Executive Order 20-26

Twenty-third Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Support for Young Adults Aging Out of State Care

WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, I declared a state of emergency due to the dangers to health and life posed by COVID-19 and that declaration has been extended to at least May 8, 2020;

WHEREAS, the State has made a commitment to and an investment in young adults who are exiting the department of children, youth and families (DCYF) foster care by offering them voluntary extended aftercare services until their 21st birthday;

WHEREAS, these young adults have been supported through the DCYF Voluntary Extension of Care (VEC) Program or the YESS Aftercare program (each, "Program", and collectively, "Programs"), which is contracted through Foster Forward;

WHEREAS, the services provided to these young adults include living expense assistance and case management services that assist them in accessing employment, housing, physical and behavioral healthcare, health insurance, educational opportunities, and other critical support services;

WHEREAS, there are seven (7) VEC and twenty-seven (27) YESS Aftercare participants who have or will turn 21 between January 1, 2020, and June 30, 2020, and who have been significantly impacted by the current state of emergency;

NOW THEREFORE, I, GINA M. RAIMONDO, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, pursuant to Article IX of the Rhode Island Constitution and the Rhode Island General Laws, including, but not limited to, Title 30, Chapter 15, do hereby order and direct the following:

  1. The provisions of R.I. Gen. Laws 14-1-6(d) and 40-11-12.5 are hereby suspended to the extent that they limit participation in the Programs to age 21. All young adults who were VEC or YESS Aftercare participants as of January 1, 2020, and who turn age 21 from January 1, 2020, through June 30, 2020, shall be permitted to voluntarily receive the services and supports, including rental assistance payments, as provided by the Program to which they are or were enrolled for a period of up to sixty (60) days following the termination of my Executive Order that declared a state of emergency on March 9, 2020. Participants who choose to continue or re-enter these Programs will be able to pursue education and/or work opportunities to the extent possible during this emergency.

  2. If an eligible participant has aged out of a Programs in which they were enrolled, the services and supports provided through this Order shall apply prospectively from the date of the youth's re-entry into the Programs.

  3. DCYF shall provide the funding necessary to support this Executive Order through a request for additional general revenue funds and/or the use of any federal or other funding sources that are available now, or might become available in the future, for this purpose.

This Order shall take effect immediately and shall remain in full force and effect until May 15, 2020 unless renew , modified or terminated by subsequent Executive Order.

So Ordered,

Gina M. Raimondo