43-4505. Extended services and support; services enumerated.

Extended services and support provided under the bridge to independence program include, but are not limited to:

(1) Medical care under the medical assistance program for young adults who meet the eligibility requirements of section 43-4504 and have signed a voluntary services and support agreement as provided in section 43-4506;

(2) Housing, placement, and support in the form of foster care maintenance payments which shall remain at least at the rate set immediately prior to the young adult's exit from foster care. As decided by and with the young adult, young adults may reside in a foster family home, a supervised independent living setting, an institution, or a foster care facility. Placement in an institution or a foster care facility should occur only if necessary due to a young adult's developmental level or medical condition. A young adult who is residing in a foster care facility upon leaving foster care may choose to temporarily stay until he or she is able to transition to a more age-appropriate setting. For young adults residing in a supervised independent living setting:

(a) The department may send all or part of the foster care maintenance payments directly to the young adult. This should be decided on a case-by-case basis by and with the young adult in a manner that respects the independence of the young adult; and

(b) Rules and restrictions regarding housing options should be respectful of the young adult's autonomy and developmental maturity. Specifically, safety assessments of the living arrangements shall be age-appropriate and consistent with federal guidance on a supervised setting in which the individual lives independently. A clean background check shall not be required for an individual residing in the same residence as the young adult; and

(3) Case management services that are young-adult driven. Case management shall be a continuation of the independent living transition proposal in section 43-1311.03, including a written description of additional resources that will help the young adult in creating permanent relationships and preparing for the transition to adulthood and independent living. Case management shall include the development of a case plan, developed jointly by the department and the young adult, that includes a description of the identified housing situation or living arrangement, the resources to assist the young adult in the transition from the bridge to independence program to adulthood, and the needs listed in subsection (1) of section 43-1311.03. The case plan shall incorporate the independent living transition proposal in section 43-1311.03. A new plan shall be developed for young adults who have no previous independent living transition proposal. Case management shall also include, but not be limited to, documentation that assistance has been offered and provided that would help the young adult meet his or her individual goals, if such assistance is appropriate and if the young adult is eligible and consents to receive such assistance. This shall include, but not be limited to, assisting the young adult to:

(a) Obtain employment or other financial support;

(b) Obtain a government-issued identification card;

(c) Open and maintain a bank account;

(d) Obtain appropriate community resources, including health, mental health, developmental disability, and other disability services and support;

(e) When appropriate, satisfy any juvenile justice system requirements and assist with sealing the young adult's juvenile court record if the young adult is eligible under section 43-2,108.01;

(f) Complete secondary education;

(g) Apply for admission and aid for postsecondary education or vocational courses;

(h) Obtain the necessary state court findings and then apply for special immigrant juvenile status as defined in 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(27)(J) or apply for other immigration relief that the young adult may be eligible for;

(i) Create a health care power of attorney, health care proxy, or other similar document recognized under state law, at the young adult's option, pursuant to the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Public Law 111-148;

(j) Obtain a copy of health and education records of the young adult;

(k) Apply for any public benefits or benefits that he or she may be eligible for or may be due through his or her parents or relatives, including, but not limited to, aid to dependent children, supplemental security income, social security disability insurance, social security survivors benefits, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and low-income home energy assistance programs;

(l) Maintain relationships with individuals who are important to the young adult, including searching for individuals with whom the young adult has lost contact;

(m) Access information about maternal and paternal relatives, including any siblings;

(n) Access young adult empowerment opportunities, such as Project Everlast and peer support groups; and

(o) Access pregnancy and parenting resources and services.

Source:Laws 2013, LB216, § 5; Laws 2014, LB853, § 34; Laws 2015, LB243, § 17.