be in extended foster care only if the young adult is living in one of the following types of DFPS-paid placements:

  •  A licensed or verified foster home, foster group home, or general residential operation (such as a residential treatment center)

  •  A supervised independent living (SIL) setting provided by a contractor to young adults who have aged out of DFPS conservatorship. For details, see 10460 Supervised Independent Living (SIL).

Trial Independence

The court must extend its jurisdiction over each young adult who:

  •  does not enter extended foster care at age 18; or

  •  leaves extended foster care before turning 21.

This period is referred to as trial independence (TI).

Texas Family Code §263.601(3a)

All young adults who were in DFPS conservatorship on the day before turning 18 and do not live in extended foster care after turning 18 are considered to be in trial independence. This includes young adults who were in DFPS temporary or permanent managing conservatorship, but were not living in DFPS-paid foster care before turning 18 because they were living in a kinship placement (that is, living with relatives or other persons with whom they have a longstanding and significant relationship) or because they were runaways.

Trial independence lasts for a minimum of six months and begins on:

  •  the young adult’s 18th birthday, for any young adult who does not immediately enter extended foster care after turning 18 (for example, a youth who is a runaway); or

  •  the date the young adult leaves extended foster care after turning 18.

The court may issue an order that extends the trial independence period for up to 12 months.

A young adult is not limited to a single trial independence period. A new period begins each time a young adult leaves extended foster care, up to the young adult’s 21st birthday.

End of Mandatory Jurisdiction

A court’s mandatory extended jurisdiction ends on the last day of the month in which a young adult’s trial independence period ends, unless the young adult returns to extended foster care before then.

When the young adult returns, the extended jurisdiction continues:

  •  for as long as the young adult remains in extended foster care; and

  •  for the duration of any new trial independence period that begins when the young adult again leaves extended foster care.

Texas Family Code §263.602

Even though mandatory jurisdiction ends as explained above, the court may voluntarily continue its jurisdiction:

  •  in a case that involves transitional living services, if the young adult requests it; or

  •  during the process of referring a young adult to DADS for guardianship.

See:

5611.2 Voluntary Extension of a Court's Jurisdiction

10510 Trial Independence

5611.2 Voluntary Extension of a Court’s Jurisdiction

CPS April 2014

Under two circumstances, the court may voluntarily extend its jurisdiction over a young adult who turned 18 in DFPS conservatorship, as explained below.

Transitional Living Services

When a young adult is not living in extended foster care, but is receiving transitional living services, the young adult may request that the court continue to extend its jurisdiction over the young adult after the young adult’s trial independence period expires. This form of extended jurisdiction is voluntary on the part of both the young adult and the court.

If the court chooses to extend its jurisdiction over a young adult under this circumstance, the court’s jurisdiction ends on one of the following (whichever comes first):

  •  The date that the young adult submits a written request to the court withdrawing the young adult’s consent to the voluntary extension

or

  •  The young adult’s 21st birthday

Texas Family Code §263.6021

Timeframe

This form of voluntary extended jurisdiction must be requested before the trial independence period ends. Once the court’s jurisdiction ends, the Texas Family Code has no provision for reopening a case that was previously dismissed.

Referral to DADS for Guardianship

The court may extend its jurisdiction over a young adult while a referral to DADS for guardianship is pending, if the young adult is not living in extended foster care and is not on trial independence. This voluntary form of extended jurisdiction does not require consent from the young adult.

Extended jurisdiction under this scenario ends when:

  •  the referral for guardianship is denied by DADS or rejected by the probate court; or

  •  a guardian is appointed, and the guardian does not request voluntary extended jurisdiction of the family court (for the purpose of continuing to review any transitional living services that the young adult may continue to receive from DFPS).

If an appointed guardian qualifies, the young adult is not considered to be in extended foster care or on trial independence, and the court’s jurisdiction ends on the date that the guardian is established.

Texas Family Code §§263.603 and 263.604

5611.3 Other Legal Issues Related to Extending a Court’s Jurisdiction

CPS April 2014

Unauthorized or Unfunded Services

A court cannot order DFPS to provide a service to a young adult that DFPS is not authorized or funded to provide under state or federal law and the DFPS rules.

Required Services

If the court believes that a young adult is entitled to additional services under DFPS rules or policies, or under a contract with a service provider, the court may order DFPS to take appropriate action to ensure that the young adult receives the additional services.

Texas Family Code §263.607

Court-Appointed Advocates

The court may appoint or continue the appointment of an attorney ad litem, guardian ad litem, a court appointed special advocate (CASA), or any combination of these advocates for the young adult.

