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DYFS After 18

After I turn 18, do I have to participate in all the services DYFS wants me to, like therapy or tutoring?
Not necessarily. After you turn 18, you are legally an adult and you have a say in your service plan. However, you do need to be doing a few things. These would include things like:
  • going to school; or
  • participating in an education or vocational program; or
  • Working; or
  • A combination of these activities

 

If I close my DYFS case, can I still get Chafee Wrap Around money?
Yes, but only if:
  • You were in a DYFS placement after the age of 16; and
  • You are between the ages of 18-21; and
  • You have completed, or are currently in, a Life Skills Program; and
  • You are actively participating in an After Care program



Chafee Wrap Around money is not a right or an entitlement. It is money that you may have access to if you meet the above criteria. The After Care Programs administer these funds, so it is very important that you call the After Care programs and see what you need to do to apply. Click Here for a list of After Care Programs.

Chafee Wrap Around Funds will help pay for things like:

  • School application & job placement fees
  • Security deposits, & up to 4 months rent
  • Furniture
  • Driving lessons, Mentoring services and Tutoring
If my permanency/court goal is Independent Living, shouldn’t I get the Independent Living Stipend each month?
Not necessarily. The Independent Living (IL) stipend is to be used for rent and food. The stipend consists of $40 per week for food and $45 per week for rent.

If you are living in a DYFS paid placement, where all of your housing and food is being provided, you will not get the IL stipend. There are some DYFS programs, where your rent maybe covered, but you have to pay for your own food. In this case, DYFS would give you the $40 per week for food, but not the $45 per week for rent.

However, if you are not living in a DYFS placement and find your own place to live, such as with a friend or roommate, you may be eligible for the IL stipend. First, DYFS must look at your place to make sure you have your own bed. DYFS must deem the place is “safe and appropriate” for you to live. If so, then you may qualify for the IL stipend. In order to qualify for the IL stipend, you have to be in school, a job training program, and/or have a job, and not making very much money.

In addition, you might be eligible for a clothing stipend of $80 per month, if approved by the Local Office Manager. You may be eligible for the clothing stipend, even if you are living in a DYFS paid placement and do not get the IL stipend. Just ask your case manager for details.
Can I get my own apartment when I am 18 and will DYFS pay for it?
It depends. If there are no other placement options for you, you have an open DYFS case, and you meet certain eligibility requirements, you maybe be able to receive an “Independent Living Stipend” to help with your housing and food cost. It is not much money, $45 per week for rent and $40 per week for food. You must have a bed to sleep in and DYFS must find the place you want to live “safe and appropriate”.

Also, you may have access to Chaffee wrap around money, up to $4000, to help you with the security deposit and/or up to 4 months rent. To be eligible for this money, you must be actively participating in an aftercare program in your county and participating in or have completed a Life Skills class. To find the aftercare program in your area, click here.

Although DYFS can give you some money to assist you with your own place, it is usually not enough to cover all the cost of living on your own. You should meet with your DYFS worker, Law Guardian, CASA worker, or another trusted adult to help you make a budget to see how much it will actually cost to live in your own apartment.

 

Can I live with my family when I turn 18 and still get services from DYFS?
Yes. After you turn 18, you can live with your family and still receive services so long as you keep your DYFS case open. However, DYFS does not pay for rent or food if you choose to live with your family. DYFS is required to make sure they are providing you with other services you may need such as therapy, psychiatric care, medical care, and educational and vocational services. If for some reason, you try to live with your family after you turn 18 and it does not work out, then DYFS is obligated to provide you with housing.