Youth who are in the conservatorship of DFPS on or before they turn age 16 must be provided with a:
- Certified copy of the youth’s birth certificate.
- Social Security card or replacement Social Security card, as appropriate.
- Personal identification certificate issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
When a youth is discharged from foster care because he or she turned age 18 or is legally emancipated, the youth’s caseworker ensures that the youth receives:
- A certified copy of his or her birth certificate.
- A Social Security card or a replacement Social Security card.
- A personal identification certificate issued by DPS.
- The youth’s immunization records.
- Information contained in the youth’s health passport.
- Proof of enrollment in Medicaid, if appropriate.
- Medical Power of Attorney, Form 2559 A and Form 2259 B.
These documents must be provided no later than the 30th day before the youth is discharged from care or is legally emancipated. If the caseworker is unable to provide these documents in a timely manner, the regional PAL staff may assist the youth in obtaining the documents. PAL staff may also assist young adults in replacing missing or lost documents.
Driver license and state identification card fees are waived for:
- Youth age 15 through age 17 in DFPS managing conservatorship.
- Former foster youth age 18 up to age 21 who are residing in a paid DFPS placement.
A youth or young adult must meet the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) standard requirements for all driver license applicants prior to applying for a Texas driver license. Once a an eligible youth/young adult meets the DPS driver license requirements, DFPS will verify conservatorship or placement status and issue the waiver letter to the youths caregiver or the young adult which they will take to the local DPS office at the time they apply for a driver license.
At least 90 days before a youth turns age 18 and is ready to leave care, all personal materials, documents, and information must be provided to the youth to help in his or her transition to adulthood.
Almost 18? Letter
As part of a youth’s transition out of foster care at age 18, the caseworker ensures the youth is provided with a Youth Transition Portfolio that includes an Almost 18? letter (Form 2558). The letter explains services, benefits, documents, and contact information that the youth needs before leaving care at age 18. The letter briefly provides information about the Extended Foster Care program and options available to the youth if he or she is interested in extending care after age 18, and is signed by the youth’s primary caseworker.
During the development of the youth’s transition plan and within 90 days before a youth leaves care, the caseworker must provide information to the youth on the importance of designating a healthcare or medical power of attorney (MPOA). The purpose of the MPOA is to inform youth about designating an agent who will make healthcare treatment decisions on behalf of a youth if the youth is comatose or incapacitated and unable to participate in these decisions.
A youth who has been discharged from foster care because he or she turned age 18 or has legally emancipated may request a copy of their CPS case record at no charge. The youth must complete and follow the directions on Form 4885 Request for Records. The youth can access Form 4885 Request for Records by:
- Contacting his or her former CPS caseworker.
- Contacting his or her PAL staff.
- Clicking on the legal section on Texas Youth Connection website.