Texas Family Code §263.605

Rights Under Court Jurisdiction

A young adult has the same rights as any other young adult who is not under a court’s jurisdiction.

Texas Family Code §263.608

5612 Actions Required by the Caseworker for All Youth Aging Out of DFPS Conservatorship

5612.1 Request That the Court Approve a Trial Independence (TI) Period

CPS April 2014

For any youth who is aging out of DFPS conservatorship, regardless of placement, the youth’s caseworker must ask the court at the review hearing held before the youth turns 18, to approve a 12-month trial period of independence, to begin on the date that the youth leaves foster care after turning 18. Twelve months is the maximum period of trial independence (TI).

Requesting the maximum period:

  •  allows the young adult to request a court’s assistance for up to one year after leaving foster care, if the young adult experiences problems obtaining transitional living services; and

  •  allows the state to claim Title IV-E funding to cover the costs of a young adult’s extended foster care, if the young adult decides to re-enter extended foster care after turning 18.

Although a young adult can still choose to re-enter extended foster care after the trial independence period has ended, the state can no longer claim Title IV-E funding to cover any period of extended foster care that begins after trial independence has ended.

5612.2 Notify the Court About a Young Adult’s Status After Turning 18

CPS April 2014

As soon as possible after the young adult’s 18th birthday, but no later than 30 days following the young adult’s 18th birthday, the caseworker sends a notice to the attorney representing DFPS to:

  •  inform the attorney that the young adult is staying in extended foster care or has left care for trial independence; and

  •  ask the attorney to file the appropriate papers with the court.

Specifically, the caseworker indicates one or more of the following, as applicable:

  •  The court’s jurisdiction is extended because the young adult is in extended foster care.

  •  The court’s jurisdiction is extended through the end of the trial independence period for a young adult who has left care.

      In this case, the caseworker gives the court the date that the young adult left care (or the young adult’s birthdate, if the young adult left care before turning 18) and the duration of the trial independence period.

  •  The young adult continues to receive transitional living services and does or does not wish to request an extension of the court’s jurisdiction beyond the expiration of trial independence.

      If the young adult wishes to request such an extension, the caseworker ensures that an accompanying motion is filed.

  •  DFPS sends notice to the court that the court’s jurisdiction has ended because the probate court has appointed a guardian for the young adult, and the guardian does not want to request a voluntary extension of the family court’s jurisdiction to review any transitional living services that the young adult may be receiving.

5612.3 Document Court Orders

CPS April 2014

Case Record

The caseworker files in the case record a copy of any court order that is obtained.

IMPACT

See Form 2050 IMPACT Actions for Trial Independence and Extended Court Jurisdiction for details on documenting in IMPACT:

  •  an extension of a court’s jurisdiction;

  •  review hearings;

  •  trial independence periods; and

  •  the end of a court’s jurisdiction.

If the SUB stage in IMPACT has been closed, the Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) worker records the actions on the Contact Detail page in the open PAL stage.

5620 Court Jurisdiction and Reviews in Extended Foster Care

5621 Court Review Hearings for Extended Foster Care

CPS April 2014

Review hearings for young adults in extended foster care are similar to the placement review hearings that are conducted before a youth turns 18.

The caseworker schedules a hearing with the court at least every six months to address:

  •  the progress made in extended foster care; and

  •  the extent to which transitional living services were provided and used.

Social Security Act, Title IV-E, Section 475(5)(B) and (C)

Texas Family Code §263.602(b)-(e)

Specifically, the hearings address the following:

  •  Whether the young adult’s placement is safe, appropriate, and the least-restrictive necessary to meet the young adult’s needs.

  •  Whether DFPS is making reasonable efforts to finalize the permanency plan in effect for the young adult.

  •  Whether all of the following criteria are met, if the young adult’s permanency plan is independent living:

  •  The young adult participated in the development of the plan.

  •  The plan of service reflects the skills and services that the young adult needs to achieve the goal of living independently by the projected date.

  •  The young adult is making reasonable progress in developing the skills need to live independently.

  •  Whether additional services that DFPS is authorized to provide are needed to meet the needs of the young adult.

Necessary Court Findings

For DFPS to receive Title IV-E funds to cover the costs of a young adult’s extended foster care, the court must find after each review hearing for extended foster care that DFPS has made reasonable efforts to finalize the permanency plan in effect for the young adult. Because the permanency goal for most if not all young adults in extended foster care is to live independently, the documentation in support of the court’s determination must address DFPS’s efforts to prepare the young adult for independence.

45 C.F.R. §1356.21(b)

The caseworker always consults with the young adult’s Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) worker before each hearing to ensure that the caseworker is well informed about any transitional living services that the young adult is receiving or attempting to receive.

