8.3C.3 TITLE IV-E, Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program, State Plan/Procedural Requirements, Foster care goals1. Question: Must the foster care goals required at section 471 (a)(14) of the Social Security Act be enacted into State statute or may these goals be set forth in administrative code?
Answer: Section 471 (a)(14) of the Social Security Act requires that specific goals be established by State law as to the maximum number of children receiving assistance under the State's title IV-E plan who will remain in foster care in excess of 24 months, and that the State plan include a description of the steps which will be taken by the State to achieve such goals. There is no specific requirement that such goals be incorporated into a statutory enactment. Our Office of the General Counsel has found that "State law" includes the administrative regulations of a State, properly promulgated according to the procedural requirements of that State. The goals which are to be established by State law may be either incorporated into a State statute or established through administrative regulation. In either case, they must be specific as to absolute numbers or a percentage of all foster children receiving assistance under the plan.