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8.3A.9a TITLE IV-E, Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program, Eligibility, Reasonable Efforts to Finalize a Permanency Plan

Items with a star (*) and gray background have been modified from previous record.

Question Number 1:
07/14/2004 - Current
Question*We understand that the timing for obtaining the initial judicial determination related to making reasonable efforts to finalize/achieve a permanency plan is based on the date the child is considered to have entered foster care. Are subsequent judicial determinations to be obtained based on the date the child is considered to have entered foster care or within 12 months of the date the judicial determination actually was obtained?
Answer*The statute requires that the judicial determination of reasonable efforts to finalize/achieve a permanency plan be obtained no later than 12 months from the date the child is considered to have entered foster care and at least once every 12 months thereafter while the child is in foster care. Accordingly, States must use the date of the last judicial determination for a child to determine the date the next one is due. In no circumstance may the interval between these judicial determinations exceed 12 months. If a judicial determination regarding reasonable efforts to finalize a permanency plan is not made within the time frame prescribed above, the child becomes ineligible under title IV-E at the end of the month in which the judicial determination was required to have been made and remains ineligible until such a determination is made.

Although the permanency hearing may serve as the mechanism for obtaining the judicial determination of reasonable efforts to finalize/achieve a permanency plan, there is no requirement that the judicial determination be made at a permanency hearing. The court may make such a judicial determination, based upon evidence presented to it by the State, without a formal hearing.

Source/Date*06/09/04
Legal and Related References*Section 471(a)(15)(B) of the Social Security Act, 45 CFR 1355.20 and 1356.21(b)(2).

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10/05/2000 - 07/14/2004 (Original Record)
QuestionWe understand that the timing for obtaining the initial judicial determination related to making reasonable efforts to finalize a permanency plan is based on the date the child is considered to have entered foster care. Are subsequent determinations to be obtained based on the date the child is considered to have entered foster care or within 12 months of the date the prior judicial determination was actually obtained?
AnswerEither methodology referenced in the question is consistent with and would satisfy the regulatory requirements. We will, therefore, leave the methodology employed to the State''s discretion. We strongly encourage States, however, to adopt and set forth in State policy one methodology for obtaining the subsequent judicial determinations to ensure consistent application across the title IV-E caseload.
Source/DateQuestions and Answers on the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 471 (a)(15)(B); 45 CFR 1355.20 and 1356.21 (b)(2)

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