Child Welfare Policy Manual

November 23, 2014

1.4  AFCARS, Technical Requirements

1. Question: For programming purposes, are "6 months" and "180 days" supposed to be literally the same? Automated systems must be programmed precisely as to what date to use.

Answer: The reference to 6 months is 6 calendar months, whereas, 180 days equals 180 days, irrespective of calendar months.

2. Question: What links are States to maintain between children in the AFCARS foster care data transmission and the AFCARS adoption data transmission? If the State uses encrypted numbers, the child's number will appear the same on both the foster care and the adoption reports. Does this violate confidentiality?

Answer: No link may be maintained in the AFCARS transmissions for children who leave foster care and are adopted. If the State is still concerned about possible linkage of the foster care and adoption records, it should adopt a different encryption algorithm for the adoption data report.