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Cumulative Change History of Questions & Answers

This page lists all of the changes made to the Child Welfare Policy Manual, in sequence, with the most current change listed first. Items with a star (*) and gray background have been modified from previous record.

2.1F CAPTA, Assurances and Requirements, Infants Affected by Illegal Substance Abuse

Question Number 1:
12/13/2011 - Current
Question*We understand section 106(b)(2)(B)(ii) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) to mean that health care providers must notify Child Protective Services (CPS) of all infants born and identified as affected by illegal substance abuse, withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure, or a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. We do not believe that this provision requires the health care provider to refer such children and families to CPS as a report of suspected child abuse or neglect. Is this interpretation accurate?
Answer*Yes, this interpretation is accurate. CAPTA requires that the health care provider must notify CPS of all infants born and identified as affected by illegal substance abuse, withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure, or a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Such notification need not be in the form of a report of suspected child abuse or neglect. It is ultimately the responsibility of CPS staff to assess the level of risk to the child and other children in the family and determine whether the circumstance constitutes child abuse or neglect under State law. There may be Federal confidentiality restrictions for the State to consider when implementing this CAPTA requirement.
Source/Date*05/02/06; updated 12/9/11
Legal and Related References*Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) ┐ section 106(b)(2)(B)(ii)

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05/16/2006 - 12/13/2011 (Original Record)
QuestionWe understand section 106(b)(2)(A)(ii) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) to mean that health care providers must notify Child Protective Services (CPS) of all infants born and identified as affected by illegal substance abuse or withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure. We do not believe that this provision requires the health care provider to refer such children and families to CPS as a report of suspected child abuse or neglect. Is this interpretation accurate?
AnswerYes, this interpretation is accurate. CAPTA requires that the health care provider must notify CPS of all infants born and identified as affected by illegal substance abuse or withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure. Such notification need not be in the form of a report of suspected child abuse or neglect. It is ultimately the responsibility of CPS staff to assess the level of risk to the child and other children in the family and determine whether the circumstance constitutes child abuse or neglect under State law. There may be Federal confidentiality restrictions for the State to consider when implementing this CAPTA requirement.
Source/Date05/02/06
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) ┐ section 106(b)(2)(A)(ii)

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Question Number 2:
12/13/2011 - Current
Question*If drug-exposure is not defined as child abuse or neglect in the State's reporting statute, are health care providers still required to "notify" child protective services under section 106(b)(2)(B)(ii) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)?
Answer*Yes. The State is required to have policies and procedures to implement section 106(b)(2)(B)(ii) of CAPTA regardless of how child abuse and neglect is defined in the State. Health care providers must notify CPS of all infants born and identified as affected by illegal substance abuse, withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure, or a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. There may be Federal confidentiality restrictions for the State to consider when implementing this CAPTA provision.
Source/Date*05/02/06; updated 12/9/11
Legal and Related References*Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106(b)(2)(B)(ii).

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05/16/2006 - 12/13/2011 (Original Record)
QuestionIf drug-exposure is not defined as child abuse or neglect in the State's reporting statute, are health care providers still required to "notify" child protective services under section 106(b)(2)(A)(ii) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)?
AnswerYes. The State is required to have policies and procedures to implement section 106(b)(2)(A)(ii) of CAPTA regardless of how child abuse and neglect is defined in the State. Health care providers must notify CPS of all infants born and identified as affected by illegal substance abuse or withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure. There may be Federal confidentiality restrictions for the State to consider when implementing this CAPTA provision.
Source/Date05/02/06
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106(b)(2)(A)(ii).

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8.4H TITLE IV-E, General Title IV-E Requirements, Safety Requirements

Question Number 1:
06/12/2013 - Current
Question*Is the requirement for criminal records checks extended to the staff of child-care institutions, unlicensed relative homes?
Answer*The criminal records check provision does not extend to child-care facilities; the statute specifically limits this requirement to prospective foster and adoptive parents. However, in order to be an eligible provider for title IV-E funding purposes, the licensing file must include documentation that safety considerations with respect to the caretakers have been addressed. This safety documentation requirement applies to child-care institutions in every situation. Since this provision is a title IV-E funding requirement, it does not extend to relative homes that are not licensed or approved in accordance with State/Tribal licensing standards because children placed in such homes are not eligible for title IV-E funding.
Source/Date*Preamble to the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00) (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 471 (a)(20); 45 CFR 1356.30

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08/14/2000 - 06/12/2013 (Original Record)
QuestionIs the requirement for criminal records checks extended to the staff of child-care institutions and unlicensed relative homes?
AnswerThe criminal records check provision does not extend to child-care facilities; the statute specifically limits this requirement to prospective foster and adoptive parents. However, in order to be an eligible provider for title IV-E funding purposes, in all cases where no criminal records check is conducted, the licensing file must include documentation that safety considerations with respect to the caretakers have been addressed. This safety documentation requirement applies to child-care institutions in every situation and to prospective foster and adoptive parents in States that opt out of the criminal records check provision. Since this provision is a title IV-E funding requirement, it does not extend to relative homes that are not licensed or approved in accordance with State licensing standards because children placed in such homes are not eligible for title IV-E funding.
Source/DatePreamble to the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 471 (a)(20); 45 CFR 1356.30

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8.3A.9c TITLE IV-E, Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program, Reasonable Efforts, Qualifying Language in Court Orders

Question Number 1:
07/24/2006 - Current
QuestionSome States have begun to use qualifying language in court orders, which restricts the purpose of the reasonable efforts findings to title IV-E funding purposes only. For example, in one State, the court annotates its orders with the phrase "for Federal funding purposes only" in order to address parental concerns that the order is entered without prejudice. Another State proposes adding language to the court order that "the title IV-E judicial determination shall not be given any effect in subsequent court proceedings." Is the use of qualifiers to the judicial determination of reasonable efforts allowable under title IV-E?
AnswerNo. It is not permissible for a State to use such restrictive language in making the required judicial findings. When a judicial determination is qualified by language stating or implying that it has been made for the purpose of Federal funding only or that it has no precedential effect, then a bona fide judicial determination has not been made. An official notation that a finding is for a limited purpose only suggests that it must be "re-made" in order for it to become valid.

This policy is consistent with legislative history and was addressed in the preamble to the 2000 regulations, which quote S. Rep. No. 336, 96th Cong., 2d Sess. 16 (1980) and make the point that the required judicial determinations should not become "...a mere pro forma exercise in paper shuffling to obtain Federal funding..." (pg. 4056, 65 Fed. Reg.).

Court orders containing judicial determinations qualified by restrictive language such as that described above will not satisfy title IV-E eligibility requirements for Federal financial participation (FFP).

Source/Date7/6/05
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act -- Sections 471(a)(15)(B) and 472(a)(2)(A)(ii)

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07/12/2005 - 07/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionSome States have begun to use qualifying language in court orders, which restricts the purpose of the reasonable efforts findings to title IV-E funding purposes only. For example, in one State, the court annotates its orders with the phrase "for Federal funding purposes only" in order to address parental concerns that the order is entered without prejudice. Another State proposes adding language to the court order that "the title IV-E judicial determination shall not be given any effect in subsequent court proceedings." Is the use of qualifiers to the judicial determination of reasonable efforts allowable under title IV-E?
AnswerNo. It is not permissible for a State to use such restrictive language in making the required judicial findings. When a judicial determination is qualified by language stating or implying that it has been made for the purpose of Federal funding only or that it has no precedential effect, then a bona fide judicial determination has not been made. An official notation that a finding is for a limited purpose only suggests that it must be "re-made" in order for it to become valid.

This policy is consistent with legislative history and was addressed in the preamble to the 2000 regulations, which quote S. Rep. No. 336, 96th Cong., 2d Sess. 16 (1980) and make the point that the required judicial determinations should not become "...a mere pro forma exercise in paper shuffling to obtain Federal funding..." (pg. 4056, 65 Fed. Reg.).

Court orders containing judicial determinations qualified by restrictive language such as that described above will not satisfy title IV-E eligibility requirements for Federal financial participation (FFP).

Source/Date7/6/05
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act -- Sections 471(a)(15)(B) and 472(a)(1)

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9.1 TRIBES/INDIAN TRIBAL ORGANIZATIONS, Application of Title IV-B and Title IV-E Procedural Requirements

Question Number 1:
02/22/2007 - Current
Question*When the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is responsible for a child's foster care costs, it will often contract with a State to provide services to that child. Such child is then included in the State's inventory, information system and case review system. The BIA appoints an administrative panel to conduct six month periodic reviews. Do the administrative review panels appointed by the BIA to conduct periodic (six month) reviews for Indian children in foster care satisfy the requirements of sections 475 (5) and (6) of the Social Security Act (the Act)?
Answer*Yes. Periodic reviews which are administrative reviews (rather than reviews conducted by a court) can take various forms at the State's option. They may be conducted by State agency staff, by a review panel made up of persons outside the agency, or by a panel comprised of both agency staff and the public. Title IV-E does not prohibit the State agency from utilizing a non-agency panel appointed outside the administration of the State agency.

Regardless of who appoints the review panel, the review must be conducted in accordance with section 475(5)(B) and (6) of the Act. It must be open to the participation of the parents of the child and it must include at least one person who is not responsible for the case management of, or delivery of services to, either the child or the parent who are the subject of the review.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-83-09 (12/14/83)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - sections 422 (b)(8), 471 (a)(16) and 475(5)(B) and (6)

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08/14/2000 - 02/22/2007 (Original Record)
QuestionWhen the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is responsible for a child's foster care costs, it will often contract with a State to provide services to that child. Such child is then included in the State's inventory, information system and case review system. The BIA appoints an administrative panel to conduct six month periodic reviews. Do the administrative review panels appointed by the BIA to conduct periodic (six month) reviews for Indian children in foster care satisfy the requirements of sections 475 (5) and (6) of the Social Security Act (the Act)?
AnswerYes. Periodic reviews which are administrative reviews (rather than reviews conducted by a court) can take various forms at the State''s option. They may be conducted by State agency staff, by a review panel made up of persons outside the agency, or by a panel comprised of both agency staff and the public. Title IV-E does not prohibit the State agency from utilizing a non-agency panel appointed outside the administration of the State agency.

Regardless of who appoints the review panel, the review must be conducted in accordance with section 475 (5)(B) and (6) of the Act. It must be open to the participation of the parents of the child and it must include at least one person who is not responsible for the case management of, or delivery of services to, either the child or the parent who are the subject of the review.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-83-09 (12/14/83)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 422 (b)(10), 471 (a)(16) and 475 (5)(B) and (6)

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Question Number 2:
02/22/2007 - Current
QuestionPlease explain how the termination of parental rights (TPR) requirement applies to Indian tribes and its relationship to Indian Child Welfare Act requirements.
Answer*The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA), Public Law 95-608, was passed in response to concerns about the large number of Indian children who were being removed from their families and tribes and the failure of States to recognize the culture and tribal relations of Indian people. ICWA, in part, creates procedural protections and imposes substantive standards on the removal, placement, termination of parental rights and consent to adoption of children who are members of or are eligible for membership in an Indian tribe. The addition of the requirement in section 475 (5)(E) of the Social Security Act (the Act) to file a petition for TPR for certain children in no way diminishes the requirements of ICWA for the State to protect the best interests of Indian children. Furthermore, States are required to comply with the ICWA requirements and develop plans that specify how they will comply with ICWA in section 422 (b)(9) of the Act.

The requirement in section 475 (5)(E) of the Act applies to Indian tribal children as it applies to any other child under the placement and care responsibility of a State or tribal agency receiving title IV-B or IV-E funds. While we recognize that termination of parental rights and adoption may not be a part of an Indian tribe's traditional belief system or legal code, there is no statutory authority to provide a general exemption for Indian tribal children from the requirement to file a petition for TPR. If an Indian tribe that receives title IV-B or IV-E funds has placement and care responsibility for an Indian child, the Indian tribe must file a petition for TPR or, if appropriate, document the reason for an exception to the requirement in the case plan, on a case-by-case basis.

Source/DatePreamble to the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - sections 422(b)(9) and 475 (5)(E); 45 CFR 1356.21 (i)

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09/11/2000 - 02/22/2007 (Original Record)
QuestionPlease explain how the termination of parental rights (TPR) requirement applies to Indian tribes and its relationship to Indian Child Welfare Act requirements.
AnswerThe Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA), Public Law 95-608, was passed in response to concerns about the large number of Indian children who were being removed from their families and tribes and the failure of States to recognize the culture and tribal relations of Indian people. ICWA, in part, creates procedural protections and imposes substantive standards on the removal, placement, termination of parental rights and consent to adoption of children who are members of or are eligible for membership in an Indian tribe. The addition of the requirement in section 475 (5)(E) of the Social Security Act (the Act) to file a petition for TPR for certain children in no way diminishes the requirements of ICWA for the State to protect the best interests of Indian children. Furthermore, States are required to comply with the ICWA requirements and develop plans that specify how they will comply with ICWA in section 422 (b)(11) of the Act.

The requirement in section 475 (5)(E) of the Act applies to Indian tribal children as it applies to any other child under the placement and care responsibility of a State or tribal agency receiving title IV-B or IV-E funds. While we recognize that termination of parental rights and adoption may not be a part of an Indian tribe''s traditional belief system or legal code, there is no statutory authority to provide a general exemption for Indian tribal children from the requirement to file a petition for TPR. If an Indian tribe that receives title IV-B or IV-E funds has placement and care responsibility for an Indian child, the Indian tribe must file a petition for TPR or, if appropriate, document the reason for an exception to the requirement in the case plan, on a case-by-case basis.

Source/DatePreamble to the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 422 (b)(11) and 475 (5)(E); 45 CFR 1356.21 (i)

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8.3A.14 TITLE IV-E, Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program, Eligibility, Voluntary relinquishments

Question Number 1:
07/24/2006 - Current
QuestionMay voluntary relinquishments from biological parents be treated as voluntary placement agreements for the purpose of establishing title IV-E eligibility? What if the relinquishment is approved by a court?
Answer*A child who is voluntarily relinquished to the State agency does not meet the requirements of section 472 of the Social Security Act for the receipt of foster care maintenance payments.

Voluntary relinquishment means the voluntary relinquishing by parents of their parental rights to the department of social services, without court involvement. A voluntary relinquishment does not meet the definition of a voluntary placement under section 472 nor is it a placement resulting from a judicial determination as provided by section 472. Thus, Federal financial participation (FFP) would not be available for voluntarily relinquished children.

In order for a child to qualify for foster care maintenance payments, section 472 (a)(2) provides that removal from the home must occur by either of two ways: (1) pursuant to a voluntary placement agreement entered into by the child's parent or legal guardian or (2) be the result of a judicial determination to the effect that continuation therein would be contrary to the welfare of such child and that reasonable efforts have been made (A) prior to the placement of a child in foster care to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child from his home, (B) to make it possible for the child to return home, and (C) to finalize an alternate permanency plan if the child cannot be returned home.

The term "voluntary placement" as provided at section 472 (f)(1) means: an out-of-home placement of a minor by or with participation of a State agency, after the parents or guardians of the minor have requested the assistance of the agency and signed a voluntary placement agreement. The term "voluntary placement agreement" as provided by section 472 (f)(2) means: a written agreement, binding on the parties to the agreement between the State agency, any other agency acting on its behalf, and the parents or guardians of a minor child which specifies, at a minimum, the legal status of the child and the rights and obligations of the parents or guardians, the child, and the agency while the child is in placement.

It is clear from section 472, specifically sections 472 (a)(2)(A) and (f) that voluntary placement recognizes an agreement between parents (or legal guardians) and the State. The agreement, as provided by section 472 (f) must specify the "legal status of the child and the rights and obligations of the parents or guardians, the child, and the agency while the child is in placement." Parents cannot be a party to such an agreement while abandoning their basic legal status as parents. Further, if at any time after the signing of the agreement, the parents or legal guardians no longer have the legal status as such, then the agreement is no longer effective, and the placement is no longer the voluntary placement stipulated in the agreement.

The language of section 472 (g) suggests that a voluntary placement is a temporary state of affairs with parents or guardians having the capacity and right to revoke such agreement unless a court determines that return to the home would be contrary to the best interest of the child. Even in this latter situation, such a determination prevents a return of the child to its parental home but does not deprive the parents of their parental rights.

Finally, with regard to non-voluntary placement under section 472, it is clear that Federal foster care payments can be made only if the removal from the home of the parents was the result of a judicial determination (including the "reasonable efforts" determination) as required by section 472 (a)(2)(A)(ii). Thus, even though a voluntary relinquishment is later accepted or approved in court, such an approval does not change the nature of the action from a voluntary relinquishment to a removal which results from a judicial determination as provided by section 472 (a)(2)(A)(ii).

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-85-03 (3/19/85)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - section 472 (a)(2)(A), (f) and (g)

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07/18/2000 - 07/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionMay voluntary relinquishments from biological parents be treated as voluntary placement agreements for the purpose of establishing title IV-E eligibility? What if the relinquishment is approved by a court?
AnswerA child who is voluntarily relinquished to the State agency does not meet the requirements of section 472 of the Social Security Act for the receipt of foster care maintenance payments.

Voluntary relinquishment means the voluntary relinquishing by parents of their parental rights to the department of social services, without court involvement. A voluntary relinquishment does not meet the definition of a voluntary placement under section 472 nor is it a placement resulting from a judicial determination as provided by section 472. Thus, Federal financial participation (FFP) would not be available for voluntarily relinquished children.

In order for a child to qualify for foster care maintenance payments, section 472 (a) provides that removal from the home must occur by either of two ways: (1) pursuant to a voluntary placement agreement entered into by the child''s parent or legal guardian or (2) be the result of a judicial determination to the effect that continuation therein would be contrary to the welfare of such child and that reasonable efforts have been made (A) prior to the placement of a child in foster care to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child from his home, (B) to make it possible for the child to return home, and (C) to finalize an alternate permanency plan if the child cannot be returned home.

The term "voluntary placement" as provided at section 472 (f)(1) means: an out-of-home placement of a minor by or with participation of a State agency, after the parents or guardians of the minor have requested the assistance of the agency and signed a voluntary placement agreement. The term "voluntary placement agreement" as provided by section 472 (f)(2) means: a written agreement, binding on the parties to the agreement between the State agency, any other agency acting on its behalf, and the parents or guardians of a minor child which specifies, at a minimum, the legal status of the child and the rights and obligations of the parents or guardians, the child, and the agency while the child is in placement.

It is clear from section 472 , specifically sections 472 (a)(1) and (f) that voluntary placement recognizes an agreement between parents (or legal guardians) and the State. The agreement, as provided by section 472 (f) must specify the "legal status of the child and the rights and obligations of the parents or guardians, the child, and the agency while the child is in placement." Parents cannot be a party to such an agreement while abandoning their basic legal status as parents. Further, if at any time after the signing of the agreement, the parents or legal guardians no longer have the legal status as such, then the agreement is no longer effective, and the placement is no longer the voluntary placement stipulated in the agreement.

The language of section 472 (g) suggests that a voluntary placement is a temporary state of affairs with parents or guardians having the capacity and right to revoke such agreement unless a court determines that return to the home would be contrary to the best interest of the child. Even in this latter situation, such a determination prevents a return of the child to its parental home but does not deprive the parents of their parental rights.

Finally, with regard to non-voluntary placement under section 472, it is clear that Federal foster care payments can be made only if the removal from the home of the parents was the result of a judicial determination (including the "reasonable efforts" determination) as required by section 472 (a)(1). Thus, even though a voluntary relinquishment is later accepted or approved in court, such an approval does not change the nature of the action from a voluntary relinquishment to a removal which results from a judicial determination as provided by section 472 (a).

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-85-03 (3/19/85)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 472 (a)

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Question Number 2:
07/24/2006 - Current
QuestionHow may a child who is voluntarily relinquished by his/her parents to the State title IV-E agency become eligible for title IV-E foster care maintenance payments?
Answer*If the child had last been living with the parent(s) within six months of the date court proceedings were initiated leading to a judicial determination that remaining in the home would be contrary to the welfare of such child, the removal from the home will be considered a "judicial removal." In addition, the "reasonable efforts" determination must be made in relation to removal of the child from the home. Such judicial determinations will prevail as the critical factor related to removal and any prior voluntary relinquishment action will not be relevant for purposes of title IV-E eligibility (sections 472(a)(2)(A)(ii) and 472(a)(3)(A)of the Social Security Act).

However, if the court merely sanctions the relinquishment without making the findings specified in section 472(a)(2)(A)(ii), the child cannot be considered to be "judicially removed" in accordance with that section, and foster care maintenance payments may not be claimed under title IV-E.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-89-01 (2/9/89)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - section 472 (a)(2) and (3)

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07/18/2000 - 07/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionHow may a child who is voluntarily relinquished by his/her parents to the State title IV-E agency become eligible for title IV-E foster care maintenance payments?
AnswerIf the child had last been living with the parent(s) within six months of the date court proceedings were initiated leading to a judicial determination that remaining in the home would be contrary to the welfare of such child, the removal from the home will be considered a "judicial removal." In addition, the "reasonable efforts" determination must be made in relation to removal of the child from the home. Such judicial determinations will prevail as the critical factor related to removal and any prior voluntary relinquishment action will not be relevant for purposes of title IV-E eligibility (sections 472(a)(1) and 472(a)(4)(B) of the Social Security Act).

However, if the court merely sanctions the relinquishment without making the findings specified in section 472(a)(1), the child cannot be considered to be "judicially removed" in accordance with that section, and foster care maintenance payments may not be claimed under title IV-E.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-89-01 (2/9/89)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 472 (a)

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8.2B.12 TITLE IV-E, Adoption Assistance Program, Eligibility, SSI

Question Number 1:
07/24/2006 - Current
QuestionIs there a prohibition under title IV-E against claiming Federal financial participation (FFP) for adoption assistance for a child who receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
Answer*There is no prohibition under title IV-E against claiming FFP for adoption assistance for a child who receives benefits from SSI. Section 473 of title IV-E created an adoption assistance program which permits Federal matching funds for the costs of adoption assistance for the purpose of encouraging the placement of eligible children in adoptive homes. Under title IV-E adoption assistance (section 473), the scope of eligibility specifically includes children with special needs who are eligible to receive SSI (473 (a)(2)(A)(i)(II)) as well as those eligible for AFDC (473 (a)(2)(A)(i)(I)) and title IV-E foster care (473 (a)(2)(A)(i)(III)).

Title XVI (SSI) is a needs based program and, as such, requires a test of income and resources of the adoptive parents in determining the amount of the SSI benefit to which a child with a disability(ies) may be entitled. If (or when) the parental resources and income exceed a maximum level determined by the SSI program, the child is no longer eligible for SSI payments.

If the adoptive parents decide to decline adoption assistance and choose to receive only SSI for the child, and if they have not executed an adoption assistance agreement before the adoption is finalized, they may not later receive title IV-E adoption assistance payments, as the child would no longer meet all of the eligibility requirements as a child with special needs (section 473 (c)(2)). It may be prudent for the decision maker (parent, guardian, custodian, caretaker relative) to arrange for an adoption assistance agreement which does not provide for payment, but which does provide for title XVI and title XIX coverage, and which may at some future date, upon review, be renegotiated to provide for payment of adoption assistance funds.

The adoptive parents of a child eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance and SSI benefits may make application for both programs and the child, if eligible, may benefit from both programs simultaneously.

In cases where the child is eligible for both SSI and title IV-E and there is concurrent receipt of payments from both programs, "the child's SSI payment will be reduced dollar for dollar without application of any exclusion", thus decreasing the SSI benefit by the amount of the title IV-E payment (SSI Program Operations Manual). To reiterate, concurrent receipt is subject to the SSI rule that the SSI payment will be reduced by the amount of the foster care payment.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PA-94-02 (2/4/94)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 473; 20 CFR 416.1100ff; Program Operations Manual System, Part 5, Supplemental Security Income Chapter 008 - Income, Subchapter 30 - Unearned Income

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08/09/2000 - 07/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionIs there a prohibition under title IV-E against claiming Federal financial participation (FFP) for adoption assistance for a child who receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
AnswerThere is no prohibition under title IV-E against claiming FFP for adoption assistance for a child who receives benefits from SSI. Section 473 of title IV-E created an adoption assistance program which permits Federal matching funds for the costs of adoption assistance for the purpose of encouraging the placement of eligible children in adoptive homes. Under title IV-E adoption assistance (section 473), the scope of eligibility specifically includes children with special needs who are eligible to receive SSI (473 (a)(2)(A)(ii)) as well as those eligible for AFDC (473 (a)(2)(A)(i)) and title IV-E foster care (473 (a)(2)(A)(iii)).

Title XVI (SSI) is a needs based program and, as such, requires a test of income and resources of the adoptive parents in determining the amount of the SSI benefit to which a child with a disability(ies) may be entitled. If (or when) the parental resources and income exceed a maximum level determined by the SSI program, the child is no longer eligible for SSI payments.

If the adoptive parents decide to decline adoption assistance and choose to receive only SSI for the child, and if they have not executed an adoption assistance agreement before the adoption is finalized, they may not later receive title IV-E adoption assistance payments, as the child would no longer meet all of the eligibility requirements as a child with special needs (section 473 (c)(2)). It may be prudent for the decision maker (parent, guardian, custodian, caretaker relative) to arrange for an adoption assistance agreement which does not provide for payment, but which does provide for title XVI and title XIX coverage, and which may at some future date, upon review, be renegotiated to provide for payment of adoption assistance funds.

The adoptive parents of a child eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance and SSI benefits may make application for both programs and the child, if eligible, may benefit from both programs simultaneously.

In cases where the child is eligible for both SSI and title IV-E and there is concurrent receipt of payments from both programs, "the child''s SSI payment will be reduced dollar for dollar without application of any exclusion", thus decreasing the SSI benefit by the amount of the title IV-E payment (SSI Program Operations Manual). To reiterate, concurrent receipt is subject to the SSI rule that the SSI payment will be reduced by the amount of the foster care payment.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PA-94-02 (2/4/94)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 473; 20 CFR 416.1100ff; Program Operations Manual System, Part 5, Supplemental Security Income Chapter 008 - Income, Subchapter 30 - Unearned Income

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8.2B.2 TITLE IV-E, Adoption Assistance Program, Eligibility, Children in foster care

Question Number 1:
07/24/2006 - Current
QuestionWould adoptive parents continue to be eligible to receive title IV-E adoption assistance payments on behalf of a child who has been placed in a psychiatric facility under the care and responsibility of the State agency through a voluntary placement agreement?
Answer*Yes. Title IV-E, section 473 (a)(4)(B) of the Social Security Act states that "no payment may be made to parents with respect to any child if the State determines that the parents are no longer legally responsible for the support of the child or if the State determines that the child is no longer receiving any support from such parents". Other than the age of the child, these two conditions are the only basis in the Act for terminating adoption assistance payments on behalf of a child unless requested by or agreed to by the adoptive parents. On the other hand, there is nothing to prevent the State agency or the court from requesting or ordering the parents to contribute toward the cost of the child's care in the psychiatric facility, in the same manner as any other parents would be asked in similar situations.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-85-12 (11/25/85)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - section 473 (a)(4)

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08/14/2000 - 07/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionWould adoptive parents continue to be eligible to receive title IV-E adoption assistance payments on behalf of a child who has been placed in a psychiatric facility under the care and responsibility of the State agency through a voluntary placement agreement?
AnswerYes. Title IV-E, section 473 (a)(3)(B) of the Social Security Act states that "no payment may be made to parents with respect to any child if the State determines that the parents are no longer legally responsible for the support of the child or if the State determines that the child is no longer receiving any support from such parents". Other than the age of the child, these two conditions are the only basis in the Act for terminating adoption assistance payments on behalf of a child unless requested by or agreed to by the adoptive parents. On the other hand, there is nothing to prevent the State agency or the court from requesting or ordering the parents to contribute toward the cost of the child''s care in the psychiatric facility, in the same manner as any other parents would be asked in similar situations.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-85-12 (11/25/85)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 473 (a)(3)

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8.3A.12 TITLE IV-E, Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program, Eligibility, Responsibility for placement and care

Question Number 1:
07/24/2006 - Current
Question*What does "responsibility for placement and care" mean? Are there certain activities which cannot be delegated? If so, which activities? Can the "case plan" be delegated while the child is under the care of the nonprofit agency? Does "responsibility for placement and care" mean that the State agency must have custody of the child or can the court give custody to a private nonprofit agency? We think "responsibility for placement and care" follows custody.
Answer*The title IV-E agency, or another public agency with whom the State agency has made an agreement which is still in effect, is to be assigned the overall responsibility for placement and care of the child, although many of the activities associated with the placement and care may be performed by others. Clearly, if the court assigns the responsibility for a child to an agency or institution other than the State or local agency administering the title IV-E foster care program or to another public agency with which the title IV-E agency has no agreement, no Federal financial participation (FFP) will be allowable.

Under title IV-E, to be eligible for FFP, section 472 (a)(2)(B) of the Social Security Act (the Act) requires that the responsibility for placement and care of the child is with the State agency administering the plan approved under section 471 of the Act, or any other public agency with whom the State agency administering or supervising the administration of the State plan approved under section 471 has made an agreement which is in effect.

A major responsibility in placement and care is the development of an individual case plan for the child, including periodic review of the appropriateness and suitability of the plan and the foster care placement, to ensure that proper care and services are provided to facilitate return to the child's own home or to make an alternative permanent placement. The case plan activities, such as assessing family strengths and needs, identifying and using community resources, and the periodic review and determination of the continued appropriateness of placement, and the efforts to finalize a permanency plan may be carried out by agencies from which services are purchased. However, the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that there is an appropriate plan of care, case review, and activities to improve the home of the child or identify and work toward a permanency plan for the child remains with the State agency identified in the State plan as having responsibility for the placement and care of the child. Thus, the State agency must actively supervise the various activities performed by the contractor or other agency. This supervision includes case plan assessment and case review functions and adherence to the requirements of the Act, Federal rules, regulations and policy interpretations in operation of the foster care maintenance program. The State is ultimately responsible for proper operation of the foster care program.

Although responsibility for placement and care generally is associated with child custody, custody of the child is not a requirement of Federal law or policy under title IV-E and the State agency need not be given custody, but must be given responsibility for placement and care of the child. Custody may be retained by the court or be given to a private nonprofit agency. However, the State agency administering the title IV-E plan or another public agency with which the title IV-E agency has a currently effective agreement can be given "responsibility for placement and care" in order to claim FFP for foster care costs under this program.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-82-07 (8/25/82)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 471 and 472

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09/15/2000 - 07/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionWhat does "responsbility for placement and care" mean? Are there certain activities which cannot be delegated? If so, which activities? Can the "case plan" be delegated while the child is under the care of the nonprofit agency? Does "responsibility for placement and care" mean that the State agency must have custody of the child or can the court give custody to a private nonprofit agency? We think "responsibility for placement and care" follows custody.
AnswerThe title IV-E agency, or another public agency with whom the State agency has made an agreement which is still in effect, is to be assigned the overall responsibility for placement and care of the child, although many of the activities associated with the placement and care may be performed by others. Clearly, if the court assigns the responsibility for a child to an agency or institution other than the State or local agency administering the title IV-E foster care program or to another public agency with which the title IV-E agency has no agreement, no Federal financial participation (FFP) will be allowable.

Under title IV-E, to be eligible for FFP, section 472 (a)(2) of the Social Security Act (the Act) requires that the responsibility for placement and care of the child is with the State agency administering the plan approved under section 471 of the Act, or any other public agency with whom the State agency administering or supervising the administration of the State plan approved under section 471 has made an agreement which is in effect.

A major responsibility in placement and care is the development of an individual case plan for the child, including periodic review of the appropriateness and suitability of the plan and the foster care placement, to ensure that proper care and services are provided to facilitate return to the child''s own home or to make an alternative permanent placement. The case plan activities, such as assessing family strengths and needs, identifying and using community resources, and the periodic review and determination of the continued appropriateness of placement, and the efforts to finalize a permanency plan may be carried out by agencies from which services are purchased. However, the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that there is an appropriate plan of care, case review, and activities to improve the home of the child or identify and work toward a permanency plan for the child remains with the State agency identified in the State plan as having responsibility for the placement and care of the child. Thus, the State agency must actively supervise the various activities performed by the contractor or other agency. This supervision includes case plan assessment and case review functions and adherence to the requirements of the Act, Federal rules, regulations and policy interpretations in operation of the foster care maintenance program. The State is ultimately responsible for proper operation of the foster care program.

Although responsibility for placement and care generally is associated with child custody, custody of the child is not a requirement of Federal law or policy under title IV-E and the State agency need not be given custody, but must be given responsibility for placement and care of the child. Custody may be retained by the court or be given to a private nonprofit agency. However, the State agency administering the title IV-E plan or another public agency with which the title IV-E agency has a currently effective agreement can be given "responsibility for placement and care" in order to claim FFP for foster care costs under this program.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-82-07 (8/25/82)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 471 and 472

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Question Number 2:
07/24/2006 - Current
QuestionCan foster care payments under title IV-E be made on behalf of a child initially placed under the care of another public agency (and no inter-agency agreement exists), when and if the responsibility for the placement and care of the child is later transferred to the State title IV-E agency?
Answer*Yes. Section 472 (a)(2)(B) of the Social Security Act (the Act) does not require that the child's placement and care be the initial responsibility of the State title IV-E agency, nor does it conversely prohibit a subsequent transfer from another public (or private) agency to the State agency from triggering eligibility for foster care payments for an otherwise eligible child. When all eligibility criteria in section 472(a) are met, a State may claim FFP from the first day of placement in the month in which all eligibility criteria have been met. FFP may not be retroactive to the time of removal.

Once the responsibility for placement and care has been given to the State agency, all of the State plan requirements in sections 471(a)(15) and (16) of the Act are applicable, including the title IV-E case plan and case review requirements.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-87-03 (6/1/87)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 471 and 472

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10/05/2000 - 07/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionCan foster care payments under title IV-E be made on behalf of a child initially placed under the care of another public agency (and no inter-agency agreement exists), when and if the responsibility for the placement and care of the child is later transferred to the State title IV-E agency?
AnswerYes. Section 472 (a)(2) of the Social Security Act (the Act) does not require that the child''s placement and care be the initial responsibility of the State title IV-E agency, nor does it conversely prohibit a subsequent transfer from another public (or private) agency to the State agency from triggering eligibility for foster care payments for an otherwise eligible child. When all eligibility criteria in section 472(a) are met, a State may claim FFP from the first day of placement in the month in which all eligibility criteria have been met. FFP may not be retroactive to the time of removal.

