Chapter 5101:2-50 Bridges
This rule contains the definitions of terms used in Chapter 5101:2-50 of the Administrative Code.
(A) "Bridges applicant" is an individual applying for bridges.
(B) "Bridges liaison" is an individual acting on behalf of a bridges regional grantee to provide case management to, and advocacy for, a bridges participant.
(C) "Bridges participant" is an emancipated young adult approved for and actively receiving bridges services.
(D) "Bridges regional grantee" is the agency or consortium selected by ODJFS as a result of the procurement process that will be providing services to emancipated young adults in a region or regions of the state.
(E) "Bridges representative" is an individual acting on behalf of a bridges regional grantee.
(F) "Business day" is any day, Monday through Friday, excluding the ten federal holidays.
(G) "Calendar day" is any day in the month including weekends and holidays.
(H) "Designee" means a person designated by the governing body of an agency who is responsible for the management and administration of a program on behalf of the agency.
(I) "Emancipation" means the termination of custody because an individual has reached the age of majority and who was in the custody of a public children services agency.
(J) "Foster care maintenance" is an individual entitlement for financial assistance for board and care of children who meet the eligibility requirements as outlined in rule 5101:2-50-04 of the Administrative Code, who are in the care and placement of a Title IV-E agency and are in an approved substitute care placement.
(K) "Issued," when used in reference to notices, decisions, and other documents, means the date the document is sent by U.S. mail or hand delivered, whichever is earlier.
(L) "Qualified practitioner," for the purposes of bridges, is a licensed professional qualified to diagnose an individual with a physical, mental, or developmental medical condition.
(M) "Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS)," as established and maintained in accordance with the requirements of 42 U.S.C. 674(a)(3)(C) (10/2008), is a comprehensive automated case management tool that supports child protective and family preservation services.
(N) "Supervised setting" means any setting in which a bridges participant resides that is visited by a bridges liaison, at a minimum, once per month.
(O) "Voluntary Participation Agreement (VPA)" is a written agreement, binding on the parties to the agreement, between ODJFS and a young adult which specifies, at a minimum, the legal status of the young adult and the rights and obligations of the young adult and ODJFS while the young adult is involved in bridges.
(P) "Young adult" means a person who has attained the age of eighteen but not attained the age of twenty-one.
Bridges is a voluntary benefits program, funded by Title IV-E of the 42 U.S.C. 675(8) (12/2015) per section 5101.1414 of the Revised Code, with the intended outcome of an eligible young adult gaining skills to self-sufficiency. Bridges provides an eligible young adult assistance with stable housing, support to complete educational goals, employment resources, and access to community resources.
(A) A bridges representative must be contacted to apply for services.
(B) In order for an applicant to be eligible for bridges, all of the following must be met:
(1) An applicant was in the custody of a public children services agency (PCSA) in Ohio upon attaining the age of eighteen; and
(2) An applicant has attained the age of eighteen but not attained the age of twenty- one; and
(3) An applicant has left the custody of a PCSA; and
(4) An applicant satisfies at least one of the following eligibility criteria:
(a) Completing a secondary education or a program leading to an equivalent credential;
(b) Enrolled in an institution that provides post-secondary or vocational education;
(c) Participating in a program or activity designed to promote, or remove barriers to, employment;
(d) Employed for at least eighty hours per month;
(e) Incapable of doing any of the activities as described in paragraphs (B)(4) (a) to (B)(4)(d) of this rule due to a diagnosed physical or mental health condition.
(C) The applicant, with the assistance of the bridges representative, shall submit the necessary supporting documentation to verify eligibility criteria. Documentation may include but is not limited to any of the following:
(1) School or college enrollment letter;
(2) Current class schedule;
(3) Most recent employment paystub;
(4) Letter from job training program verifying participation;
(5) Written verification from a qualified practitioner stating how a physical or mental health condition prevents participation in activities described in paragraphs (B) (4)(a) to (B)(4)(d) of this rule.
(D) The bridges representative shall submit a completed and signed application along with supporting documentation to the Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) for the approval process.
(E) An applicant approved for bridges participation shall sign a JFS 01617 "Bridges Voluntary Participation Agreement" (12/2017) pursuant to section 5101.1412 of the Revised Code.
