Act 91 FAQs: How Youth Request to Remain in Care Past Age 18

This FAQ represents the interpretation of Juvenile Law Center. We will update this FAQ as we learn new information, so please check back frequently for updates.

Are youth automatically continued in care past age 18 if they are meeting any of the listed criteria?

No. Act 91 does not change the requirement that the youth must make a request to the court that jurisdiction be continued past age 18 and the youth wishes to remain in care. For this reason, it is extremely important that the youth and the youth's attorney make the request clear to the court and the children and youth agency. As mentioned above, the child welfare agency should notify youth of this right, and also assist them in documenting this request.

Youth should also put their request in writing as soon as they can before turning age 18 and renew the request regularly thereafter. In the request, the youth should state the activity or activities they plan to engage in, or whether they have a health or behavioral health condition that prevents them from meeting the activity requirements. The Family Service Plan (FSP) and Individual Service Plan (ISP) meetings are good times to bring up the issue of extension of care and make sure the youth's intentions are clear and documented. A sample template for youth requests can be found here.