Once the responsibility for placement and care has been given to the State agency, all of the State plan requirements in sections 471(a)(15) and (16) of the Act are applicable, including the title IV-E case plan and case review requirements.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-87-03 (6/1/87)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 471 and 472

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Question Number 4:
07/24/2006 - Current
Question*Does responsibility for placement and care of the child as used in section 472(a)(2)(B) of title IV-E of the Social Security Act (the Act) equate with custody?
Answer*Not necessarily. The title IV-E foster care program requires, as a condition of eligibility, that a child's placement and care responsibility be vested either with the State agency or another public agency with which the State has a bona fide agreement pursuant to section 472(a)(2)(B)(ii) of the Act. The term placement and care means that the State agency is legally accountable for the day-to-day care and protection of the child who has come into foster care through either a court order or a voluntary placement agreement. Sometimes this responsibility translates to "custody" or "care and control" of the child via a court order, but custody is not a title IV-E requirement. Placement and care responsibility allows the State agency to make placement decisions about the child, such as where the child is placed and the type of placement most appropriate for the child. It also ensures that the State provides the child with the mandated statutory and regulatory protections, including case plans, administrative reviews, permanency hearings, and updated health and education records.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-82-07 (8/25/82); 6/23/03
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 471 and 472

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12/01/2004 - 07/24/2006
Question*Does responsibility for placement and care of the child as used in section 472(a)(2) of title IV-E of the Social Security Act (the Act) equate with custody?
AnswerNot necessarily. The title IV-E foster care program requires, as a condition of eligibility, that a child''s placement and care responsibility be vested either with the State agency or another public agency with which the State has a bona fide agreement pursuant to section 472(a)(2) of the Act. The term placement and care means that the State agency is legally accountable for the day-to-day care and protection of the child who has come into foster care through either a court order or a voluntary placement agreement. Sometimes this responsibility translates to "custody" or "care and control" of the child via a court order, but custody is not a title IV-E requirement. Placement and care responsibility allows the State agency to make placement decisions about the child, such as where the child is placed and the type of placement most appropriate for the child. It also ensures that the State provides the child with the mandated statutory and regulatory protections, including case plans, administrative reviews, permanency hearings, and updated health and education records.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-82-07 (8/25/82); 6/23/03
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 471 and 472

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07/11/2003 - 12/01/2004
QuestionDoes ?responsibility for placement and care of the child? as used in section 472(a)(2) of title IV-E of the Social Security Act (the Act) equate with custody?
AnswerNot necessarily. The title IV-E foster care program requires, as a condition of eligibility, that a child''s placement and care responsibility be vested either with the State agency or another public agency with which the State has a bona fide agreement pursuant to section 472(a)(2) of the Act. The term placement and care means that the State agency is legally accountable for the day-to-day care and protection of the child who has come into foster care through either a court order or a voluntary placement agreement. Sometimes this responsibility translates to "custody" or "care and control" of the child via a court order, but custody is not a title IV-E requirement. Placement and care responsibility allows the State agency to make placement decisions about the child, such as where the child is placed and the type of placement most appropriate for the child. It also ensures that the State provides the child with the mandated statutory and regulatory protections, including case plans, administrative reviews, permanency hearings, and updated health and education records.
Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PIQ-82-07 (8/25/82); 6/23/03
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 471 and 472

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06/27/2003 - 07/11/2003 (Original Record)
QuestionDoes ?responsibility for placement and care of the child? as used in section 472(a)(2) of title IV-E of the Social Security Act (the Act) equate with custody?
AnswerNot necessarily. The title IV-E foster care program requires, as a condition of eligibility, that a child''s placement and care responsibility be vested either with the State agency or another public agency with which the State has a bona fide agreement pursuant to section 472(a)(2) of the Act. The term placement and care means that the State agency is legally accountable for the day-to-day care and protection of the child who has come into foster care through either a court order or a voluntary placement agreement. Sometimes this responsibility translates to "custody" or "care and control" of the child via a court order, but custody is not a title IV-E requirement. Placement and care responsibility allows the State agency to make placement decisions about the child, such as where the child is placed and the type of placement most appropriate for the child. It also ensures that the State provides the child with the mandated statutory and regulatory protections, including case plans, administrative reviews, permanency hearings, and updated health and education records.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-82-07 (8/25/82)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 471 and 472

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8.3B.1 TITLE IV-E, Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program, Payments, Allowable costs

Question Number 2:
09/01/2009 - Current
Question*In child care institutions, are costs that are normally associated with family activities such as going to a baseball game, picnics, etc., allowable for Federal financial participation (FFP) in the title IV-E Foster Care Maintenance Payment Program? What about staff time for supervision, transportation, tickets, etc.?
Answer*Reimbursement of recreation costs per se is not permitted under title IV-E (see the definition of "foster care maintenance payments" under section 475(4) of the Social Security Act). Since section 475(4) includes "a child's personal incidentals," however, the reasonable and occasional cost of such items as tickets or other admission fees for sporting, entertainment or cultural events or dues for clubs are reimbursable under title IV-E Foster Care as a part of the maintenance payment.

The costs of staff necessary to provide supervision to insure the well being and safety of children on or off campus are allowable even if the event has recreational components. The costs of staff merely accompanying the children but not necessary for their supervision are not allowable.

Transportation as a separate item of expense is not allowable except for reasonable travel to the child's home for visitation and reasonable travel for the child to remain in the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement.

Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PIQ-87-02 revised 08/31/09
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 472, 474 and 475 (4)

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09/15/2000 - 09/01/2009 (Original Record)
QuestionIn child care institutions, are costs that are normally associated with family activities such as going to a baseball game, picnics, etc., allowable for Federal financial participation (FFP) in the title IV-E Foster Care Maintenance Payment Program? What about staff time for supervision, transportation, tickets, etc.?
AnswerLocal travel associated with providing the items listed in the first sentence of section 475 (4)(A) of the Social Security Act (the Act): food; clothing; shelter; daily supervision; school supplies; and a child''s personal incidentals is an allowable expenditure for title IV-E foster care reimbursement.

The cost of local transportation associated with the items listed at section 475(4)(A) is presumably included in the basic title IV-E foster care maintenance payment. Transportation as a separate item of expense is not allowable except for reasonable travel to the child''s home for visitation. The items enumerated in the question were assessed based on these criteria.

(1) The foster parent''s involvement in/attendance at administrative case/judicial reviews, case conferences/team meetings, school conferences, and foster parent training: these items do not coincide with the definition at section 475 (4)(A). Therefore, transportation associated with them is not an allowable title IV-E foster care maintenance expenditure. However, section 474 (a) of the Act states that each State shall be entitled to a payment "... for the proper and efficient administration of the State plan...." Transportation to provide for a foster parent''s attendance at administrative case/judicial reviews and mandatory case conferences/team meetings is an allowable title IV-E administrative expenditure because these activities provide for the proper and efficient administration of the title IV-E State plan. Additionally, section 474(3)(B) of the Act states that each State shall be entitled to Federal financial participation for "... expenditures (including travel and per diem expenses) as are for the short-term training of current or prospective foster or adoptive parents..." Transportation to provide for foster parent''s attendance at mandatory foster parent training is an allowable title IV-E training expenditure.

(2) The travel of a child in foster care to/from the following activities:

a. allowable day care: transportation as a separate item of expense is not allowable except for reasonable travel to the child''s home for visitation. However, the costs of transporting a child in foster care to and from child care that substitutes for daily supervision are allowable and presumed to be included in the basic foster care maintenance payment;

b. school attendance and extracurricular activities: the primary function of school is to provide education. Since education is not in the definition found at section 475(4)(A), transportation to and from school is not an allowable title IV-E foster care maintenance expenditure. However, transportation associated with the child''s attendance at his/her school of origin is an allowable administrative cost under title IV-E because such transportation is related to case management and therefore necessary for the proper and efficient administration of the title IV-E State plan (see Child Welfare Policy Manual section 8.1B and 45 CFR 1356.60(c)(2)). The cost of transportation to and from extracurricular activities that substitute for daily supervision is allowable and presumed to be included in the basic title IV-E foster care maintenance payment;

c. pre-placement visits: this activity does not fall under the definition at section 475(4)(A). Therefore, transportation to and from pre-placement visits is not an allowable foster care maintenance expenditure. However, regulations at 45 CFR 1356.60(c)(2) list "placement of the child" as an example of an allowable administrative cost;

d. foster family trips: transportation for foster family trips is not an allowable expenditure under title IV-E because these trips do not coincide with the items described at section 475(4)(A) of the Act. Transportation as a separate item of expense is not allowable except for reasonable travel to the child''s home for visitation;

e. sports and cultural events: the reimbursement of recreation costs per se is not permitted under title IV-E. Since section 475(4) includes "a child''s personal incidentals" the reasonable and occasional cost of such items as tickets or other admission fees for sporting, entertainment or cultural events are reimbursable under title IV-E Foster Care as a part of the maintenance payment. Transportation to and from these events is presumed to be included in the basic foster care maintenance payment;

f. administrative case/judicial reviews: transportation costs associated with the child''s attendance at administrative case/judicial reviews are not allowable expenditures under title IV-E foster care maintenance because these activities do not coincide with the items described at section 475(4)(A). However, transportation costs associated with the child''s attendance at administrative case/judicial reviews are allowable administrative costs under title IV-E because they provide for the proper and efficient administration of the title IV-E State plan;

g. visitation at other locations, e.g., in the child welfare office: the statute provides for "reasonable travel to a child''s home for visitation," however, in many circumstances, it is not possible or appropriate for visitation to occur at the child''s home. Therefore, reasonable transportation costs for visits at locations other than the child''s home, e.g., at the child welfare office or other location deemed appropriate by the agency, are allowable as separate expenditures under title IV-E foster care maintenance. Transportation costs for visitation are only reimbursable for the child and not for the costs of a biological parent or other relative visiting with the child. States may use title XX or title IV-B funds for that purpose; or

h. visitation with siblings, other relatives, or other caretakers: since section 475(4)(A) does not specify with whom visits must occur, reasonable travel for visits with siblings, relatives, or other caretakers is an allowable separate title IV-E foster care maintenance expenditure. Again, transportation costs for visitation are only reimbursable for the child and not for the costs of a relative visiting with the child. States may use title XX or title IV-B funds for that purpose.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-87-02 (5/18/87)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 472, 474 and 475 (4)

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Question Number 4:
09/01/2009 - Current
QuestionFor which of the following purpose(s) may transportation services be claimed for reimbursement as a foster care maintenance payment: (1) the foster parent's involvement in/attendance at administrative case/judicial reviews, case conferences/team meetings, school conferences, and foster parent training; (2) the travel of a child in foster care to/from the following activities: (a) allowable day care, (b) school attendance and extracurricular activities, (c) pre-placement visits, (d) foster family trips, (e) sports and cultural events, (f) administrative case/judicial reviews, (g) visitation at other locations, e.g., in the child welfare office, or, (h) visitation with siblings, other relatives, or other caretakers?
Answer*Local travel associated with providing the items listed in the first sentence of section 475 (4)(A) of the Social Security Act (the Act): food; clothing; shelter; daily supervision; school supplies; and a child's personal incidentals is an allowable expenditure for title IV-E foster care reimbursement.

The cost of local transportation associated with the items listed at section 475(4)(A) is presumably included in the basic title IV-E foster care maintenance payment. Transportation as a separate item of expense is not allowable except for reasonable travel to the child's home for visitation and for the child to remain in the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement. The items enumerated in the question were assessed based on these criteria.

(1) a. The foster parent's involvement in/attendance at administrative case/judicial reviews, case conferences/team meetings, and foster parent training: these items do not coincide with the definition at section 475 (4)(A). Therefore, transportation associated with them is not an allowable title IV-E foster care maintenance expenditure. However, section 474 (a) of the Act states that each State shall be entitled to a payment "... for the proper and efficient administration of the State plan...." Transportation to provide for a foster parent's attendance at administrative case/judicial reviews and mandatory case conferences/team meetings is an allowable title IV-E administrative expenditure because these activities provide for the proper and efficient administration of the title IV-E State plan. Additionally, section 474(3)(B) of the Act states that each State shall be entitled to Federal financial participation for "... expenditures (including travel and per diem expenses) as are for the short-term training of current or prospective foster or adoptive parents..." Transportation and per diem to provide for foster parent's attendance at mandatory foster parent training is an allowable title IV-E training expenditure.

b. The cost of a foster parent traveling to attend school conferences in the school in which the child was enrolled at the time of placement would be an allowable foster care maintenance expenditure because section (475(4) of the Act includes the cost of reasonable travel for the child to remain in that school.

(2) The travel of a child in foster care to/from the following activities:

a. allowable day care: transportation as a separate item of expense is not allowable except for reasonable travel to the child's home for visitation. However, the costs of transporting a child in foster care to and from child care that substitutes for daily supervision are allowable and presumed to be included in the basic foster care maintenance payment;

b. school attendance and extracurricular activities: Section 475(4) of the Act includes the cost of reasonable travel for the child to remain in the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement in foster care as allowable as a title IV-E foster care maintenance expenditure. Additionally, other transportation associated with the child's attendance at his/her school of origin is an allowable administrative cost under title IV-E because such transportation is related to case management and therefore necessary for the proper and efficient administration of the title IV-E State plan (see Child Welfare Policy Manual section 8.1B and 45 CFR 1356.60(c)(2)). The cost of transportation to and from extracurricular activities that substitute for daily supervision is also allowable and presumed to be included in the basic title IV-E foster care maintenance payment;

c. pre-placement visits: this activity does not fall under the definition at section 475(4)(A). Therefore, transportation to and from pre-placement visits is not an allowable foster care maintenance expenditure. However, regulations at 45 CFR 1356.60(c)(2) list "placement of the child" as an example of an allowable administrative cost;

d. foster family trips: transportation for foster family trips is not an allowable expenditure under title IV-E because these trips do not coincide with the items described at section 475(4)(A) of the Act. Transportation as a separate item of expense is not allowable except for reasonable travel to the child's home for visitation;

e. sports and cultural events: the reimbursement of recreation costs per se is not permitted under title IV-E. Since section 475(4) includes "a child's personal incidentals" the reasonable and occasional cost of such items as tickets or other admission fees for sporting, entertainment or cultural events are reimbursable under title IV-E Foster Care as a part of the maintenance payment. Transportation to and from these events is presumed to be included in the basic foster care maintenance payment;

f. administrative case/judicial reviews: transportation costs associated with the child's attendance at administrative case/judicial reviews are not allowable expenditures under title IV-E foster care maintenance because these activities do not coincide with the items described at section 475(4)(A). However, transportation costs associated with the child's attendance at administrative case/judicial reviews are allowable administrative costs under title IV-E because they provide for the proper and efficient administration of the title IV-E State plan;

g. visitation at other locations, e.g., in the child welfare office: the statute provides for "reasonable travel to a child's home for visitation," however, in many circumstances, it is not possible or appropriate for visitation to occur at the child's home. Therefore, reasonable transportation costs for visits at locations other than the child's home, e.g., at the child welfare office or other location deemed appropriate by the agency, are allowable as separate expenditures under title IV-E foster care maintenance. Transportation costs for visitation are only reimbursable for the child and not for the costs of a biological parent or other relative visiting with the child. States may use title XX or title IV-B funds for that purpose; or

h. visitation with siblings, other relatives, or other caretakers: since section 475(4)(A) does not specify with whom visits must occur, reasonable travel for visits with siblings, relatives, or other caretakers is an allowable separate title IV-E foster care maintenance expenditure. Again, transportation costs for visitation are only reimbursable for the child and not for the costs of a relative visiting with the child. States may use title XX or title IV-B funds for that purpose.

Source/Date*12/31/07 revised 08/31/09
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 472, 474 and 475; 45 CFR 1356.60

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10/01/2000 - 12/31/2007 (Original Record)
QuestionFor which of the following purpose(s) may transportation services be claimed for reimbursement as a foster care maintenance payment:

(1) the foster parent's involvement in/attendance at administrative case/judicial reviews, case conferences/team meetings, school conferences, and foster parent training; (2) the travel of a child in foster care to/from the following activities: (a) allowable day care, (b) school attendance and extracurricular activities, (c) pre-placement visits, (d) foster family trips, (e) sports and cultural events, (f) administrative case/judicial reviews, (g) visitation at other locations, e.g., in the child welfare office, or, (h) visitation with siblings, other relatives, or other caretakers?

AnswerLocal travel associated with providing the items listed in the first sentence of section 475 (4)(A) of the Social Security Act (the Act): food; clothing; shelter; daily supervision; school supplies; and a child''s personal incidentals is an allowable expenditure for title IV-E foster care reimbursement.

The cost of local transportation associated with the items listed at section 475(4)(A) is presumably included in the basic title IV-E foster care maintenance payment. Transportation as a separate item of expense is not allowable except for reasonable travel to the child''s home for visitation. The items enumerated in the question were assessed based on these criteria.

(1) The foster parent''s involvement in/attendance at administrative case/judicial reviews, case conferences/team meetings, school conferences, and foster parent training: these items do not coincide with the definition at section 475 (4)(A). Therefore, transportation associated with them is not an allowable title IV-E foster care maintenance expenditure. However, section 474 (a) of the Act states that each State shall be entitled to a payment "... for the proper and efficient administration of the State plan...." Transportation to provide for a foster parent''s attendance at administrative case/judicial reviews and mandatory case conferences/team meetings is an allowable title IV-E administrative expenditure because these activities provide for the proper and efficient administration of the title IV-E State plan. Additionally, section 474(3)(B) of the Act states that each State shall be entitled to Federal financial participation for "... expenditures (including travel and per diem expenses) as are for the short-term training of current or prospective foster or adoptive parents..." Transportation to provide for foster parent''s attendance at mandatory foster parent training is an allowable title IV-E training expenditure.

(2) The travel of a child in foster care to/from the following activities:

a. allowable day care: transportation as a separate item of expense is not allowable except for reasonable travel to the child''s home for visitation. However, the costs of transporting a child in foster care to and from child care that substitutes for daily supervision are allowable and presumed to be included in the basic foster care maintenance payment;

b. school attendance and extracurricular activities: the primary function of school is to provide education. Since education is not in the definition found at section 475(4)(A), transportation to and from school is not an allowable title IV-E foster care maintenance expenditure. The cost of transportation to and from extracurricular activities that substitute for daily supervision is allowable and presumed to be included in the basic title IV-E foster care maintenance payment;

c. pre-placement visits: this activity does not fall under the definition at section 475(4)(A). Therefore, transportation to and from pre-placement visits is not an allowable foster care maintenance expenditure. However, regulations at 45 CFR 1356.60(c)(2) list "placement of the child" as an example of an allowable administrative cost;

d. foster family trips: transportation for foster family trips is not an allowable expenditure under title IV-E because these trips do not coincide with the items described at section 475(4)(A) of the Act. Transportation as a separate item of expense is not allowable except for reasonable travel to the child''s home for visitation;

e. sports and cultural events: the reimbursement of recreation costs per se is not permitted under title IV-E. Since section 475(4) includes "a child''s personal incidentals" the reasonable and occasional cost of such items as tickets or other admission fees for sporting, entertainment or cultural events are reimbursable under title IV-E Foster Care as a part of the maintenance payment. Transportation to and from these events is presumed to be included in the basic foster care maintenance payment;

f. administrative case/judicial reviews: transportation costs associated with the child''s attendance at administrative case/judicial reviews are not allowable expenditures under title IV-E foster care maintenance because these activities do not coincide with the items described at section 475(4)(A). However, transportation costs associated with the child''s attendance at administrative case/judicial reviews are allowable administrative costs under title IV-E because they provide for the proper and efficient administration of the title IV-E State plan;

g. visitation at other locations, e.g., in the child welfare office: the statute provides for "reasonable travel to a child''s home for visitation," however, in many circumstances, it is not possible or appropriate for visitation to occur at the child''s home. Therefore, reasonable transportation costs for visits at locations other than the child''s home, e.g., at the child welfare office or other location deemed appropriate by the agency, are allowable as separate expenditures under title IV-E foster care maintenance. Transportation costs for visitation are only reimbursable for the child and not for the costs of a biological parent or other relative visiting with the child. States may use title XX or title IV-B funds for that purpose; or

h. visitation with siblings, other relatives, or other caretakers: since section 475(4)(A) does not specify with whom visits must occur, reasonable travel for visits with siblings, relatives, or other caretakers is an allowable separate title IV-E foster care maintenance expenditure. Again, transportation costs for visitation are only reimbursable for the child and not for the costs of a relative visiting with the child. States may use title XX or title IV-B funds for that purpose.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 472, 474 and 475; 45 CFR 1356.60

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Question Number 5:
06/13/2005 - Current
QuestionWhat is an acceptable profit margin for a for-profit child-care institution that services title IV-E eligible children?
Answer*When contracting for goods or services with a profit-making enterprise, there is a presumption that a certain amount of profit is included in the price offered. While there are no Federal guidelines limiting the amount or percentage of profit that may be included in such a contracted price, States are required to obtain the most beneficial pricing by adhering to the "Procurement Standards" mandated by 45 CFR 92.36 and the requirements of OMB Circular A-87, that "...(t)o be allowable under Federal awards, costs must ... (b)e necessary and reasonable for proper and efficient performance and administration of Federal awards."

In defining "reasonable costs", A-87 provides the following guidance:

"... A cost is reasonable if, in its nature and amount, it does not exceed that which would be incurred by a prudent person under the circumstances prevailing at the time the decision was made to incur the cost ...In determining reasonableness of a given cost, consideration shall be given to: Whether the cost is of a type generally recognized as ordinary and necessary for the operation of the governmental unit or the performance of the Federal award; The restraints or requirements imposed by such factors as - sound business practices, arms length bargaining, Federal, State and other laws and regulations, and, terms and conditions of the Federal award; Market prices for comparable goods or services; Whether the individuals concerned acted with prudence in the circumstances considering their responsibilities to the governmental unit, its employees, the public at large, and the Federal Government; Significant deviations from the established practices of the governmental unit which may unjustifiably increase the Federal award's cost."

Accordingly, when States are awarding contracts to for-profit child-care institutions under title IV-E, it is whether the price itself is reasonable under the A-87 standards that will be used to determine the allowability of that cost, not the amount of profit which a contractor may be making under that contract.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PA-97-01 (7/25/97)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 472 and 473; PL 104-193; OMB Circular Number A-87

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10/01/2000 - 06/13/2005 (Original Record)
QuestionWhat is an acceptable profit margin for a for-profit child-care institution that services title IV-E eligible children?
AnswerWhen contracting for goods or services with a profit-making enterprise, there is a presumption that a certain amount of profit is included in the price offered. While there are no Federal guidelines limiting the amount or percentage of profit that may be included in such a contracted price, States are required to obtain the most beneficial pricing by adhering to the "Procurement Standards" mandated by 45 CFR 74.40 through 74.48 and the requirements of OMB Circular A-87, that "...(t)o be allowable under

Federal awards, costs must ... (b)e necessary and reasonable for proper and efficient performance and administration of Federal awards."

In defining "reasonable costs", A-87 provides the following guidance:

"... A cost is reasonable if, in its nature and amount, it does not exceed that which would be incurred by a prudent person under the circumstances prevailing at the time the decision was made to incur the cost ...In determining reasonableness of a given cost, consideration shall be given to: Whether the cost is of a type generally recognized as ordinary and necessary for the operation of the governmental unit or the performance of the Federal award; The restraints or requirements imposed by such factors as - sound business practices, arms length bargaining, Federal, State and other laws and regulations, and, terms and conditions of the Federal award; Market prices for comparable goods or services; Whether the individuals concerned acted with prudence in the circumstances considering their responsibilities to the governmental unit, its employees, the public at large, and the Federal Government; Significant deviations from the established practices of the governmental unit which may unjustifiably increase the Federal award''s cost."

Accordingly, when States are awarding contracts to for-profit child-care institutions under title IV-E, it is whether the price itself is reasonable under the A-87 standards that will be used to determine the allowability of that cost, not the amount of profit which a contractor may be making under that contract.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PA-97-01 (7/25/97)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 472 and 473; PL 104-193; OMB Circular Number A-87

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8.4C TITLE IV-E, General Title IV-E Requirements, Child support

Question Number 1:
06/13/2013 - Current
Question*As part of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) requirements for eligibility, the parents must sign a child support assignment form. Does this provision apply to title IV-E?
Answer*When Public Law 96-272 established title IV-E in 1980, it made no provision for the assignment of support rights as a condition of eligibility. Early developmental policy stated that under title IV-E the assigment of support rights was optional; however, section 471(a)(17) of the Social Security Act (as amended by Public Law 98-378, (effective October 1, 1984)) requires title IV-E agencies to take steps to secure an assignment of support rights on behalf of each child receiving title IV-E foster care maintenance payments. However, a child is not ineligible under title IV-E because the parent fails to comply with certain AFDC requirements in regard to child support assignment.

According to the regulations, "a child may not be denied AFDC either initially or subsequently because a parent or other caretaker relative fails to cooperate with the child support agency..." (45 CFR 233.90 (b)(4)(i)).

Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PIQ-85-07 (6/25/85) (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related References45 CFR 233.90

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02/03/2001 - 06/13/2013 (Original Record)
QuestionAs part of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) requirements for initial eligibility, the parents must sign a child support assignment form. Does this provision apply to title IV-E?
AnswerWhen Public Law 96-272 established title IV-E in 1980, it made no provision for the assignment of support rights as a condition of eligibility. Early developmental policy stated that under title IV-E the assigment of support rights was optional; however, section 471 (a) (as amended by Public Law 98-378, (effective October 1, 1984)) requires States to take steps to secure an assignment of support rights on behalf of each child receiving title IV-E foster care maintenance payments. However, a child is not ineligible under title IV-E because the parent fails to comply with certain AFDC requirements in regard to child support assignment.

According to the regulations, "a child may not be denied AFDC either initially or subsequently because a parent or other caretaker relative fails to cooperate with the child support agency..." (45 CFR 233.90 (b)(4)(1)).

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-85-07 (6/25/85)
Legal and Related References45 CFR 233.90

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Question Number 2:
06/13/2013 - Current
QuestionA child for whom title IV-E adoption assistance payments are made re-enters foster care and becomes eligible for title IV-E foster care maintenance payments. Must the title IV-E agency refer the child to the title IV-D agency to establish and collect child support?
Answer*Title IV-E agencies are required to refer children receiving title IV-E foster care to title IV-D for child support enforcement, but are afforded some degree of flexibility by title IV-E in determining which cases are appropriate for referral. The title IV-E plan must provide that, "where appropriate all steps will be taken, including cooperative efforts with the State agencies administering the plans approved under parts A and D, to secure an assignment to the State of any rights to support on behalf of each child receiving foster care maintenance payments under this part" (Section 471(a)(17) of the Social Security Act).

To determine if a case is "appropriate" to refer to the title IV-D agency, the title IV-E agency should evaluate it on an individual basis, considering the best interests of the child and the circumstances of the family. For example, is the parent working towards reunification with the child, consistent with the case plan? Would the referral impede the parent's ability to reunify with the child? Has the parent agreed to pay for the costs of out-of-home care or to temporarily accept a reduction in the adoption assistance payment? Questions of this nature should guide the agency's decision making regarding whether or not the referral should be made to the title IV-D agency.

Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PIQ-98-02 (9/03/98) (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 471(a)(17)

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02/19/2001 - 06/13/2013 (Original Record)
QuestionA child for whom title IV-E adoption assistance payments are made re-enters foster care and becomes eligible for title IV-E foster care maintenance payments. Must the title IV-E agency refer the child to the title IV-D agency to establish and collect child support?
AnswerStates are required to refer children receiving title IV-E foster care to title IV-D for child support enforcement, but are afforded some degree of flexibility by title IV-E in determining which cases are appropriate for referral. The State''s title IV-E plan must provide that, "where appropriate all steps will be taken, including cooperative efforts with the State agencies administering the plans approved under parts A and D, to secure an assignment to the State of any rights to support on behalf of each child receiving foster care maintenance payments under this part" (Section 471(a)(17) of the Social Security Act).

To determine if a case is "appropriate" to refer to the title IV-D agency, the State should evaluate it on an individual basis, considering the best interests of the child and the circumstances of the family. For example, is the parent working towards reunification with the child, consistent with the case plan? Would the referral impede the parent''s ability to reunify with the child? Has the parent agreed to pay for the costs of out-of-home care or to temporarily accept a reduction in the adoption assistance payment? Questions of this nature should guide the agency''s decision making regarding whether or not the referral should be made to the title IV-D agency.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-98-02 (9/03/98)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 471(a)(17)

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2.1 CAPTA, Assurances and Requirements

Question Number 1:
12/13/2011 - Current
Question*Must the policies that are the subject of the CAPTA assurances be embodied in State statutes?
Answer*There are five assurances in CAPTA that require provisions in State law. Those are: 1) a law for mandatory reporting by individuals required to report child abuse and neglect (section 106(b)(2)(B)(i)); 2) provisions for immunity from prosecution under State and local laws and regulations for individuals making good faith reports of suspected or known instances of child abuse or neglect (section 106(b)(2)(B)(vii)); 3) upon implementation of provisions, procedures or mechanisms to assure that the State does not require reunification of a surviving child with a parent who has committed certain felonies, that conviction of any one of those felonies constitute grounds under State law for the termination of parental rights of the convicted parent as to the surviving children (section 106(b)(2)(B)(xvii)); 4) authority under State law for the State CPS system to pursue any legal remedies, including the authority to initiate legal proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction, as may be necessary to prevent the withholding of medically indicated treatment from disabled infants with life-threatening conditions (section 106(b)(2)(C)(iii)); and 5) authority under State law to permit the State's CPS system to pursue any legal remedies, including the authority to initiate legal proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction, to provide medical care or treatment for a child when such care or treatment is necessary to prevent or remedy serious harm to the child, or to prevent the withholding of medically indicated treatments from disabled infants with life-threatening conditions (section 113(b)).

However, if a State has a law in effect which conflicts with the provisions in any assurance, or the State's statutory definitions of "child abuse and neglect" and "sexual abuse" do not meet the minimum standards in sections 3(2) and 111(4) of CAPTA, it must modify its statute to correspond with the CAPTA requirements.

Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97); updated 12/9/11
Legal and Related References*Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - sections 3, 106, 111 and 113

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09/15/2000 - 12/13/2011 (Original Record)
QuestionMust the policies that are the subject of the CAPTA assurances, be embodied in State statutes?
AnswerThere are only four assurances in the CAPTA amendments of 1996 that require provisions in State law. Those are: Provisions for immunity from prosecution under State and local laws and regulations for individuals making good faith reports of suspected or known instances of child abuse or neglect (section 106 (b)(2)(A)(iv)); Upon implementation of provisions, procedures or mechanisms to assure that the State does not require reunification of a surviving child with a parent who has committed certain felonies, that conviction of any one of those felonies constitute grounds under State law for the termination of parental rights of the convicted parent as to the surviving children (section 106 (b)(2)(xiii)); Authority under State law for the State CPS system to pursue any legal remedies, including the authority to initiate legal proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction, as may be necessary to prevent the withholding of medically indicated treatment from disabled infants with life-threatening conditions (section 106 (b)(2)(B)(iii)); and authority under State law to permit the CPS system of the State to pursue any legal remedies, including the authority to initiate legal proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction, to provide medical care or treatment for a child when such care or treatment is necessary to prevent or remedy serious harm to the child, or to prevent the withholding of medically indicated treatments from disabled infants with life-treatening conditions (section 113).

However, if a State has a law in effect which conflicts with the provisions in any assurance, or the State''s statutory definitions of "child abuse and neglect" and "sexual abuse" do not meet the minimum standards in sections 111 (2) and 111 (4) of CAPTA, it must modify its statute to correspond with the CAPTA requirements.

Source/DateACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97)
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - sections 106, 111 and 113

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Question Number 2:
04/17/2006 - Current
QuestionDoes the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) intend to do in-depth reviews of State statutes and policies to determine State eligibility under the CAPTA Amendments of 1996?
Answer*CAPTA, as amended in the 1996 reauthorization, made a shift from eligibility requirements to submission of a State plan with assurances in the form of certifications by the State's Chief Executive Officer that certain provisions, procedures, or programs are in place in the State. Legislative history confirms that it was Congressional intent to simplify and streamline the administration of CAPTA at the Federal, State and local levels (Congressional Record - House, September 25, 1996, p. H11148). Accordingly, the primary responsibility for review of State statutes and policies rests with the States.

If there are instances in which ACYF is presented with evidence of potential deficiencies (e.g., through the new child and family services program reviews being conducted by the Children's Bureau, or other sources), action will be taken to verify whether a problem actually exists. If a deficiency is verified, the State will be notified in writing and will be required to take corrective action within a specified timeframe. Funds will not be jeopardized unless the State fails to correct the deficiency within the specified timeframe.

Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97); updated 2/3/05
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.)

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02/03/2005 - 04/17/2006
QuestionDoes the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) intend to do in-depth reviews of State statutes and policies to determine State eligibility under the CAPTA Amendments of 1996?
AnswerCAPTA, as amended in 1996, made a shift from eligibility requirements to submission of a State plan with assurances in the form of certifications by the State''s Chief Executive Officer that certain provisions, procedures, or programs are in place in the State. Legislative history confirms that it was Congressional intent to simplify and streamline the administration of CAPTA at the Federal, State and local levels (Congressional Record - House, September 25, 1996, p. H11148). Accordingly, the primary responsibility for review of State statutes and policies rests with the States.

If there are instances in which ACYF is presented with evidence of potential deficiencies (e.g., through the new child and family services program reviews being conducted by the Children''s Bureau, or other sources), action will be taken to verify whether a problem actually exists. If a deficiency is verified, the State will be notified in writing and will be required to take corrective action within a specified timeframe. Funds will not be jeopardized unless the State fails to correct the deficiency within the specified timeframe.

Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97) (updated 2/3/05)
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.)

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02/03/2005 - 02/03/2005
QuestionDoes the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) intend to do in-depth reviews of State statutes and policies to determine State eligibility under the CAPTA Amendments of 1996?
AnswerCAPTA, as amended in 1996, made a shift from eligibility requirements to submission of a State plan with assurances in the form of certifications by the State''s Chief Executive Officer that certain provisions, procedures, or programs are in place in the State. Legislative history confirms that it was Congressional intent to simplify and streamline the administration of CAPTA at the Federal, State and local levels (Congressional Record - House, September 25, 1996, p. H11148). Accordingly, the primary responsibility for review of State statutes and policies rests with the States.

If there are instances in which ACYF is presented with evidence of potential deficiencies (e.g., through the new child and family services program reviews being conducted by the Children''s Bureau, or other sources), action will be taken to verify whether a problem actually exists. If a deficiency is verified, the State will be notified in writing and will be required to take corrective action within a specified timeframe. Funds will not be jeopardized unless the State fails to correct the deficiency within the specified timeframe.

Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97) (2/3/05)
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.)

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04/01/2001 - 02/03/2005 (Original Record)
QuestionDoes the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) intend to do in-depth reviews of State statutes and policies to determine State eligibility under the CAPTA Amendments of 1996?
AnswerCAPTA, as amended in 1996, made a shift from eligibility requirements to submission of a State plan with assurances in the form of certifications by the State''s Chief Executive Officer that certain provisions, procedures, or programs are in place in the State. Legislative history confirms that it was Congressional intent to simplify and streamline the administration of CAPTA at the Federal, State and local levels (Congressional Record - House, September 25, 1996, p. H11148). Accordingly, the primary responsibility for review of State statutes and policies rests with the States.

If there are instances in which ACYF is presented with evidence of potential deficiencies (e.g., through the new child and family services program reviews being conducted by the Children''s Bureau, or other sources), action will be taken to verify whether a problem actually exists. If a deficiency is verified, the State will be notified in writing and will be required to take corrective action within a specified timeframe. Funds will not be jeopardized unless the State fails to correct the deficiency within the specified timeframe.

Source/DateACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97)
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.)

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2.1A.3 CAPTA, Assurances and Requirements, Access to Child Abuse and Neglect Information, Open courts

Question Number 1:
04/17/2006 - Current
Question*Would there be a conflict with the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) confidentiality requirements if a State chooses to open proceedings relating to child abuse and neglect to the public?
Answer*No. The 2003 amendments to CAPTA specifically give States the flexibility to determine State policies with respect to open courts, so long as such policies ensure the safety and well-being of the child, parents and families (last paragraph of section 106(b)(2)). There may be other Federal confidentiality restrictions for the State to consider when implementing this CAPTA provision.
Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97); updated 3/22/06
Legal and Related References*Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106(b)(2); Titles IV-E and IV-B of the Social Security Act

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08/07/2000 - 04/17/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionWould there be a conflict with the CAPTA confidentiality requirements if a State chooses to open proceedings relating to child abuse and neglect to the public?
AnswerJuvenile courts were set up separately from adult court proceedings in order to have non-criminal civil proceedings that would create an environment to assist in family problem-solving while protecting the privacy rights of the child and family. The opening of these proceedings would not in itself be in conflict with the statute in that the statute requires confidentiality for "reports and records". However, to the extent that the proceedings involve CPS reports and records which are otherwise confidential, there would be a conflict unless there are provisions to maintain the confidentiality of these records vis-a-vis the public.
Source/DateACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97)
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106

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8.1D TITLE IV-E, Administrative Functions/Costs, Candidates

Question Number 1:
07/12/2006 - Current
QuestionMay we claim Federal financial participation (FFP) for the administrative costs associated with foster care candidates even for children who never enter foster care?
Answer*Yes. Federal financial participation for administrative costs listed at 45 CFR l356.60(c) may be claimed regardless of whether the child is actually placed in foster care and becomes a recipient of title IV-E foster care benefits. However, reimbursement is limited to those individuals the State reasonably views as candidates for foster care maintenance payments consistent with section 472(i)(2) of the Social Security Act.

The three acceptable methods of documentation indicating that a child is a candidate for foster care benefits are: (l) A defined case plan which clearly indicates that, absent effective preventive services, foster care is the planned arrangement for the child, (2) an eligibility determination form which has been completed to establish the child's eligibility under title IV-E, or (3) evidence of court proceedings in relation to the removal of the child from the home, in the form of a petition to the court, a court order or a transcript of the court's proceedings.

Should the State determine that the child is no longer a candidate for foster care at any point prior to the removal of the child from his home, subsequent activities will not be allowable for reimbursement of costs under title IV-E.

Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PA-87-05 (10/22/87); 7/7/2006
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - sections 471 (a)(15) and 472(i)(2); DHHS Grant Appeals Board Decision No. 844; ACYF-CB-IM-06-02

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07/31/2000 - 07/12/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionMay we claim Federal financial participation (FFP) for the administrative costs associated with foster care candidates even for children who never enter foster care?
AnswerYes. Federal financial participation for administrative costs listed at 45 CFR l356.60 (c) may be claimed regardless of whether the child is actually placed in foster care and becomes a recipient of title IV-E foster care benefits. However, reimbursement is limited to those individuals the State reasonably views as candidates for foster care maintenance payments.

The three acceptable methods of documentation indicating that a child is a candidate for foster care benefits are: (l) A defined case plan which clearly indicates that, absent effective preventive services, foster care is the planned arrangement for the child, (2) an eligibility determination form which has been completed to establish the child''s eligibility under title IV-E, or (3) evidence of court proceedings in relation to the removal of the child from the home, in the form of a petition to the court, a court order or a transcript of the court''s proceedings.

Should the State determine that the child is no longer a candidate for foster care at any point prior to the removal of the child from his home, subsequent activities will not be allowable for reimbursement of costs under title IV-E.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PA-87-05 (10/22/87)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 471 (a)(15) and (16); DHHS Grant Appeals Board Decision No. 844

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Question Number 3:
07/12/2006 - Current
QuestionCan children on trial home visits be considered candidates for foster care?
Answer*Yes. A State often will provide supportive services to a child and family during the course of a trial home visit to facilitate the success of such visit. We believe that the services and supports provided to a child on a trial home visit can be considered reasonable efforts to prevent the child's removal from the home and return to foster care in accordance with section 471(a)(15) of the Act. If the State determines that the child on a trial home visit meets the other criteria in section 472(i)(2) of the Social Security Act (the Act), the State, may claim Federal reimbursement for the allowable title IV-E administrative costs associated therewith. However, a child may not be simultaneously both in foster care and a candidate for foster care. In addition, the State must document the child's candidacy for foster care pursuant to one of the approved methods. For example, the State may document in the child's case plan its intent for the child to return to foster care if the services provided during the course of the trial home visit prove unsuccessful.
Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PA-01-02 (7/3/01); 7/7/2006
Legal and Related References*The Social Security Act ┐ section 472(i)(2); 45 CFR 1356.21(e) and 1356.60; ACYF-CB-IM-06-02

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07/29/2001 - 07/12/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionCan children on trial home visits be considered candidates for foster care?
AnswerYes. A State often will provide supportive services to a child and family during the course of a trial home visit to facilitate the success of such visit. We believe that the services and supports provided to a child on a trial home visit can be considered reasonable efforts to prevent the child''s removal from the home and return to foster care. The State, therefore, may claim Federal reimbursement for the allowable title IV-E administrative costs associated therewith. However, a child may not be simultaneously both in foster care and a candidate for foster care. In addition, the State must document the child''s candidacy for foster care pursuant to one of the approved methods. For example, the State may document in the child''s case plan its intent for the child to return to foster care if the services provided during the course of the trial home visit prove unsuccessful.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PA-01-02 (7/3/01)
Legal and Related References45 CFR 1356. 21(e) and 1356.60

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Question Number 4:
07/12/2006 - Current
QuestionCan children in aftercare be considered candidates for foster care?
Answer*Yes. During aftercare, the services or supports provided to the newly reunited family can be considered the State agency's reasonable efforts to prevent the child's removal from the home and re-entry into foster care in accordance with section 471(a)(15) of the Act. If the State determines that the child in aftercare meets the other criteria in section 472(i)(2) of the Social Security Act (the Act), the State may claim Federal reimbursement for the allowable title IV-E administrative costs associated therewith. However, in order to consider a child who is newly reunited with his/her family a candidate for foster care, the State must document the child's candidacy pursuant to one of the approved methods. The State may, for example, develop a case plan that demonstrates its intent to remove the child from home and return him/her to foster care if the aftercare services prove unsuccessful.
Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PA-01-02 (7/3/01); 7/7/2006
Legal and Related References*The Social Security Act ┐ section 472(i)(2); Departmental Appeals Board Decision No. 844; ACYF-CB-IM-06-02

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07/29/2001 - 07/12/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionCan children in aftercare be considered candidates for foster care?
AnswerYes. Departmental Appeals Board Decision No. 844 permits States to consider a child who is receiving aftercare services to be a candidate for foster care. In such circumstances, services or supports provided to the newly reunited family can be considered the State agency''s reasonable efforts to prevent the child''s removal from the home and re-entry into foster care. The State, therefore, may claim Federal reimbursement for the allowable title IV-E administrative costs associated therewith. However, in order to consider a child who is newly reunited with his/her family a candidate for foster care, the State must document the child''s candidacy pursuant to one of the approved methods. The State may, for example, develop a case plan that demonstrates its intent to remove the child from home and return him/her to foster care if the aftercare services prove unsuccessful.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PA-01-02 (7/3/01)
Legal and Related ReferencesDepartmental Appeals Board Decision No. 844

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Question Number 8:
07/12/2006 - Current
QuestionWhat constitutes a case plan for the purposes of documenting a child's candidacy for foster care?
Answer*The development of a case plan in compliance with sections 471(a)(16) of the Social Security Act (the Act) is an allowable title IV-E function performed on behalf of candidates for foster care. The requirements for case plans developed pursuant to section 471(a)(16) of the Act are set forth in regulation at 45 CFR 1356.21(g). The provisions at 45 CFR 1356.21(g) are, therefore, to the extent that they are applicable to pre-placement, controlling with respect to case plans used to document candidacy for foster care. Specifically, the provisions at 45 CFR 1356.21(g)(1) and (4) apply. The case plan used to document a child's candidacy for foster care must be a written document that is developed jointly with the parent(s) or guardian of the child and include a description of the services offered and provided to prevent removal of the child from the home. In addition, the State must document, in said plan, that the goal for the child is foster care if the services described in the plan are not effective.

Adherences to the regulatory case plan provisions increase the likelihood that the plan will be effective, either in preventing or pursuing the removal of the child from the home. Nonetheless, State claims for administrative costs on behalf of candidates for foster care are not based on the completeness of the case plan. While we expect the case plan requirements that apply to a candidate to be met, the State may claim administrative costs in the month that it determines and documents a child is a candidate for foster care consistent with section 472(i)(2) of the Act (see Section 8.1C QA #5 of the Child Welfare Policy Manual).

Source/Date*8/16/02; 7/7/2006
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act -- Sections 471(a)(16) and 475(1) 45 CFR 1356.21(g); Departmental Appeals Board Decision No. 844 ; Child Welfare Policy Manual Section 8.1C QA #5; ACYF-CB-IM-06-02

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08/26/2002 - 07/12/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionWhat constitutes a case plan for the purposes of documenting a child's candidacy for foster care?
AnswerThe development of a case plan is an allowable title IV-E function performed on behalf of candidates for foster care pursuant to Departmental Appeals Board (DAB) Decision No. 844. In the aforementioned Decision, the Board found that, pursuant to section 471(a)(16) of the Social Security Act (the Act), a State could begin to develop a case plan prior to a child''s placement in foster care and claim the attendant title IV-E administrative funds. Pursuant to DAB No. 844, the case plan developed to document a child''s candidacy for foster care is the plan that the State agency develops in compliance with section 471(a)(16) of the Act.

The requirements for case plans developed pursuant to section 471(a)(16) of the Act are set forth in regulation at 45 CFR 1356.21(g). The provisions at 45 CFR 1356.21(g) are, therefore, to the extent that they are applicable to pre-placement, controlling with respect to case plans used to document candidacy for foster care. Specifically, the provisions at 45 CFR 1356.21(g)(1) and (4) apply. The case plan used to document a child''s candidacy for foster care must be a written document that is developed jointly with the parent(s) or guardian of the child and include a description of the services offered and provided to prevent removal of the child from the home. In addition, the State must document, in said plan, that the goal for the child is foster care if the services described in the plan are not effective.

Source/Date8/16/02
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act -- Section 471(a)(16); 45 CFR 1356.21(g)

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7.4 TITLE IV-B, Use of Funds

Question Number 1:
02/22/2007 - Current
QuestionMay States use title IV-B funds to pay for adoptive parents to attend adoption conferences?
Answer*States may utilize title IV-B funds for purposes consistent with those specified in section 421 of the Social Security Act. This may include paying for the costs of adoptive parents' attendance at conferences which have training components or which include discussions of significant issues covering adoption and the needs of children.

Costs for adoptive parents to attend such conferences under title IV-B would be reimbursable at the 75% matching rate (section 424(a)).

The placement of children in adoptive homes when they cannot return to their biological family is an essential child welfare service. Today's emphasis on placing children with special needs in adoption poses many problems and needs for adoptive parents. By attending and participating in conferences which have training components related to adoption and discussions of adoption issues, adoptive parents may better learn how to deal with special problems and enhance their parenting skills by sharing experiences with others in similar circumstances. Active participation of adoptive parents in such conferences may result in improved adoption planning and policy development through their advisory relationships with public agencies, and thereby assist in extending and strengthening adoption services to children and adoptive parents.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PA-82-03 (10/14/82)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - sections 421 and 424(a).

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08/14/2000 - 02/22/2007 (Original Record)
QuestionMay States use title IV-B funds to pay for adoptive parents to attend adoption conferences?
AnswerStates may utilize title IV-B funds for the purposes of paying for the costs of adoptive parents'' attendance at conferences which have training components or which include discussions of significant issues covering adoption and the needs of children. Title IV-B includes in the definition of child welfare service those services which are directed toward placing children in suitable adoptive homes where restoration to the biological family is not possible or appropriate.

Costs for adoptive parents to attend such conferences under title IV-B would be reimbursable at the 75% matching rate (section 423 (a)).

The placement of children in adoptive homes when they cannot return to their biological family is an essential child welfare service. Today''s emphasis on placing children with special needs in adoption poses many problems and needs for adoptive parents. By attending and participating in conferences which have training components related to adoption and discussions of adoption issues, adoptive parents may better learn how to deal with special problems and enhance their parenting skills by sharing experiences with others in similar circumstances. Active participation of adoptive parents in such conferences may result in improved adoption planning and policy development through their advisory relationships with public agencies, and thereby assist in extending and strengthening adoption services to children and adoptive parents.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PA-82-03 (10/14/82)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 423 (a), 425 (a)(1)(E)

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Question Number 2:
02/22/2007 - Current
QuestionIs foster parent insurance allowable as an administrative cost under title IV-B?
Answer*This cost may be claimed under title IV-B, but is included in the limitation on maintenance expenditures described in section 424(c)of the Act because "liability insurance" is not considered to be a service and is primarily related to foster care maintenance. However, States may select Insurance protection for foster parents as an activity to be funded under the Social Services Block Grant (amended title XX). The State chooses the title of the Social Security Act under which it will claim Federal financial participation (FFP) in the costs of insurance.

Some States include payment for insurance coverage in the monthly foster care payment to foster parents; others provide the protection through a group insurance policy or through the State's self-insuring procedures. Using self-insurance, the State may be able to provide broad coverage at low cost.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-82-04 (1/29/82)
Legal and Related References*: Social Security Act - sections 424(a) and (c), 475 (4)

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10/01/2000 - 02/22/2007 (Original Record)
QuestionIs foster parent insurance allowable as an administrative cost under title IV-B?
AnswerThis cost may be claimed under title IV-B, but is included in the limitation on maintenance expenditures described in section 423 (c)(1) of the Act because "liability insurance" is not considered to be a service and is primarily related to foster care maintenance. However, States may select Insurance protection for foster parents as an activity to be funded under the Social Services Block Grant (amended title XX). The State chooses the title of the Social Security Act under which it will claim Federal financial participation (FFP) in the costs of insurance.

Some States include payment for insurance coverage in the monthly foster care payment to foster parents; others provide the protection through a group insurance policy or through the State''s self-insuring procedures. Using self-insurance, the State may be able to provide broad coverage at low cost.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-82-04 (1/29/82)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 423 (a) and (c), 475 (4)

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Question Number 3:
02/22/2007 - Current
Question*There appears to be no agreement between insurers on the meaning of "liability insurance". Is the interpretation to include coverage of damages to the home or property of the foster parents as well as coverage for harm done by the child to another party, or accidental harm done by the foster parents to the child?
Answer*The terminology may be misleading, because foster parents are interested in more than "liability insurance". The correct interpretation includes coverage of damages to the home or property of the foster parents, as well as liability for harm done by the child to another party. In addition, protection against suit for possible malpractice or situations such as alienation of affection are often realistic concerns of persons who care for the children of others.

Several States have responded to these concerns by providing coverage for foster parents under a "pooled" liability program which provides in effect a self-insurance for departments of State government. Other States have legislated or otherwise defined foster parents as employees or as persons acting on behalf of the State, thus providing protection to those persons for claims made against them as agents of the State. Some States have purchased insurance coverage for foster parents, although the policies available often do not cover all of the risks incurred.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-82-04 (1/29/82)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - section 424(a)

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10/01/2000 - 02/22/2007 (Original Record)
QuestionThere appears to be no agreement between insurers on the meaning of "liability insurance". Is the interpretation to include coverage of damages to the home or property of the foster parents as well as coverage for harm done by the child to another party, or accidental harm done by the foster parents to the child?
AnswerThe terminology may be misleading, because foster parents are interested in more than "liability insurance". The correct interpretation includes coverage of damages to the home or property of the foster parents, as well as liability for harm done by the child to another party. In addition, protection against suit for possible malpractice or situations such as alienation of affection are often realistic concerns of persons who care for the children of others.

Several States have responded to these concerns by providing coverage for foster parents under a "pooled" liability program which provides in effect a self-insurance for departments of State government. Other States have legislated or otherwise defined foster parents as employees or as persons acting on behalf of the State, thus providing protection to those persons for claims made against them as agents of the State. Some States have purchased insurance coverage for foster parents, although the policies available often do not cover all of the risks incurred.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-82-04 (1/29/82)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 423 (a)

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8.3A.9 TITLE IV-E, Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program, Reasonable efforts

Question Number 1:
07/20/2006 - Current
QuestionWhat is the statutory basis for treating a judicial determination that the State made reasonable efforts to prevent the child's removal from his/her home, to reunify the child and family, and to make and finalize an alternate permanent placement when the child and family cannot be reunited as title IV-E eligibility criteria?
Answer*Section 472 (a)(2)(A)(ii) of the Social Security Act (the Act) contains two eligibility criteria. The first pertains to the child's removal from home. Such removal must be based on a judicial determination that it was contrary to the child's welfare to remain at home. The second eligibility criterion requires a judicial determination that the State made reasonable efforts of the type described in section 471(a)(15) of the Act. Section 471(a)(15) of the Act requires the State agency to make reasonable efforts to prevent the child's removal from his/her home, to reunify the child and family, and to make and finalize an alternate permanent placement when the child and family cannot be reunited. The requirements for judicial determinations regarding reasonable efforts are title IV-E eligibility criteria. If the eligibility criteria are not satisfied, the child is not eligible for title IV-E funding.
Source/Date*Preamble to the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00); 7/17/2006
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - sections 471 (a)(15) and 472 (a)(2)(A)(ii); 45 CFR 1356.21 (b) and (d)

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08/14/2000 - 07/20/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionWhat is the statutory basis for treating a judicial determination that the State made reasonable efforts to prevent the child's removal from his/her home, to reunify the child and family, and to make and finalize an alternate permanent placement when the child and family cannot be reunited as title IV-E eligibility criteria?
AnswerSection 472 (a)(1) of the Social Security Act (the Act) contains two eligibility criteria. The first pertains to the child''s removal from home. Such removal must be based on a voluntary placement agreement or a judicial determination that it was contrary to the child''s welfare to remain at home. The second eligibility criterion requires a judicial determination that the State made reasonable efforts of the type described in section 471 (a)(15) of the Act. Section 471 (a)(15) of the Act requires the State agency to make reasonable efforts to prevent the child''s removal from his/her home, to reunify the child and family, and to make and finalize an alternate permanent placement when the child and family cannot be reunited. The requirements for judicial determinations regarding reasonable efforts are title IV-E eligibility criteria. If the eligibility criteria are not satisfied, the child is not eligible for title IV-E funding.
Source/DatePreamble to the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 471 (a)(15) and 472 (a)(1); 45 CFR 1356.21 (b) and (d)

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4.2 MEPA/IEAP, Enforcement of Section 471 (a)(18) of the SSA

Question Number 1:
07/30/2010 - Current
Question*What criteria will be used to determine if a violation of section 471(a)(18) of the Act has occurred?
Answer*We have not developed any specific "criteria" for determining if a violation of section 471(a)(18) of the Social Security Act (the Act) has occurred. We will determine on a case-by-case basis whether the title IV-E agency has delayed or denied a child's adoptive or foster care placement or denied a person the opportunity to become an adoptive or foster parent based on race, color, or national origin. It is impossible to define every situation and circumstance that would result in a civil rights violation. Thus, the ACF Regional office will review the specific facts of each case to determine if a title IV-E agency or entity is in violation of section 471(a)(18) or if a policy or practice is consistent with previously issued guidance.
Source/Date*Preamble to the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 471 (a)(18); 45 CFR 1355.38

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08/14/2000 - 07/30/2010 (Original Record)
QuestionWhat criteria will be used to determine if a violation of section 471 (a)(18) of the Act has occurred?
AnswerWe have not developed any specific "criteria" for determining if a violation of section 471 (a)(18) of the Social Security Act (the Act) has occurred. We will determine on a case-by-case basis whether the State has delayed or denied a child''s adoptive or foster care placement or denied a person the opportunity to become an adoptive or foster parent based on race, color, or national origin. It is impossible to define every situation and circumstance that would result in a civil rights violation. Thus, the ACF Regional office will review the specific facts of each case to determine if a State or entity is in violation of section 471 (a)(18) or if a policy or practice is consistent with previously issued guidance.
Source/DatePreamble to the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 471 (a)(18); 45 CFR 1355.38

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Question Number 2:
07/30/2010 - Current
Question*Section 474(a) of the Social Security Act restricts the application of penalties for MEPA violations to one fiscal year. By what authority can ACF continue a penalty into the next fiscal year?
Answer*The regulations do not provide for a continuation of a penalty into the subsequent fiscal year if a title IV-E agency fails to come into compliance. ACF may and has the authority to initiate a full or partial review in a subsequent fiscal year for those title IV-E agencies that are in violation of section 471(a)(18) of the Act and have failed to complete corrective action to come into compliance. Thus, any statute, regulation, policy, procedure or practice that remains uncorrected from a previous fiscal year may result in a new finding of a violation of noncompliance with section 471(a)(18) of the Act. We will not disregard an uncorrected violation simply because a fiscal year has ended. It is part of the Department's oversight responsibility to ensure that all title IV-E agencies are in compliance with section 471(a)(18) of the Act at any given time and any uncorrected violation may be subject to a review at the beginning of a new fiscal year.
Source/Date*Preamble to the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 471 (a)(18); 45 CFR 1355.38

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08/14/2000 - 07/30/2010 (Original Record)
QuestionSection 474 (a) of the Social Security Act restricts the application of penalties for MEPA violations to one fiscal year. By what authority can ACF continue a penalty into the next fiscal year?
AnswerThe regulations do not provide for a continuation of a penalty into the subsequent fiscal year if a State fails to come into compliance. ACF may and has the authority to initiate a full or partial review in a subsequent fiscal year for those States that are in violation of section 471 (a)(18) of the Act and have failed to complete corrective action to come into compliance. Thus, any statute, regulation, policy, procedure or practice that remains uncorrected from a previous fiscal year may result in a new finding of a violation of noncompliance with section 471 (a)(18) of the Act. We will not disregard an uncorrected violation simply because a fiscal year has ended. It is part of the Department''s oversight responsibility to ensure that all States are in compliance with section 471 (a)(18) of the Act at any given time and any uncorrected violation may be subject to a review at the beginning of a new fiscal year.
Source/DatePreamble to the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 471 (a)(18); 45 CFR 1355.38

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Question Number 3:
07/30/2010 - Current
QuestionDoes section 471(a)(18) of the Social Security Act (the Act) apply to a private international adoption agency that receives Federal funds, but not title IV-E funds?
Answer*No. Section 471(a)(18) of the Act is a title IV-E plan requirement. Therefore, private agencies that do not receive title IV-E funds are not subject to the title IV-E plan provisions, even if such agencies receive Federal funds from a source other than title IV-E and are involved in adoption or foster care placements of any type. However, these private agencies still must ensure that they do not violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI) by delaying or denying a foster care or adoption placement decision on the basis of race, color or national origin (Section 1808(c) of Public Law 104-188). Title IV-E agencies should note that all entities, both public and private, that receive any Federal funds, regardless of the source, and regardless of whether those funds are used for child welfare purposes, must comply with title VI. Title VI broadly prohibits all federally funded entities from discriminating, denying benefits or excluding an individual from participating in an activity or program on the basis of race, color, or national origin. The U.S. Department for Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces title VI. For more information on Title VI, please refer to the OCR Title VI fact sheet: http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/title6.html.
Source/Date*12/31/07 (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act ┐ section 471(a)(18); P.L. 104-188 ┐ section 1808(c)

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12/31/2007 - 07/30/2010 (Original Record)
QuestionDoes section 471(a)(18) of the Social Security Act (the Act) apply to a private international adoption agency that receives Federal funds, but not title IV-E funds?
AnswerNo. Section 471(a)(18) of the Act is a title IV-E State plan requirement. Therefore, private agencies that do not receive title IV-E funds are not subject to the State plan provisions, even if such agencies receive Federal funds from a source other than title IV-E and are involved in adoption or foster care placements of any type.

However, these private agencies still must ensure that they do not violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI) by delaying or denying a foster care or adoption placement decision on the basis of race, color or national origin (Section 1808(c) of Public Law 104-188). State agencies should note that all entities, both public and private, that receive any Federal funds, regardless of the source, and regardless of whether those funds are used for child welfare purposes, must comply with title VI. Title VI broadly prohibits all federally funded entities from discriminating, denying benefits or excluding an individual from participating in an activity or program on the basis of race, color, or national origin. The U.S. Department for Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces title VI. For more information on Title VI, please refer to the OCR Title VI fact sheet: http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/title6.html.

Source/Date12/31/07
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act ┐ section 471(a)(18); P.L. 104-188 ┐ section 1808(c)

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2.1C CAPTA, Assurances and Requirements, Expedited Termination of Parental Rights

Question Number 1:
09/28/2011 - Current
Question*The provision at section 106(b)(2)(B)(xv)(I) of CAPTA requires that States provide for expedited termination of parental rights for abandoned infants. What is considered "expedited" for this purpose?
Answer*The intent of this provision was to assure that infants who have been abandoned by their parents do not end up in "foster care limbo" (Congressional Record - House, September 25, 1996, p. H11148). To meet this requirement, States are expected to establish procedures to assure that termination of parental rights for abandoned infants is handled more expeditiously than terminations would normally be handled in the State. One approach might be to prescribe a specific period of time by which a termination must be initiated for abandoned infants. The American Bar Association's Center on Children and the Law published a monograph in 1996 entitled, "Early Termination of Parental Rights: Developing Appropriate Statutory Grounds", which may be of assistance to States as they implement this provision of CAPTA.
Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97); updated 9/27/11
Legal and Related References*Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106(b)(2)(B)(xv)(I)

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04/17/2006 - 09/28/2011
Question*The provision at section 106(b)(2)(A)(xv)(II) of CAPTA requires that States provide for expedited termination of parental rights for abandoned infants. What is considered "expedited" for this purpose?
AnswerThe intent of this provision was to assure that infants who have been abandoned by their parents do not end up in "foster care limbo" (Congressional Record - House, September 25, 1996, p. H11148). To meet this requirement, States are expected to establish procedures to assure that termination of parental rights for abandoned infants is handled more expeditiously than terminations would normally be handled in the State. One approach might be to prescribe a specific period of time by which a termination must be initiated for abandoned infants. The American Bar Association''s Center on Children and the Law published a monograph in 1996 entitled, "Early Termination of Parental Rights: Developing Appropriate Statutory Grounds", which may be of assistance to States as they implement this provision of CAPTA.TA.
Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97); updated 2/3/05
Legal and Related References*Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106(b)(2)(A)(xv)(I)

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02/03/2005 - 04/17/2006
QuestionThe provision at section 106 (b)(2)(xi)(I) of CAPTA requires that States provide for expedited termination of parental rights for abandoned infants. What is considered "expedited" for this purpose?
AnswerThe intent of this provision was to assure that infants who have been abandoned by their parents do not end up in "foster care limbo" (Congressional Record - House, September 25, 1996, p. H11148). To meet this requirement, States are expected to establish procedures to assure that termination of parental rights for abandoned infants is handled more expeditiously than terminations would normally be handled in the State. One approach might be to prescribe a specific period of time by which a termination must be initiated for abandoned infants. The American Bar Association''s Center on Children and the Law published a monograph in 1996 entitled, "Early Termination of Parental Rights: Developing Appropriate Statutory Grounds", which may be of assistance to States as they implement this provision of CAPTA.
Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97) (updated 2/3/05)
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106

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02/03/2001 - 02/03/2005 (Original Record)
QuestionThe provision at section 106 (b)(2)(xi)(I) of CAPTA requires that States provide for expedited termination of parental rights for abandoned infants. What is considered "expedited" for this purpose?
AnswerThe intent of this provision was to assure that infants who have been abandoned by their parents do not end up in "foster care limbo" (Congressional Record - House, September 25, 1996, p. H11148). To meet this requirement, States are expected to establish procedures to assure that termination of parental rights for abandoned infants is handled more expeditiously than terminations would normally be handled in the State. One approach might be to prescribe a specific period of time by which a termination must be initiated for abandoned infants. The American Bar Association''s Center on Children and the Law published a monograph in 1996 entitled, "Early Termination of Parental Rights: Developing Appropriate Statutory Grounds", which may be of assistance to States as they implement this provision of CAPTA.
Source/DateACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97)
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106

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4.1 MEPA/IEAP, Diligent Recruitment

Question Number 1:
07/27/2010 - Current
QuestionCan you give us some guidance with respect to satisfying the diligent recruitment requirements of the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA)?
Answer*As recognized in the MEPA, in order to achieve timely and appropriate placement of all children, placement agencies need an adequate pool of families capable of promoting each child's development and case goals. This requires that each agency's recruitment process focuses on developing a pool of potential foster and adoptive parents willing and able to foster or adopt the children needing placement. The failure to conduct recruitment in a manner that seeks to provide all children with the opportunity for placement, and all qualified members of the community an opportunity to adopt is inconsistent with the goals of MEPA and could create circumstances which would constitute a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and section 471(a)(18) of the Social Security Act.

An adequate recruitment process has a number of features. Recruitment efforts should be designed to provide to potential foster and adoptive parents throughout the community information about the characteristics and needs of the available children, the nature of the foster care and adoption processes, and the supports available to foster and adoptive families.

Both general and targeted recruiting are important. Reaching all members of the community requires use of general media--radio, television, and print. In addition, information should be disseminated to targeted communities through community organizations, such as religious institutions and neighborhood centers. The dissemination of information is strengthened when agencies develop partnerships with groups from the communities from which children come, to help identify and support potential foster and adoptive families and to conduct activities which made the waiting children more visible.

To meet MEPA's diligent efforts requirements, an agency should have a comprehensive recruitment plan that includes:

1) a description of the characteristics of waiting children; 2) specific strategies to reach all parts of the community; 3) diverse methods of disseminating both general and child specific information; 4) strategies for assuring that all prospective parents have access to the home study process, including location and hours of services that facilitate access by all members of the community; 5) strategies for training staff to work with diverse cultural, racial, and economic communities; 6) strategies for dealing with linguistic barriers; 7) non-discriminatory fee structures, and 8) procedures for a timely search for prospective parents for a waiting child, including the use of exchanges and other interagency efforts, provided that such procedures must insure that placement of a child in an appropriate household is not delayed by the search for a same race or ethnic placement.

Agencies receiving Federal funds may not use standards related to income, age, education, family structure, and size or ownership of housing, which include groups of prospective parents on the basis of race, color, or national origin, where those standards are arbitrary or unnecessary or where less exclusionary standards are available.

Source/Date
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - Section 471(a)(18); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-188).

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07/27/2010 - 07/27/2010
QuestionCan you give us some guidance with respect to satisfying the diligent recruitment requirements of the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA)?
Answer*As recognized in the MEPA, in order to achieve timely and appropriate placement of all children, placement agencies need an adequate pool of families capable of promoting each child''s development and case goals. This requires that each agency''s recruitment process focuses on developing a pool of potential foster and adoptive parents willing and able to foster or adopt the children needing placement. The failure to conduct recruitment in a manner that seeks to provide all children with the opportunity for placement, and all qualified members of the community an opportunity to adopt is inconsistent with the goals of MEPA and could create circumstances which would constitute a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and section 471(a)(18) of the Social Security Act.

An adequate recruitment process has a number of features. Recruitment efforts should be designed to provide to potential foster and adoptive parents throughout the community information about the characteristics and needs of the available children, the nature of the foster care and adoption processes, and the supports available to foster and adoptive families.

Both general and targeted recruiting are important. Reaching all members of the community requires use of general media--radio, television, and print. In addition, information should be disseminated to targeted communities through community organizations, such as religious institutions and neighborhood centers. The dissemination of information is strengthened when agencies develop partnerships with groups from the communities from which children come, to help identify and support potential foster and adoptive families and to conduct activities which made the waiting children more visible.

