|While the Federal government provides funds through legislatively mandated programs for certain child welfare needs, it does not assume direct responsibility for the needs of individual children in each State. Rather, this responsibility is reserved for the States. |
Federal programs which assist States in meeting this responsibility include the title IV-E foster care maintenance payments program and the title IV-B child welfare services program.
The title IV-E program is a State administered program to pay the costs of foster care for AFDC eligible children removed from their homes, for whom the State or the Tribe has responsibility for placement and care. It is an entitlement program for individual children and must be available to all eligible residents of a State, including Indian children living on or off reservations.
The title IV-B child welfare services program provides Federal funds in the form of formula grants to States and Tribes to establish, extend and strengthen child welfare services.
Some federally recognized Tribes providing child welfare services are eligible to receive title IV-B grants directly from the Federal government. Since these are grants to States and Tribes, and are not entitlements for individual children, the States and participating Tribes have the authority to allocate the use of these funds and to set priorities for their use.
Many States and Tribes have developed State-Tribal agreements which formalize the sharing of responsibility for providing foster care maintenance and child welfare services, using title IV-E and title IV-B funds, as well as Social Services Block Grant funds and State funds.
Where neither the State nor the Tribe has resources sufficient to cover all the needs of all Indian children, the BIA, as payor of last resort, may pay for these services.