A collaborative effort between Children’s Aid Society of Alabama and the Alabama Department of Human Resources.


Aging Out

Extension of Foster Care Beyond Age 18 - Alabama

Discharge from the system of care occurs at the point in time the Department of Human Resources (DHR) no longer has care, custody, or planning responsibility, or supervision of youth, and it also encompasses situations in which youth age out of the system of care. Aging out of the system of care occurs on a youth’s 19th or 21st birthday. All youth, without exception, age out of the system of care on their 21st birthday.

Youth, ages 18 to 20, who have previously resided in DHR foster care may request reentry into the system following discharge if they are living in a situation that poses an identifiable risk of harm that would typically result in the provision of child welfare services if they were under age 19. A youth’s reentry into foster care may be authorized through DHR’s resumption of legal custody if the case remained open on the court’s administrative docket or it may be authorized through completion of an Agreement for Foster Care.

For more information on aging out of care in Alabama, please visit:

Youth Transition Plan

The Alabama Transition Plan should be completed with all youth in foster care who are 17 years of age or older in partnership with their Individual Service Plan and the ILP Framework. This plan should be updated regularly as youth progress and prepare to age out of care. It is designed for youth to plan ahead prepare them for independent living.

NYTD Survey

The National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) collects information on youth in foster care, including sex, race, ethnicity, date of birth, and foster care status. It also collects information about the outcomes of those youth who have aged out of foster care.

NYTD reports on various independent living services and supports DHR provide to all youth in eleven broad categories: independent living needs assessment; academic support; post-secondary educational support; career preparation; employment programs or vocational training; budget and financial management; housing education and home management training; health education and risk prevention; family support and healthy marriage education; mentoring; and supervised independent living. States will also report financial assistance they provide, including assistance for education, room and board and other aid. The survey is taken at the age of 17 and 19 and again at 21. Youth who complete the survey at age 17 and 19 will receive a $50 incentive and then a $100 incentive for completion at age 21.