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8.3A.11 TITLE IV-E, Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program, Eligibility, Removal from the home/living with

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

Question Number 1:
07/24/2006 - Current
QuestionWe are confused by the term "constructive removal"? Please explain the term and its implications for the title IV-E program.
AnswerTo be eligible for title IV-E funding, a child must, among other things, be removed from the home of a relative as the result of a voluntary placement agreement or a judicial determination that continuation in the home would be contrary to the child's welfare. The statute allows a six-month period of time during which the child can live with an interim caretaker, relative or non-relative, and still be eligible for title IV-E. Under prior policy, we interpreted the term "removal" to mean a physical removal. As a result, if the interim caretaker was a relative, and the State intended to remove custody from the parent but let the child remain with that interim caretaker relative, the child could not be eligible for title IV-E funding because the child was not physically removed from the home of a relative. This policy created a disincentive for relative placements. To remove this inequity between relative and non-relative caregivers, we now permit the removal of the child from the home, in this circumstance, to be a "constructive" (i.e., nonphysical, paper, or legal) removal.

We offer a summary of examples to clarify when a child would be eligible for title IV-E foster care pursuant to a constructive removal. These examples presume that the child is eligible for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in the home of the parent or other specified relative:

The child lived with either a related or non-related interim caretaker for less than six months prior to the State's petition to the court for removal of the child. The State licenses the home as a foster family home and the child continues to reside in that home in foster care. The child is eligible for title IV-E foster care since s/he lived with the parent within six months of the State's petition to the court, and was constructively removed from the parent (i.e., there was a paper removal of custody).

The child lived with either a related or non-related interim caretaker for more than six months prior to the State's petition to the court. The State licenses the home as a foster family home and the child remains in that home in foster care. The child is ineligible for title IV-E foster care since s/he had not lived with the parent within six months of the State's petition to the court, and was not removed from the home of a relative. (Although constructively removed, the child is ineligible for title IV-E because it had been more than six months since the child lived with the parent.)

The child lives with a related interim caretaker for seven months before the caretaker contacts the State to remove the child from his/her home. The agency petitions the court and the court removes the custody from the parents and physically removes the child from the home of the interim related caretaker. The child would not be eligible for title IV-E foster care since s/he had not lived with the parent or other specified relative from whom there was a constructive removal within six months of the initiation of court proceedings. (Although the child was physically removed from the home of the related interim caretaker, that removal cannot be used to determine title IV-E eligibility since the removal was not the result of a voluntary placement agreement or judicial determination, as required in section 472 (a)(2)(A) of the Act. Moreover, the child is ineligible for title IV-E because it had been more than six months since the child lived with the parent from whom s/he was removed.)

The child lived with a non-related interim caretaker for seven months before the caretaker asks the State to remove the child from his/her home and place in foster care. The child is ineligible for title IV-E foster care because s/he had not lived with a parent or specified relative within six months of the petition.

The child is in a three-generation household in which the mother leaves the home. The grandmother contacts the State agency four months later and the agency petitions the court within six months of the date the child lived with the mother in the home. The State licenses the grandmother's home as a foster family home and the child continues to reside in the home in foster care. The child is eligible for title IV-E foster care since s/he lived with the parent within six months of the State's petition to the court, and was constructively removed from the parent's custody.

Source/DatePreamble to the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - section 472 (a)(2)(A); 45 CFR 1356.21 (k) and (l)

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08/14/2000 - 07/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionWe are confused by the term "constructive removal"? Please explain the term and its implications for the title IV-E program.
AnswerTo be eligible for title IV-E funding, a child must, among other things, be removed from the home of a relative as the result of a voluntary placement agreement or a judicial determination that continuation in the home would be contrary to the child''s welfare. The statute allows a six-month period of time during which the child can live with an interim caretaker, relative or non-relative, and still be eligible for title IV-E. Under prior policy, we interpreted the term "removal" to mean a physical removal. As a result, if the interim caretaker was a relative, and the State intended to remove custody from the parent but let the child remain with that interim caretaker relative, the child could not be eligible for title IV-E funding because the child was not physically removed from the home of a relative. This policy created a disincentive for relative placements. To remove this inequity between relative and non-relative caregivers, we now permit the removal of the child from the home, in this circumstance, to be a "constructive" (i.e., nonphysical, paper, or legal) removal.

We offer a summary of examples to clarify when a child would be eligible for title IV-E foster care pursuant to a constructive removal. These examples presume that the child is eligible for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in the home of the parent or other specified relative:

The child lived with either a related or non-related interim caretaker for less than six months prior to the State''s petition to the court for removal of the child. The State licenses the home as a foster family home and the child continues to reside in that home in foster care. The child is eligible for title IV-E foster care since s/he lived with the parent within six months of the State''s petition to the court, and was constructively removed from the parent (i.e., there was a paper removal of custody).

The child lived with either a related or non-related interim caretaker for more than six months prior to the State''s petition to the court. The State licenses the home as a foster family home and the child remains in that home in foster care. The child is ineligible for title IV-E foster care since s/he had not lived with the parent within six months of the State''s petition to the court, and was not removed from the home of a relative. (Although constructively removed, the child is ineligible for title IV-E because it had been more than six months since the child lived with the parent.)

The child lives with a related interim caretaker for seven months before the caretaker contacts the State to remove the child from his/her home. The agency petitions the court and the court removes the custody from the parents and physically removes the child from the home of the interim related caretaker. The child would not be eligible for title IV-E foster care since s/he had not lived with the parent or other specified relative from whom there was a constructive removal within six months of the initiation of court proceedings. (Although the child was physically removed from the home of the related interim caretaker, that removal cannot be used to determine title IV-E eligibility since the removal was not the result of a voluntary placement agreement or judicial determination, as required in section 472 (a)(1) of the Act. Moreover, the child is ineligible for title IV-E because it had been more than six months since the child lived with the parent from whom s/he was removed.)

The child lived with a non-related interim caretaker for seven months before the caretaker asks the State to remove the child from his/her home and place in foster care. The child is ineligible for title IV-E foster care because s/he had not lived with a parent or specified relative within six months of the petition.

The child is in a three-generation household in which the mother leaves the home. The grandmother contacts the State agency four months later and the agency petitions the court within six months of the date the child lived with the mother in the home. The State licenses the grandmother''s home as a foster family home and the child continues to reside in the home in foster care. The child is eligible for title IV-E foster care since s/he lived with the parent within six months of the State''s petition to the court, and was constructively removed from the parent''s custody.

Source/DatePreamble to the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 472 (a)(1); 45 CFR 1356.21 (k) and (l)

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