5622 Actions Required by the Caseworker for Young Adults in Extended Foster Care

5622.1 Request a Review Hearing for Extended Foster Care

CPS April 2014

Once a court has extended its jurisdiction over a young adult in extended foster care, the caseworker requests a review hearing by the court every six months, as required by Texas Family Code §263.602.

The caseworker follows regional and county protocols for scheduling and preparing for the review hearings, ensuring that the hearings are held at least every six months. A motion to set the hearing may be needed, if the hearing date has not previously been set.

The court retains jurisdiction while the young adult remains in extended foster care.

Unless the court directs otherwise, the caseworker submits the required court report using Form 2045 Extended Foster Care Review and Permanency Progress Report to the Court. The report contains the items required by statute for this type of hearing and helps the court understand the young adult’s circumstances so that appropriate determinations regarding services can be made.

5622.2 Provide Notice of the Review Hearing for Extended Foster Care

CPS April 2014

The caseworker sends notice of the review hearing for extended foster care to the:

  •  young adult;

  •  young adult’s foster parent or caregiver with whom the young adult is placed;

  •  administrator of the child-placing agency (if applicable);

  •  director of the residential child-care facility or other approved provider with whom the young adult is placed (if applicable);

  •  each parent of the young adult whose parental rights have not been terminated and who is still actively involved in the life of the young adult;

  •  young adult’s legal guardian (if applicable);

  •  young adult’s attorney ad litem (if the appointment has not been previously dismissed);

  •  young adult’s guardian ad litem (if the appointment has not been previously dismissed); and

  •  young adult’s court appointed special advocate (if the appointment has not been previously dismissed).

Texas Family Code §263.602(d)

5622.3 Submit Documents in Preparation for a Review Hearing for Extended Foster Care

CPS April 2014

Ten days before a review hearing for extended foster care, the caseworker sends a copy of the following to the court and the young adult (as well as to the attorney ad litem, guardian ad litem, and court appointed special advocate, if appointed under continued court jurisdiction:

  •  The report for the review hearing

  •  The young adult’s service plan

  •  The young adult’s transition plan

5622.4 Request Approval of a 12-Month Trial Independence Period

CPS April 2014

At each review hearing for extended foster care, the caseworker asks the court to order a 12-month trial independence period, to begin on the date that the young adult leaves foster care in the event that the young adult leaves extended foster care before the next scheduled review hearing.

5622.5 Record the Review Hearing for Extended Foster Care in IMPACT

CPS April 2014

After each review hearing, the worker records the hearing as a Legal Action in IMPACT, according to the instructions on Form 2050 IMPACT Documentation of Trial Independence.

See 5240 Documentation of Legal Status and Legal Action.

5622.6 Send a Notice at the Start of the Young Adult’s Trial Independence Period

CPS April 2014

If a young adult leaves extended foster care at any point to begin a trial independence (TI) period, the caseworker:

  •  notifies the attorney representing DFPS that the young adult has left extended foster care and a period of trial independence has begun;

  •  provides the attorney with the date that trial independence period began (that is, the date that the young adult left care) and the date that the trial period will end (assuming that the young adult does not return to care);

  •  references the previous court order; and

  •  asks the attorney to file the appropriate papers with the court.

5622.7 When the Probate Court Appoints a Guardian

CPS April 2014

When a probate court appoints a guardian and the guardian qualifies, the family court’s jurisdiction ends, unless the guardian requests that the family court retain its jurisdiction in order to oversee that the young adult receives transitional living services. See 5611.2 Voluntary Extension of a Court’s Jurisdiction.

If the guardian does not request that the court retain jurisdiction, the caseworker notifies the attorney representing DFPS, so that the attorney can file a notice with the court that jurisdiction has ended.

5622.8 Record the Start or End of a Trial Independence Period in IMPACT

CPS April 2014

The caseworker records information about the start or end of a young adult’s trial independence period on the Legal Actions page in IMPACT according to the instructions on Form 2050 IMPACT Documentation of Trial Independence.

5622.9 When a Young Adult Turns 21

CPS April 2014

When a young adult turns 21, a court’s extended jurisdiction ends and no further hearings are required.

The caseworker notifies the attorney representing DFPS that the court’s jurisdiction has ended.

The attorney then:

  •  notifies the court that the young adult has turned 21; and

  •  files any documents required by the local court to ensure that the case is dismissed.

In addition, if the young adult is eligible for and continues to remain in extended foster care after turning 21:

  •  the caseworker documents all casework in the SUB C-RC stage in IMPACT; and

  •  the young adult is no longer eligible for foster care benefits covered by Title IV-E funding.

