As of January 1, 2015, counties have the option to alter eligibility for their THP-Plus programs so that youth enrolled in school can remain in the program for an additional 12 months and up to, but not including age 25. For counties that do not choose to extend services, THP-Plus is still available to former foster youth up to, but not including, age 24 and for up to 24 cumulative months. This THP-Plus extension was established by Senate Bill 1252 (Torres), signed into law on September 29, 2014.
The purpose of the THP-Plus extension established by SB 1252 is to enable more former foster youth to complete their education before transitioning to complete independence, whether diploma, certificate or degree.
In a county that has opted into the THP-Plus extension, THP-Plus participants who are eligible for extended services must meet the basic eligibility requirements for THP-Plus (exited foster care on or after their 18th birthday and has entered into and is actively pursuing goals of a Transitional Independent Living Plan), and must be:
- completing secondary education (high school) or a program leading to an equivalent credential, or
- enrolled in an institution that provides post-secondary education, including vocational education from an accredited institution.
Counties that intend to extend THP-Plus services should notify the California Department of Social Services by emailing the Independent Living Program Policy Unit at ILPPolicy@DSS.ca.gov. Counties should also notify providers in their county, as the contracts with these providers may have to be amended. Note: In a county that has opted into the THP-Plus extension, it is applicable to all eligible youth in THP-Plus. It cannot be applied on a case-by-case basis. On May 27, 2015, The California Department of Social Services released All County Information Notice I-40-15, discussing the THP-Plus extension.