To meet MEPA''s diligent efforts requirements, an agency should have a comprehensive recruitment plan that includes:

1) a description of the characteristics of waiting children; 2) specific strategies to reach all parts of the community; 3) diverse methods of disseminating both general and child specific information; 4) strategies for assuring that all prospective parents have access to the home study process, including location and hours of services that facilitate access by all members of the community; 5) strategies for training staff to work with diverse cultural, racial, and economic communities; 6) strategies for dealing with linguistic barriers; 7) non-discriminatory fee structures, and 8) procedures for a timely search for prospective parents for a waiting child, including the use of exchanges and other interagency efforts, provided that such procedures must insure that placement of a child in an appropriate household is not delayed by the search for a same race or ethnic placement.

Agencies receiving Federal funds may not use standards related to income, age, education, family structure, and size or ownership of housing, which include groups of prospective parents on the basis of race, color, or national origin, where those standards are arbitrary or unnecessary or where less exclusionary standards are available.test11

Source/Date
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - Section 471(a)(18); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-188).

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07/21/2010 - 07/27/2010
QuestionCan you give us some guidance with respect to satisfying the diligent recruitment requirements of the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA)?
Answer*As recognized in the MEPA, in order to achieve timely and appropriate placement of all children, placement agencies need an adequate pool of families capable of promoting each child''s development and case goals. This requires that each agency''s recruitment process focuses on developing a pool of potential foster and adoptive parents willing and able to foster or adopt the children needing placement. The failure to conduct recruitment in a manner that seeks to provide all children with the opportunity for placement, and all qualified members of the community an opportunity to adopt is inconsistent with the goals of MEPA and could create circumstances which would constitute a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and section 471(a)(18) of the Social Security Act.

An adequate recruitment process has a number of features. Recruitment efforts should be designed to provide to potential foster and adoptive parents throughout the community information about the characteristics and needs of the available children, the nature of the foster care and adoption processes, and the supports available to foster and adoptive families.

Both general and targeted recruiting are important. Reaching all members of the community requires use of general media--radio, television, and print. In addition, information should be disseminated to targeted communities through community organizations, such as religious institutions and neighborhood centers. The dissemination of information is strengthened when agencies develop partnerships with groups from the communities from which children come, to help identify and support potential foster and adoptive families and to conduct activities which made the waiting children more visible.

To meet MEPA''s diligent efforts requirements, an agency should have a comprehensive recruitment plan that includes:

1) a description of the characteristics of waiting children; 2) specific strategies to reach all parts of the community; 3) diverse methods of disseminating both general and child specific information; 4) strategies for assuring that all prospective parents have access to the home study process, including location and hours of services that facilitate access by all members of the community; 5) strategies for training staff to work with diverse cultural, racial, and economic communities; 6) strategies for dealing with linguistic barriers; 7) non-discriminatory fee structures, and 8) procedures for a timely search for prospective parents for a waiting child, including the use of exchanges and other interagency efforts, provided that such procedures must insure that placement of a child in an appropriate household is not delayed by the search for a same race or ethnic placement.

Agencies receiving Federal funds may not use standards related to income, age, education, family structure, and size or ownership of housing, which include groups of prospective parents on the basis of race, color, or national origin, where those standards are arbitrary or unnecessary or where less exclusionary standards are available.

Source/Date
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - Section 471(a)(18); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-188).

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07/21/2010 - 07/21/2010
QuestionCan you give us some guidance with respect to satisfying the diligent recruitment requirements of the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA)?
Answer*As recognized in the MEPA, in order to achieve timely and appropriate placement of all children, placement agencies need an adequate pool of families capable of promoting each child''s development and case goals. This requires that each agency''s recruitment process focuses on developing a pool of potential foster and adoptive parents willing and able to foster or adopt the children needing placement. The failure to conduct recruitment in a manner that seeks to provide all children with the opportunity for placement, and all qualified members of the community an opportunity to adopt is inconsistent with the goals of MEPA and could create circumstances which would constitute a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and section 471(a)(18) of the Social Security Act.

An adequate recruitment process has a number of features. Recruitment efforts should be designed to provide to potential foster and adoptive parents throughout the community information about the characteristics and needs of the available children, the nature of the foster care and adoption processes, and the supports available to foster and adoptive families.

Both general and targeted recruiting are important. Reaching all members of the community requires use of general media--radio, television, and print. In addition, information should be disseminated to targeted communities through community organizations, such as religious institutions and neighborhood centers. The dissemination of information is strengthened when agencies develop partnerships with groups from the communities from which children come, to help identify and support potential foster and adoptive families and to conduct activities which made the waiting children more visible.

To meet MEPA''s diligent efforts requirements, an agency should have a comprehensive recruitment plan that includes:

1) a description of the characteristics of waiting children; 2) specific strategies to reach all parts of the community; 3) diverse methods of disseminating both general and child specific information; 4) strategies for assuring that all prospective parents have access to the home study process, including location and hours of services that facilitate access by all members of the community; 5) strategies for training staff to work with diverse cultural, racial, and economic communities; 6) strategies for dealing with linguistic barriers; 7) non-discriminatory fee structures, and 8) procedures for a timely search for prospective parents for a waiting child, including the use of exchanges and other interagency efforts, provided that such procedures must insure that placement of a child in an appropriate household is not delayed by the search for a same race or ethnic placement.

Agencies receiving Federal funds may not use standards related to income, age, education, family structure, and size or ownership of housing, which include groups of prospective parents on the basis of race, color, or national origin, where those standards are arbitrary or unnecessary or where less exclusionary standards are available.testing1

Source/Date
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - Section 471(a)(18); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-188).

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07/20/2010 - 07/21/2010
QuestionCan you give us some guidance with respect to satisfying the diligent recruitment requirements of the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA)?
Answer*As recognized in the MEPA, in order to achieve timely and appropriate placement of all children, placement agencies need an adequate pool of families capable of promoting each child''s development and case goals. This requires that each agency''s recruitment process focuses on developing a pool of potential foster and adoptive parents willing and able to foster or adopt the children needing placement. The failure to conduct recruitment in a manner that seeks to provide all children with the opportunity for placement, and all qualified members of the community an opportunity to adopt is inconsistent with the goals of MEPA and could create circumstances which would constitute a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and section 471(a)(18) of the Social Security Act.

An adequate recruitment process has a number of features. Recruitment efforts should be designed to provide to potential foster and adoptive parents throughout the community information about the characteristics and needs of the available children, the nature of the foster care and adoption processes, and the supports available to foster and adoptive families.

Both general and targeted recruiting are important. Reaching all members of the community requires use of general media--radio, television, and print. In addition, information should be disseminated to targeted communities through community organizations, such as religious institutions and neighborhood centers. The dissemination of information is strengthened when agencies develop partnerships with groups from the communities from which children come, to help identify and support potential foster and adoptive families and to conduct activities which made the waiting children more visible.

To meet MEPA''s diligent efforts requirements, an agency should have a comprehensive recruitment plan that includes:

1) a description of the characteristics of waiting children; 2) specific strategies to reach all parts of the community; 3) diverse methods of disseminating both general and child specific information; 4) strategies for assuring that all prospective parents have access to the home study process, including location and hours of services that facilitate access by all members of the community; 5) strategies for training staff to work with diverse cultural, racial, and economic communities; 6) strategies for dealing with linguistic barriers; 7) non-discriminatory fee structures, and 8) procedures for a timely search for prospective parents for a waiting child, including the use of exchanges and other interagency efforts, provided that such procedures must insure that placement of a child in an appropriate household is not delayed by the search for a same race or ethnic placement.

Agencies receiving Federal funds may not use standards related to income, age, education, family structure, and size or ownership of housing, which include groups of prospective parents on the basis of race, color, or national origin, where those standards are arbitrary or unnecessary or where less exclusionary standards are available.

Source/Date
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - Section 471(a)(18); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-188).

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07/20/2010 - 07/20/2010
QuestionCan you give us some guidance with respect to satisfying the diligent recruitment requirements of the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA)?
Answer*As recognized in the MEPA, in order to achieve timely and appropriate placement of all children, placement agencies need an adequate pool of families capable of promoting each child''s development and case goals. This requires that each agency''s recruitment process focuses on developing a pool of potential foster and adoptive parents willing and able to foster or adopt the children needing placement. The failure to conduct recruitment in a manner that seeks to provide all children with the opportunity for placement, and all qualified members of the community an opportunity to adopt is inconsistent with the goals of MEPA and could create circumstances which would constitute a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and section 471(a)(18) of the Social Security Act.

An adequate recruitment process has a number of features. Recruitment efforts should be designed to provide to potential foster and adoptive parents throughout the community information about the characteristics and needs of the available children, the nature of the foster care and adoption processes, and the supports available to foster and adoptive families.

Both general and targeted recruiting are important. Reaching all members of the community requires use of general media--radio, television, and print. In addition, information should be disseminated to targeted communities through community organizations, such as religious institutions and neighborhood centers. The dissemination of information is strengthened when agencies develop partnerships with groups from the communities from which children come, to help identify and support potential foster and adoptive families and to conduct activities which made the waiting children more visible.

To meet MEPA''s diligent efforts requirements, an agency should have a comprehensive recruitment plan that includes:

1) a description of the characteristics of waiting children; 2) specific strategies to reach all parts of the community; 3) diverse methods of disseminating both general and child specific information; 4) strategies for assuring that all prospective parents have access to the home study process, including location and hours of services that facilitate access by all members of the community; 5) strategies for training staff to work with diverse cultural, racial, and economic communities; 6) strategies for dealing with linguistic barriers; 7) non-discriminatory fee structures, and 8) procedures for a timely search for prospective parents for a waiting child, including the use of exchanges and other interagency efforts, provided that such procedures must insure that placement of a child in an appropriate household is not delayed by the search for a same race or ethnic placement.

Agencies receiving Federal funds may not use standards related to income, age, education, family structure, and size or ownership of housing, which include groups of prospective parents on the basis of race, color, or national origin, where those standards are arbitrary or unnecessary or where less exclusionary standards are available.test15

Source/Date
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - Section 471(a)(18); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-188).

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07/20/2010 - 07/20/2010
QuestionCan you give us some guidance with respect to satisfying the diligent recruitment requirements of the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA)?
Answer*As recognized in the MEPA, in order to achieve timely and appropriate placement of all children, placement agencies need an adequate pool of families capable of promoting each child''s development and case goals. This requires that each agency''s recruitment process focuses on developing a pool of potential foster and adoptive parents willing and able to foster or adopt the children needing placement. The failure to conduct recruitment in a manner that seeks to provide all children with the opportunity for placement, and all qualified members of the community an opportunity to adopt is inconsistent with the goals of MEPA and could create circumstances which would constitute a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and section 471(a)(18) of the Social Security Act.

An adequate recruitment process has a number of features. Recruitment efforts should be designed to provide to potential foster and adoptive parents throughout the community information about the characteristics and needs of the available children, the nature of the foster care and adoption processes, and the supports available to foster and adoptive families.

Both general and targeted recruiting are important. Reaching all members of the community requires use of general media--radio, television, and print. In addition, information should be disseminated to targeted communities through community organizations, such as religious institutions and neighborhood centers. The dissemination of information is strengthened when agencies develop partnerships with groups from the communities from which children come, to help identify and support potential foster and adoptive families and to conduct activities which made the waiting children more visible.

To meet MEPA''s diligent efforts requirements, an agency should have a comprehensive recruitment plan that includes:

1) a description of the characteristics of waiting children; 2) specific strategies to reach all parts of the community; 3) diverse methods of disseminating both general and child specific information; 4) strategies for assuring that all prospective parents have access to the home study process, including location and hours of services that facilitate access by all members of the community; 5) strategies for training staff to work with diverse cultural, racial, and economic communities; 6) strategies for dealing with linguistic barriers; 7) non-discriminatory fee structures, and 8) procedures for a timely search for prospective parents for a waiting child, including the use of exchanges and other interagency efforts, provided that such procedures must insure that placement of a child in an appropriate household is not delayed by the search for a same race or ethnic placement.

Agencies receiving Federal funds may not use standards related to income, age, education, family structure, and size or ownership of housing, which include groups of prospective parents on the basis of race, color, or national origin, where those standards are arbitrary or unnecessary or where less exclusionary standards are available.

Source/Date
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - Section 471(a)(18); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-188).

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07/20/2010 - 07/20/2010
QuestionCan you give us some guidance with respect to satisfying the diligent recruitment requirements of the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA)?
Answer*As recognized in the MEPA, in order to achieve timely and appropriate placement of all children, placement agencies need an adequate pool of families capable of promoting each child''s development and case goals. This requires that each agency''s recruitment process focuses on developing a pool of potential foster and adoptive parents willing and able to foster or adopt the children needing placement. The failure to conduct recruitment in a manner that seeks to provide all children with the opportunity for placement, and all qualified members of the community an opportunity to adopt is inconsistent with the goals of MEPA and could create circumstances which would constitute a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and section 471(a)(18) of the Social Security Act.

An adequate recruitment process has a number of features. Recruitment efforts should be designed to provide to potential foster and adoptive parents throughout the community information about the characteristics and needs of the available children, the nature of the foster care and adoption processes, and the supports available to foster and adoptive families.

Both general and targeted recruiting are important. Reaching all members of the community requires use of general media--radio, television, and print. In addition, information should be disseminated to targeted communities through community organizations, such as religious institutions and neighborhood centers. The dissemination of information is strengthened when agencies develop partnerships with groups from the communities from which children come, to help identify and support potential foster and adoptive families and to conduct activities which made the waiting children more visible.

To meet MEPA''s diligent efforts requirements, an agency should have a comprehensive recruitment plan that includes:

1) a description of the characteristics of waiting children; 2) specific strategies to reach all parts of the community; 3) diverse methods of disseminating both general and child specific information; 4) strategies for assuring that all prospective parents have access to the home study process, including location and hours of services that facilitate access by all members of the community; 5) strategies for training staff to work with diverse cultural, racial, and economic communities; 6) strategies for dealing with linguistic barriers; 7) non-discriminatory fee structures, and 8) procedures for a timely search for prospective parents for a waiting child, including the use of exchanges and other interagency efforts, provided that such procedures must insure that placement of a child in an appropriate household is not delayed by the search for a same race or ethnic placement.

Agencies receiving Federal funds may not use standards related to income, age, education, family structure, and size or ownership of housing, which include groups of prospective parents on the basis of race, color, or national origin, where those standards are arbitrary or unnecessary or where less exclusionary standards are available.test9

Source/Date
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - Section 471(a)(18); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-188).

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07/19/2010 - 07/20/2010
QuestionCan you give us some guidance with respect to satisfying the diligent recruitment requirements of the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA)?
Answer*As recognized in the MEPA, in order to achieve timely and appropriate placement of all children, placement agencies need an adequate pool of families capable of promoting each child''s development and case goals. This requires that each agency''s recruitment process focuses on developing a pool of potential foster and adoptive parents willing and able to foster or adopt the children needing placement. The failure to conduct recruitment in a manner that seeks to provide all children with the opportunity for placement, and all qualified members of the community an opportunity to adopt is inconsistent with the goals of MEPA and could create circumstances which would constitute a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and section 471(a)(18) of the Social Security Act.

An adequate recruitment process has a number of features. Recruitment efforts should be designed to provide to potential foster and adoptive parents throughout the community information about the characteristics and needs of the available children, the nature of the foster care and adoption processes, and the supports available to foster and adoptive families.

Both general and targeted recruiting are important. Reaching all members of the community requires use of general media--radio, television, and print. In addition, information should be disseminated to targeted communities through community organizations, such as religious institutions and neighborhood centers. The dissemination of information is strengthened when agencies develop partnerships with groups from the communities from which children come, to help identify and support potential foster and adoptive families and to conduct activities which made the waiting children more visible.

To meet MEPA''s diligent efforts requirements, an agency should have a comprehensive recruitment plan that includes:

1) a description of the characteristics of waiting children; 2) specific strategies to reach all parts of the community; 3) diverse methods of disseminating both general and child specific information; 4) strategies for assuring that all prospective parents have access to the home study process, including location and hours of services that facilitate access by all members of the community; 5) strategies for training staff to work with diverse cultural, racial, and economic communities; 6) strategies for dealing with linguistic barriers; 7) non-discriminatory fee structures, and 8) procedures for a timely search for prospective parents for a waiting child, including the use of exchanges and other interagency efforts, provided that such procedures must insure that placement of a child in an appropriate household is not delayed by the search for a same race or ethnic placement.

Agencies receiving Federal funds may not use standards related to income, age, education, family structure, and size or ownership of housing, which include groups of prospective parents on the basis of race, color, or national origin, where those standards are arbitrary or unnecessary or where less exclusionary standards are available.

Source/Date
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - Section 471(a)(18); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-188).

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07/19/2010 - 07/19/2010
QuestionCan you give us some guidance with respect to satisfying the diligent recruitment requirements of the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA)?
Answer*As recognized in the MEPA, in order to achieve timely and appropriate placement of all children, placement agencies need an adequate pool of families capable of promoting each child''s development and case goals. This requires that each agency''s recruitment process focuses on developing a pool of potential foster and adoptive parents willing and able to foster or adopt the children needing placement. The failure to conduct recruitment in a manner that seeks to provide all children with the opportunity for placement, and all qualified members of the community an opportunity to adopt is inconsistent with the goals of MEPA and could create circumstances which would constitute a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and section 471(a)(18) of the Social Security Act.

An adequate recruitment process has a number of features. Recruitment efforts should be designed to provide to potential foster and adoptive parents throughout the community information about the characteristics and needs of the available children, the nature of the foster care and adoption processes, and the supports available to foster and adoptive families.

Both general and targeted recruiting are important. Reaching all members of the community requires use of general media--radio, television, and print. In addition, information should be disseminated to targeted communities through community organizations, such as religious institutions and neighborhood centers. The dissemination of information is strengthened when agencies develop partnerships with groups from the communities from which children come, to help identify and support potential foster and adoptive families and to conduct activities which made the waiting children more visible.

To meet MEPA''s diligent efforts requirements, an agency should have a comprehensive recruitment plan that includes:

1) a description of the characteristics of waiting children; 2) specific strategies to reach all parts of the community; 3) diverse methods of disseminating both general and child specific information; 4) strategies for assuring that all prospective parents have access to the home study process, including location and hours of services that facilitate access by all members of the community; 5) strategies for training staff to work with diverse cultural, racial, and economic communities; 6) strategies for dealing with linguistic barriers; 7) non-discriminatory fee structures, and 8) procedures for a timely search for prospective parents for a waiting child, including the use of exchanges and other interagency efforts, provided that such procedures must insure that placement of a child in an appropriate household is not delayed by the search for a same race or ethnic placement.

Agencies receiving Federal funds may not use standards related to income, age, education, family structure, and size or ownership of housing, which include groups of prospective parents on the basis of race, color, or national origin, where those standards are arbitrary or unnecessary or where less exclusionary standards are available. test1

Source/Date
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - Section 471(a)(18); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-188).

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07/16/2010 - 07/19/2010
QuestionCan you give us some guidance with respect to satisfying the diligent recruitment requirements of the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA)?
Answer*As recognized in the MEPA, in order to achieve timely and appropriate placement of all children, placement agencies need an adequate pool of families capable of promoting each child''s development and case goals. This requires that each agency''s recruitment process focuses on developing a pool of potential foster and adoptive parents willing and able to foster or adopt the children needing placement. The failure to conduct recruitment in a manner that seeks to provide all children with the opportunity for placement, and all qualified members of the community an opportunity to adopt is inconsistent with the goals of MEPA and could create circumstances which would constitute a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and section 471(a)(18) of the Social Security Act.

An adequate recruitment process has a number of features. Recruitment efforts should be designed to provide to potential foster and adoptive parents throughout the community information about the characteristics and needs of the available children, the nature of the foster care and adoption processes, and the supports available to foster and adoptive families.

Both general and targeted recruiting are important. Reaching all members of the community requires use of general media--radio, television, and print. In addition, information should be disseminated to targeted communities through community organizations, such as religious institutions and neighborhood centers. The dissemination of information is strengthened when agencies develop partnerships with groups from the communities from which children come, to help identify and support potential foster and adoptive families and to conduct activities which made the waiting children more visible.

To meet MEPA''s diligent efforts requirements, an agency should have a comprehensive recruitment plan that includes:

1) a description of the characteristics of waiting children; 2) specific strategies to reach all parts of the community; 3) diverse methods of disseminating both general and child specific information; 4) strategies for assuring that all prospective parents have access to the home study process, including location and hours of services that facilitate access by all members of the community; 5) strategies for training staff to work with diverse cultural, racial, and economic communities; 6) strategies for dealing with linguistic barriers; 7) non-discriminatory fee structures, and 8) procedures for a timely search for prospective parents for a waiting child, including the use of exchanges and other interagency efforts, provided that such procedures must insure that placement of a child in an appropriate household is not delayed by the search for a same race or ethnic placement.

Agencies receiving Federal funds may not use standards related to income, age, education, family structure, and size or ownership of housing, which include groups of prospective parents on the basis of race, color, or national origin, where those standards are arbitrary or unnecessary or where less exclusionary standards are available.

Source/Date
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - Section 471(a)(18); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-188).

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07/16/2010 - 07/16/2010
QuestionCan you give us some guidance with respect to satisfying the diligent recruitment requirements of the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA)?
Answer*As recognized in the MEPA, in order to achieve timely and appropriate placement of all children, placement agencies need an adequate pool of families capable of promoting each child''s development and case goals. This requires that each agency''s recruitment process focuses on developing a pool of potential foster and adoptive parents willing and able to foster or adopt the children needing placement. The failure to conduct recruitment in a manner that seeks to provide all children with the opportunity for placement, and all qualified members of the community an opportunity to adopt is inconsistent with the goals of MEPA and could create circumstances which would constitute a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and section 471(a)(18) of the Social Security Act.

An adequate recruitment process has a number of features. Recruitment efforts should be designed to provide to potential foster and adoptive parents throughout the community information about the characteristics and needs of the available children, the nature of the foster care and adoption processes, and the supports available to foster and adoptive families.

Both general and targeted recruiting are important. Reaching all members of the community requires use of general media--radio, television, and print. In addition, information should be disseminated to targeted communities through community organizations, such as religious institutions and neighborhood centers. The dissemination of information is strengthened when agencies develop partnerships with groups from the communities from which children come, to help identify and support potential foster and adoptive families and to conduct activities which made the waiting children more visible.

To meet MEPA''s diligent efforts requirements, an agency should have a comprehensive recruitment plan that includes:

1) a description of the characteristics of waiting children; 2) specific strategies to reach all parts of the community; 3) diverse methods of disseminating both general and child specific information; 4) strategies for assuring that all prospective parents have access to the home study process, including location and hours of services that facilitate access by all members of the community; 5) strategies for training staff to work with diverse cultural, racial, and economic communities; 6) strategies for dealing with linguistic barriers; 7) non-discriminatory fee structures, and 8) procedures for a timely search for prospective parents for a waiting child, including the use of exchanges and other interagency efforts, provided that such procedures must insure that placement of a child in an appropriate household is not delayed by the search for a same race or ethnic placement.

Agencies receiving Federal funds may not use standards related to income, age, education, family structure, and size or ownership of housing, which include groups of prospective parents on the basis of race, color, or national origin, where those standards are arbitrary or unnecessary or where less exclusionary standards are available. test

Source/Date
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - Section 471(a)(18); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-188).

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07/16/2010 - 07/16/2010
QuestionCan you give us some guidance with respect to satisfying the diligent recruitment requirements of the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA)?
Answer*As recognized in the MEPA, in order to achieve timely and appropriate placement of all children, placement agencies need an adequate pool of families capable of promoting each child''s development and case goals. This requires that each agency''s recruitment process focuses on developing a pool of potential foster and adoptive parents willing and able to foster or adopt the children needing placement. The failure to conduct recruitment in a manner that seeks to provide all children with the opportunity for placement, and all qualified members of the community an opportunity to adopt is inconsistent with the goals of MEPA and could create circumstances which would constitute a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and section 471(a)(18) of the Social Security Act.

An adequate recruitment process has a number of features. Recruitment efforts should be designed to provide to potential foster and adoptive parents throughout the community information about the characteristics and needs of the available children, the nature of the foster care and adoption processes, and the supports available to foster and adoptive families.

Both general and targeted recruiting are important. Reaching all members of the community requires use of general media--radio, television, and print. In addition, information should be disseminated to targeted communities through community organizations, such as religious institutions and neighborhood centers. The dissemination of information is strengthened when agencies develop partnerships with groups from the communities from which children come, to help identify and support potential foster and adoptive families and to conduct activities which made the waiting children more visible.

To meet MEPA''s diligent efforts requirements, an agency should have a comprehensive recruitment plan that includes:

1) a description of the characteristics of waiting children; 2) specific strategies to reach all parts of the community; 3) diverse methods of disseminating both general and child specific information; 4) strategies for assuring that all prospective parents have access to the home study process, including location and hours of services that facilitate access by all members of the community; 5) strategies for training staff to work with diverse cultural, racial, and economic communities; 6) strategies for dealing with linguistic barriers; 7) non-discriminatory fee structures, and 8) procedures for a timely search for prospective parents for a waiting child, including the use of exchanges and other interagency efforts, provided that such procedures must insure that placement of a child in an appropriate household is not delayed by the search for a same race or ethnic placement.

Agencies receiving Federal funds may not use standards related to income, age, education, family structure, and size or ownership of housing, which include groups of prospective parents on the basis of race, color, or national origin, where those standards are arbitrary or unnecessary or where less exclusionary standards are available..

Source/Date*
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - Section 471(a)(18); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-188).

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02/19/2001 - 07/16/2010 (Original Record)
QuestionCan you give us some guidance with respect to satisfying the diligent recruitment requirements of the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA)?
AnswerAs recognized in the MEPA, in order to achieve timely and appropriate placement of all children, placement agencies need an adequate pool of families capable of promoting each child''s development and case goals. This requires that each agency''s recruitment process focuses on developing a pool of potential foster and adoptive parents willing and able to foster or adopt the children needing placement. The failure to conduct recruitment in a manner that seeks to provide all children with the opportunity for placement, and all qualified members of the community an opportunity to adopt is inconsistent with the goals of MEPA and could create circumstances which would constitute a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and section 471(a)(18) of the Social Security Act.

An adequate recruitment process has a number of features. Recruitment efforts should be designed to provide to potential foster and adoptive parents throughout the community information about the characteristics and needs of the available children, the nature of the foster care and adoption processes, and the supports available to foster and adoptive families.

Both general and targeted recruiting are important. Reaching all members of the community requires use of general media--radio, television, and print. In addition, information should be disseminated to targeted communities through community organizations, such as religious institutions and neighborhood centers. The dissemination of information is strengthened when agencies develop partnerships with groups from the communities from which children come, to help identify and support potential foster and adoptive families and to conduct activities which made the waiting children more visible.

To meet MEPA''s diligent efforts requirements, an agency should have a comprehensive recruitment plan that includes:

1) a description of the characteristics of waiting children; 2) specific strategies to reach all parts of the community; 3) diverse methods of disseminating both general and child specific information; 4) strategies for assuring that all prospective parents have access to the home study process, including location and hours of services that facilitate access by all members of the community; 5) strategies for training staff to work with diverse cultural, racial, and economic communities; 6) strategies for dealing with linguistic barriers; 7) non-discriminatory fee structures, and 8) procedures for a timely search for prospective parents for a waiting child, including the use of exchanges and other interagency efforts, provided that such procedures must insure that placement of a child in an appropriate household is not delayed by the search for a same race or ethnic placement.

Agencies receiving Federal funds may not use standards related to income, age, education, family structure, and size or ownership of housing, which include groups of prospective parents on the basis of race, color, or national origin, where those standards are arbitrary or unnecessary or where less exclusionary standards are available.

Source/Date"Policy Guidance: Race, Color, or National Origin As Considerations in Adoption and Foster Care Placements," United States Department of Health and Human Services (4/20/95)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - Section 471(a)(18); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-188).

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Question Number 2:
07/30/2010 - Current
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*To comply with the "diligent recruitment" provision, MEPA allows for targeted recruitment to increase the number of minority families in the pool of families available to provide adoptive or foster family homes. A title IV-E agency may conduct targeted recruitment activities for a special population itself and/or it may utilize the services of a private recruitment agency based on that agency's understanding of the needs of a specific community. However, targeted recruitment activities cannot be the only vehicle used by a title IV-E agency for identifying families for minority children. The overall recruitment program of the title IV-E agency must be open to all qualified families regardless of race, color, or national origin.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/26/2010 - 07/30/2010
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*To comply with the
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/26/2010 - 07/26/2010
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*To comply with the
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/26/2010 - 07/26/2010
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*To comply with the
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/26/2010 - 07/26/2010
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*To comply with the "diligent recruitment" provision, MEPA allows for targeted recruitment to increase the number of minority families in the pool of families available to provide adoptive or foster family homes. A title IV-E agency may conduct targeted recruitment activities for a special population itself and/or it may utilize the services of a private recruitment agency based on that agency''s understanding of the needs of a specific community. However, targeted recruitment activities cannot be the only vehicle used by a title IV-E agency for identifying families for minority children. The overall recruitment program of the title IV-E agency must be open to all qualified families regardless of race, color, or national origin.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/26/2010 - 07/26/2010
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*To comply with the "diligent recruitment" provision, MEPA allows for targeted recruitment to increase the number of minority families in the pool of families available to provide adoptive or foster family homes. A title IV-E agency may conduct targeted recruitment activities for a special population itself and/or it may utilize the services of a private recruitment agency based on that agency''s understanding of the needs of a specific community. However, targeted recruitment activities cannot be the only vehicle used by a title IV-E agency for identifying families for minority children. The overall recruitment program of the title IV-E agency must be open to all qualified families regardless of race, color, or national origin.testing1
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/26/2010 - 07/26/2010
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*To comply with the "diligent recruitment" provision, MEPA allows for targeted recruitment to increase the number of minority families in the pool of families available to provide adoptive or foster family homes. A title IV-E agency may conduct targeted recruitment activities for a special population itself and/or it may utilize the services of a private recruitment agency based on that agency''s understanding of the needs of a specific community. However, targeted recruitment activities cannot be the only vehicle used by a title IV-E agency for identifying families for minority children. The overall recruitment program of the title IV-E agency must be open to all qualified families regardless of race, color, or national origin.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/26/2010 - 07/26/2010
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*To comply with the "diligent recruitment" provision, MEPA allows for targeted recruitment to increase the number of minority families in the pool of families available to provide adoptive or foster family homes. A title IV-E agency may conduct targeted recruitment activities for a special population itself and/or it may utilize the services of a private recruitment agency based on that agency''s understanding of the needs of a specific community. However, targeted recruitment activities cannot be the only vehicle used by a title IV-E agency for identifying families for minority children. The overall recruitment program of the title IV-E agency must be open to all qualified families regardless of race, color, or national origin.

testing1

Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/26/2010 - 07/26/2010
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*To comply with the "diligent recruitment" provision, MEPA allows for targeted recruitment to increase the number of minority families in the pool of families available to provide adoptive or foster family homes. A title IV-E agency may conduct targeted recruitment activities for a special population itself and/or it may utilize the services of a private recruitment agency based on that agency''s understanding of the needs of a specific community. However, targeted recruitment activities cannot be the only vehicle used by a title IV-E agency for identifying families for minority children. The overall recruitment program of the title IV-E agency must be open to all qualified families regardless of race, color, or national origin.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/26/2010 - 07/26/2010
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*To comply with the "diligent recruitment" provision, MEPA allows for targeted recruitment to increase the number of minority families in the pool of families available to provide adoptive or foster family homes. A title IV-E agency may conduct targeted recruitment activities for a special population itself and/or it may utilize the services of a private recruitment agency based on that agency''s understanding of the needs of a specific community. However, targeted recruitment activities cannot be the only vehicle used by a title IV-E agency for identifying families for minority children. The overall recruitment program of the title IV-E agency must be open to all qualified families regardless of race, color, or national origin.

testing1

Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/26/2010 - 07/26/2010
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*To comply with the "diligent recruitment" provision, MEPA allows for targeted recruitment to increase the number of minority families in the pool of families available to provide adoptive or foster family homes. A title IV-E agency may conduct targeted recruitment activities for a special population itself and/or it may utilize the services of a private recruitment agency based on that agency''s understanding of the needs of a specific community. However, targeted recruitment activities cannot be the only vehicle used by a title IV-E agency for identifying families for minority children. The overall recruitment program of the title IV-E agency must be open to all qualified families regardless of race, color, or national origin.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/23/2010 - 07/26/2010
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*To comply with the
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/23/2010 - 07/23/2010
Question*Is it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
AnswerTo comply with the ''diligent recruitment'' provision, MEPA allows for targeted recruitment to increase the number of minority families in the pool of families available to provide adoptive or foster family homes. A title IV-E agency may conduct targeted recruitment activities for a special population itself and/or it may utilize the services of a private recruitment agency based on that agency''s understanding of the needs of a specific community. However, targeted recruitment activities cannot be the only vehicle used by a title IV-E agency for identifying families for minority children. The overall recruitment program of the title IV-E agency must be open to all qualified families regardless of race, color, or national origin.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/23/2010 - 07/23/2010
Question*Is it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive
AnswerTo comply with the ''diligent recruitment'' provision, MEPA allows for targeted recruitment to increase the number of minority families in the pool of families available to provide adoptive or foster family homes. A title IV-E agency may conduct targeted recruitment activities for a special population itself and/or it may utilize the services of a private recruitment agency based on that agency''s understanding of the needs of a specific community. However, targeted recruitment activities cannot be the only vehicle used by a title IV-E agency for identifying families for minority children. The overall recruitment program of the title IV-E agency must be open to all qualified families regardless of race, color, or national origin.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/23/2010 - 07/23/2010
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*To comply with the ''diligent recruitment'' provision, MEPA allows for targeted recruitment to increase the number of minority families in the pool of families available to provide adoptive or foster family homes. A title IV-E agency may conduct targeted recruitment activities for a special population itself and/or it may utilize the services of a private recruitment agency based on that agency''s understanding of the needs of a specific community. However, targeted recruitment activities cannot be the only vehicle used by a title IV-E agency for identifying families for minority children. The overall recruitment program of the title IV-E agency must be open to all qualified families regardless of race, color, or national origin.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/23/2010 - 07/23/2010
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*To
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/23/2010 - 07/23/2010
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*To comply with the ''diligent recruitment'' provision, MEPA allows for targeted recruitment to increase the number of minority families in the pool of families available to provide adoptive or foster family homes. A title IV-E agency may conduct targeted recruitment activities for a special population itself and/or it may utilize the services of a private recruitment agency based on that agency''s understanding of the needs of a specific community. However, targeted recruitment activities cannot be the only vehicle used by a title IV-E agency for identifying families for minority children. The overall recruitment program of the title IV-E agency must be open to all qualified families regardless of race, color, or national origin.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/23/2010 - 07/23/2010
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*To comply with the
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/23/2010 - 07/23/2010
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*To comply with the
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/23/2010 - 07/23/2010
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*To comply with the diligent recruitment provision, MEPA allows for targeted recruitment to increase the number of minority families in the pool of families available to provide adoptive or foster family homes. A title IV-E agency may conduct targeted recruitment activities for a special population itself and/or it may utilize the services of a private recruitment agency based on that agency''s understanding of the needs of a specific community. However, targeted recruitment activities cannot be the only vehicle used by a title IV-E agency for identifying families for minority children. The overall recruitment program of the title IV-E agency must be open to all qualified families regardless of race, color, or national origin.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/23/2010 - 07/23/2010
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*To comply with the
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/23/2010 - 07/23/2010
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*java.lang.NullPointerException
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/23/2010 - 07/23/2010
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*To comply with the
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/23/2010 - 07/23/2010
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*To comply with the
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/23/2010 - 07/23/2010
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*To comply with the
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/23/2010 - 07/23/2010
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*To comply with the test

test

Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/23/2010 - 07/23/2010
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*To comply with the
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/22/2010 - 07/23/2010
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*To comply with the
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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07/22/2010 - 07/22/2010
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
Answer*To comply with the
Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95) (revised 07/14/10)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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02/19/2001 - 07/22/2010 (Original Record)
QuestionIs it permissible under the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) to target minority families that are representative of the children in foster care in our recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents?
AnswerTo comply with the "diligent recruitment" provision, MEPA allows for targeted recruitment to increase the number of minority families in the pool of families available to provide adoptive or foster care. A State agency may conduct targeted recruitment activities for a special population itself and/or it may utilize the services of a private recruitment agency based on that agency''s understanding of the needs of a specific community. However, targeted recruitment activities cannot be the only vehicle used by a State for identifying families for minority children. The overall recruitment program of the State must be open to all qualified families regardless of race, color, or national origin.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-95-23 (10/11/95)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 422(b)(9); The Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994 (PL 103-382); The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (PL104-188)

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8.4G TITLE IV-E, General Title IV-E Requirements, Fair Hearings

Question Number 1:
06/14/2013 - Current
QuestionDo the regulations at 45 CFR 205.10 require fair hearings for appeals related to services as well as financial claims?
Answer*Yes. The regulations at 1355.30 (p)(2) provide that the procedures for hearings found in 45 CFR 205.10 shall apply to all programs funded under titles IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act. Fair hearings in relation to services as well as financial claims are therefore covered under this regulation. The process for fair hearings under section 205.10 is essentially the same for services hearings as for financial hearings. However, because the substantive portion of the regulations provides no examples of service issues, the title IV-E agency has the option of modifying the context of the hearing to accommodate services program complaints. The hearing process under either situation requires that recipients be advised of their right to a hearing, that they may be represented by an authorized representative, and that there be a timely notice of the date and place of the hearing.

