15. What if you are a minor teen parent or pregnant teen and your parent's home is not safe for you or there is some other reason you cannot live there?

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You do not have to live with your parent if someone in your parent’s home is abusive, neglectful, or abuses drugs or alcohol, or if there are other “extraordinary circumstances” why you cannot live there.
 
“Extraordinary circumstances” include situations such as
  • your parent lives out of state,
  • there is no room in your parent’s home,
  • your parent’s housing violates health and sanitary codes,
  • living with your parent will violate your parent’s lease and result in eviction,
  • your parent refuses to help you buy food and other things your baby needs,
  • you are in a special residential program.
If you have a good reason why you cannot live with a parent or other adult relative, a teen specialist will refer your case to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) for an assessment. DCF will make a recommendation about the appropriate placement for you, including whether you can live on your own. In cases of abuse or neglect, DTA will also file a report with DCF. DTA Operations Memo 2012-15 (May 24, 2012).
 
DCF may recommend that you live in a home for teen parents. You will have 30 days to move to the teen living program. If you do not go to the program, your TAFDC will be denied or will stop. You have a right to appeal any loss of benefits. See Part 8: Appeal Rights. If there is no place available in a home for teen parents, you will be allowed to live on your own with your baby until a place is available. 106 C.M.R. § 703.183.
 
In some cases, you may be able to live on your own if you are 17 years old, are in school full-time, have reliable day care, are in a teen parenting program, and the teen specialist determines that your current living arrangement is safe and healthy for your baby. 106 C.M.R. § 703.184. The Commissioner of DTA will make the final decision about whether you can live on your own. You have the right to appeal this decision. See Part 8: Appeal Rights.
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