5630 Court Jurisdiction and Reviews During and After Trial Independence

5631 Court Jurisdiction and Trial Independence

CPS April 2014

No court reviews are required by statute during the trial independence (TI) period.

If a court holds a hearing, the young adult cannot be compelled to attend.

Texas Family Code §263.602(g)

5632 Required Court Actions During and After Trial Independence

5632.1 Submit Documents If a Hearing Is Held During Trial Independence

CPS April 2014

While no hearing is required to be conducted during the trial independence (TI) period, the court may schedule a hearing during trial independence at the request of a young adult who is receiving transitional services, or for other reasons.

Texas Family Code §§263.602(g) and 263.6021(c)

If a court hearing is scheduled during a young adult’s trial independence period, the caseworker consults with the attorney representing DFPS about:

  •  which document to submit for a court report; and

  •  any special issues that the attorney believes the caseworker must be prepared to address.

The caseworker also consults with the young adult’s Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) worker.

If the caseworker does not know where the young adult is living, or is lacking other information about the young adult, the court may accept a letter or statement explaining what the caseworker does know about the young adult. In such a case, the letter or statement must reference any services that the young adult may have requested or received from the Preparation for Adult Living program during this time.

5632.2 If a Young Adult Returns to Extended Foster Care Before Trial Independence Ends

CPS April 2014

If a young adult returns to extended foster care during his or her trial independence (TI) period, the caseworker asks the attorney representing DFPS to file the appropriate papers with the court to:

  •  notify the court that the young adult has returned to extended foster care;

  •  extend the court’s jurisdiction; and

  •  establish the date of the next review hearing for extended foster care (ideally, as soon as possible after the young adult returns to extended foster care), if one has not been set.

Once the review hearings resume, the caseworker follows the policy explained in 5621 Court Review Hearings for Extended Foster Care.

If the court’s jurisdiction is extended under these circumstances, the caseworker records it as a Legal Action Event in IMPACT, according to the instructions on Form 2050 IMPACT Documentation of Trial Independence.

5632.3 If a Young Adult Returns to Extended Foster Care After Trial Independence Ends

CPS April 2014

If a young adult returns to foster care after his or her trial independence (TI) period has ended, the actions that the caseworker must take depend on whether:

  •  the court’s jurisdiction ended when trial independence ended, as explained in 5611.1 Mandatory Extension of a Court’s Jurisdiction; or

  •  the court’s jurisdiction was voluntarily extended beyond the end of trial independence, as explained in 5611.2 Voluntary Extension of a Court’s Jurisdiction.

The table below explains the actions the caseworker takes when a young adult returns to extended foster care after trial independence has ended.

If …

then …

a young adult returns to extended foster care after trial independence has ended, but the court’s jurisdiction was voluntarily extended at the request of the young adult who continues to receive transitional living services from DFPS …

the caseworker:

  •  asks the attorney representing DFPS to file papers with the court indicating that the young adult has returned to extended foster care and requires continued court jurisdiction;

  •  schedules a review hearing for extended foster care; and

   •  documents all casework in the SUB C-RC stage of IMPACT.

Although the Texas Family Code requires that review hearings be held for a young adult who returns to extended foster care before the court’s jurisdiction ends, the young adult’s foster care maintenance payments are not funded by Title IV-E because the young adult returned to foster care after trial independence ended.

a young adult returns to extended foster care after trial independence has ended and the court case has already been dismissed because the court did not voluntarily extend its jurisdiction at the end of the trial independence period.

  •  the court’s jurisdiction has ended and cannot be resumed;

  •  review hearings are no longer required;

  •  the young adult’s foster care maintenance payments are not funded by Title IV-E because the young adult returned to foster care after trial independence ended; and

  •  the caseworker documents all casework in the SUB C-RC stage of IMPACT.

5640 Court Jurisdiction and Reviews for Young Adults Who Continue to Receive Transitional Living Services During or After the Trial Independence Period

CPS April 2014

Young adults who are living independently and do not want to return to extended foster care can request that the court’s jurisdiction be voluntarily extended after their trial independence (TI) period has ended, if the young adult is receiving transitional living services.

See 5611.2 Voluntary Extension of a Court’s Jurisdiction.

Texas Family Code §263.6021

5641 Court Jurisdiction and Transitional Living Services

CPS April 2014

Periodic hearings are not required if a court voluntarily agrees to extend its jurisdiction for the purpose of overseeing whether a young adult receives transitional living services.