The following paragraphs, excerpted from the now obsolete section 1392.11, may be used as guidance for the hearings related to services issues. The title IV-E agency "must have a provision for a fair hearing, under which applicants and recipients may appeal denial of or exclusion from a service program, failure to take account of recipient choice of service or a determination that the individuals must participate in the service program. The results of appeals must be formally recorded and all applicants and recipients must be advised of their right to appeal and the procedures for such appeal. There must be a system through which recipients may present grievances about the operation of the service program."

Examples of service issues in title IV-E that might result in a grievance or request for a hearing include: Agency failure to offer or provide appropriate pre-placement preventive services or reunification services; Agency may not have placed child in the most family-like setting in close proximity to his parents; Parents were not informed of their rights to participate in periodic administrative reviews; Agency failed to provide services agreed to in case plan; A request for a specific service is denied or not acted upon; and Agency failure to carry out terms of adoption assistance agreements.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-83-04 (10/26/83) (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related References45 CFR 1355.30 (k), and (p), 205.10 and 1392.11

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06/11/2013 - 06/14/2013
QuestionDo the regulations at 45 CFR 205.10 require fair hearings for appeals related to services as well as financial claims?
Answer*Yes. The regulations at 1355.30 (p)(2) provide that the procedures for hearings found in 45 CFR 205.10 shall apply to all programs funded under titles IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act. Fair hearings in relation to services as well as financial claims are therefore covered under this regulation. The process for fair hearings under section 205.10 is essentially the same for services hearings as for financial hearings. However, because the substantive portion of the regulations provides no examples of service issues, the title IV-E agency has the option of modifying the context of the hearing to accommodate services program complaints. The hearing process under either situation requires that recipients be advised of their right to a hearing, that they may be represented by an authorized representative, and that there be a timely notice of the date and place of the hearing.

The following paragraphs, excerpted from the now obsolete section 1392.11, may be used as guidance for the hearings related to services issues. "The title IV-E agency" must have a provision for a fair hearing, under which applicants and recipients may appeal denial of or exclusion from a service program, failure to take account of recipient choice of service or a determination that the individuals must participate in the service program. The results of appeals must be formally recorded and all applicants and recipients must be advised of their right to appeal and the procedures for such appeal. There must be a system through which recipients may present grievances about the operation of the service program."

Examples of service issues in title IV-E that might result in a grievance or request for a hearing include: Agency failure to offer or provide appropriate pre-placement preventive services or reunification services; Agency may not have placed child in the most family-like setting in close proximity to his parents; Parents were not informed of their rights to participate in periodic administrative reviews; Agency failed to provide services agreed to in case plan; A request for a specific service is denied or not acted upon; and Agency failure to carry out terms of adoption assistance agreements.

Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PIQ-83-04 (10/26/83) (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related References*45 CFR 1355.30 (k), and (p), 205.10 and 1392.11

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07/31/2000 - 06/11/2013 (Original Record)
QuestionDo the regulations at 45 CFR 205.10 require fair hearings for appeals related to services as well as financial claims?
AnswerYes. The regulations at 1355.30 (p)(2) provide that the procedures for hearings found in 45 CFR 205.10 shall apply to all programs funded under titles IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act. Fair hearings in relation to services as well as financial claims are therefore covered under this regulation. The process for fair hearings under section 205.10 is essentially the same for services hearings as for financial hearings. However, because the substantive portion of the regulations provides no examples of service issues, the State has the option of modifying the context of the hearing to accommodate services program complaints. The hearing process under either situation requires that recipients be advised of their right to a hearing, that they may be represented by an authorized representative, and that there be a timely notice of the date and place of the hearing.

The following paragraphs, excerpted from the now obsolete section 1392.11, may be used as guidance for the hearings related to services issues. "The State must have a provision for a fair hearing, under which applicants and recipients may appeal denial of or exclusion from a service program, failure to take account of recipient choice of service or a determination that the individuals must participate in the service program. The results of appeals must be formally recorded and all applicants and recipients must be advised of their right to appeal and the procedures for such appeal. There must be a system through which recipients may present grievances about the operation of the service program."

Examples of service issues in title IV-E that might result in a grievance or request for a hearing include: Agency failure to offer or provide appropriate pre-placement preventive services or reunification services; Agency may not have placed child in the most family-like setting in close proximity to his parents; Parents were not informed of their rights to participate in periodic administrative reviews; Agency failed to provide services agreed to in case plan; A request for a specific service is denied or not acted upon; and Agency failure to carry out terms of adoption assistance agreements.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-83-04 (10/26/83)
Legal and Related References45 CFR 1355.30 (k), 205.10 and 1392.11

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Question Number 2:
06/13/2013 - Current
QuestionPlease explain the circumstances in which adoptive parents have the right to a fair hearing.
Answer*Federal regulations at 45 CFR 1356.40(b)(1) require that the adoption assistance agreement be signed and in effect at the time of, or prior to, the final decree of adoption. However, if the adoptive parents feel they wrongly have been denied benefits on behalf of an adoptive child, they have the right to a fair hearing. Some allegations that constitute grounds for a fair hearing include: relevant facts regarding the child were known by the title IV-E agency or child-placing agency and not presented to the adoptive parents prior to the finalization of the adoption; denial of assistance based upon a means test of the adoptive family; adoptive family disagrees with the determination by the title-IV-E agency that a child is ineligible for adoption assistance; failure by the agency to advise potential adoptive parents about the availability of adoption assistance for children in the foster care system; decrease in the amount of adoption assistance without the concurrence of the adoptive parents; and denial of a request for a change in payment level due to a change in the adoptive parents circumstances. In situations where the final fair hearing decision is favorable to the adoptive parents, the agency can reverse the earlier decision to deny benefits under title IV-E. If the child meets all the eligibility criteria, Federal Financial Participation (FFP) is available, beginning with the earliest date of the child's eligibility (e.g., the date of the child's placement in the adoptive home or finalization of the adoption) in accordance with Federal and State/Tribal statutes, regulations and policies.

The right to a fair hearing is a procedural protection that provides due process for individuals who claim that they have been wrongly denied benefits. This procedural protection, however, cannot confer title IV-E benefits without legal support or basis. Accordingly, FFP is available only in those situations in which a fair hearing determines that the child was wrongly denied benefits and the child meets all Federal eligibility requirements. For example, if a fair hearing officer determines that a child would have been eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) prior to the finalization of the adoption, FFP is available only if there had been eligibility documentation for the child from the Social Security Administration, or its designee at that time. Accordingly, if a fair hearing officer decides that a child should have received adoption assistance, but, in fact, the child does not meet all the Federal eligibility criteria, the title IV-E agency cannot claim FFP under title IV-E for the child.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PA-01-01 (1/23/01) (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act -sections 471(a)(12) and 473

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06/11/2013 - 06/13/2013
Question*Please explain the circumstances in which adoptive parents have the right to a fair hearing.
Answer*Federal regulations at 45 CFR 1356.40(b)(1) require that the adoption assistance agreement be signed and in effect at the time of, or prior to, the final decree of adoption. However, if the adoptive parents feel they wrongly have been denied benefits on behalf of an adoptive child, they have the right to a fair hearing. Some allegations that constitute grounds for a fair hearing include: relevant facts regarding the child were known by the title IV-E agency or child-placing agency and not presented to the adoptive parents prior to the finalization of the adoption; denial of assistance based upon a means test of the adoptive family; adoptive family disagrees with the determination by the title-IV-E agency that a child is ineligible for adoption assistance; failure by the agency to advise potential adoptive parents about the availability of adoption assistance for children in the foster care system; decrease in the amount of adoption assistance without the concurrence of the adoptive parents; and denial of a request for a change in payment level due to a change in the adoptive parents circumstances. In situations where the final fair hearing decision is favorable to the adoptive parents, the agency can reverse the earlier decision to deny benefits under title IV-E. If the child meets all the eligibility criteria, Federal Financial Participation (FFP) is available, beginning with the earliest date of the child''s eligibility (e.g., the date of the child''s placement in the adoptive home or finalization of the adoption) in accordance with Federal and State/Tribal statutes, regulations and policies.

The right to a fair hearing is a procedural protection that provides due process for individuals who claim that they have been wrongly denied benefits. This procedural protection, however, cannot confer title IV-E benefits without legal support or basis. Accordingly, FFP is available only in those situations in which a fair hearing determines that the child was wrongly denied benefits and the child meets all Federal eligibility requirements. For example, if a fair hearing officer determines that a child would have been eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) prior to the finalization of the adoption, FFP is available only if there had been eligibility documentation for the child from the Social Security Administration, or its designee at that time. Accordingly, if a fair hearing officer decides that a child should have received adoption assistance, but, in fact, the child does not meet all the Federal eligibility criteria, the title IV-E agency cannot claim FFP under title IV-E for the child.m FFP under title IV-E for the child.

Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PA-01-01 (1/23/01) (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act -sections 471(a)(12) and 473

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02/19/2001 - 06/11/2013 (Original Record)
QuestionPlease explain the circumstances in which an adoptive parents have the right to a fair hearing.
AnswerFederal regulations at 45 CFR 1356.40(b)(1) require that the adoption assistance agreement be signed and in effect at the time of, or prior to, the final decree of adoption. However, if the adoptive parents feel they wrongly have been denied benefits on behalf of an adoptive child, they have the right to a fair hearing. Some allegations that constitute grounds for a fair hearing include: relevant facts regarding the child were known by the State agency or child-placing agency and not presented to the adoptive parents prior to the finalization of the adoption; denial of assistance based upon a means test of the adoptive family; adoptive family disagrees with the determination by the State that a child is ineligible for adoption assistance; failure by the State agency to advise potential adoptive parents about the availability of adoption assistance for children in the State foster care system; decrease in the amount of adoption assistance without the concurrence of the adoptive parents; and denial of a request for a change in payment level due to a change in the adoptive parents circumstances. In situations where the final fair hearing decision is favorable to the adoptive parents, the State agency can reverse the earlier decision to deny benefits under title IV-E. If the child meets all the eligibility criteria, Federal Financial Participation (FFP) is available, beginning with the earliest date of the child''s eligibility (e.g., the date of the child''s placement in the adoptive home or finalization of the adoption) in accordance with Federal and State statutes, regulations and policies.

The right to a fair hearing is a procedural protection that provides due process for individuals who claim that they have been wrongly denied benefits. This procedural protection, however, cannot confer title IV-E benefits without legal support or basis. Accordingly, FFP is available only in those situations in which a fair hearing determines that the child was wrongly denied benefits and the child meets all Federal eligibility requirements. For example, if a fair hearing officer determines that a child would have been eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) prior to the finalization of the adoption, FFP is available only if there had been eligibility documentation for the child from the Social Security Administration, or its designee at that time. Accordingly, if a fair hearing officer decides that a child should have received adoption assistance, but, in fact, the child does not meet all the Federal eligibility criteria, the State cannot claim FFP under title IV-E for the child.m FFP under title IV-E for the child.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PA-01-01 (1/23/01)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act -sections 471(a)(12) and 473

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Question Number 3:
06/11/2013 - Current
QuestionDo foster parents or relative caregivers have a right to a fair hearing under section 471(a)(12) of the Social Security Act (the Act) with regard to adverse placement decisions? In particular, do the provisions for relative preference at section 471(a)(19) of the Act and an opportunity to be heard for foster parents and relative caretakers at section 475(5)(G) of the Act create fair hearing rights?
Answer*No. The provisions at sections 471(a)(19) and 475(5)(G) of the Act have no relation to or bearing on the fair hearing requirements. The title IV-E agency determines where and with whom the child will be placed by virtue of its placement and care responsibility.

The fair hearing provision at section 471(a)(12) of the Act provides for granting an opportunity for a fair hearing to any individual whose claim for benefits available pursuant to this part is denied or not acted upon with reasonable promptness. The benefit under the title IV-E foster care maintenance payments program is provided to eligible children.

Source/Date*06/09/04 (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSection 471(a)(12) of the Social Security Act, 45 CFR 205.10 and 1355.30(p)(2).

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10/19/2004 - 06/11/2013
QuestionDo foster parents or relative caregivers have a right to a fair hearing under section 471(a)(12) of the Social Security Act (the Act) with regard to adverse placement decisions? In particular, do the provisions for relative preference at section 471(a)(19) of the Act and an opportunity to be heard for foster parents and relative caretakers at section 475(5)(G) of the Act create fair hearing rights?
Answer*No. The provisions at sections 471(a)(19) and 475(5)(G) of the Act have no relation to or bearing on the fair hearing requirements. The State determines where and with whom the child will be placed by virtue of its placement and care responsibility.

The fair hearing provision at section 471(a)(12) of the Act provides for granting an opportunity for a fair hearing to any individual whose claim for benefits available pursuant to this part is denied or not acted upon with reasonable promptness. The benefit under the title IV-E foster care maintenance payments program is provided to eligible children.

Source/Date06/09/04
Legal and Related ReferencesSection 471(a)(12) of the Social Security Act, 45 CFR 205.10 and 1355.30(p)(2).

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07/14/2004 - 10/19/2004 (Original Record)
QuestionDo foster parents or relative caregivers have a right to a fair hearing under section 471(a)(12) of the Social Security Act (the Act) with regard to adverse placement decisions? In particular, do the provisions for relative preference at section 471(a)(19) of the Act and an opportunity to be heard for foster parents and relative caretakers at section 475(5)(G) of the Act create fair hearing rights?
AnswerNo. The provisions at sections 471(a)(19) and 475(5)(G) of the Act have no relation to or bearing on the fair hearing requirements. The State determines where and with whom the child will be placed by virtue of its placement and care responsibility.

The fair hearing provision at section 471(a)(12) of the Act provides for granting an opportunity for a fair hearing??to any individual whose claim for benefits available pursuant to this part is denied or not acted upon with reasonable promptness.? The benefit under the title IV-E foster care maintenance payments program is provided to eligible children.

Source/Date06/09/04
Legal and Related ReferencesSection 471(a)(12) of the Social Security Act, 45 CFR 205.10 and 1355.30(p)(2).

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Question Number 4:
06/11/2013 - Current
QuestionDoes section 471(a)(12) of the Act give prospective adoptive parents a right to the 45 CFR 205.10 fair hearings provisions with regard to pre-adoptive foster care placement issues?
Answer*No. Section 471(a)(12) of the Act does not grant prospective adoptive parents the right to a fair hearing under 45 CFR 205.10, for the purposes of challenging the title IV-E agency's exercise of its placement and care responsibilities pursuant to section 472(a)(2)(B) of the Act. The title IV-E fair hearings provision is directed to individuals who believe that they have been denied a benefit to which they are entitled, such as the denial of adoption assistance (see 45 CFR 205.10(a)(5) and Child Welfare Policy Manual Section 8.4). The situation raised in the question does not involve the denial of a benefit or assistance, but rather entails a placement decision.

Nothing in Federal law or regulations requires the title IV-E agency to provide an individual with an opportunity for a fair hearing with regard to agency placement decisions.

Source/Date*06/09/04 (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSection 471(a)(12) of the Social Security Act, 45 CFR 205.10.

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07/14/2004 - 06/11/2013 (Original Record)
QuestionDoes section 471(a)(12) of the Act give prospective adoptive parents a right to the 45 CFR 205.10 fair hearings provisions with regard to pre-adoptive foster care placement issues?
AnswerNo. Section 471(a)(12) of the Act does not grant prospective adoptive parents the right to a fair hearing under 45 CFR 205.10, for the purposes of challenging the State?s exercise of its placement and care responsibilities pursuant to section 472(a)(2)(B) of the Act. The title IV-E fair hearings provision is directed to individuals who believe that they have been denied a benefit to which they are entitled, such as the denial of adoption assistance (see 45 CFR 205.10(a)(5) and Child Welfare Policy Manual Section 8.4). The situation raised in the question does not involve the denial of a benefit or assistance, but rather entails a placement decision.

Nothing in Federal law or regulations requires the State to provide an individual with an opportunity for a fair hearing with regard to agency placement decisions.

Source/Date06/09/04
Legal and Related ReferencesSection 471(a)(12) of the Social Security Act, 45 CFR 205.10.

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Question Number 5:
06/13/2013 - Current
QuestionIs the title IV-E agency required to conduct the fair hearings mandated at section 471(a)(12) of the Social Security Act (the Act), or may it delegate the process to another agency?
Answer*Although section 471(a)(12) of the Act requires that the title IV-E agency provide for an opportunity for a fair hearing "before the State agency," the regulation at 45 CFR 1355.30(p)(2) cross references 45 CFR 205.10. The latter citation at 45 CFR 205.10(a)(9) authorizes the hearings to "be conducted by an impartial official(s) or a designee of the agency." Thus, an agency other than the title IV-E agency may be designated to conduct hearings and make recommendations to the title IV-E agency. The provision at 45 CFR 205.100(b)(1), however, prohibits officials of the title IV-E agency from delegating their authority for exercising administrative discretion in the "administration or supervision of the plan." Thus, although the title IV-E agency may delegate the fair hearing function pursuant to the title IV-E requirement, the title IV-E agency must make the final decision.
Source/Date7/6/05 (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act -- Sections 471(a)(12), 45 CFR Parts 1355.30(p)(2), 205.10(a)(9) and 205.100(b)(1)

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06/11/2013 - 06/13/2013
Question*Is the title IV-E agency required to conduct the fair hearings mandated at section 471(a)(12) of the Social Security Act (the Act), or may it delegate the process to another agency?
Answer*Although section 471(a)(12) of the Act requires that the title IV-E agency provide for an opportunity for a fair hearing "before the State agency," the regulation at 45 CFR 1355.30(p)(2) cross references 45 CFR 205.10. The latter citation at 45 CFR 205.10(a)(9) authorizes the hearings to "be conducted by an impartial official(s) or a designee of the agency." Thus, an agency other than the title IV-E may be designated to conduct hearings and make recommendations to the single title IV-E agency. The provision at 45 CFR 205.100(b)(1), however, prohibits officials of the title IV-E agency from delegating their authority for exercising administrative discretion in the "administration or supervision of the plan." Thus, although the title IV-E agency may delegate the fair hearing function pursuant to the title IV-E requirement, the title IV-E agency must make the final decision.
Source/Date*7/6/05 (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act -- Sections 471(a)(12), 45 CFR Parts 1355.30(p)(2), 205.10(a)(9) and 205.100(b)(1)

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07/12/2005 - 06/11/2013 (Original Record)
QuestionIs a State's title IV-E agency required to conduct the fair hearings mandated at section 471(a)(12) of the Social Security Act (the Act), or may it delegate the process to another State agency?
AnswerAlthough section 471(a)(12) of the Act requires that the State provide for an opportunity for a fair hearing "before the State agency," the regulation at 45 CFR 1355.30 cross references 45 CFR 205.10. The latter citation at 45 CFR 205.10(a)(9) authorizes the hearings to "be conducted by an impartial official(s) or a designee of the agency." Thus, an agency other than the single State agency may be designated to conduct hearings and make recommendations to the single State agency. The provision at 45 CFR 205.100(b)(1), however, prohibits officials of the State agency from delegating their authority for exercising administrative discretion in the "administration or supervision of the plan." Thus, although the single State agency may delegate the fair hearing function pursuant to the single State agency requirement, the State agency must make the final decision.
Source/Date7/6/05
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act -- Section 471(a)(12), 45 CFR Parts 1355.30, 205.10(a)(9) and 205.100(b)(1)

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8.3A.6 TITLE IV-E, Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program, Eligibility, Contrary to the welfare

Question Number 2:
07/24/2006 - Current
Question*For purposes of meeting the section 472 (a)(2)(A)(ii) eligibility requirement, must a temporary detention order include "contrary to the welfare" language or is it possible to consider a later delinquency adjudication order or dependency adjudication order as the removal order?
Answer*The statute requires that the "removal" from the home must occur as the result of a judicial determination to the effect that continuation therein would be contrary to the child's welfare.

Therefore, such a determination must be made in the order that results in the removal of the child from the home. Since the child has already been removed from his home and is in detention as the result of a temporary detention order, the later hearing order only sanctions that removal. A child would remain ineligible during the entire foster care placement if the "contrary to the welfare" determination is not made at the time of the temporary detention order.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-91-03 (4/3/91)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - section 472 (a)(2)(A)

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10/01/2000 - 07/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionFor purposes of meeting the section 472 (a)(1) eligibility requirement, must a temporary detention order include "contrary to the welfare" language or is it possible to consider a later delinquency adjudication order or dependency adjudication order as the removal order?
AnswerThe statute requires that the "removal" from the home must occur as the result of a judicial determination to the effect that continuation therein would be contrary to the child''s welfare.

Therefore, such a determination must be made in the order that results in the removal of the child from the home. Since the child has already been removed from his home and is in detention as the result of a temporary detention order, the later hearing order only sanctions that removal. A child would remain ineligible during the entire foster care placement if the "contrary to the welfare" determination is not made at the time of the temporary detention order.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-91-03 (4/3/91)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 472 (a)(1)

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Question Number 4:
07/24/2006 - Current
Question*Court orders that sentence a child to a juvenile detention facility often include language which differs from that in a dependency order resulting in a foster care placement. Does language in a detention order indicating that the child is a "threat to himself or the community" meet the requirement in section 472(a)(2)(A)(ii) regarding "contrary to the welfare?"
AnswerA court order indicating that the child is a threat to himself satisfies the requirement of a determination that remaining in the home would be contrary to the child's welfare. However, if the court order indicates only that the child is a threat to the community, such language would not satisfy the requirement for a determination that continuation in the home would be contrary to the child's welfare.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-91-03 (4/3/91)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - section 472 (a)(2)(A)(ii)

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07/29/2001 - 07/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionCourt orders that sentence a child to a juvenile detention facility often include language which differs from that in a dependency order resulting in a foster care placement. Does language in a detention order indicating that the child is a "threat to himself or the community" meet the requirement in section 472 regarding "contrary to the welfare?"
AnswerA court order indicating that the child is a threat to himself satisfies the requirement of a determination that remaining in the home would be contrary to the child''s welfare. However, if the court order indicates only that the child is a threat to the community, such language would not satisfy the requirement for a determination that continuation in the home would be contrary to the child''s welfare.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-91-03 (4/3/91)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 472 (a)(1)

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Question Number 5:
07/24/2006 - Current
QuestionIf a temporary detention order states that the child is to be detained until sentencing because there is reason to believe he would run away, would this satisfy the requirement for a determination regarding "contrary to the welfare?"
AnswerNo. This language could not be construed to mean that to continue in the home would be "contrary to the (child's) welfare." It is important to remember that the judicial determinations required for title IV-E eligibility were intended to ensure that children were not removed from their homes unnecessarily. In juvenile justice procedures, where children are removed for correctional purposes, the courts must determine that continuation in the home would be contrary to the child's welfare if title IV-E eligibility is to be established.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-91-03 (4/3/91)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - section 472 (a)(2)(A)(ii)

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07/29/2001 - 07/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionIf a temporary detention order states that the child is to be detained until sentencing because there is reason to believe he would run away, would this satisfy the requirement for a determination regarding "contrary to the welfare?"
AnswerNo. This language could not be construed to mean that to continue in the home would be "contrary to the (child''s) welfare." It is important to remember that the judicial determinations required for title IV-E eligibility were intended to ensure that children were not removed from their homes unnecessarily. In juvenile justice procedures, where children are removed for correctional purposes, the courts must determine that continuation in the home would be contrary to the child''s welfare if title IV-E eligibility is to be established.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-91-03 (4/3/91)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 472 (a)(1)

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Question Number 6:
07/24/2006 - Current
QuestionOur State presently petitions the court for protective supervision of a child (not legal custody) with the right to place the child. The petition is based on the child's being within the jurisdiction of the court on the basis that the child is abused, neglected, or is beyond the control of the parents. If the State is given protective supervision with the right to place, it is based on that petition. If placement becomes necessary, placement is made without the State needing to return to court for an amended order. In some situations, the child is already in placement under an immediate physical custody order of the court.

Is the granting of a State's petition for protective supervision with the right to place and the subsequent placement of the child sufficient to make an otherwise eligible child qualify for foster care payments under title IV-E?

Answer*No. The Social Security Act, at section 472 (a)(2)(A), requires that the removal of a child from the home be the result of a voluntary placement agreement or a judicial determination to the effect that continuation therein would be contrary to the welfare of the child.

If the court grants protective supervision responsibility to the State agency and leaves to that agency the option to remove the child from the home at a later time, the requirement in section 472 (a)(2)(A)(ii) for a judicial determination has not been met. Although there are no Federal requirements as to the exact language of court orders, the Act requires a judicial determination to the effect that continuation in the child's home would be contrary to his welfare. The granting of a petition for protective supervision with the right to place the child is not sufficient to meet this requirement.

At the time of removal, if a judicial determination is made that amends the earlier order granting protective supervision that sanctions the removal and satisfies the requirements in section 472 (a)(2)(A)(ii), the otherwise eligible child would then become eligible for title IV-E.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-84-05 (7/5/84); ACYF-CB-PIQ-85-07 (6/25/85)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - section 472(a)(2)(A)

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07/29/2001 - 07/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionOur State presently petitions the court for protective supervision of a child (not legal custody) with the right to place the child. The petition is based on the child's being within the jurisdiction of the court on the basis that the child is abused, neglected, or is beyond the control of the parents. If the State is given protective supervision with the right to place, it is based on that petition. If placement becomes necessary, placement is made without the State needing to return to court for an amended order. In some situations, the child is already in placement under an immediate physical custody order of the court.

Is the granting of a State's petition for protective supervision with the right to place and the subsequent placement of the child sufficient to make an otherwise eligible child qualify for foster care payments under title IV-E?

AnswerNo. The Social Security Act, at section 472 (a)(1), requires that the removal of a child from the home be the result of a voluntary placement agreement or a judicial determination to the effect that continuation therein would be contrary to the welfare of the child.

If the court grants protective supervision responsibility to the State agency and leaves to that agency the option to remove the child from the home at a later time, the requirement in section 472 (a)(1) for a judicial determination has not been met. Although there are no Federal requirements as to the exact language of court orders, the Act requires a judicial determination to the effect that continuation in the child''s home would be contrary to his welfare. The granting of a petition for protective supervision with the right to place the child is not sufficient to meet this requirement.

At the time of removal, if a judicial determination is made that amends the earlier order granting protective supervision that sanctions the removal and satisfies the requirements in section 472 (a)(1), the otherwise eligible child would then become eligible for title IV-E.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-84-05 (7/5/84); ACYF-CB-PIQ-85-07 (6/25/85)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 472

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

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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Question Number 2:
07/24/2006 - Current
QuestionCan a child be considered "constructively" removed from a legal guardian who is not a specified relative?
Answer*No. The statute at section 472 (a)(3)(A) of the Social Security Act requires, among other things, that a child be living with and removed from the home of a specified relative at the time of the voluntary placement agreement or initiation of court proceedings. The provisions for "constructive" removal do not alter the requirement that the removal be from the home of a parent or specified relative.
Source/DatePreamble to the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - sections 406 (a) and 407 (as in effect on July 16, 1996) and 472(a)(3)(A); 45 CFR 1356.21 (k)

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09/15/2000 - 07/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionCan a child be considered "constructively" removed from a legal guardian who is not a specified relative?
AnswerNo. The statute at section 472 (a)(4) of the Social Security Act requires, among other things, that a child be living with and removed from the home of a specified relative at the time of the voluntary placement agreement or initiation of court proceedings. The provisions for "constructive" removal do not alter the requirement that the removal be from the home of a parent or specified relative.
Source/DatePreamble to the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 406 (a) and 407 (as in effect on July 16, 1996) and 472; 45 CFR 1356.21 (k)

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Question Number 3:
07/20/2006 - Current
Question*May a child born to a woman while she is a prison inmate or patient in a state hospital be considered eligible for foster care payments if all other title IV-E foster care requirements are met? It has been our interpretation that since the child could not return home with the mother and live with her because of her prisoner or patient status, the child would not be eligible to receive AFDC. Hence, such a child could not meet title IV-E foster care eligibility requirements.
Answer*An otherwise eligible child born to a woman who is a prison inmate or a patient in a hospital, and deprived of the support of an absent father, would be eligible for the title IV-E foster care program if removed from the "home of a relative" and placed in foster care in accordance with section 472 of the Social Security Act (the Act). This is true when the child is placed in foster care awaiting the mother's release or when parental rights are terminated directly after birth. The inability of the child to return to the mother during her prisoner or patient status (or for any other reason) has no bearing on the child's eligibility for title IV-E foster care.

Eligibility for the title IV-E foster care maintenance payments program as defined in section 472(a) of the Act states that a State shall make foster care maintenance payment on behalf of each child who has been removed from the home of a relative specified in section 406(a) (as in effect on July 16, 1996)" if, among other things, the child was AFDC eligible in the home of the specified relative from whom the child was legally removed.

The child born to a mother who was a hospital patient or a prison inmate would be considered to be living with the mother at the time of birth, and if placed in foster care would be removed from the home of the relative (the mother) in accordance with section 472 (a). The definition of "home" at 45 CFR 233.90 (c)(1)(v)(B) is applicable to the hospital or prison setting.

Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PIQ-86-03 (5/9/86); 7/17/2006
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - sections 406 (a) and 407 (as in effect on July 16, 1996) and 472(a); 45 CFR 233.90 (c)(1)(v)(B) and 45 CFR 1356.21 (k)

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02/19/2001 - 07/20/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionMay a child born to a woman while she is a prison inmate or patient in a state hospital be considered eligible for foster care payments if all other title IV-E foster care requirements are met? It has been our interpretation that since the child could not return home with the mother and live with her because of her prisoner or patient status, the child would not be eligible to receive AFDC. Hence, such a child could not meet title IV-E foster care eligibility requirements.
AnswerAn otherwise eligible child born to a woman who is a prison inmate or a patient in a hospital, and deprived of the support of an absent father, would be eligible for the title IV-E foster care program if removed from the "home of a relative" and placed in foster care in accordance with section 472 of the Social Security Act (the Act). This is true when the child is placed in foster care awaiting the mother''s release or when parental rights are terminated directly after birth. The inability of the child to return to the mother during her prisoner or patient status (or for any other reason) has no bearing on the child''s eligibility for title IV-E foster care.

