Success Story: Turning Concern into Confidence

Maggie* appeared before the Citizen Review Panel one month before her 21st birthday. Once she turned 21, she would no longer be eligible for the Extended Foster Care program. During her review hearing, Maggie revealed that she was anxious about being on her own without any form of support. Maggie also expressed concern about where she would be living after she turned 21 and told the panel that she did not have any furniture.

Deeply concerned, the panel made a number of recommendations, including that Maggie should be provided with information about applying for Medicaid, get connected to a college advisor, and receive assistance accessing the tuition waiver for youth formerly in foster care. The panel also recommended that the case management agency ensure Maggie was familiar with Aftercare Support Services available to her pursuant to Florida Statute 409.1451 until the age of 23, which includes job training, mentoring, and emergency funds.

Because time was of the essence and the CRP would not hear Maggie’s case prior to her leaving the foster care system, the CRP scheduled a follow up hearing before the Court prior to Maggie’s birthday to ensure that the panel’s recommendations, which had been approved by the judge, were immediately followed by the case management agency. Transitioning from Extended Foster Care is a daunting task for young adults. Thanks to the swift and decisive action of the CRP, all of the recommendations were implemented and Maggie was able to move into her new furnished home before turning 21. Additionally, during the post-review Court hearing, the Judge encouraged Maggie to contact the Court and/or the case management agency for assistance at any time.

*Name and identifying information changed to protect privacy.