(F) Within forty-five calendar days of the JFS 01617 effective date, a bridges liaison shall work with the bridges participant to develop a bridges plan. The plan shall be personalized at the direction of the participant and as detailed as the participant chooses, which includes a review of the final transition plan completed by the PCSA or PCPA as outlined in rule 5101:2-42-19 of the Administrative Code.
(1) The plan shall include options regarding:
(a) Health care including:
(i) Health insurance;
(ii) Healthcare power of attorney;
(iii) Participant's option to execute power of attorney.
(b) Employment services and work force supports.
(c) Secondary and post secondary education and training.
(d) Obtaining and paying for housing.
(e) Mentor opportunities and ongoing supportive services.
(2) A copy of the plan shall be provided to the bridges participant within seven calendar days of its approval date.
(3) The bridges plan will be reviewed ninety calendar days after its approval date, with subsequent reviews occurring every ninety calendar days thereafter.
(4) Any bridges plan amendment needed based on a review shall be completed within seven calendar days of the review approval date.
(5) The bridges plan and review shall be submitted to court fourteen calendar days prior to any scheduled hearing.
(G) A bridges participant must maintain continued eligibility which may be reviewed by the bridges representative at anytime. If a participant fails to maintain eligibility, the bridges representative shall notify the participant in writing of ineligibility and possible termination from bridges as outlined in rule 5101:2-50-03 of the Administrative Code.
(H) If a bridges application is denied, the applicant shall be sent a JFS 01618 "Bridges Notice of Denial" (12/2017) by the bridges representative no later than three business days after the application is denied by ODJFS. The denial notice shall inform the applicant of the reason for denial and the right to appeal the decision as outlined in rule 5101:2-50-05 of the Administrative Code.
(A) Bridges participants shall be terminated from bridges when any of the following occurs:
(1) Participant no longer meets bridges eligibility requirements as outlined in rule 5101:2-50-02 of the Administrative Code; or
(2) Participant fails to be in face to face contact with bridges representative for more than sixty calendar days; or
(3) Participant is incarcerated for more than sixty calendar days; or
(4) Participant voluntarily withdraws from bridges; or
(5) Participant reaches the age of twenty-one; or
(6) Death of the participant; or
(7) ODJFS discretionary action to terminate as described in paragraph (F) of this rule.
(B) A bridges participant deemed ineligible for bridges based on circumstances as outlined in paragraphs (A)(1) to (A)(3) of this rule will be provided the JFS 01619 "Bridges Notice of Ineligibility" (12/2017) that indicates the date of ineligibility and date of termination. The date of termination will be sixty calendar days following the date of ineligibility.
(C) Bridges eligibility can be reestablished within those sixty calendar days prior to the termination date by the bridges participant submitting documentation to the bridges representative that verifies eligibility criteria has been reestablished as outlined in rule 5101:2-50-02 of the Administrative Code, resuming face to face contact with the bridges representative, or no longer being incarcerated.
(D) Upon termination, the bridges representative shall provide the JFS 01620 "Bridges Notice of Termination" (12/2017) to the bridges participant. The termination notice shall state the date of termination, the reason for termination and the right to appeal the decision as outlined in rule 5101:2-50-05 of the Administrative Code.
(E) A bridges participant choosing to voluntarily withdraw from bridges shall submit a JFS 01621 "Bridges Voluntary Withdrawal Form" (12/2017) to the bridges representative. The bridges participant shall be terminated from the program on the date indicated as such on the form.
(F) On a situational basis, the ODJFS' deputy director or their designee has the discretion to terminate a bridges' participant without providing a sixty day notice if the participant's actions are in opposition to the intent and the design of bridges. The bridges representative shall provide the participant the JFS 01620 stating the reason for the discretionary termination and the date services terminate.
(G) Reapplication for bridges can be made any time after termination if eligibility criteria is established and a new application is submitted as outlined in rule 5101:2-50-02 of the Administrative Code.
(H) No individual can receive benefits from bridges upon turning the age of twenty-one. No later than sixty calendar days prior to the bridges participant's twenty-first birthday, the bridges representative shall provide the participant the JFS 01620 stating that services will terminate upon the participant's twenty-first birthday.