Eligibility for the title IV-E foster care maintenance payments program as defined in section 472 (a) of the Act states that foster care payments may be made with respect to a child who "would meet the requirements of section 406 (a) or section 407 but for his removal from the home of a relative..." The controlling factor in establishing initial eligibility is the deprivation of parental support. Other requirements under title IV-E follow in sections 472 (a)(1) through (4). The child born to a mother who was a hospital patient or a prison inmate would be considered to be living with the mother at the time of birth, and if placed in foster care would be removed from the home of the relative (the mother) in accordance with section 472 (a). The definition of "home" at 45 CFR 233.90 (c)(1)(v)(B) is applicable to the hospital or prison setting.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-86-03 (5/9/86)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 406 (a) and 407 (as in effect on July 16, 1996) and 472; 45 CFR 233.90 (c)(1)(v)(B) and 45 CFR 1356.21 (k)

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8.2B.13 TITLE IV-E, Adoption Assistance Program, Eligibility, Voluntary relinquishments

Question Number 1:
07/24/2006 - Current
QuestionIs a child who is voluntarily relinquished to a private, nonprofit agency eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance?
Answer*As authorized by section 473(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) of the Act, a child is eligible for title IVE adoption assistance if s/he is removed from the home by way of a voluntary placement agreement with respect to which title IV-E foster care payments are provided, or as the result of a judicial determination that to remain in the home would be contrary to the child's welfare. However, a child who is voluntarily relinquished to either a public or private, nonprofit agency will be considered judicially removed in the following circumstances:

(1) the child is voluntarily relinquished either to the State agency (or another public agency (including Tribes) with whom the State has a title IV-E agreement), or to a private, nonprofit agency; and

(2) there is a petition to the court to remove the child from home within six months of the time the child lived with a specified relative; and

(3) there is a subsequent judicial determination to the effect that remaining in the home would be contrary to the child's welfare.

Under these circumstances, the AFDC-eligible child will be treated as though s/he was judicially removed rather than voluntarily relinquished. If the State agency subsequently determines that the child also meets the three criteria in the definition of a child with special needs in section 473(c) of the Act, the child is eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance. If, however, there is no petition to remove the child from the home or no subsequent judicial determination, the child cannot be considered judicially removed for the purpose of title IV-E adoption assistance eligibility. Furthermore, if the court merely sanctions the voluntary relinquishment without making a determination that it is contrary to the child's welfare to remain in the home, the child is not eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance.

Source/DateACYF-CB-IM-01-08 (11-6-01)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act -section 473(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) and (c)

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11/12/2001 - 07/24/2006
Question*Is a child who is voluntarily relinquished to a private, nonprofit agency eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance?
Answer*As authorized by section 473(a)(2)(A)(i) of the Act, a child is eligible for title IVE adoption assistance if s/he is removed from the home by way of a voluntary placement agreement with respect to which title IV-E foster care payments are provided, or as the result of a judicial determination that to remain in the home would be contrary to the child''s welfare. However, a child who is voluntarily relinquished to either a public or private, nonprofit agency will be considered judicially removed in the following circumstances:

(1) the child is voluntarily relinquished either to the State agency (or another public agency (including Tribes) with whom the State has a title IV-E agreement), or to a private, nonprofit agency; and

(2) there is a petition to the court to remove the child from home within six months of the time the child lived with a specified relative; and

(3) there is a subsequent judicial determination to the effect that remaining in the home would be contrary to the child''s welfare.

Under these circumstances, the AFDC-eligible child will be treated as though s/he was judicially removed rather than voluntarily relinquished. If the State agency subsequently determines that the child also meets the three criteria in the definition of a child with special needs in section 473(c) of the Act, the child is eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance. If, however, there is no petition to remove the child from the home or no subsequent judicial determination, the child cannot be considered judicially removed for the purpose of title IV-E adoption assistance eligibility. Furthermore, if the court merely sanctions the voluntary relinquishment without making a determination that it is contrary to the child''s welfare to remain in the home, the child is not eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance.

Source/Date*ACYF-CB-IM-01-08 (11-6-01)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act -section 473(a)(2)

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11/12/2001 - 11/12/2001
QuestionIs it possible for a child who is voluntarily relinquished to be eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance?
AnswerA voluntary relinquishment does not meet the statutory requirements for either of the two types of removals of a child from his or her home authorized by section 473(a)(2)(A)(i) of the Social Security Act (the Act). Specifically, when a child is removed from the home by way of a voluntary relinquishment, the removal is neither the result of a voluntary placement agreement nor the result of a judicial determination that to remain in the home would be contrary to the child's welfare, as defined in the statute. However, we have considered a child who has been placed with the State agency or another public agency (including Tribes) with whom the State has a title IV-E agreement via a voluntary relinquishment to meet the section 473(a)(2)(A)(i) requirements for a judicial removal in the following specific circumstance: The State must petition the court within six months of the child living with a specified relative and obtain a judicial determination to the effect that remaining in the home would be contrary to the child's welfare. As such, the child will then be treated as though s/he were judicially removed rather than voluntarily relinquished. If the petition to remove the child from the home and the subsequent judicial determination does not occur, the child cannot be considered judicially removed for the purpose of title IV-E adoption assistance eligibility. Furthermore, if the court merely sanctions the voluntary relinquishment without making a determination that it is contrary to the child's welfare to remain in the home, the child is not eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance.

There are two circumstances under which the nature of a child's removal from his or her home is irrelevant:

(1) when a child is eligible for Supplemental Security Income at the time adoption proceedings are initiated and the State determines that the child meets the statutory definition of special needs prior to the finalization of the adoption; and

(2) in a subsequent adoption when a child received title IV-E adoption assistance in a previous adoption that dissolved or in which the adoptive parents died, if the State determines that the child continues to be a child with special needs.

Under these two circumstances, no additional eligibility criteria should be applied to determine title IV-E adoption assistance eligibility, including whether a child had been voluntarily relinquished.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PA-01-01 (1/23/01)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act -section 473(a)(2)

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8.4E TITLE IV-E, General Title IV-E Requirements, Confidentiality

Question Number 2:
06/11/2013 - Current
Question*Who can release information? In particular, can parties other than the title IV-E agency (such as the court) release information?
Answer*The release of information which was obtained from the child welfare agency by any party (including the court), except in the same circumstances as identified in 45 CFR 205.50(a)(1)(i), would result in violation of the title IV-E Plan requirements.
Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PIQ-95-02 (6/7/95) (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 471 (a)(8); 45 CFR 205.50

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09/15/2000 - 06/11/2013 (Original Record)
QuestionWho can release information? In particular, can parties other than the State title IV-E agency (such as the court) release information?
AnswerThe release of information which was obtained from the child welfare agency by any party (including the court), except in the same circumstances as identified in 45 CFR 205.50(a)(1)(i), would result in State violation of the State Plan requirements for Foster Care and Adoption.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-95-02 (6/7/95)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 471 (a)(8); 45 CFR 205.50

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Question Number 3:
06/11/2013 - Current
QuestionIs any information contained in the child welfare record protected from redisclosure by a court in accordance with title IV-E confidentiality requirements?
Answer*No. The prohibition covers information that is gained from the child welfare agency. The provisions of confidentiality of information cannot be extended to information that the court has gained from sources other than the child welfare agency.

For example, if the police, school officials, or some other party refers a child to the child welfare agency, the child welfare agency must treat information about the referral as confidential. If the child welfare agency informed the court about this referral, court redisclosure of this information would result in the agency's violation of the plan requirements under title IV-E. If the police, the school official, or some other party went to the court directly, then the confidentiality provisions would not apply. If the court became aware of the police, the school, or other party involvement through a source other than the child welfare agency, the confidentiality provisions in Section 471(a)(8) of the Social Security Act and 45 CFR 205.50 would not apply.

Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PIQ-95-02 (6/7/95) (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 471 (a)(8); 45 CFR 205.50

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09/15/2000 - 06/11/2013 (Original Record)
QuestionIs any information contained in the child welfare record protected from redisclosure by a court in accordance with title IV-E confidentiality requirements?
AnswerNo. The prohibition covers information that is gained from the child welfare agency. The provisions of confidentiality of information cannot be extended to information that the court has gained from sources other than the child welfare agency.

For example, if the police, school officials, or some other party refers a child to the child welfare agency, the child welfare agency must treat information about the referral as confidential. If the child welfare agency informed the court about this referral, court redisclosure of this information would result in the State''s violation of the State plan requirements under title IV-E. If the police, the school official, or some other party went to the court directly, then the confidentiality provisions would not apply. If the court became aware of the police, the school, or other party involvement through a source other than the child welfare agency, the confidentiality provisions in Section 471(a)(8) of the Social Security Act and 45 CFR 205.50 would not apply.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-95-02 (6/7/95)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 471 (a)(8); 45 CFR 205.50

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Question Number 4:
06/13/2013 - Current
QuestionUnder what authority may the Department review closed or sealed foster care records, particularly for those children who have been adopted?
AnswerSection 471(a)(8) of the Social Security Act requires a title IV-E plan to provide safeguards restricting use and disclosure of information concerning individuals assisted by the title IV-E programs. It also indicates that a title IV-E plan must provide: Safeguards which restrict the use of information concerning individuals assisted under the Plan to purposes directly connected with... (C) the administration of any other federal or federally assisted program which provides assistance, in cash or in kind, or services, directly to individuals on the basis of need, and (D) any audit or similar activity conducted in connection with the administration of any such plan or program by any governmental agency which is authorized by law to conduct such audit or activity; and the safeguards so provided shall prohibit disclosure, to any committee or legislative body (other than an agency referred to in (D), with respect to any activity referred to in such clause), of any information which identifies by name or address any such applicant or recipients except that nothing contained herein shall preclude a State or Tribe from providing standards which restrict disclosures to purposes more limited than those specified herein, or which in the case of adoptions, prevent disclosure entirely.

While the language of section 471(a) (8) (D) provides that States and Tribes may restrict disclosure entirely of adoption assistance records, that subsection, read in its entirety and in harmony with other sections of the Act, indicates that Congress did not intend to restrict access to federal auditors of information essential for audits under the title IV-E programs.

In particular, section 471(a) (8) (D) itself provides for disclosure of information concerning individuals assisted by the title IV-E programs for purposes directly connected with audits conducted by the Federal Government and otherwise authorized by law.

The authority for Federal audits of the title IV-E programs is expressly provided for under section 471 (a)(6). That section requires that a Plan, in order to qualify for FFP for title IV-E, provide that the appropriate agency will make such reports, in such form and containing such information as the Secretary may from time to time find necessary to assure the correctness and verification of such reports.

The legislative history of section 471(a)(8) also reveals that while Congress was concerned about providing safeguards which limited access to information on individuals assisted by the title IV-E programs, it did not intend to hinder the essential function of Federal audits. Thus, while Congress extended to States and Tribes the option of imposing restrictions broader than those imposed in the past on the disclosure of information for the protection of the confidentiality of recipients of adoption assistance, it did not impede essential auditing functions by those authorized to conduct such audits.

Accordingly, in the case of reviews of the eligibility of foster care and adoption assistance claims, the title IV-E agency must make available foster care and adoption records (including sealed foster care and adoption records) in order to document the eligibility of the beneficiaries (children) and related costs of administration. If the requested records cannot or are not made available, all payments made on behalf of the children whose records have not been made available for review and associated costs will be disallowed.

Source/DateACYF-PA-85-02 (12/19/85) (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - sections 471 (a)(6) and (8) and 479Bb; H.R. Rep. Conf. No. 96-900, 96th Congress 2nd Session 44 (1980)

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06/11/2013 - 06/13/2013
QuestionUnder what authority may the Department review closed or sealed foster care records, particularly for those children who have been adopted?
Answer*Section 471(a)(8) of the Social Security Act requires a title IV-E plan to provide safeguards restricting use and disclosure of information concerning individuals assisted by the title IV-E programs. It also indicates that a title IV-E plan must provide: Safeguards which restrict the use of information concerning individuals assisted under the Plan to purposes directly connected with... (C) the administration of any other federal or federally assisted program which provides assistance, in cash or in kind, or services, directly to individuals on the basis of need, and (D) any audit or similar activity conducted in connection with the administration of any such plan or program by any governmental agency which is authorized by law to conduct such audit or activity; and the safeguards so provided shall prohibit disclosure, to any committee or legislative body (other than an agency referred to in (D), with respect to any activity referred to in such clause), of any information which identifies by name or address any such applicant or recipients except that nothing contained herein shall preclude a State or Tribe from providing standards which restrict disclosures to purposes more limited than those specified herein, or which in the case of adoptions, prevent disclosure entirely.

While the language of section 471(a) (8) (D) provides that States and Tribes may restrict disclosure entirely of adoption assistance records, that subsection, read in its entirety and in harmony with other sections of the Act, indicates that Congress did not intend to restrict access to federal auditors of information essential for audits under the title IV-E programs.

In particular, section 471(a) (8) (D) itself provides for disclosure of information concerning individuals assisted by the title IV-E programs for purposes directly connected with audits conducted by the Federal Government and otherwise authorized by law.

The authority for Federal audits of the title IV-E programs is expressly provided for under section 471 (a)(6). That section requires that a Plan, in order to qualify for FFP for title IV-E, provide that the appropriate agency will make such reports, in such form and containing such information as the Secretary may from time to time find necessary to assure the correctness and verification of such reports.

The legislative history of section 471(a)(8) also reveals that while Congress was concerned about providing safeguards which limited access to information on individuals assisted by the title IV-E programs, it did not intend to hinder the essential function of Federal audits. Thus, while Congress extended to States and Tribes the option of imposing restrictions broader than those imposed in the past on the disclosure of information for the protection of the confidentiality of recipients of adoption assistance, it did not impede essential auditing functions by those authorized to conduct such audits.

Accordingly, in the case of reviews of the eligibility of foster care and adoption assistance claims, the title IV-E agency must make available foster care and adoption records (including sealed foster care and adoption records) in order to document the eligibility of the beneficiaries (children) and related costs of administration. If the requested records cannot or are not made available, all payments made on behalf of the children whose records have not been made available for review and associated costs will be disallowed.

Source/Date*ACYF-PA-85-02 (12/19/85) (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - section 471 (a)(6) and (8) and 479Bb; H.R. Rep. Conf. No. 96-900, 96th Congress 2nd Session 44 (1980)

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09/15/2000 - 06/11/2013 (Original Record)
QuestionUnder what authority may the Department review closed or sealed foster care records, particularly for those children who have been adopted?
AnswerSection 471(a)(8) of the Social Security Act requires a State Plan to provide safeguards restricting use and disclosure of information concerning individuals assisted by the foster care and adoption assistance programs. It also indicates that a State Plan must provide: Safeguards which restrict the use of information concerning individuals assisted under the State Plan to purposes directly connected with... (C) the administration of any other federal or federally assisted program which provides assistance, in cash or in kind, or services, directly to individuals on the basis of need, and (D) any audit or similar activity conducted in connection with the administration of any such plan or program by any governmental agency which is authorized by law to conduct such audit or activity; and the safeguards so provided shall prohibit disclosure, to any committee or legislative body (other than an agency referred to in (D), with respect to any activity referred to in such clause), of any information which identifies by name or address any such applicant or recipients except that nothing contained herein shall preclude a State from providing standards which restrict disclosures to purposes more limited than those specified herein, or which in the case of adoptions, prevent disclosure entirely.

While the language of section 471(a) (8) (D) provides that States may restrict disclosure entirely of adoption assistance records, that subsection, read in its entirety and in harmony with other sections of the Act, indicates that Congress did not intend to restrict access to federal auditors of information essential for audits under the title IV-E foster care and adoption assistance programs.

In particular, section 471(a) (8) (D) itself provides for disclosure of information concerning individuals assisted by the foster care and adoption assistance programs for purposes directly connected with audits conducted by the Federal Government and otherwise authorized by law.

The authority for Federal audits of the foster care and adoption assistance programs is expressly provided for under section 471 (a)(6). That section requires that a State Plan, in order to qualify for FFP for foster care and adoption assistance, provide that the appropriate State agency will make such reports, in such form and containing such information as the Secretary may from time to time find necessary to assure the correctness and verification of such reports.

The legislative history of section 471(a)(8) also reveals that while Congress was concerned about providing safeguards which limited access to information on individuals assisted by the title IV-E programs, it did not intend to hinder the essential function of Federal audits. Thus, while Congress extended to States the option of imposing restrictions broader than those imposed in the past on the disclosure of information for the protection of the confidentiality of recipients of adoption assistance, it did not impede essential auditing functions by those authorized to conduct such audits.

Accordingly, in the case of reviews of the eligibility of foster care and adoption assistance claims, the State Agency must make available foster care and adoption records (including sealed foster care and adoption records) in order to document the eligibility of the beneficiaries (children) and related costs of administration. If the requested records cannot or are not made available, all payments made on behalf of the children whose records have not been made available for review and associated costs will be disallowed.

Source/DateACYF-PA-85-02 (12/19/85)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 471 (a)(6) and (8); H.R. Rep. Conf. No. 96-900, 96th Congress 2nd Session 44 (1980)

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Question Number 5:
06/11/2013 - Current
QuestionWhat are the title IV-E confidentiality requirements?
Answer*Title IV-E of the Social Security Act requires that title IV-E agencies provide safeguards to restrict the use and/or disclosure of information regarding children receiving title IV-E assistance. In addition, in accordance with 45 CFR 1355.30 (p)(3), records maintained under title IV-E of the Act are subject to the confidentiality provisions in 45 CFR 205.50. Among other things, 45 CFR 205.50 restricts the release or use of information concerning individuals receiving financial assistance under the programs governed by this provision to certain persons or agencies that require the information for specified purposes. The authorized recipients of this information are in turn subject to the same confidentiality standards as the agencies administering those programs.

To the extent that the records of the State title IV-E agency contain information regarding child abuse and neglect reports and records, such information is subject to the confidentiality requirements at section 106 of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).

Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-03 (9/26/97); ACYF-CB-PIQ-98-01 (6/29/98 updated 9/27/11) (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 471 (a)(8); 45 CFR 205.50; 45 CFR 1355.30; Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - sections 106 (b)(2)(B)(viii), (ix), and (x)

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09/28/2011 - 06/11/2013
QuestionWhat are the title IV-E confidentiality requirements?
Answer*Title IV-E of the Social Security Act requires that States provide safeguards to restrict the use and/or disclosure of information regarding children receiving title IV-E foster care and adoption assistance. In addition, in accordance with 45 CFR 1355.30 (p)(3), records maintained under title IV-E of the Act are subject to the confidentiality provisions in 45 CFR 205.50. Among other things, 45 CFR 205.50 restricts the release or use of information concerning individuals receiving financial assistance under the programs governed by this provision to certain persons or agencies that require the information for specified purposes. The authorized recipients of this information are in turn subject to the same confidentiality standards as the agencies administering those programs. To the extent that the records of the title IV-E agency contain information regarding child abuse and neglect reports and records, such information is subject to the confidentiality requirements at section 106 of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).
Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-03 (9/26/97); ACYF-CB-PIQ-98-01 (6/29/98 updated 9/27/11
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - section 471 (a)(8); 45 CFR 205.50; 45 CFR 1355.30; Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - sections 106 (b)(2)(B)(viii), (ix), and (x)

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04/01/2001 - 09/28/2011 (Original Record)
QuestionWhat are the title IV-E confidentiality requirements?
AnswerTitle IV-E of the Social Security Act requires that States provide safeguards to restrict the use and/or disclosure of information regarding children receiving title IV-E foster care and adoption assistance. In addition, in accordance with 45 CFR 1355.30 (p)(3), records maintained under title IV-E of the Act are subject to the confidentiality provisions in 45 CFR 205.50. Among other things, 45 CFR 205.50 restricts the release or use of information concerning individuals receiving financial assistance under the programs governed by this provision to certain persons or agencies that require the information for specified purposes. The authorized recipients of this information are in turn subject to the same confidentiality standards as the agencies administering those programs.

To the extent that the records of the title IV-E agency contain information regarding child abuse and neglect reports and records, such information is subject to the confidentiality requirements at section 106 of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).

Source/DateACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-03 (9/26/97); ACYF-CB-PIQ-98-01 (6/29/98)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 471 (a)(8); 45 CFR 205.50; 45 CFR 1355.30; Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - sections 106 (b)(2)(A)(v) and (vi)

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Question Number 6:
09/28/2011 - Current
Question*Will States compromise compliance with title IV-E of the Social Security Act if they comply with the confidentiality requirements in sections 106 (b)(2)(B)(viii), (ix), and (x) of CAPTA?
Answer*Title IV-E requires that States provide safeguards restricting the use and/or disclosure of information regarding children served by title IV-E foster care. Records maintained under title IV-E are to be safeguarded against unauthorized disclosure. The regulation at 45 CFR 205.50 states that the release or use of information concerning individuals applying for or receiving financial assistance is restricted to certain persons or agencies that require it for specified purposes. Such recipients of information are in turn subject to standards of confidentiality comparable to those of the agency administering the financial assistance programs. There may be instances where CPS information is subject both to disclosure requirements under CAPTA and to the confidentiality requirements under title IV-E and 45 CFR 205.50. To the extent that the CAPTA provisions require disclosure (such as in section 106 (b)(2)(B)(ix), the CAPTA disclosure provision would prevail in the event of a conflict since the CAPTA confidentiality provisions were most recently enacted. Where the CAPTA provision is permissive (such as in sections 106 (b)(2)(B)(viii)(I)-(VI)), it allows States to disclose such information without violating CAPTA, but it does not make such disclosure permissible in other programs if it is not otherwise allowed under the other program's governing statute or regulations.
Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-03 (9/26/97); updated 9/27/11
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - sections 106; 45 CFR 205.50

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05/06/2001 - 09/28/2011 (Original Record)
QuestionWill States compromise compliance with title IV-E of the Social Security Act if they comply with the confidentiality requirements in sections 106 (b)(2)(v) and (vi) of CAPTA?
AnswerTitle IV-E requires that States provide safeguards restricting the use and/or disclosure of information regarding children served by title IV-E foster care. Records maintained under title IV-E are to be safeguarded against unauthorized disclosure. The regulation at 45 CFR 205.50 states that the release or use of information concerning individuals applying for or receiving financial assistance is restricted to certain persons or agencies that require it for specified purposes. Such recipients of information are in turn subject to standards of confidentiality comparable to those of the agency administering the financial assistance programs.

There may be instances where CPS information is subject both to disclosure requirements under CAPTA and to the confidentiality requirements under title IV-E and 45 CFR 205.50. To the extent that the CAPTA provisions require disclosure (such as in section 106 (b)(2)(A)(vi), the CAPTA disclosure provision would prevail in the event of a conflict since the CAPTA confidentiality provisions were most recently enacted. Where the CAPTA provision is permissive (such as in sections 106 (b)(2)(A)(v)(I)-(VI)), it allows States to disclose such information without violating CAPTA, but it does not make such disclosure permissible in other programs if it is not otherwise allowed under the other program''s governing statute or regulations.

Source/DateACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-03 (9/26/97)
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - sections 106; 45 CFR 205.50

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Question Number 7:
06/11/2013 - Current
QuestionSome States have enacted laws that allow open courts for juvenile protection proceedings, including child in need of protection or services hearings, termination of parental rights hearings, long-term foster care hearings and in courts where dependency petitions are heard. Questions have arisen about whether courts that are open to the public and allow a verbal exchange of confidential information meet the confidentiality requirements under title IV-E. Do the confidentiality provisions in title IV-E restrict the information that can be discussed in open court?
Answer*No. Section 471(c) of the Social Security Act allows title IV-E agencies to set their own policies relating to public access to court proceedings to determine child abuse and neglect or other court hearings held pursuant to titles IV-B or IV-E. Such policies must, at a minimum, ensure the safety and well-being of the child, his or her parents and family.
Source/Date*06/19/08 (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 471 (a)(8) and (c)

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06/19/2008 - 06/11/2013
Question*Some States have enacted laws that allow open courts for juvenile protection proceedings, including child in need of protection or services hearings, termination of parental rights hearings, long-term foster care hearings and in courts where dependency petitions are heard. Questions have arisen about whether courts that are open to the public and allow a verbal exchange of confidential information meet the confidentiality requirements under title IV-E. Do the confidentiality provisions in title IV-E restrict the information that can be discussed in open court?
Answer*No. Section 471(c) of the Social Security Act allows States to set their own policies relating to public access to court proceedings to determine child abuse and neglect or other court hearings held pursuant to titles IV-B or IV-E. Such policies must, at a minimum, ensure the safety and well-being of the child, his or her parents and family.
Source/Date*06/19/08
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - section 471 (a)(8) and (c)

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05/06/2001 - 06/19/2008 (Original Record)
QuestionSome States have enacted laws that allow open courts for juvenile protection proceedings, including child in need of protection or services hearings, termination of parental rights hearings, long-term foster care hearings and in courts where dependency petitions are heard. Questions have arisen about whether courts that are open to the public and allow a verbal exchange of confidential information meet the confidentiality requirements under title IV-E. Do the confidentiality provisions in title IV-E restrict the information that can be discussed in open court?
AnswerYes. The purpose of the confidentiality provision is to protect the privacy rights of individuals receiving services or assistance under title IV-E and to assure that confidential information is not disclosed to unauthorized recipients. While, under title IV-E, confidential information may be shared with the courts, there is no provision which allows for public disclosure of such information. The confidentiality requirements of title IV-E do not prohibit open courts per se. However, to the extent that the proceedings involve discussion of confidential information concerning a child who is receiving title IV-E foster care or adoption assistance, the confidentiality requirements apply. Accordingly, such information cannot be discussed in a public forum, including an open court. To the extent that confidential information is relevant to the proceedings, it must be discussed in the court''s chambers or some other restricted setting, and the pertinent sections of the transcript must be kept confidential as well.

Violation of the Federal confidentiality provisions is a State plan compliance issue under title IV-E.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-98-01 (6/29/98)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 471 (a)(8); Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106; 45 CFR 205.50; 45 CFR 1355.21 (a)

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Question Number 8:
06/11/2013 - Current
Question*Is it permissible under title IV-B or IV-E of the Social Security Act (the Act) for the title IV-E agency to disclose to the public information contained in a title IV-B/IV-E agency's records regarding a deceased foster child?
Answer*Yes. Section 471(a)(8) of the Act and section 45 CFR 205.50 require the title IV-B or IV-E agency to provide safeguards which restrict the disclosure of information concerning individuals assisted under the title IV-B or IV-E plan. Upon the child's death, he/she is no longer a recipient of these programs. However, information concerning other family members is still protected if they are recipients and care must be exercised to not release information on such other family members.
Source/Date*09/05/07 (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act ┐ section 471, 45 CFR 205.50

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09/05/2007 - 06/11/2013 (Original Record)
QuestionIs it permissible under title IV-B or IV-E of the Social Security Act (the Act) for the State to disclose to the public information contained in a State IV-B/IV-E agency's records regarding a deceased foster child?
AnswerYes. Section 471(a)(8) of the Act and section 45 CFR 205.50 require the State IV-B or IV-E agency to provide safeguards which restrict the disclosure of information concerning individuals assisted under the title IV-B or IV-E State plan. Upon the child''s death, he/she is no longer a recipient of these programs. However, information concerning other family members is still protected if they are recipients and care must be exercised to not release information on such other family members.
Source/Date09/05/07
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act ┐ section 471, 45 CFR 205.50

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2.1A.2 CAPTA, Assurances and Requirements, Access to Child Abuse and Neglect Information, Expungement

Question Number 1:
09/27/2011 - Current
Question*How will States be able to determine whether a pattern of abuse or neglect exists if unsubstantiated records must be expunged? While the statute allows these records to be kept in casework files, if the files are not maintained in a central location, previous unsubstantiated report(s) may go undetected if a subsequent report comes into another office, or even another worker.
Answer*The impetus behind the expungement requirement was the concern of Congress that families are negatively and sometimes unjustly affected by maintenance of public records of unsubstantiated allegations of abuse or neglect. However, it was not the intent of Congress to prevent CPS agencies from keeping information on unsubstantiated reports for use in future risk and safety assessments (Senate Report 104-117, dated July 10, 1995, p. 14). While CAPTA requires prompt expungement of records that are accessible to the general public or are used for purposes of employment or other background checks in cases determined to be unsubstantiated, it also allows CPS agencies to retain information on unsubstantiated reports in their casework files.

Since the issue for Congress is disclosure of information regarding cases that are unsubstantiated or unfounded, this requirement should not adversely affect a State's ability to determine possible cumulative harm. For instance, a State could choose to implement a system which would consider an unsubstantiated case "expunged" for any purpose other than investigation of a new report. This should be possible even in States where casework files are computerized.

Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97); updated 9/27/11
Legal and Related References*Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106(b)(2)(B)(xii)

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04/17/2006 - 09/27/2011
QuestionHow will States be able to determine whether a pattern of abuse or neglect exists if unsubstantiated records must be expunged? While the statute allows these records to be kept in casework files, if the files are not maintained in a central location, previous unsubstantiated report(s) may go undetected if a subsequent report comes into another office, or even another worker.
Answer*The impetus behind the expungement requirement was the concern of Congress that families are negatively and sometimes unjustly affected by maintenance of public records of unsubstantiated allegations of abuse or neglect. However, it was not the intent of Congress to prevent CPS agencies from keeping information on unsubstantiated reports for use in future risk and safety assessments (Senate Report 104-117, dated July 10, 1995, p. 14). While CAPTA requires prompt expungement of records that are accessible to the general public or are used for purposes of employment or other background checks in cases determined to be unsubstantiated, it also allows CPS agencies to retain information on unsubstantiated reports in their casework files.

Since the issue for Congress is disclosure of information regarding cases that are unsubstantiated or unfounded, this requirement should not adversely affect a State''s ability to determine possible cumulative harm. For instance, a State could choose to implement a system which would consider an unsubstantiated case "expunged" for any purpose other than investigation of a new report. This should be possible even in States where casework files are computerized.

Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97); updated 2/3/05
Legal and Related References*Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106(b)(2)(A)(xii)

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02/03/2005 - 04/17/2006
QuestionHow will States be able to determine whether a pattern of abuse or neglect exists if unsubstantiated records must be expunged? While the statute allows these records to be kept in casework files, if the files are not maintained in a central location, previous unsubstantiated report(s) may go undetected if a subsequent report comes into another office, or even another worker.
AnswerThe impetus behind the expungement requirement was the concern of Congress that families are negatively and sometimes unjustly affected by maintenance of public records of unsubstantiated allegations of abuse or neglect. However, it was not the intent of Congress to prevent CPS agencies from keeping information on unsubstantiated reports for use in future risk and safety assessments (Senate Report 104-117, dated July 10, 1995, p. 14). While CAPTA requires prompt expungement of records that are accessible to the general public or are used for purposes of employment or other background checks in cases determined to be unsubstantiated, they also allow CPS agencies to retain information on unsubstantiated reports in their casework files.

Since the issue for Congress is disclosure of information regarding cases that are unsubstantiated or unfounded, this requirement should not adversely affect a State''s ability to determine possible cumulative harm. For instance, a State could choose to implement a system which would consider an unsubstantiated case "expunged" for any purpose other than investigation of a new report. This should be possible even in States where casework files are computerized.

Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97) (updated 2/3/05)
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106

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07/25/2000 - 02/03/2005 (Original Record)
QuestionHow will States be able to determine whether a pattern of abuse or neglect exists if unsubstantiated records must be expunged? While the statute allows these records to be kept in casework files, if the files are not maintained in a central location, previous unsubstantiated report(s) may go undetected if a subsequent report comes into another office, or even another worker.
AnswerThe impetus behind the expungement requirement was the concern of Congress that families are negatively and sometimes unjustly affected by maintenance of public records of unsubstantiated allegations of abuse or neglect. However, it was not the intent of Congress to prevent CPS agencies from keeping information on unsubstantiated reports for use in future risk and safety assessments (Senate Report 104-117, dated July 10, 1995, p. 14). While CAPTA requires prompt expungement of records that are accessible to the general public or are used for purposes of employment or other background checks in cases determined to be unsubstantiated, they also allow CPS agencies to retain information on unsubstantiated reports in their casework files.

Since the issue for Congress is disclosure of information regarding cases that are unsubstantiated or unfounded, this requirement should not adversely affect a State''s ability to determine possible cumulative harm. For instance, a State could choose to implement a system which would consider an unsubstantiated case "expunged" for any purpose other than investigation of a new report. This should be possible even in States where casework files are computerized.

Source/DateACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97)
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106

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Question Number 2:
09/27/2011 - Current
QuestionHow does the CAPTA expungement requirement affect States that have a three-tier system which includes a middle category that indicates a reasonable basis for concern?
AnswerThis requirement relates only to unsubstantiated or unfounded cases and would not affect retention of records for a middle category which indicates that there is reason to suspect that child abuse or neglect has occurred.
Source/Date*ACFY-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97); updated 9/27/11
Legal and Related References*Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106(b)(2)(B)(xii)

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04/17/2006 - 09/27/2011
QuestionHow does the CAPTA expungement requirement affect States that have a three-tier system which includes a middle category that indicates a reasonable basis for concern?
AnswerThis requirement relates only to unsubstantiated or unfounded cases and would not affect retention of records for a middle category which indicates that there is reason to suspect that child abuse or neglect has occurred.
Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ 97-01 (3/4/97); updated 2/3/05
Legal and Related References*Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106(b)(2)(A)(xii)

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02/03/2005 - 04/17/2006
QuestionHow does the CAPTA expungement requirement affect States that have a three-tier system which includes a middle category that indicates a reasonable basis for concern?
AnswerThis requirement relates only to unsubstantiated or unfounded cases and would not affect retention of records for a middle category which indicates that there is reason to suspect that child abuse or neglect has occurred.
Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ 97-01 (3/4/97) (updated 2/3/05)
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106

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07/25/2000 - 02/03/2005 (Original Record)
QuestionHow does the CAPTA expungement requirement affect States that have a three-tier system which includes a middle category that indicates a reasonable basis for concern?
AnswerThis requirement relates only to unsubstantiated or unfounded cases and would not affect retention of records for a middle category which indicates that there is reason to suspect that child abuse or neglect has occurred.
Source/DateACYF-NCCAN-PIQ 97-01 (3/4/97)
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106

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2.1F.1 CAPTA, Assurances and Requirements, Infants Affected by Illegal Substance Abuse, Plan of Safe Care

Question Number 1:
09/27/2011 - Current
Question*Which agency is responsible for developing the plan of safe care and what is a plan of safe care, as required by section 106(b)(2)(B)(iii) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)?
Answer*The statute does not specify which agency or entity (such as hospitals or community-based organizations) must develop the plan of safe care; therefore, the State may determine which agency will develop it. The plan of safe care should address the needs of the child as well as those of the parent(s), as appropriate, and assure that appropriate services are provided to ensure the infant's safety. There may be Federal confidentiality restrictions for the State to consider when implementing this CAPTA provision.
Source/Date*updated 9/27/11
Legal and Related References*Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) ┐ section 106(b)(2)(B)(iii).

