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8.2D.4 TITLE IV-E, Adoption Assistance Program, Payments, Rates

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

Question Number 7:
10/17/2006 - Current
QuestionMay a State's policy limit the maximum adoption assistance payment for any family at a level lower than the maximum foster care maintenance payment a child would have received in a foster family home?
Answer*Federal law and regulations do not prohibit a State from having a law or policy that limits the maximum adoption assistance payments to a level lower than the maintenance payment a child would have received in a foster family home. The law only prescribes that the adoption assistance payment can be no more than the foster care maintenance payment that the child would have received in a foster family home during the same time period (see section 473(a)(3) of the Social Security Act). Within these parameters, however, the State must negotiate the amount of the adoption assistance payment with the adoptive family taking into consideration the needs of the child and the circumstances of the family. Furthermore, from a practice standpoint establishing a lower ceiling within which the State and family may negotiate an adoption assistance payment may reduce the pool of adoptive parents available to provide permanent homes for children with special needs.
Source/Date7/7/2006
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act ¿ section 473(a)(3)

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07/12/2006 - 10/17/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionMay a State's policy limit the maximum adoption assistance payment for any family at a level lower than the maximum foster care maintenance payment a child would have received in a foster family home?
AnswerConsistent with the regulation at 45 CFR 1356.21(b)(2)(ii), if a judicial determination regarding reasonable efforts to finalize a permanency plan is not made in accordance with the prescribed schedule, the child becomes ineligible for title IV-E at the end of the 12th month following the date the child is considered to have entered foster care or the end of the 12th month from the most recently obtained judicial determination regarding reasonable efforts to finalize a permanency plan. If the reasonable efforts to finalize a permanency plan determination is made later for the otherwise eligible child, the State can claim Federal financial participation (FFP) under title IV-E foster care from the beginning of the month in which the judicial determination was made. See section 8.3A.15 of the Child Welfare Policy Manual, Q/A#1. If title IV-E reimbursement is claimed by the State after the end of the 12th month that is encompassed by the period under review (PUR) and the judicial determination is not made in the 13th month, the case will be counted as an error case in the title IV-E foster care review.

The following examples clarify when a case is considered an error case in title IV-E foster care eligibility reviews:

  • The PUR is April 1, 2004 through September 30, 2004. The judicial determination regarding reasonable efforts to finalize a permanency plan is due in June 2004, but not made until August 2004. The period of ineligibility for the otherwise-eligible child is from July 1, 2004 through July 31, 2004 (the child is eligible through the end of the 12th month). If title IV-E reimbursement had been claimed by the State at anytime during July 2004, the case would be an error case on the title IV-E foster care review.
  • The PUR is April 1, 2004 through September 30, 2004. The reasonable efforts to finalize a permanency plan determination is due in September 2004, but not made until November 2004. In this situation, the child remains eligible until September 30, 2004, the end of the PUR. Even if title IV-E reimbursement is claimed by the State after September 2004, the case is NOT an error case for the PUR. This is consistent with the regulation at 45 CFR 1356.21(b)(2)(ii) which provides that a child is eligible until the end of the 12th month in which the determination is due. And since the end of the review period is September 30, the "error" payments were made after the PUR.
  • The PUR is April 1, 2004 through September 30, 2004. The reasonable efforts to finalize a permanency plan determination is due in August 2004, but not made until October 2004. The State continued to claim title IV-E reimbursement for this child throughout the entire period under review. This is an error case and the period of ineligibility is from September 1 through September 30, 2004.
  • It should be noted that for a child who entered foster care prior to March 27, 2000 (the effective date of the Final Rule which established the reasonable efforts to finalize a permanency plan requirement at 45 CFR 1356.21(b)(2)), the concept of "the date the child is considered to have entered foster care" is nonexistent. For those children, the initial reasonable efforts to finalize a permanency plan judicial determination was due no later than March 27, 2001. If a child did not have the initial determination made by that date, the child became ineligible for title IV-E foster care maintenance payments from April 1, 2001 and remains ineligible until the first day of the month in which the appropriate judicial determination is obtained. Thus, if a child entered care on November 20, 1999 and did not have a reasonable efforts to finalize a permanency plan determination until August 25, 2004, the otherwise-eligible child would be ineligible for title IV-E foster care maintenance payments from April 1, 2001 through July 31, 2004. Accordingly, if the PUR is April 1, 2004 through September 30, 2004, the case would be an error case if title IV-E foster care maintenance payments had been claimed for the child at any time between April 1, 2004 and August 1, 2004.

    Source/Date7/7/2006
    Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act ¿ section 473(a)(3)

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