43104. Transition Plan (for Dependent Youth 17 through 20 Years)

Approval:  Jennifer Strus, Assistant Secretary

Original Date:  October 4, 2010

Revised Date:  July 1, 2016  

Sunset Review:  June 30, 2020


The development of a transition plan is crucial to helping dependent youth in out-of-home care prepare for self-sufficiency and supports a smooth and successful transition into adulthood.


This policy applies to all Division of Children and Family Services staff.


RCW 74.13.031 (14) Provide Independent Living Services to Youth

RCW 74.13.341 Transition plan - Qualification for developmental disability services

RCW 74.13.540 Independent Living Skills

42 U.S.C.  677 John H. Chafee Foster Care Independent Living Act

PL 113-183  Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act


  1. Dependent youth in out-of-home care 30 days or more must:
    1. Have a shared planning meeting between ages 17 and 17.5 to discuss and develop a personalized, youth-directed transition plan. This includes inviting all required participants.
    2. Have a completed Transition Plan form DSHS 15-417 (currently named Transition Plan for Youth Exiting Care) 90-days before turning age 18 or for youth electing to participate in the Extended Foster Care (EFC) Program 90 days before exiting the program. The transition plan must:
      1. Include all of the following state and federally required information:
        1. Education
        2. Employment
        3. Housing
        4. Health Insurance
        5. Local opportunities for mentors and continuing support
        6. Work force supports and employment services
      2. Be attached to the court report:
        1. When submitting a request to dismiss the youth’s dependency at age 18;
        2. At each youth’s review hearing if participating in the EFC; and
        3. When submitting a request to dismiss the youth’s dependency from the Extended Foster Care Program.
    3. Be provided with the following items and information prior to the youth’s 18th birthday. This information may be provided throughout the life of the case as needed:
      1. Certified or original birth certificate
      2. Social security card
      3. State issued photo identification
      4. Copies of all medical and education records
      5. Health insurance card
      6. Ward of the Court Verification form DSHS 27-056
    4. Receive assistance to apply for developmental disability services when he or she may be eligible for developmental disability services beyond age 18.


The caseworker must:

  1. Assist the youth to identify important persons the youth wants invited to the shared planning meeting.
  2. The following required persons must be invited to the shared planning meeting:
    1. All persons identified by the youth.
    2. Representatives from the:
      1. Behavioral Health Administration
      2. Developmental Disabilities Administration
      3. Economic Services Administration
      4. Rehabilitation Administration
      5. Independent Living contractor
  3. Invite the following persons to the shared planning meeting, when applicable:
    1. Tribal caseworker
    2. Caregiver
    3. Biological or extended family
    4. Counselor
    5. Child Placing Agency case manager
    6. Probation officer
    7. Representatives from any community agency working with the youth
    8. CASA, GAL, or attorney appointed for the youth
  4. Conduct a shared planning meeting between age 17 and 17.5 to develop a transition plan that will assist the youth in a safe and successful transition into adulthood. During the meeting:
    1. Complete the Transition Plan form DSHS 15-417 (currently named Transition Plan for Youth Exiting Care).
    2. Provide written information about the Extended Foster Care Program.
    3. Discuss the importance of obtaining a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care.
    4. Explain how to access his or her case record after exiting care.
    5. Obtain the youth’s signature on the completed Transition Plan form DSHS 15-417 (currently named Transition Plan for Youth Exiting Care). 
    6. Provide a copy of the signed transition plan to the youth and retain a copy for the case file.
    7. The meeting must occur even when a youth is on the run. The transition plan should be shared with the youth upon his or her return to care and updated with the youth’s input.
  5. Review and update the transition plan with the youth during the monthly health and safety visits and follow-up on any uncompleted tasks identified in the transition plan. This process will continue until the youth leaves foster care at age 18 or the EFC Program if he or she elects to participate.
  6. Document in FamLink:
    1. The Shared Planning form DSHS 14-474 for all shared planning meetings within the required documentation timeframes.
    2. The Transition Plan form DSHS 15-417 (currently named Transition Plan for Youth Exiting Care) in the Independent Living page, including all information and documents provided to the youth.
    3. A case note for all monthly health and safety visits.


Transition Plan DSHS 15-417 (currently named Transition Plan for Youth Exiting Care)

Ward of the Court Verification DSHS 27-056

Request for Children’s Administration Records DSHS 17-041

Request for DDA Eligibility Determination DSHS 14-151


Social Worker Guide to Transition Planning for Youth DSHS 22-1313

Monthly Health & Safety Visits Child Checklist (available on CA intranet)

17.5 Transition Staffing Q&A (available on CA intranet)

Independent Living Quick Help Guide

Shared Planning Guide

Pocket Guide DSHS 22-080