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05/16/2006 - 09/27/2011 (Original Record)
QuestionWhich agency is responsible for developing the plan of safe care and what is a plan of safe care, as required by section 106(b)(2)(A)(iii) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)?
AnswerThe statute does not specify which agency or entity (such as hospitals or community-based organizations) must develop the plan of safe care, therefore, the State may determine which agency will develop it. The plan of safe care should address the needs of the child as well as those of the parent(s), as appropriate, and assure that appropriate services are provided to ensure the infant''s safety. There may be Federal confidentiality restrictions for the State to consider when implementing this CAPTA provision.
Source/Date05/02/06
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) ┐ section 106(b)(2)(A)(iii).

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8.3C.2b TITLE IV-E, Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program, State Plan/Procedural Requirements, Case review system, notice and right to be heard

Question Number 2:
01/31/2007 - Current
Question*Do the notice requirements in section 475(G) of the Social Security Act apply to all court hearings? Do they apply to shelter care, emergency removal, adjudication and disposition hearings? Do they apply to procedural hearings, such as pretrial hearings or hearings on motions for discovery?
Answer*The revised statutory language confers a "right" to be heard instead of an "opportunity," as well as changes such right to be heard to a "proceeding" instead of "review or hearing" as in the previous language. Thus, we are interpreting this change to mean that in having a "right" to any "proceeding" to be held with respect to the child, the foster parents, pre-adoptive parents or relatives providing care for a child must, at a minimum, be provided with notice of their right to be heard in all permanency hearings, as well as six-month reviews, if held by the court.
Source/Date*01/29/07
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act ┐ section 475(5)(G), 45 CFR 1356.21(o)

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09/11/2000 - 01/31/2007 (Original Record)
QuestionPlease provide guidance on the type and degree of participation that must be afforded foster parents, preadoptive parents, and relative caregivers in satisfying the requirements for notice and opportunity to be heard.
AnswerThe requirement that States give foster parents, preadoptive parents and relative caretakers notice of and an opportunity to be heard affords these individuals with a right to provide input to these reviews and hearings. However, it does not confer a right to appear in person at the review or hearing. The requirement can be met as the State sees fit, such as by notification to the individuals that they have an opportunity to attend the review or hearing and provide input, or notification that they can provide written input for consideration at the review or hearing.
Source/DatePreamble to the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 475 (5)(G); 45 CFR 1356.21 (o)

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9.4 TRIBES/INDIAN TRIBAL ORGANIZATIONS, Title IV-E Agreements

Question Number 1:
02/22/2007 - Current
QuestionWhich agency (State or Tribal) has responsibility for providing foster care payments and child welfare services to Indian children?
Answer*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 consistent with the purposes in section 421 of the Act.

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.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-88-02 (1/27/88)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - sections 421, 422, 428 and 472; 25 CFR 20.3

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04/01/2001 - 02/22/2007 (Original Record)
QuestionWhich agency (State or Tribal) has responsibility for providing foster care payments and child welfare services to Indian children?
AnswerWhile 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.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-88-02 (1/27/88)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 420, 422, 428 and 472; 25 CFR 20.3

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Question Number 2:
07/24/2006 - Current
QuestionMust a State decline to enter into a title IV-E agreement with a Tribe that does not meet all of the title IV-B section 422 "protection" or assurances?
Answer*No. It would not be necessary to decline entering into such Tribal-State agreements because of the Tribe's inability to meet certain title IV-E requirements.

We assume that by Tribal-State intergovernmental title IV-E agreements you are referring to an agreement for the placement and care of children eligible under section 472 (a) of the Social Security Act (the Act).

The terms of a title IV-E agreement, in accordance with section 472 (a)(2)(B) of the Act, would be negotiated between the State and the Tribe. The agreement should specify the respective responsibilities of each in relation to carrying out the title IV-E requirements. The agreement should also include provisions for assuring that the section 422 protections are afforded to each child in foster care under the Tribes responsibility for placement and care for whom title IV-E foster care maintenance payments are being made by the State. The State and Tribe would determine the responsibilities of each in meeting the section 422 requirements.

However, the State has ultimate responsibility for assuring that the title IV-E requirements are met for title IV-E eligible children.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-85-05 (4/12/85)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - section 472 (a)

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05/06/2001 - 07/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionMust a State decline to enter into a title IV-E agreement with a Tribe that does not meet all of the title IV-B section 422 "protection" or assurances?
AnswerNo. It would not be necessary to decline entering into such Tribal-State agreements because of the Tribe''s inability to meet certain title IV-E requirements.

We assume that by Tribal-State intergovernmental title IV-E agreements you are referring to an agreement for the placement and care of children eligible under section 472 (a) of the Social Security Act (the Act).

The terms of a title IV-E agreement, in accordance with section 472 (a)(2) of the Act, would be negotiated between the State and the Tribe. The agreement should specify the respective responsibilities of each in relation to carrying out the title IV-E requirements. The agreement should also include provisions for assuring that the section 422 protections are afforded to each child in foster care under the Tribes responsibility for placement and care for whom title IV-E foster care maintenance payments are being made by the State. The State and Tribe would determine the responsibilities of each in meeting the section 422 requirements.

However, the State has ultimate responsibility for assuring that the title IV-E requirements are met for title IV-E eligible children.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-85-05 (4/12/85)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 472 (a)(2)

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Question Number 4:
12/02/2014 - Current
Question*May a State make payments under title IV-E with respect to children in Indian foster homes only if the children are under the responsibility of the State title IV-E/IV-B agency or a State-certified child placing agency?
AnswerNo. Section 472(a) of the Social Security Act (the Act) outlines the eligibility requirements for a child to receive assistance and the conditions under which a State may make foster care maintenance payments under title IV-E and receive Federal financial participation (FFP).

In accordance with section 472(a)(2)(B), a State shall make foster care maintenance payments under title IV-E if, among other conditions, the child's placement and care are the responsibility of the State agency administering the title IV-E State plan or any other public agency (including an Indian Tribe) with whom the State agency has made an agreement which is in effect. There is no provision in the statute that authorizes title IV-E payments where custody or responsibility for placement and care of the child has been given to a private agency.

Therefore, if the State and the Indian Tribe negotiate and enter into an agreement which recognizes that the Tribe has been given custody or responsibility for placement and care of certain title IV-E eligible children and which confirms the Tribe's responsibility to comply with the requirements under title IV-E in relation to these children, the State may claim FFP under title IV-E for the costs of foster care maintenance payments for them.

Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PIQ-87-01 (3/25/87) (revised 12/2/14)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 472 (a)

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07/24/2006 - 12/02/2014
QuestionMay payments be made under title IV-E of the Social Security Act (the Act) with respect to children in Indian foster homes only if the children are under the responsibility of the State title IV-E/IV-B agency or a State-certified child placing agency?
Answer*No. Section 472(a) of the Social Security Act (the Act) outlines the eligibility requirements for a child to receive assistance and the conditions under which a State may make foster care maintenance payments under title IV-E and receive Federal financial participation (FFP).

In accordance with section 472(a)(2)(B), a State shall make foster care maintenance payments under title IV-E if, among other conditions, the child''s placement and care are the responsibility of the State agency administering the title IV-E State plan or any other public agency (including an Indian Tribe) with whom the State agency has made an agreement which is in effect. There is no provision in the statute that authorizes title IV-E payments where custody or responsibility for placement and care of the child has been given to a private agency.

Therefore, if the State and the Indian Tribe negotiate and enter into an agreement which recognizes that the Tribe has been given custody or responsibility for placement and care of certain title IV-E eligible children and which confirms the Tribe''s responsibility to comply with the requirements under title IV-E in relation to these children, the State may claim FFP under title IV-E for the costs of foster care maintenance payments for them.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-87-01 (3/25/87)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - section 472 (a)

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05/06/2001 - 07/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionMay payments be made under title IV-E of the Social Security Act (the Act) with respect to children in Indian foster homes only if the children are under the responsibility of the State title IV-E/IV-B agency or a State-certified child placing agency?
AnswerNo. Section 472 of the Social Security Act (the Act) outlines the eligibility requirements for a child to receive assistance and the conditions under which a State may make foster care maintenance payments under title IV-E and receive Federal financial participation (FFP).

In accordance with section 472(a)(2), a State shall make foster care maintenance payments under title IV-E if, among other conditions, the child''s placement and care are the responsibility of the State agency administering the title IV-E State plan or any other public agency (including an Indian Tribe) with whom the State agency has made an agreement which is in effect. There is no provision in the statute that authorizes title IV-E payments where custody or responsibility for placement and care of the child has been given to a private agency.

Therefore, if the State and the Indian Tribe negotiate and enter into an agreement which recognizes that the Tribe has been given custody or responsibility for placement and care of certain title IV-E eligible children and which confirms the Tribe''s responsibility to comply with the requirements under title IV-E in relation to these children, the State may claim FFP under title IV-E for the costs of foster care maintenance payments for them.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-87-01 (3/25/87)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 472 (a)(2)

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Question Number 5:
12/02/2014 - Current
Question*Can Indian tribes that enter into a title IV-E agreement with a title-IV-E agency identify, in tribal code, those aggravated circumstances in which reasonable efforts are not required in accordance with section 471 (a)(15)(D)(i) of the Social Security Act?
Answer*When entering into a title IV-E agreement with a title IV-E agency, the tribe must adhere to the list of aggravated circumstances defined in State law. The statute at section 471 (a)(15)(D)(i) specifically requires that the aggravated circumstances in which reasonable efforts are not required be defined in State law. Moreover, other public agencies and tribes that enter into agreements with the State agency are not operating or developing their own title IV-E program separate and apart from that operated under the State plan. Rather, the agency or tribe is agreeing to operate the title IV-E program established under the State plan for a specific population of children in foster care. Therefore, the other public agency or tribe is bound by any State statute related to the operation of the title IV-E program. We expect the State child welfare agency to engage the tribes, and any other agency with which it has title IV-E agreements, in developing its list of aggravated circumstances.
Source/Date*Preamble to the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00) (revised 12/2/14)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 471 (a)(15)(D); 45 CFR 1356.21 (b)(3)

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05/06/2001 - 12/02/2014 (Original Record)
QuestionCan Indian tribes identify, in tribal code, those aggravated circumstances in which reasonable efforts are not required in accordance with section 471 (a)(15)(D)(i) of the Social Security Act?
AnswerWhen entering into a title IV-E agreement with a State, the tribe must adhere to the list of aggravated circumstances defined in State law. The statute at section 471 (a)(15)(D)(i) specifically requires that the aggravated circumstances in which reasonable efforts are not required be defined in State law. Moreover, other public agencies and tribes that enter into agreements with the State agency are not operating or developing their own title IV-E program separate and apart from that operated under the State plan. Rather, the agency or tribe is agreeing to operate the title IV-E program established under the State plan for a specific population of children in foster care. Therefore, the other public agency or tribe is bound by any State statute related to the operation of the title IV-E program. We expect the State child welfare agency to engage the tribes, and any other agency with which it has title IV-E agreements, in developing its list of aggravated circumstances.
Source/DatePreamble to the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 471 (a)(15)(D); 45 CFR 1356.21 (b)(3)

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Question Number 6:
12/02/2014 - Current
QuestionMay an Indian tribe elect not to conduct or require criminal records checks on foster or adoptive parents if it obtains an approved resolution from the governing body of the Indian tribe?
Answer*No. Tribes that receive title IV-E funds pursuant to a title IV-E agreement with a title IV-E agency must comport with section 471 (a)(20) of the Social Security Act and 45 CFR 1356.30 in accordance with the State plan in order to receive title IV-E funding on behalf of children placed in the homes it licenses. The statute expressly gives the State the authority to opt out of section 471 (a)(20) through State legislation or a letter from the Governor to the Secretary. Agreements between the State child welfare agency and other public agencies or tribes permit those entities to have placement and care responsibility for a particular group of the foster care population under the approved State plan. Such agreements do not permit other public agencies or tribes to develop a distinct title IV-E program separate from that operated under the approved State plan.
Source/Date*Preamble to the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00) (revised 12/2/14)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 471 (a)(20); 45 CFR 1356.30

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05/06/2001 - 12/02/2014 (Original Record)
QuestionMay an Indian tribe elect not to conduct or require criminal records checks on foster or adoptive parents if it obtains an approved resolution from the governing body of the Indian tribe?
AnswerNo. Tribes may only receive title IV-E funds pursuant to a title IV-E agreement with a State. A tribe that enters into such an agreement must comport with section 471 (a)(20) of the Social Security Act and 45 CFR 1356.30 in accordance with the State plan in order to receive title IV-E funding on behalf of children placed in the homes it licenses. The statute expressly gives the State the authority to opt out of section 471 (a)(20) through State legislation or a letter from the Governor to the Secretary. Agreements between the State child welfare agency and other public agencies or tribes permit those entities to have placement and care responsibility for a particular group of the foster care population under the approved State plan. Such agreements do not permit other public agencies or tribes to develop a distinct title IV-E program separate from that operated under the approved State plan.
Source/DatePreamble to the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 471 (a)(20); 45 CFR 1356.30

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Question Number 9:
12/02/2014 - Current
Question*By what authority are Tribes restricted to licensing homes that are on or near Indian reservations?
AnswerSection 1931 of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) authorizes Indian tribes and tribal organizations to establish and operate child and family services programs "on or near reservations," including a system for licensing or otherwise regulating Indian foster and adoptive homes. We use this language at section 1355.20 of the regulations to remain consistent with the ICWA.
Source/DatePreamble to the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related ReferencesThe Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978; 45 CFR 1355.20

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12/02/2014 - 12/02/2014 (Original Record)
QuestionBy what authority are Tribes restriced to licensing homes that are on or near Indian reservations?
AnswerSection 1931 of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) authorizes Indian tribes and tribal organizations to establish and operate child and family services programs "on or near reservations," including a system for licensing or otherwise regulating Indian foster and adoptive homes. We use this language at section 1355.20 of the regulations to remain consistent with the ICWA.
Source/DatePreamble to the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related ReferencesThe Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978; 45 CFR 1355.20

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8.3A.10 TITLE IV-E, Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program, Eligibility, Redeterminations

Question Number 2:
04/27/2010 - Current
Question*How does a title IV-E agency determine when it must re-establish a child┐s eligibility for foster care? What is required after a break in a foster care placement in those cases where there is no new court ordered removal from the home and no break in title IV-E agency responsibility for placement and care? Examples of situations are as follows: (a) A child in foster care goes to the State training school and then back to foster care; (b) A child in foster care goes to live with a relative (not parent) under title IV-E agency supervision, and then back to foster care; (c) A child in foster care goes home under title IV-E agency supervision without a change in court order and then returns to foster care.
Answer*The criteria to be used in determining whether re-establishing a child's eligibility for foster care maintenance payments under title IV-E would be required hinges on whether the child is continuously in foster care status and remains under the responsibility of the title IV-E agency for placement and care. In making this determination, the agency would ask: (1) Is the child in foster care? (2) Is the original court order or voluntary placement agreement still in effect in relation to removal of the child from his home? (3) Is the child still under the responsibility of the title IV-E agency for placement and care? If all of these conditions are in effect, even though there has been a temporary interruption of the foster care placement, the child?s title IV-E eligibility does not need to be re-established.

If the child is discharged from foster care and returned to his own home (the home from which he was removed), he could not be considered to be in foster care status, even if the agency maintains a supervisory role with the child and family. If the child leaves foster care to live with a relative, the agency would need to determine whether the child remained in foster care status or whether the home of the relative was now considered to be the child's own home. Short trial visits to a child's home would not be considered interruptions in foster care status. In the event the child returns home (for what is expected to be a permanent period), but is later returned to foster care, a new determination of eligibility based on circumstances at the time of that placement would be required. If the child leaves the foster home and is placed in the State training school for a temporary period, and the court order of removal is still in effect, he may retain his foster care status during the training school placement. Of course, Federal financial participation is allowed only during the time the child is in a licensed or approved foster care facility.

Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PIQ-85-06 (6/5/85); April 6, 2010
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 472

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07/12/2000 - 04/27/2010 (Original Record)
QuestionIs it permissible to allow redeterminations to be used after a break in foster care placement in those cases where there is no new court ordered removal from the home and no break in State responsibility for placement and care? Examples of situations in which redeterminations are currently being used are as follows: (a) A child in foster care goes to the State training school and then back to foster care; (b) A child in foster care goes to live with a relative (not parent) under State supervision, and then back to foster care; (c) A child in foster care goes home under State supervision without a change in court order and then returns to foster care.
AnswerThe criteria to be used in determining whether an initial determination or redetermination of a child''s eligibility for foster care maintenance payments under title IV-E would be required hinge on whether the child is continuously in foster care status and remains under the responsibility of the State agency for placement and care. In making this determination, the State would ask: (1) Is the child in foster care? (2) Is the original court order or voluntary placement agreement still in effect in relation to removal of the child from his home? (3) Is the child still under the responsibility of the State agency for placement and care? If all of these conditions are in effect, even though there has been a temporary interruption of the foster care placement, a redetermination of eligibility would be appropriate.

If the child is discharged from foster care and returned to his own home (the home from which he was removed), he could not be considered to be in foster care status, even if the State agency maintains a supervisory role with the child and family. If the child leaves foster care to live with a relative, the State agency would need to determine whether the child remained in foster care status or whether the home of the relative was now considered to be the child''s own home. Any continuing foster care status, where the child is still under responsibility of the State agency, would indicate the need for periodic redeterminations of eligibility at regular 12 month intervals. Short trial visits to a child''s home would not be considered interruptions in foster care status. In the event the child returns home (for what is expected to be a permanent period), but is later returned to foster care, a new determination of eligibility based on circumstances at the time of that placement would be required. If the child leaves the foster home and is placed in a State training school for a temporary period, and the court order of removal is still in effect, he may retain his foster care status during the training school placement. A redetermination of eligibility would be required after the child returns to the foster care facility. Of course, Federal financial participation is allowed only during the time the child is in a licensed or approved foster care facility.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-85-06 (6/5/85)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 472

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8.4B TITLE IV-E, General Title IV-E Requirements, Aliens/Immigrants

Question Number 2:
06/11/2013 - Current
QuestionAre unaccompanied minor refugee children eligible for title IV-E payments for foster care?
Answer*In order to be eligible for foster care payments under title IV-E any child must meet the requirements of section 406(a) or of section 407 of the Social Security Act (the Act) (as such sections were in effect on July 16, 1996) except for his removal from the home of a relative (specified in section 406(a)), in addition to meeting the other requirements found in section 472(a) of the Act. If a title IV-E agency is able to document that the child meets the requirements found in the Act, the unaccompanied minor refugee child is eligible for title IV-E payment, provided he/she is a qualified alien.

One of the major problems, however, is that because the child is unaccompanied, documentation is not ordinarily available to substantiate the child's age, financial need, and deprivation of parental support or care by reason of death of a parent, continued absence of the parent from the home, or physical or mental incapacity of a parent (45 CFR 233.90(c)).

In addition, the child must meet the requirements of section 472 (a) of the Act. These requirements include, for example, the existence of a voluntary placement agreement entered into by the child's parent or legal guardian or a judicial determination that continuation of the child in his home would be contrary to his welfare. Another requirement is that the child either received aid under section 402 of the Act (as in effect on July 16, 1996) in the month in which the agreement or judicial determination was made, or would have received aid in or for that month if an application had been made and the child had been living with a specified relative within six months prior to the month in which the agreement was made or the judicial proceeding was initiated.

Therefore, although the unaccompanied minor refugee child may clearly be in need of foster care upon his arrival in this country, he must also meet the eligibility requirements of title IV-E (section 472(a)) if Federal financial participation is claimed by the title IV-E agency. If it can be documented that he meets the requirements, then he would be eligible for title IV-E payments.

The circumstances of a refugee child who comes into the country with his family are different from the unaccompanied child in that the first child is "living with" his family. Assuming the degree of kinship is that cited in section 406(a) of the Act, this accompanied child could later become eligible for title IV-E foster care payments, if all criteria in section 472(a) are met and the documentation of age, need and deprivation can be reviewed in relation to the home (in the U.S.) from which he is removed.

Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PIQ-83-07 (10/24/83); ACYF-CB-PIQ-99-01 (1/14/99) (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 406 (a), 407 (as in effect on July 16, 1996) and 472; 45 CFR 233.90

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07/24/2006 - 06/11/2013
QuestionAre unaccompanied minor refugee children eligible for title IV-E payments for foster care?
Answer*In order to be eligible for foster care payments under title IV-E any child must meet the requirements of section 406(a) or of section 407 of the Social Security Act (the Act) (as such sections were in effect on July 16, 1996) except for his removal from the home of a relative (specified in section 406(a)), in addition to meeting the other requirements found in section 472(a) of the Act. If a State is able to document that the child meets the requirements found in the Act, the unaccompanied minor refugee child is eligible for title IV-E payment, provided he/she is a qualified alien.

One of the major problems, however, is that because the child is unaccompanied, documentation is not ordinarily available to substantiate the child''s age, financial need, and deprivation of parental support or care by reason of death of a parent, continued absence of the parent from the home, or physical or mental incapacity of a parent (45 CFR 233.90(c)).

In addition, the child must meet the requirements of section 472 (a)( of the Act. These requirements include, for example, the existence of a voluntary placement agreement entered into by the child''s parent or legal guardian or a judicial determination that continuation of the child in his home would be contrary to his welfare. Another requirement is that the child either received aid under section 402 of the Act (as in effect on July 16, 1996) in the month in which the agreement or judicial determination was made, or would have received aid in or for that month if an application had been made and the child had been living with a specified relative within six months prior to the month in which the agreement was made or the judicial proceeding was initiated.

Therefore, although the unaccompanied minor refugee child may clearly be in need of foster care upon his arrival in this country, he must also meet the eligibility requirements of title IV-E (section 472(a)) if Federal financial participation is claimed by the State. If it can be documented that he meets the requirements, then he would be eligible for title IV-E payments.

The circumstances of a refugee child who comes into the country with his family are different from the unaccompanied child in that the first child is "living with" his family. Assuming the degree of kinship is that cited in section 406(a) of the Act, this accompanied child could later become eligible for title IV-E foster care payments, if all criteria in section 472(a) are met and the documentation of age, need and deprivation can be reviewed in relation to the home (in the U.S.) from which he is removed.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-83-07 (10/24/83); ACYF-CB-PIQ-99-01 (1/14/99)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 406 (a), 407 (as in effect on July 16, 1996) and 472; 45 CFR 233.90

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09/15/2000 - 07/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionAre unaccompanied minor refugee children eligible for title IV-E payments for foster care?
AnswerIn order to be eligible for foster care payments under title IV-E any child must meet the requirements of section 406(a) or of section 407 of the Social Security Act (the Act) (as such sections were in effect on July 16, 1996) except for his removal from the home of a relative (specified in section 406(a)), in addition to meeting the other requirements found in section 472(a) of the Act. If a State is able to document that the child meets the requirements found in the Act, the unaccompanied minor refugee child is eligible for title IV-E payment, provided he/she is a qualified alien.

One of the major problems, however, is that because the child is unaccompanied, documentation is not ordinarily available to substantiate the child''s age, financial need, and deprivation of parental support or care by reason of death of a parent, continued absence of the parent from the home, or physical or mental incapacity of a parent (45 CFR 233.90(c)).

In addition, the child must meet the requirements of section 472 (a)(1) through (4) of the Act. These requirements include, for example, the existence of a voluntary placement agreement entered into by the child''s parent or legal guardian or a judicial determination that continuation of the child in his home would be contrary to his welfare. Another requirement is that the child either received aid under section 402 of the Act (as in effect on July 16, 1996) in the month in which the agreement or judicial determination was made, or would have received aid in or for that month if an application had been made and the child had been living with a specified relative within six months prior to the month in which the agreement was made or the judical proceeding was initiated.

Therefore, although the unaccompanied minor refugee child may clearly be in need of foster care upon his arrival in this country, he must also meet the eligibility requirements of title IV-E (section 472(a)) if Federal financial participation is claimed by the State. If it can be documented that he meets the requirements, then he would be eligible for title IV-E payments.

The circumstances of a refugee child who comes into the country with his family are different from the unaccompanied child in that the first child is "living with" his family. Assuming the degree of kinship is that cited in section 406(a) of the Act, this accompanied child could later become eligible for title IV-E foster care payments, if all criteria in section 472(a) are met and the documentation of age, need and deprivation can be reviewed in relation to the home (in the U.S.) from which he is removed.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-83-07 (10/24/83); ACYF-CB-PIQ-99-01 (1/14/99)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 406 (a), 407 (as in effect on July 16, 1996) and 472; 45 CFR 233.90

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Question Number 3:
06/11/2013 - Current
QuestionIt is our understanding that qualified aliens, regardless of whether they entered the United States before or after the date of enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), August 22, 1996, are eligible for Federal foster care maintenance and adoption assistance payments. Is this a correct interpretation?
Answer*Not entirely. If the child is a qualified alien who is placed with a qualified alien or United States citizen, the date the child entered the United States is irrelevant. However, if the child is a qualified alien who entered the United States on or after August 22, 1996 and is placed with an unqualified alien, the child would be subject to the five-year residency requirement for Federal means-tested public benefits at section 403(a) of PRWORA unless the child is in one of the excepted groups identified at section 403(b). As a general matter, we do not expect these situations to arise very often. In the event such situations do arise, State, Tribal or local funds may be used to support these children.
Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PIQ-99-01 (1/14/99) (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act- sections 472(a)(4) and 473(a)(2)(B); The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PL 104-193)

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07/24/2006 - 06/11/2013
QuestionIt is our understanding that qualified aliens, regardless of whether they entered the United States before or after the date of enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), August 22, 1996, are eligible for Federal foster care maintenance and adoption assistance payments. Is this a correct interpretation?
AnswerNot entirely. If the child is a qualified alien who is placed with a qualified alien or United States citizen, the date the child entered the United States is irrelevant. However, if the child is a qualified alien who entered the United States on or after August 22, 1996 and is placed with an unqualified alien, the child would be subject to the five-year residency requirement for Federal means-tested public benefits at section 403(a) of PRWORA unless the child is in one of the excepted groups identified at section 403(b). As a general matter, we do not expect these situations to arise very often. In the event such situations do arise, State or local funds may be used to support these children.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-99-01 (1/14/99)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act- sections 472(a)(4) and 473(a)(2)(B); The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PL 104-193)

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05/06/2001 - 07/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionIt is our understanding that qualified aliens, regardless of whether they entered the United States before or after the date of enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), August 22, 1996, are eligible for Federal foster care maintenance and adoption assistance payments. Is this a correct interpretation?
AnswerNot entirely. If the child is a qualified alien who is placed with a qualified alien or United States citizen, the date the child entered the United States is irrelevant. However, if the child is a qualified alien who entered the United States on or after August 22, 1996 and is placed with an unqualified alien, the child would be subject to the five-year residency requirement for Federal means-tested public benefits at section 403(a) of PRWORA unless the child is in one of the excepted groups identified at section 403(b). As a general matter, we do not expect these situations to arise very often. In the event such situations do arise, State or local funds may be used to support these children.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-99-01 (1/14/99)
Legal and Related ReferencesThe Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PL 104-193)

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Question Number 4:
06/11/2013 - Current
QuestionDoes the welfare reform legislation concerning benefits for immigrants/aliens have any impact on title IV-E eligibility for legal aliens, persons permanently residing under color of law (PRUCOL), etc.?
Answer*Yes. Alien children must be qualified aliens in order to be eligible for title IV-E payments and independent living services. Not all legal aliens or aliens with PRUCOL status necessarily meet the criteria for qualified alien status.
Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PIQ-99-01 (1/14/99) (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act- sections 472(a)(4), 473(a)(2)(B) and 473(d); The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PL 104-193)

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07/24/2006 - 06/11/2013
QuestionDoes the welfare reform legislation concerning benefits for immigrants/aliens have any impact on title IV-E eligibility for legal aliens, persons permanently residing under color of law (PRUCOL), etc.?
AnswerYes. Alien children must be qualified aliens in order to be eligible for Federal foster care maintenance and adoption assistance payments and independent living services. Not all legal aliens or aliens with PRUCOL status necessarily meet the criteria for qualified alien status.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-99-01 (1/14/99)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act- section 472(a)(4)and 473(a)(2)(B); The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PL 104-193)

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05/06/2001 - 07/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionDoes the welfare reform legislation concerning benefits for immigrants/aliens have any impact on title IV-E eligibility for legal aliens, persons permanently residing under color of law (PRUCOL), etc.?
AnswerYes. Alien children must be qualified aliens in order to be eligible for Federal foster care maintenance and adoption assistance payments and independent living services. Not all legal aliens or aliens with PRUCOL status necessarily meet the criteria for qualified alien status.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-99-01 (1/14/99)
Legal and Related ReferencesThe Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PL 104-193)

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Question Number 5:
06/11/2013 - Current
QuestionDoes title IV of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) supersede the provision in section 472(a) of the Social Security Act (the Act) which affords title IV-E eligibility to certain alien children who would be otherwise eligible for title IV-E but for their disqualification for the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program due to their alien status?
Answer*Yes. Title IV-E agencies must follow the rule in PRWORA section 401(a) that: "(n)otwithstanding any other provision of law ... an alien who is not a qualified alien ... is not eligible for any Federal public benefit..."
Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PIQ-99-01 (1/14/99) (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 472 (a); tThe Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PL 104-193)

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05/06/2001 - 06/11/2013 (Original Record)
QuestionDoes title IV of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) supersede the provision in section 472(a) of the Social Security Act (the Act) which affords title IV-E eligibility to certain alien children who would be otherwise eligible for title IV-E but for their disqualification for the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program due to their alien status?
AnswerYes. States must follow the rule in PRWORA section 401(a) that: "(n)otwithstanding any other provision of law ... an alien who is not a qualified alien ... is not eligible for any Federal public benefit..."
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-99-01 (1/14/99)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 472 (a); tThe Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PL 104-193)

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Question Number 6:
06/11/2013 - Current
Question*Section 108 (d) of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) (as amended by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, P.L. 105-33) links eligibility for Federal foster care and adoption assistance to the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program as it was in effect on July 16, 1996. Section 401(a) of PRWORA limits Federal public benefits to "qualified aliens." The term "qualified alien" was not defined or in use on July 16, 1996. How are title IV-E agencies to apply these two provisions?
AnswerAlien children must be eligible for AFDC under a State's July 16, 1996 plan and must also meet the PRWORA definition of "qualified alien" to be eligible for Federal foster care maintenance or adoption assistance (except that children receiving adoption assistance pursuant to agreements signed before August 22, 1996 may continue to receive such assistance).
Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PIQ-99-01 (1/14/99) (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - Title IV-E; The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PL 104-193)

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05/06/2001 - 06/11/2013 (Original Record)
QuestionSection 108 (d) of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) (as amended by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, P.L. 105-33) links eligibility for Federal foster care and adoption assistance to the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program as it was in effect on July 16, 1996. Section 401(a) of PRWORA limits Federal public benefits to "qualified aliens." The term "qualified alien" was not defined or in use on July 16, 1996. How are States to apply these two provisions?
AnswerAlien children must be eligible for AFDC under a State''s July 16, 1996 plan and must also meet the PRWORA definition of "qualified alien" to be eligible for Federal foster care maintenance or adoption assistance (except that children receiving adoption assistance pursuant to agreements signed before August 22, 1996 may continue to receive such assistance).
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-99-01 (1/14/99)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - Title IV-E; The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PL 104-193)

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Question Number 9:
06/14/2013 - Current
Question*Are title IV-E agencies required to verify the citizenship or immigration status of individuals receiving services or payments under title IV-E?
AnswerTitle IV-E agencies are required to verify the citizenship or immigration status of all children receiving Federal foster care maintenance payments, adoption assistance payments, or independent living services.

Title IV-E agencies are not required to verify the citizenship or alien status of foster or adoptive parents, with one exception. Title IV-E agencies must verify the citizenship or immigrant status of potential foster or adoptive parents when placing a qualified alien child who entered the United States on or after 8/22/96 and has been in the United States as a qualified alien for less than five years. In order to be exempt from the five year residency requirement imposed at section 403 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, a qualified alien child must be placed with a citizen or a qualified alien; hence, citizenship/alien status of prospective foster or adoptive parents must be verified in such circumstances.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-99-01 (1/14/99) (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - Title IV-E; The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PL 104-193)

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06/11/2013 - 06/14/2013
Question*Are title IV-E agencis required to verify the citizenship or immigration status of individuals receiving services or payments under title IV-E?
Answer*Title IV-E agencies are required to verify the citizenship or immigration status of all children receiving Federal foster care maintenance payments, adoption assistance payments, or independent living services.

Title IV-E agencies are not required to verify the citizenship or alien status of foster or adoptive parents, with one exception. Title IV-E agencies must verify the citizenship or immigrant status of potential foster or adoptive parents when placing a qualified alien child who entered the United States on or after 8/22/96 and has been in the United States as a qualified alien for less than five years. In order to be exempt from the five year residency requirement imposed at section 403 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, a qualified alien child must be placed with a citizen or a qualified alien; hence, citizenship/alien status of prospective foster or adoptive parents must be verified in such circumstances.

Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PIQ-99-01 (1/14/99) (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - Title IV-E; The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PL 104-193)

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05/06/2001 - 06/11/2013 (Original Record)
QuestionAre States required to verify the citizenship or immigration status of individuals receiving services or payments under title IV-E?
AnswerStates are required to verify the citizenship or immigration status of all children receiving Federal foster care maintenance payments, adoption assistance payments, or independent living services.

