General Eligibility

The Administration of Child Welfare Law defines “children” to include “persons found within the state who are under the age of twenty-one (21) years, and who were placed in the custody of the Department of Human Services by the youth court of the appropriate county.” Miss. Code § 43-15-13(1).

The law further requires the Department to establish foster care for all “children” whose custody lies with the Department. § 43-15-13(2).


Mississippi law does not allow for re-entry.

Courts & Rights

Court Oversight of Extended Care

Court retains jurisdiction until the youth’s twentieth birthday, unless sooner terminated by order of the youth court. Miss. Code § 43-21-151(2).


Eligibility for Extended Adoption Assistance

Adoption assistance may continue (1) between ages 18 and 21 if the child “has a mental or physical disabling condition which warrants continuation of benefits;” (2) through the end of the month of graduation, if the child is still in high school; or (3) for a period of four months following the child’s 18th birthday, if the child is in a GED program. Code Miss. R. 18-6:1.G-2.V(J), (K)(1); see also Miss. Code. § 93-17-65 (authorizing Department to establish rules and regulations necessary to implement adoption supplemental benefits program).

Eligibility for Extended Guardianship Assistance

Mississippi does not offer guardianship assistance for youth of any age.