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8.1B TITLE IV-E, Administrative Functions/Costs, Allowable Costs - Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program

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

Question Number 5:
07/24/2006 - Current
QuestionIs it permissible for a State title IV-B/IV-E agency (State agency) to identify court activities related to title IV-E eligible children and claim title IV-E reimbursement on behalf of the court? Such activities might include docketing of the cases, the time of court staff assigned to review "reasonable efforts" made by the State agency, clerical support, the time

spent by referees with title IV-E cases, and expenses such as supplies, space and utilities.

Answer*No. Section 474 (a)(3) of the Social Security Act (the Act) provides for Federal matching for State administrative expenditures; section 471(a)(2) of the Act specifies that the responsible State agency shall administer the State plan. Accordingly, a State agency may not claim reimbursement for administrative costs under title IV-E for activities being performed by the court.

With respect to the activities described in the question, docketing of cases is a required court activity, not a State agency function. The time of court staff assigned to review "reasonable efforts" made by the State agency is likewise a required court activity, and not a State agency function. In this regard, the State agency is required by section 471(a)(15) of the Act to provide "reasonable efforts" prior to the placement of a child in foster care to eliminate the need for removal of the child from his home and, when removal is necessary, to provide "reasonable efforts" to make it possible for the child to return home or to make and finalize an alternate permanent living arrangement for the child. The court is required by section 472 (a)(2)(A)(ii) of the Act to determine if the State, in fact, has made "reasonable efforts" to keep the child in his home.

Thus, activity related to the "reasonable efforts" determination to be made by the court would not be considered an administrative cost that is reimbursable by the State agency on behalf of the court. Associated clerical and overhead expenses are similarly unallowable.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-92-03 (7/17/92)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 471, 472 and 474

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05/06/2001 - 07/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionIs it permissible for a State title IV-B/IV-E agency (State agency) to identify court activities related to title IV-E eligible children and claim title IV-E reimbursement on behalf of the court? Such activities might include docketing of the cases, the time of court staff assigned to review "reasonable efforts" made by the State agency, clerical support, the time

spent by referees with title IV-E cases, and expenses such as supplies, space and utilities.

AnswerNo. Section 474 (a)(3) of the Social Security Act (the Act) provides for Federal matching for State administrative expenditures; section 471(a)(2) of the Act specifies that the responsible State agency shall administer the State plan. Accordingly, a State agency may not claim reimbursement for administrative costs under title IV-E for activities being performed by the court.

With respect to the activities described in the question, docketing of cases is a required court activity, not a State agency function. The time of court staff assigned to review "reasonable efforts" made by the State agency is likewise a required court activity, and not a State agency function. In this regard, the State agency is required by section 471(a)(15) of the Act to provide "reasonable efforts" prior to the placement of a child in foster care to eliminate the need for removal of the child from his home and, when removal is necessary, to provide "reasonable efforts" to make it possible for the child to return home or to make and finalize an alternate permanent living arrangement for the child. The court is required by section 472 (a)(1) of the Act to determine if the State, in fact, has made "reasonable efforts" to keep the child in his home.

Thus, activity related to the "reasonable efforts" determination to be made by the court would not be considered an administrative cost that is reimbursable by the State agency on behalf of the court. Associated clerical and overhead expenses are similarly unallowable.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-92-03 (7/17/92)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 471, 472 and 474

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