Extended Foster Care (AB 12)

 

If you are in foster care and about to reach your 18th birthday, you can choose to stay in foster care until age 21 as a non-minor dependent. To do that, you have to apply for Extended Foster Care (aka AB12). You can receive services until age 21, and you can live in transitional housing until age 24.

 

GOALS

Extended Foster Care allows you to stay in foster care until the age of 21. It has two goals:

  • Provide you with a safety net of support while you experience independence in a supervised living environment
  • Give you time to get educational and job opportunities while you prepare for a successful transition into adulthood

 


 

ENTRY AND RE-ENTRY

Extended Foster Care is voluntary!​

If you reach your 18th birthday, you can decide to stay in foster care.

If you reach your 18th birthday and decide to leave foster care, you can re-enter at a later time, just as long as you are under 21 years old and meet the eligibility requirements.

 


 

WANT TO LEARN MORE?

If you want to learn more about Extended Foster Care, read this AB12 fact sheet!

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for extended foster care, you need to meet some requirements.

REQUIREMENT 1: AGE

You are currently 18, 19, or 20 years old.

REQUIREMENT 2: DEPENDENCY

Scenario #1: You were in foster care on your 18th birthday, and your case was vacated.​

Scenario #2: You were in foster care on your 18th birthday.

Scenario #3: You were placed in a guardianship or adoption by the juvenile court, and your guardian(s)/adoptive parent(s) were receiving payments for your support on or after your 18th birthday. Your guardian(s)/adoptive parent(s) died on or after your 18th birthday.

Scenario #4: You were placed in a guardianship or adoption by the juvenile court, and your guardian(s)/adoptive parent(s) were receiving payments for your support on or after your 18th birthday. Your guardian(s)/adoptive parent(s) no longer support you and no longer receive payments for your support.

“What if I am/was on probation?” You are still eligible as long as you had an order to be in a foster care placement at the time you were on probation and meet the other eligibility requirements.

“What if I’m part of a Native tribe?” You are still eligible as long as you were under the jurisdiction of a county and you meet the other eligibility requirements. You can also participate in your tribe’s extended foster care program if they have a Title IV-E agreement.

REQUIREMENT 3: WORK/SCHOOL

You are planning to do at least one of the following:

#1: Finish high school or get a GED

#2: Go to college or vocational school at least part-time

#3: Attend a program or do activities that will help you get a job

#4: Work at least 80 hours per month

IMPORTANT!

If you have a medical condition that makes you unable to meet any of these requirements, then you are still eligible and you don’t have to go to school, be in a program, or work.

REQUIREMENT 4: VOLUNTARY REENTRY AGREEMENT

You and your social worker or probation officer signed a Voluntary Reentry Agreement together. The agreement states that you want to re-enter foster care and are willing to work with your social worker or probation officer to learn how to live independently. The form to use is called SOC 163 titled “Voluntary Re-Entry Agreement for Extended Foster Care”.

IMPORTANT!

If you are unsure that you qualify, you should apply anyways!

How to Apply for Extended Foster Care

STEP #1
Check that you meet the eligibility requirements to apply for Extended Foster Care. Read form JV-464-INFO titled “How to Ask to Return to Juvenile Court Jurisdiction and Foster Care”. It explains those requirements and gives a step-by-step on how to apply.

 

STEP #2
Contact your social worker or probation officer, and let them know that you want to apply for Extended Foster Care. Both of you must fill out and sign form SOC 163 titled “Voluntary Re-Entry Agreement for Extended Foster Care”.

IMPORTANT!
If you are unsure that you qualify, you should apply anyways!

IMPORTANT!
Right after you sign SOC 163, your social worker or probation officer can help you find housing and other resources that you need.

 

STEP #3
Fill out and sign form JV-466 titled “Request to Return to Juvenile Court Jurisdiction and Foster Care”. Ask your social worker or probation officer, lawyer, or other trusted adult for help if needed.​

 

STEP #4 (OPTIONAL)
If you want your personal information to be private, DO NOT put it on form JV-466. Instead, put it form JV-468 titled “Confidential Information – Request to Return to Juvenile Court Jurisdiction and Foster Care”. Putting it on this form will keep your contact information confidential.

 

STEP #5
Gather all the paperwork you filled out. This should be form SOC 163 and form JV-466 (and the optional form JV-468 if you filled it out). Make copies of the paperwork for yourself.

 

STEP #6
Submit the paperwork to juvenile court. You have two options:

1) Either in person or by mail, submit your paperwork to the juvenile court clerk’s office at the county courthouse where your case was closed. (If you live outside of California, use this option.)

​2) Either in person or by mail, submit your paperwork to the juvenile court clerk’s office in the county you live in now. The clerk will send it to the courthouse where your case was closed.

IMPORTANT!
Click here to find your court.

 

STEP #7
Wait to receive a notice from the court. After you submit your paperwork, a judge from the juvenile county courthouse where your case was closed will decide if there is enough information to invite you to a hearing. Three things can happen:

1) Your application is rejected because you do not meet the age requirements. If this happens, you cannot apply again.

2) Your application is rejected because you do not meet an eligibility requirement and/or there is not enough information in your paperwork. If this happens, you can apply again once you meet all the eligibility requirements and/or have updated your paperwork.

3) Your application is accepted, and you will be invited to attend a court hearing. The hearing will usually happen about three weeks after you submit your paperwork.

If you want to know what happens at the hearing, read JV-464-INFO.

Eligible Placement Options

Once you are approved for Extended Foster Care, you must choose to live in one of these eligible placement options:

  • A current relative home
  • A non-related extended family member (NREFM) home
  • A foster family home
  • A foster family agency home
  • A non-related legal guardian (NRLG) home
  • A group home until you turn 19 years old
  • A Transitional Housing Placement Program-Non-Minor-Dependent (THPP-NMD) home if you are 18 through 21 years old
  • A Transitional Housing Program-PLUS (THP-PLUS) home if you are 18 years old until 24 years old
  • A Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP) home if you pass a readiness assessment

Learn more about these housing options here.

Download the Forms

 

Explains the goals and benefits, eligibility requirements, and placement options for Extended Foster Care (AB 12)

 

JV-464-INFO “How to Ask to Return to Juvenile Court Jurisdiction and Foster Care”

Gives step-by-step instruction on how to apply for Extended Foster Care (AB 12)​

 

SOC 163 “Voluntary Re-entry Agreement for Extended Foster Care”

The agreement you and your social work sign stating you want to re-enter foster care

 

JV-466 “Request to Return to Juvenile Court Jurisdiction and Foster Care”

The form that asks the juvenile court to grant you re-entry into foster care

JV-468 “Confidential Information – Request to Return to Juvenile Court Jurisdiction and Foster Care”

The form that keeps your contact information confidential (you don’t have to write your contact information on JV-466 if you fill this out)

 

Toll-free hotline
1-877-846-1602
fosteryouthhelp@dss.ca.gov
 
MS 8-13-25
744 P Street
Sacramento, CA 95814