General Eligibility

No youth ages out of foster care before age 19; youth may remain in foster care until age 21. Ala. Code § 38-7-2(1); Ala Admin. Code § 660-5-48-.05(1).

Extension Process

Case Management Requirements

Discharge planning shall begin no later than 12 months prior to the anticipated date that youth will be discharged from the system of care. Ala. Admin. Code 660-5-48-.05(b).

All youth shall receive post foster care supervision services for a minimum of six (6) months after the date they move into their anticipated permanent living arrangement. Post foster care supervision services shall be terminated when discharge from the system of care is appropriate; youth are transitioned to DHR's Adult Protective Services program; or youth have reached age 21. Ala. Admin. Code 660-5-48-.05(c).


Eligibility & Procedure

Youth between 18 and 21 who has previously resided in foster care may request re-entry if they are “living in a situation where there is an identifiable risk of harm that would typically result in the provision of child welfare services if they were under” age 19. Re-entry may be authorized if the case remains open on the court’s administrative docket or if the youth completes an Agreement for Foster Care. Ala. Admin. Code § 660-5-48-.06.

Transitional and independent living program placements “may also be provided to youth who were in Alabama foster care on or after their 18th birthday and have not yet attained age 21 years when the decision is made by the individualized service planning team that the youth needs to reenter foster care.” § 660-5-51-.01.

Courts & Rights

Court Oversight of Extended Care

Court retains jurisdiction over all children adjudicated dependent, delinquent, or in need of supervision until age 21. Ala. Code § 12-15-117(a).

Termination of Extended Care

Judge of juvenile court may terminate jurisdiction by explicitly stating in a written order that it is terminating jurisdiction over the case involving the child. Ala. Code § 12-15-117(a).


Eligibility for Extended Adoption Assistance

Federal adoption subsidy continues between ages 18 and 21 if the child is (a) physically or mentally disabled or; (b) adoption subsidy agreement was entered into after child attained age of 16 and is (i) Currently enrolled in high school; (ii) Participating in GED preparation classes; (iii) Currently enrolled in a college or a university, full or part time; (iv) Currently enrolled in a vocational or trade school; (v) Participating in Job Corps; (vi) Participating in classes on resume writing and interview skills; (vii) Employed at least 80 hours per month; (viii) Incapable of participating in any of the above activities due to a medical condition; or (ix) Participating in another activity that pertains to education and employment. Ala. Admin. Code § 660-5-22-.06(11)(a).

State adoption subsidy is available until the child turns 19, or, if the child is still in high school with a goal of graduation, the subsidy may continue until the child graduates, is no longer enrolled, or turns 21, whichever comes first. § 660-5-22-.06(11)(b).

Eligibility for Extended Guardianship Assistance

To be eligible for kinship guardianship subsidies, the placement must depend on the subsidy to be effectuated, and such placement much have occurred as a result of child welfare system involvement. Pursuant to Department policy, the subsidy may continue between ages 18 and 21 if the child is (1) completing secondary education or a program leading to an equivalent credential; (2) enrolled in a postsecondary or vocational education institution; (3) participating in a program or activity designed to promote or remove barriers to employment and independence; (4) employed at least 80 hours per month; or (5) incapable of activities (1)-(4) due to a medical condition. Ala. Dep't of Hum. Servs., Out of Home Placement Policies & Procedures, Permanency and Concurrent Planning 30 (2010).