(A) Pursuant to section 475(8)(B) of the Social Security Act, 94 Stat. 501, 42 U.S.C. 675 (1980) (the "Act"), a Title IV-E agency can extend foster care assistance for a young adult age eighteen but less than age twenty-one. This funding is provided in accordance with the federal "Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008" to cover foster care maintenance (FCM) payments, administration and training payments.
(B) The Title IV-E FCM program eligibility shall be determined in the statewide automated child welfare information system (SACWIS) by the Title IV-E agency representative within sixty calendar days of all parties signing the voluntary participation agreement (VPA).
(C) A young adult shall be considered Title IV-E FCM program eligible if, at the time eligibility is being determined:
(1) The young adult is program eligible for bridges and has signed a VPA pursuant to rule 5101:2-50-02 of the Administrative Code.
(2) The young adult met the aid to families with dependent children (AFDC) eligibility requirements per section 472(a)(3) of the "Act". AFDC eligibility is based on the young adult without regard to the parents/legal guardians or others in the assistance unit in the home from which the young adult was removed as a child.
(D) Once Title IV-E FCM eligibility is established, the young adult remains program eligible for the entire care and placement episode through the end of the month of the young adult's twenty-first birthday.
(E) The young adult is no longer program eligible for Title IV-E FCM when any of the following occur:
(1) The young adult has been terminated from bridges pursuant to rule 5101:2-50-03 of the Administrative Code; or
(2) The Title IV-E agency failed to acquire a best interest statement from the juvenile court in accordance with section 5101.1412 of the Revised Code. Eligibility ends at the end of the one hundred eightieth day of the signed VPA; or
(3) At the end of the month of the young adult's twenty-first birthday; or
(4) The young adult dies. Eligibility ends on the date of death.
(F) A new FCM eligibility determination in SACWIS must be completed if a young adult is terminated from bridges or voluntarily leaves the program and reenters the program by signing a new VPA.
(G) Title IV-E program reimbursability shall be determined for a young adult who is Title IV-E FCM program eligible at the time all parties signed the VPA. A Title IV-E FCM program eligible young adult shall be reimbursable when both of the following apply:
(1) The young adult's countable income is less than the cost of care paid by the Title IV-E agency.
(2) The young adult is residing in an approved supervised setting, in accordance with section 5101.1411 of the Revised Code.
(H) The young adult is no longer program reimbursable for Title IV-E when any of the following occur:
(1) Reasonable efforts to finalize the permanency plan are not met in accordance with section 472(a)(2)(A)(ii) of the "Act" and 45 C.F.R. 1356.21(b)(2) (2012).
(2) The young adult is not residing in an approved supervised setting, as outlined in paragraph (G)(2) of this rule.
This rule describes the appeals process for a young adult who has been denied or terminated from bridges.
(A) Any young adult who was denied enrollment or who was terminated from bridges may request a state hearing, as described in paragraph (B) of this rule.
(B) In the event the young adult receives a denial notice pursuant to rule 5101:2-50-02 of the Administrative Code or a termination notice pursuant to rule 5101:2-50-03 of the Administrative Code, the young adult has the right to appeal the decision by requesting a state hearing.
(1) The young adult has ninety calendar days from the mailing date of the denial or termination notice to request a state hearing. If the ninetieth day falls on a weekend or holiday, then the next business day shall be recorded as the ninetieth day.
(2) If the young adult submits a hearing request to the state or local agency within fifteen calendar days of the mailing date of the termination notice, then bridges benefits shall continue pursuant to division 5101:6 of the Administrative Code until a state hearing decision is issued.
(3) The young adult may withdraw the state hearing request at any time prior to a state hearing decision being issued.
(C) Denial notices and termination notices issued by ODJFS may be sent by U.S. mail or hand delivered to the individual. While the individual may also choose to receive electronic notices, any electronic notifications will be in addition to, and not in place of, notification by U.S. mail or in-person delivery. Denial notices shall be issued to the young adult and, when applicable, to the regional grantee in writing or by its electronic equivalent, as permitted by federal law.
(D) A young adult may submit their request for a state hearing through the following methods:
(1) Send the appeal notice via U.S. mail;
(2) A scanned copy via email;
(3) Facsimile; or
(4) Verbal request by contacting the bridges notice provider, ODJFS, or bureau of state hearings.