However, if the young adult requests a hearing, the court may schedule one to address any special issues that the young adult may be having in regard to the services. Such a hearing may also be requested during the young adult’s trial independence (TI) period.

Texas Family Code §§263.602(g) and 263.6021

A service review hearing is not the same as a review hearing for extended foster care.

Service review hearings discuss one or more of the following:

  •  The status of the young adult’s transitional living services plan

  •  The services that the young adult is receiving or should be receiving under that plan

  •  The progress that the young adult is making toward achieving independence

Once the court’s jurisdiction has been extended and the young adult wants to request a service review hearing, the young adult may contact his or her:

  •  caseworker (if the SUB stage in IMPACT is still open);

  •  Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) worker;

  •  attorney ad litem or guardian ad litem, if still appointed; or

  •  court appointed special advocate (CASA), if still appointed.

5642 Required Court Actions for the Caseworker When the Young Adult Requests Jurisdiction for Transitional Living Services

5642.1 Obtain Extended Jurisdiction for a Case Involving Transitional Living Services

CPS April 2014

A court that had jurisdiction over a young adult on the day before the young adult’s 18th birthday, may at the young adult’s request, render an order that extends jurisdiction beyond the end of the young adult’s trial independence, if the young adult is still receiving transitional living services from DFPS at the time of the request.

If contacted by the young adult or the court about extending the court’s jurisdiction, the caseworker or Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) worker does as follows:

  •  Arranges, according to county or regional procedures, for the young adult to complete Form 2524 Request for Continued Court Jurisdiction After Turning 18.

  •  Submits a completed Form 2054, generated in IMPACT, to the attorney representing DFPS.

These tasks are handled by:

  •  the caseworker, if the SUB stage is still open in IMPACT; or

  •  the PAL worker , if the SUB stage is closed.

Both workers receive assistance from the local attorneys, as needed, before going to court.

5642.2 File a Motion to Extend the Court’s Jurisdiction to Review Transitional Living Services

CPS April 2014

To request that the court continue to review the transitional living services that a young adult receives, the caseworker arranges for a motion to be filed with the court before the end of the young adult’s trial independence (TI) period.

The motion requests that the court extend its jurisdiction either through the month in which the young adult turns 21 or through the month in which the young adult ultimately withdraws consent to the extension of jurisdiction, whichever comes first.

5642.3 Participate in Hearings Held for a Young Adult’s Case

CPS April 2014

The caseworker, or Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) worker if no caseworker continues to be assigned to the young adult, participates in any hearings conducted during this type of voluntary extended jurisdiction.

5642.4 Complete a Report in Preparation for a Service Review Hearing

CPS April 2014

The caseworker, or Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) worker as appropriate, completes Form 2043 Extended Jurisdiction Service Review Report in preparation for a service review hearing. The form helps the court understand the young adult’s circumstances and determine what, if any, services are needed.

5642.5 If a Young Adult Withdraws Consent to Allow a Court to Extend Its Jurisdiction

CPS April 2014

If a young adult wishes to withdraw his or her consent to the court’s voluntary extended jurisdiction, the caseworker, or Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) worker as appropriate, notifies the court either in writing or by appearing before the court.

Texas Family Code §263.604

5642.6 When a Court’s Jurisdiction Ends

CPS April 2014

Unless a young adult re-enters extended foster care before the end of the court’s extended jurisdiction, the court’s jurisdiction over the case for the young adult to receive transitional living services ends on whichever one of the following comes first:

  •  The young adult’s 21st birthday

or

  •  The date that the young adult withdraws consent

5650 Court Jurisdiction and Reviews Pending a Referral to DADS Guardianship

CPS April 2014

The court may extend its jurisdiction over a young adult if the court believes that the young adult lacks the ability to consent and may need a guardian.

In this situation, the court may extend its jurisdiction without the young adult’s consent only until the outcome of a referral to DADS for guardianship.

Extended jurisdiction ends, if:

  •  DADS determines that guardianship is not appropriate under Chapter 161 of the Human Resources Code;

  •  the court with probate jurisdiction denies the application to appoint a guardian; or

  •  a guardian is appointed and qualifies under the Texas Probate Code.

Texas Family Code §263.603

5651 Required Court Actions for the Caseworker While Waiting for a Resolution From Probate Court

CPS April 2014

If a young adult in extended foster care has been referred to DADS for guardianship, the caseworker continues to request review hearings for extended foster care until the probate court reaches a resolution about guardianship.

Once a resolution is reached, the caseworker files a motion to have the court’s jurisdiction ended.

The caseworker closes the SUB REG stage in IMPACT, unless DADS has requested that the young adult remain in a DFPS-paid placement.

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