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1.2B.7  AFCARS, Data Elements and Definitions, Foster Care Specific Elements, Placements

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Question 1.  
How does a State code a record where the status of the placement changes? For example, if a child is in a foster family home placement setting and that family decides to adopt the child, thus becoming a pre-adoptive home placement setting, how do States record the placement setting, the date of placement, and the number of placements?

Question 2.  
The internal consistency check for date of placement in current foster care setting states that it must be later than the date of latest removal from home. Can't it also be equal to the date of latest removal?

Question 4.  
How do States indicate emergency shelter care - as "institution" or "group home?"

Question 5.  
Please provide a more inclusive definition of Pre-Adoptive Home, Foster Family Home (Non-Relative), Institution and Trial Home Visit.

Question 6.  
"Group homes" as they are called in some States may more closely match the AFCARS definition of "institutions" by their size, so the data reported may look like the State has foster homes and institutions as placements, and nothing much else. Won't this be a problem?

Question 7.  
Please clarify the meaning of the terms removal, placement, episode, and discharge.

Question 8.  
For AFCARS reporting purposes what information is entered for a child who returns to a placement setting different than the placement setting from which he/she ran away or left for a trial home visit?

Question 9.  
Why are trial home visits (which count as placements for element 41 and may last up to 6 months or more) not counted as placements for element 24 - number of placements?

Question 10.  
"Runaway" is an option for a child's "Current Placement Setting"; should it be counted when calculating the answer to, "Number of Previous Placements During This Removal Episode"?

Question 11.  
For AFCARS reporting purposes what information is entered for a child who returns to the same placement setting from which he/she ran away or left for a trial home visit?

Question 12.  
The data element, "Number of Previous Placement Settings During This Removal Episode" clearly indictes previous placement settings; however, the definition in the regulation says to include the current placement setting in this count. This seems to be contradictory. Which is correct?

Question 13.  
Mental health institutions and jails are not normally considered to be the same type of facility. Some States expressed concern with counting them as the same for AFCARS. Why are they counted all the same as "institutions?"

Question 15.  
Occasionally a child may be placed in the home of a neighbor or family friend who is in the process of being licensed but is not licensed at the end of the reporting period. In this case, how should that placement setting be coded?

Question 17.  
If the provider changes status (e.g. was a county service foster home and changes to a child placement service) and the child remains with the same family is this 1 placement setting or 2 placement settings?

Question 18.  
If a child is in a foster family home and then goes to a different foster family home, is this one placement or two placements?

Question 19.  
If a foster family moves to another city or county or State, is the move considered to be a new placement for the child living with the family?

Question 20.  
The AFCARS definition of "institution" seems different from the definition used for IV-E and adoption programs. Why?

Question 21.  
How should the State count brief periods spent away from the child's foster care provider in foster care element 24, " Number of previous placement settings during the removal episode"?

Question 22.  
How should a State count a child's placement back into a previous foster home in foster care element 24, "Number of previous placement settings during the removal episode"? Should a State only increase the number of previous placement settings if the child is placed in a foster care setting in which he has not been placed before?

Question 23.  
If a child is on a trial home visit or has run away how should the State report this child in AFCARS?

Question 24.  
Should a State report in AFCARS a child who is under the placement and care responsibility of the State title IV-B/IV-E agency but who has not yet been placed in a foster care setting because the child ran away prior to placement?

Question 25.  
If a child in foster care moves within a child care institution at a single location (e.g., from one building, dorm, cottage, or wing to another within the institution) should a State report this to AFCARS as a change in placement? Is it relevant whether the child is moving within the institution because of a change in the level of care necessary?



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