States are not required to verify the citizenship or alien status of foster or adoptive parents, with one exception. States must verify the citizenship or immigrant status of potential foster or adoptive parents when placing a qualified alien child who entered the United States on or after 8/22/96 and has been in the United States as a qualified alien for less than five years. In order to be exempt from the five year residency requirement imposed at section 403 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, a qualified alien child must be placed with a citizen or a qualified alien; hence, citizenship/alien status of prospective foster or adoptive parents must be verified in such circumstances.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-99-01 (1/14/99)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - Title IV-E; The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PL 104-193)

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Question Number 10:
06/11/2013 - Current
QuestionCan you explain section 472(a)(4) of the Social Security Act (the Act) and how it applies to Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) eligibility under title IV-E?
Answer*Section 472(a)(4) of the Act is no longer applicable to the title IV-E program. This provision essentially "deemed" certain alien children who were "temporary" legal residents as eligible for AFDC, thereby granting them access to the title IV-E program if other eligibility requirements were met. This provision was made obsolete by title IV of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 (Public Law 104-193). Under PRWORA, a child must be a qualified alien or a citizen in order to receive title IV-E payments. (See Child Welfare Policy Manual section 8.4B Q&A5 and 6).
Source/Date*12/31/07 (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act ┐ section 472(a)(4), Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-193) ┐ section 401(a), Child Welfare Policy Manual section 8.4B Q&A5 and 6

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06/11/2013 - 06/11/2013
Question
Answerjava.lang.NullPointerException
Source/Date
Legal and Related References

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Question Number 12:
05/05/2011 - Current
QuestionSection 471(a)(27) of the Social Security Act (the Act) requires title IV-E agencies to have in effect procedures for verifying the United States (U.S.) citizenship or immigration status of any child in foster care under the responsibility of the State or Tribe. When determining U.S. citizenship for a child in title IV-E foster care under the responsibility of the Tribe, may Federally recognized Tribes use Tribal enrollment cards to verify U.S. citizenship?
Answer*No. A Tribal enrollment card alone is not sufficient to meet the citizenship verification requirement of section 471(a)(27) of the Act. As a general rule, Tribal membership itself does not speak to the citizenship of the individual. The "Interim Guidance on Verification of Citizenship, Qualified Alien Status ad Eligibility Under Title IV of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996" published in the Federal Register on November 17, 1997 (62 FR 61344) by the Department of Justice should be used as guidance for verifying citizenship.
Source/Date05/04/11
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act ┐ section 471(a)(27); 62 FR 61344

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05/05/2011 - 05/05/2011 (Original Record)
QuestionSection 471(a)(27) of the Social Security Act (the Act) requires title IV-E agencies to have in effect procedures for verifying the United States (U.S.) citizenship or immigration status of any child in foster care under the responsibility of the State or Tribe. When determining U.S. citizenship for a child in title IV-E foster care under the responsibility of the Tribe, may Federally recognized Tribes use Tribal enrollment cards to verify U.S. citizenship?
AnswerNo. A Tribal enrollment card alone is not sufficient to meet the citizenship verification requirement of section 471(a)(27) of the Act. As a general rule, Tribal membership itself does not speak to the citizenship of the individual. The ?Interim Guidance on Verification of Citizenship, Qualified Alien Status ad Eligibility Under Title IV of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996? published in the Federal Register on November 17, 1997 (62 FR 61344) by the Department of Justice should be used as guidance for verifying citizenship.
Source/Date05/04/11
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act ┐ section 471(a)(27); 62 FR 61344

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7.2 TITLE IV-B, Confidentiality

Question Number 1:
09/28/2011 - Current
QuestionWhat are the title IV-B confidentiality requirements?
Answer*In accordance with 45 CFR 1355.30 (p)(3) records maintained under title IV-B of the Act are subject to the confidentiality provisions in 45 CFR 205.50. Among other things, 45 CFR 205.50 restricts the release or use of information concerning individuals receiving financial assistance under the programs governed by this provision to certain persons or agencies that require the information for specified purposes. The authorized recipients of this information are in turn subject to the same confidentiality standards as the agencies administering those programs. To the extent that the records of the title IV-B agency contain information regarding child abuse and neglect reports and records, such information is subject to the confidentiality requirements at section 106 of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).
Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-03 (9/27/97); ACYF-CB-PIQ-98-01 (6/29/98); updated 9/27/11
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - section 471 (a)(8); 45 CFR 205.50Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - sections 106 (b)(2)(B) (viii), (ix), and (x) and 106(c)(4)(B)

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08/07/2000 - 09/28/2011 (Original Record)
QuestionWhat are the title IV-B confidentiality requirements?
AnswerIn accordance with 45 CFR 1355.30 (p)(3) records maintained under title IV-B of the Act are subject to the confidentiality provisions in 45 CFR 205.50. Among other things, 45 CFR 205.50 restricts the release or use of information concerning individuals receiving financial assistance under the programs governed by this provision to certain persons or agencies that require the information for specified purposes. The authorized recipients of this information are in turn subject to the same confidentiality standards as the agencies administering those programs.

To the extent that the records of the title IV-B agency contain information regarding child abuse and neglect reports and records, such information is subject to the confidentiality requirements at section 106 of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).

Source/DateACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-03 (9/27/97); ACYF-CB-PIQ-98-01 (6/29/98)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 471 (a)(8); 45 CFR 205.50; 45 CFR 1355.21 (a); Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - sections 106 (b)(2)(A)(v) and (vi)

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Question Number 5:
09/28/2011 - Current
Question*Will States compromise compliance with title IV-B of the Social Security Act if they comply with the confidentiality requirements in sections 106 (b)(2)(B)(viii), (ix), and (x) of CAPTA?
Answer*Records maintained under title IV-B (which is subject to the Department's confidentiality provisions in 45 CFR 205.50) are to be safeguarded against unauthorized disclosure. The regulation at 45 CFR 205.50 states that the release or use of information concerning individuals applying for or receiving financial assistance is restricted to certain persons or agencies that require it for specified purposes. Such recipients of information are in turn subject to standards of confidentiality comparable to those of the agency administering the financial assistance programs. There may be instances where CPS information is subject both to disclosure requirements under CAPTA and to the confidentiality requirements under 45 CFR 205.50. To the extent that the CAPTA provisions require disclosure (such as in section 106 (b)(2)(B)(ix), the CAPTA disclosure provision would prevail in the event of a conflict since the CAPTA confidentiality provisions were most recently enacted. Whereas the CAPTA provision is permissive (such as in sections 106 (b)(2)(B)(viii)(I)-(VI)), it allows States to disclose such information without violating CAPTA, but it does not make such disclosure permissible in other programs if it is not otherwise allowed under the other program's governing statute or regulations.
Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-03 (9/26/97); updated 9/27/11
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106

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11/05/2000 - 09/28/2011 (Original Record)
QuestionWill States compromise compliance with title IV-B of the Social Security Act if they comply with the confidentiality requirements in sections 106 (b)(2)(v) and (vi) of CAPTA?
AnswerRecords maintained under title IV-B (which is subject to the Department''s confidentiality provisions in 45 CFR 205.50) are to be safeguarded against unauthorized disclosure. The regulation at 45 CFR 205.50 states that the release or use of information concerning individuals applying for or receiving financial assistance is restricted to certain persons or agencies that require it for specified purposes. Such recipients of information are in turn subject to standards of confidentiality comparable to those of the agency administering the financial assistance programs.

There may be instances where CPS information is subject both to disclosure requirements under CAPTA and to the confidentiality requirements under 45 CFR 205.50. To the extent that the CAPTA provisions require disclosure (such as in section 106 (b)(2)(A)(vi), the CAPTA disclosure provision would prevail in the event of a conflict since the CAPTA confidentiality provisions were most recently enacted. Whereas the CAPTA provision is permissive (such as in sections 106 (b)(2)(A)(v)(I)-(VI)), it allows States to disclose such information without violating CAPTA, but it does not make such disclosure permissible in other programs if it is not otherwise allowed under the other program''s governing statute or regulations.

Source/DateACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-03 (9/26/97)
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106

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Question Number 6:
06/19/2008 - Current
Question*Some States have enacted laws that allow open courts for juvenile protection proceedings, including child in need of protection or services hearings, termination of parental rights hearings, long-term foster care hearings and in courts where dependency petitions are heard. Questions have arisen about whether courts that are open to the public and allow a verbal exchange of confidential information meet the confidentiality requirements under title IV-B. Do the confidentiality provisions for title IV-B restrict the information that can be discussed in open court?
Answer*No. Section 471(c) of the Social Security Act allows States to set their own policies relating to public access to court proceedings to determine child abuse and neglect or other court hearings held pursuant to titles IV-B or IV-E. Such policies must, at a minimum, ensure the safety and well-being of the child, his or her parents and family.
Source/Date*06/19/08
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - section 471 (a)(8) and (c)

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04/01/2001 - 06/19/2008 (Original Record)
QuestionSome States have enacted laws that allow open courts for juvenile protection proceedings, including child in need of protection or services hearings, termination of parental rights hearings, long-term foster care hearings and in courts where dependency petitions are heard. Questions have arisen about whether courts that are open to the public and allow a verbal exchange of confidential information meet the confidentiality requirements under title IV-B. Do the confidentiality provisions for title IV-B restrict the information that can be discussed in open court?
AnswerYes. The purpose of the confidentiality provision is to protect the privacy rights of individuals receiving services or assistance under this program and to assure that confidential information is not disclosed to unauthorized recipients. Although, under title IV-B, confidential information may be shared with the courts, there is no provision which allows for public disclosure of such information. The confidentiality requirements of title IV-B do not prohibit open courts per se. However, to the extent that the proceedings involve discussion of confidential information concerning a child or family who is receiving the title IV-B child welfare services, the confidentiality requirements apply. Accordingly, such information cannot be discussed in a public forum, including an open court. To the extent that confidential information is relevant to the proceedings, it must be discussed in the court''s chambers or some other restricted setting, and the pertinent sections of the transcript must be kept confidential as well.

Violation of the Federal confidentiality provision is a State plan compliance issue under title IV-B.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-98-01 (6/29/98)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 471 (a)(8); Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106; 45 CFR 205.50; 45 CFR 1355.21 (a)

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3.1G INDEPENDENT LIVING, Certifications and Requirements, Room and Board

Question Number 3:
08/14/2012 - Current
QuestionCan a State provide Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) funds to an organization for the purpose of acquiring real property under the statutory provision that permits limited room and board expenditures for former foster care children between the ages of 18 and 21?
AnswerFederal funds are generally unavailable for the acquisition of real property in the absence of express statutory authority and there is no such authority in the CFCIP legislation. Accordingly, neither States themselves nor the organizations they fund may purchase real property with CFCIP funds. Additionally, States may not use purchased property to qualify for the match to CFCIP funds.
Source/DateQuestions and Answers on the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - section 477; 42 Comptroller General 480 (1963)

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07/29/2001 - 08/14/2012 (Original Record)
QuestionCan a State provide Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) funds to an organization for the purpose of acquiring real property under the statutory provision that permits limited room and board expenditures for former foster care children between the ages of 18 and 21?
AnswerFederal funds are generally unavailable for the acquisition of real property in the absence of express statutory authority and there is no such authority in the CFCIP legislation. Accordingly, neither States themselves nor the organizations they fund may purchase real property with CFCIP funds. Additionally, States may not use purchased property to qualify for the match to CFCIP funds.
Source/DateQuestions and Answers on the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 477; 42 Comptroller General 480 (1966)

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3.3B INDEPENDENT LIVING, Fiscal, Allocations

Question Number 1:
07/31/2002 - Current
QuestionWill the Department allow reallocation of State unspent funds to other States that could match the additional amount?
Answer*Section 477(d)(4) of the statute, enacted by the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Act, provides for the reallocation of CFCIP funds for which States have not applied. If a State does not apply for its entire CFCIP allocation in a given year, the funds will be reallocated to other States. The Department will give further guidance and instructions in its yearly program instruction regarding funding and State plan updates.
Source/Date*7/25/02
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act 477; Public Law 107-133

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07/29/2001 - 07/31/2002 (Original Record)
QuestionWill the Department allow reallocation of State unspent funds to other States that could match the additional amount?
AnswerNo. The reallocation of funds is not permitted under the current law. Any funds that are not applied for will be returned to the Federal treasury at the end of the fiscal year in which the funds were appropriated.
Source/DateQuestions and Answers on the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act 477; ACYF-CB-PI-01-02

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2.1I CAPTA, Assurances and Requirements, Referrals to IDEA, Part C

Question Number 1:
09/28/2011 - Current
QuestionMust a State refer every child under the age of three in a substantiated case of child abuse or neglect to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C agency, or may the State first screen these children to determine whether such a referral is needed?
Answer*The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) provision at section 106(b)(2)(B)(xxi) requires that States have provisions and procedures for the referral of children under the age of three who are involved in substantiated cases of child abuse or neglect to early intervention services funded by Part C of the Individual with Disabilities Act (IDEA). Part C of the IDEA, which was reauthorized on December 3, 2004 by Public Law 108-446, contains a provision very similar to the one in CAPTA. The Conference Report accompanying the IDEA legislation indicates that the conferees did not intend the IDEA provision to require every child under the age of three who is involved in a substantiated case of child abuse or neglect to receive an evaluation. Rather, the intention was that such children be screened to determine whether a referral to early intervention services is warranted (House Report 108-779, p. 241).

CAPTA does not specifically require that every child under the age of three who is involved in a substantiated case of child abuse or neglect must be referred to Part C services. Therefore, States have the discretion as to whether to refer every such child under the age of three for early intervention services, or to first employ a screening process to determine whether a referral is needed. We believe that this is consistent with the purpose of the provision, which is to assure that all children who have a substantiated case of child abuse or neglect will be given special attention to determine whether they need early intervention services and to assure referral when such services are warranted.

It is up to the State to determine how children referenced in section 106(b)(2)(B)(xxi) of CAPTA will be screened and, if appropriate, referred to the Part C early intervention program in the State. The IDEA regulations at 34 CFR 303.321(d) provide procedures for use by primary referral sources for referring a child to a Part C agency for evaluation and assessment or appropriate services. Under 34 CFR 303.321(d)(3) primary referral sources include hospitals, physicians and social service agencies, which can include the Child Protective Services (CPS) agency, as well as other sources. Some State CPS agencies are using other primary referral sources to assist in screening a child (after substantiation), while other State IDEA Part C programs are working with CPS agencies and training CPS social workers to conduct appropriate screenings. Both approaches meet the CAPTA requirements. There may be Federal confidentiality restrictions for the State to consider when implementing this CAPTA provision.

Source/Date*updated 9/27/11
Legal and Related References*Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) ┐ section 106(b)(2)(B)(xxi); Public Law 108-446; House Report 108-779, p. 241; 34 CFR 303.321(d).

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05/16/2006 - 09/28/2011 (Original Record)
QuestionMust a State refer every child under the age of three in a substantiated case of child abuse or neglect to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C agency, or may the State first screen these children to determine whether such a referral is needed?
AnswerThe Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) provision at section 106(b)(2)(A)(xxi) requires that States have provisions and procedures for the referral of children under the age of three who are involved in substantiated cases of child abuse or neglect to early intervention services funded by Part C of the Individual with Disabilities Act (IDEA). Part C of the IDEA, which was reauthorized on December 3, 2004 by Public Law 108-446, contains a provision very similar to the one in CAPTA. The Conference Report accompanying the IDEA legislation indicates that the conferees did not intend the IDEA provision to require every child under the age of three who is involved in a substantiated case of child abuse or neglect to receive an evaluation. Rather, the intention was that such children be screened to determine whether a referral to early intervention services is warranted (House Report 108-779, p. 241).

CAPTA does not specifically require that every child under the age of three who is involved in a substantiated case of child abuse or neglect must be referred to Part C services. Therefore, States have the discretion as to whether to refer every such child under the age of three for early intervention services, or to first employ a screening process to determine whether a referral is needed. We believe that this is consistent with the purpose of the provision, which is to assure that all children who have a substantiated case of child abuse or neglect will be given special attention to determine whether they need early intervention services and to assure referral when such services are warranted.

It is up to the State to determine how children referenced in section 106(b)(2)(A)(xxi) of CAPTA will be screened and, if appropriate, referred to the Part C early intervention program in the State. The IDEA regulations at 45 CFR 303.321(d) provide procedures for use by primary referral sources for referring a child to a Part C agency for evaluation and assessment or appropriate services. Under 45 CFR 303.321(d)(3) primary referral sources include hospitals, physicians and social service agencies, which can include the Child Protective Services (CPS) agency, as well as other sources. Some State CPS agencies are using other primary referral sources to assist in screening a child (after substantiation), while other State IDEA Part C programs are working with CPS agencies and training CPS social workers to conduct appropriate screenings. Both approaches meet the CAPTA requirements. There may be Federal confidentiality restrictions for the State to consider when implementing this CAPTA provision.

Source/Date05/02/06
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) ┐ section 106(b)(2)(A)(xxi); Public Law 108-446; House Report 108-779, p. 241; 45 CFR 303.321(d).

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Question Number 2:
09/28/2011 - Current
Question*Can the provision at section 106(b)(2)(B)(xxi) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), which requires referral of a child under the age of three who is involved in a substantiated case of child abuse or neglect to early intervention services, be read to mean that children who are wards of the State must be so referred?
Answer*No. The statute specifically requires the State to refer children under the age of three who are involved in substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect to early intervention services funded under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Therefore, since many children who are involved in substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect never come into foster care, we cannot narrow the requirement to children who are wards of the State. There may be Federal confidentiality restrictions for the State to consider when implementing this CAPTA provision.
Source/Date*updated 9/27/11
Legal and Related References*Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) ┐ section 106(b)(2)(B)(xxi)

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05/16/2006 - 09/28/2011 (Original Record)
QuestionCan the provision at section 106(b)(2)(A)(xxi) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), which requires referral of a child under the age of three who is involved in a substantiated case of child abuse or neglect to early intervention services, be read to mean that children who are wards of the State must be so referred?
AnswerNo. The statute specifically requires the State to refer children under the age of three who are involved in substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect to early intervention services funded under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Therefore, since many children who are involved in substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect never come into foster care, we cannot narrow the requirement to children who are wards of the State. There may be Federal confidentiality restrictions for the State to consider when implementing this CAPTA provision.
Source/Date05/02/06
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) ┐ section 106(b)(2)(A)(xxi)

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Question Number 3:
09/28/2011 - Current
Question*Does the "child" as mentioned in section 106(b)(2)(B)(xxi) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) include only those children under the age of three who are involved in a substantiated case of child abuse or neglect or does this include any child in the family or household who is under the age of three?
Answer*CAPTA requires the State to refer any child under the age of three who is the subject of a substantiated case of child abuse or neglect to early intervention services under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The State is not required to refer other children in the household under the CAPTA provision. However, we encourage States to refer all children who are suspected of having a disability and warranting a referral to early intervention services, taking into consideration Federal confidentiality restrictions when implementing this CAPTA provision.
Source/Date*updated 9/27/11
Legal and Related References*Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) ┐ section 106(b)(2)(B)(xxi).

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05/16/2006 - 09/28/2011 (Original Record)
QuestionDoes the "child" as mentioned in section 106(b)(2)(A)(xxi) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) include only those children under the age of three who are involved in a substantiated case of child abuse or neglect or does this include any child in the family or household who is under the age of three?
AnswerCAPTA requires the State to refer any child under the age of three who is the subject of a substantiated case of child abuse or neglect to early intervention services under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The State is not required to refer other children in the household under the CAPTA provision. However, we encourage States to refer all children who are suspected of having a disability and warrant a referral to early intervention services, taking into consideration Federal confidentiality restrictions when implementing this CAPTA provision.
Source/Date05/02/06
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) ┐ section 106(b)(2)(A)(xxi).

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2.2 CAPTA, Citizen Review Panels

Question Number 1:
04/17/2006 - Current
Question*How will States know how many citizen review panels they must establish to meet the requirements of section 106(c)(1)(A)-(B) since that number is dependent upon the amount of funds received by the State under the Community-Based Grants for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect Program under Title II of CAPTA?
Answer*CAPTA requires that States establish a minimum of three citizen review panels. The only exception to this requirement is for States that receive the minimum allotment of $175,000 under Title II of CAPTA, and they are required to establish no less than one citizen review panel.

The Department has notifed States in writing regarding whether one or three panels will be required in each State.

Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97); updated 2/3/05
Legal and Related References*Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106(c)(1)(A)-(B) and Title II

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02/03/2005 - 04/17/2006
QuestionHow will States know how many citizen review panels they will be required to establish to meet the requirements of section 106 (c)(1)(A)-(B) since that number is dependent upon the amount of funds received by the State under the Community-Based Family Resource and Support (CBFRS) Program?
AnswerCAPTA requires that States establish a minimum of three citizen review panels. The only exception to this requirement is for States that receive the minimum allotment of $175,000 under the CBFRS Program, and they are required to establish no less than one citizen review panel.

The Department has notifed States in writing regarding whether one or three panels will be required in each State.

Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97) (updated 2/3/05)
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106

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07/25/2000 - 02/03/2005 (Original Record)
QuestionHow will States know how many citizen review panels they will be required to establish to meet the requirements of section 106 (c)(1)(A)-(B) since that number is dependent upon the amount of funds received by the State under the Community-Based Family Resource and Support (CBFRS) Program?
AnswerCAPTA requires that States establish a minimum of three citizen review panels. The only exception to this requirement is for States that receive the minimum allotment of $175,000 under the CBFRS Program, and they are required to establish no less than one citizen review panel.

The Department has notifed States in writing regarding whether one or three panels will be required in each State.

Source/DateACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97)
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106

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Question Number 2:
09/28/2011 - Current
Question*Do States have the flexibility to determine how to implement the citizen review panels requirement in section 106(b)(2)(B)(xiv) of CAPTA?
Answer*Yes. States have the flexibility to implement the citizen review panel requirement in ways that best meet their needs, so long as the panels meet the requirements set forth under section 106 (c) of CAPTA.

States should pay particular note to section 106 (c)(2) of CAPTA which specifies the requirements for membership of the panel. We encourage the States to give special attention to the qualifications of the panelists to review complex cases of child maltreatment, including a balance among children's attorneys, child advocates and CASA volunteers who are familiar with the difficulties of the child protection system.

Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97); updated 9/27/11
Legal and Related References*Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - sections 106(b)(2)(B)(xiv) and (c)(2)

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04/17/2006 - 09/28/2011
Question*Do States have the flexibility to determine how to implement the citizen review panels requirement in section 106(b)(2)(xiv) of CAPTA?
AnswerYes. States have the flexibility to implement the citizen review panel requirement in ways that best meet their needs, so long as the panels meet the requirements set forth under section 106 (c) of CAPTA.

States should pay particular note to section 106 (c)(2) of CAPTA which specifies the requirements for membership of the panel. We encourage the States to give special attention to the qualifications of the panelists to review complex cases of child maltreatment, including a balance among children''s attorneys, child advocates and CASA volunteers who are familiar with the difficulties of the child protection system.

Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97); updated 2/3/05
Legal and Related References*Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - sections 106(b)(2)(xiv) and (c)(2)

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02/03/2005 - 04/17/2006
QuestionDo States have the flexibility to determine how to implement the citizen review panels requirement in section 106 (b)(2)(x) of CAPTA?
AnswerYes. States have the flexibility to implement the citizen review panel requirement in ways that best meet their needs, so long as the panels meet the requirements set forth under section 106 (c) of CAPTA.

States should pay particular note to section 106 (c)(2) of CAPTA which specifies the requirements for membership of the panel. We encourage the States to give special attention to the qualifications of the panelists to review complex cases of child maltreatment, including a balance among children''s attorneys, child advocates and CASA volunteers who are familiar with the difficulties of the child protection system.

Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97) (updated 2/3/05)
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106

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07/25/2000 - 02/03/2005 (Original Record)
QuestionDo States have the flexibility to determine how to implement the citizen review panels requirement in section 106 (b)(2)(x) of CAPTA?
AnswerYes. States have the flexibility to implement the citizen review panel requirement in ways that best meet their needs, so long as the panels meet the requirements set forth under section 106 (c) of CAPTA.

States should pay particular note to section 106 (c)(2) of CAPTA which specifies the requirements for membership of the panel. We encourage the States to give special attention to the qualifications of the panelists to review complex cases of child maltreatment, including a balance among children''s attorneys, child advocates and CASA volunteers who are familiar with the difficulties of the child protection system.

Source/DateACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97)
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106

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Question Number 3:
04/17/2006 - Current
QuestionWhat are the functions that citizen review panels must perform?
Answer*Pursuant to sections 106(c)(4)(A)(i) and (ii) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), each panel must evaluate the extent to which the State is fulfilling its child protection responsibilities in accordance with its CAPTA State plan by: (1) examining the policies, procedures and practices of State and local child protection agencies, and (2) reviewing specific cases, where appropriate. In addition, consistent with section 106(c)(4)(A)(iii) of CAPTA, a panel may examine other criteria that it considers important to ensure the protection of children, including the extent to which the State and local CPS system is coordinated with the title IV-E foster care and adoption assistance programs of the Social Security Act. This provision also authorizes the panels to review the child fatalities and near fatalities in the State.

In order to assess the impact of current procedures and practices upon children and families in the community and fulfill the above requirements, citizen review panels must provide for public outreach and comment (section 106(c)(4)(C) of CAPTA). Finally, each panel must prepare an annual report that summarizes the activities of the panel and makes recommendations to improve the CPS system at the State and local levels, and submit it to the State and the public (section 106(c)(6) of CAPTA).

Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PI-99-09 (6/2/99); updated 3/22/06
Legal and Related References*Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106(c)

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02/19/2001 - 04/17/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionWhat are the functions that citizen review panels must perform?
AnswerPursuant to sections 106 (c)(4)(A)(i) and (ii) of CAPTA, each panel must evaluate the extent to which the State is fulfilling its child protection responsibilities in accordance with its CAPTA State plan by: (1) examining the policies and procedures of State and local agencies, and (2) reviewing specific cases, where appropriate. In addition, consistent with section 106 (c)(4)(A)(iii) of CAPTA, a panel may review other criteria that it considers important to ensure the protection of children, including the extent to which the State CPS system is coordinated with the title IV-E foster care and adoption assistance programs of the Social Security Act, and the child fatalities and near fatalities in the State.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PI-99-09 (6/2/99)
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106

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Question Number 4:
04/17/2006 - Current
QuestionSection 106 (c)(5) of CAPTA requires States to provide citizen review panels with access to information on cases that the panel wants to review "if such information is necessary for the panel to carry out its functions". Who determines what confidential information is necessary for these functions?
AnswerThe Congress intended that citizen review panels be established to evaluate the extent to which States are meeting the goals of protecting children and their responsibilities related to the State plan. In carrying out these responsibilities, it is important for the review panels to have access to confidential information, as necessary, to assist in their duties. The intent of section 106 (c)(5) was to direct States to provide the review panels with information that the panel determines is necessary to carry out these functions (Congressional Record - House, September 25, 1996, p. H11149).
Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97); updated 2/3/05
Legal and Related References*Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106(c)(5)

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02/03/2005 - 04/17/2006
QuestionSection 106 (c)(5) of CAPTA requires States to provide citizen review panels with access to information on cases that the panel wants to review "if such information is necessary for the panel to carry out its functions". Who determines what confidential information is necessary for these functions?
AnswerThe Congress intended that citizen review panels be established to evaluate the extent to which States are meeting the goals of protecting children and their responsibilities related to the State plan. In carrying out these responsibilities, it is important for the review panels to have access to confidential information, as necessary, to assist in their duties. The intent of section 106 (c)(5) was to direct States to provide the review panels with information that the panel determines is necessary to carry out these functions (Congressional Record - House, September 25, 1996, p. H11149).
Source/Date*ACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97) (updated 2/3/05)
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106

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07/29/2001 - 02/03/2005 (Original Record)
QuestionSection 106 (c)(5) of CAPTA requires States to provide citizen review panels with access to information on cases that the panel wants to review "if such information is necessary for the panel to carry out its functions". Who determines what confidential information is necessary for these functions?
AnswerThe Congress intended that citizen review panels be established to evaluate the extent to which States are meeting the goals of protecting children and their responsibilities related to the State plan. In carrying out these responsibilities, it is important for the review panels to have access to confidential information, as necessary, to assist in their duties. The intent of section 106 (c)(5) was to direct States to provide the review panels with information that the panel determines is necessary to carry out these functions (Congressional Record - House, September 25, 1996, p. H11149).
Source/DateACYF-NCCAN-PIQ-97-01 (3/4/97)
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106

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Question Number 5:
09/28/2011 - Current
QuestionDo the confidentiality requirements in the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act apply to the members of citizen review panels?
Answer*Citizen review panel members are bound by the confidentiality restrictions in section 106 (c)(4)(B)(i) of CAPTA. Specifically, members and staff of a panel may not disclose identifying information about any specific child protection case to any person or government official, and may not make public other information unless authorized by State statute to do so. Further, section 106 (c)(4)(B)(ii) of CAPTA requires States to establish civil sanctions for violations of these confidentiality restrictions. States that already have civil sanctions in place for breaches of confidentiality need not enact new legislation, so long as their existing provisions encompass the CAPTA requirements.
Source/Date*ACYF-BC-PI-98-01 (1/7/98); updated 9/27/11
Legal and Related References*Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106(c)(4)(B)

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04/17/2006 - 09/28/2011
QuestionDo the confidentiality requirements in the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act apply to the members of citizen review panels?
AnswerCitizen review panel members are bound by the confidentiality restrictions in section 106 (c)(4)(B)(i) of CAPTA. Specifically, members and staff of a panel may not disclose identifying information about any specific child protection case to any person or government official, and may not make public other information unless authorized by State statute to do so. Further, section 106 (c)(4)(B)(ii) of CAPTA requires States to establish civil sanctions for violations of these confidentiality restrictions. States that already have civil sanctions in place for breaches of confidentiality need not enact new legislation, so long as their existing provisions encompass the CAPTA requirements.
Source/Date*ACYF-BC-PI-98-01 (1/7/98); updated 2/3/05
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106106 (b)(2)(A)(x) and (c)

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02/03/2005 - 04/17/2006
QuestionDo the confidentiality requirements in the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act apply to the members of citizen review panels?
AnswerCitizen review panel members are bound by the confidentiality restrictions in section 106 (c)(4)(B)(i) of CAPTA. Specifically, members and staff of a panel may not disclose identifying information about any specific child protection case to any person or government official, and may not make public other information unless authorized by State statute to do so. Further, section 106 (c)(4)(B)(ii) of CAPTA requires States to establish civil sanctions for violations of these confidentiality restrictions. States that already have civil sanctions in place for breaches of confidentiality need not enact new legislation, so long as their existing provisions encompass the CAPTA requirements.
Source/Date*ACYF-BC-PI-98-01 (1/7/98) (updated 2/3/05)
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106106 (b)(2)(A)(x) and (c)

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07/29/2001 - 02/03/2005 (Original Record)
QuestionDo the confidentiality requirements in the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act apply to the members of citizen review panels?
AnswerCitizen review panel members are bound by the confidentiality restrictions in section 106 (c)(4)(B)(i) of CAPTA. Specifically, members and staff of a panel may not disclose identifying information about any specific child protection case to any person or government official, and may not make public other information unless authorized by State statute to do so. Further, section 106 (c)(4)(B)(ii) of CAPTA requires States to establish civil sanctions for violations of these confidentiality restrictions. States that already have civil sanctions in place for breaches of confidentiality need not enact new legislation, so long as their existing provisions encompass the CAPTA requirements.
Source/DateACYF-BC-PI-98-01 (1/7/98)
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106106 (b)(2)(A)(x) and (c)

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5.2 MONITORING, Title IV-E Eligibility Reviews

Question Number 2:
01/25/2006 - Current
QuestionSince only States, and not tribes, are reviewed, how do we assure that title IV-E eligibility requirements are met for children served by the tribes in foster care?
AnswerStates and tribes that enter into agreements whereby the tribes access title IV-E foster care maintenance payments for children must determine between themselves how the roles and responsibilities for meeting title IV-E requirements will be shared. While tribes that enter into such agreements with States have the latitude to develop their own procedures for satisfying title IV-E requirements, the State child welfare agency is ultimately responsible for the proper administration of the title IV-E program and for assuring compliance. Children served by tribes who are receiving title IV-E foster care maintenance payments as part of a State/tribal agreement will be included in the sample of cases reviewed.
Source/DateQuestions and Answers on the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related References*45 CFR 1356.71

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01/25/2006 - 01/25/2006
QuestionSince only States, and not tribes, are reviewed, how do we assure that title IV-E eligibility requirements are met for children served by the tribes in foster care?
AnswerStates and tribes that enter into agreements whereby the tribes access title IV-E foster care maintenance payments for children must determine between themselves how the roles and responsibilities for meeting title IV-E requirements will be shared. While tribes that enter into such agreements with States have the latitude to develop their own procedures for satisfying title IV-E requirements, the State child welfare agency is ultimately responsible for the proper administration of the title IV-E program and for assuring compliance. Children served by tribes who are receiving title IV-E foster care maintenance payments as part of a State/tribal agreement will be included in the sample of cases reviewed.
Source/DateQuestions and Answers on the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related References*45 CFR 1356.7111

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01/25/2006 - 01/25/2006
QuestionSince only States, and not tribes, are reviewed, how do we assure that title IV-E eligibility requirements are met for children served by the tribes in foster care?
AnswerStates and tribes that enter into agreements whereby the tribes access title IV-E foster care maintenance payments for children must determine between themselves how the roles and responsibilities for meeting title IV-E requirements will be shared. While tribes that enter into such agreements with States have the latitude to develop their own procedures for satisfying title IV-E requirements, the State child welfare agency is ultimately responsible for the proper administration of the title IV-E program and for assuring compliance. Children served by tribes who are receiving title IV-E foster care maintenance payments as part of a State/tribal agreement will be included in the sample of cases reviewed.
Source/DateQuestions and Answers on the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related References*45 CFR 1356.711

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01/25/2006 - 01/25/2006
QuestionSince only States, and not tribes, are reviewed, how do we assure that title IV-E eligibility requirements are met for children served by the tribes in foster care?
AnswerStates and tribes that enter into agreements whereby the tribes access title IV-E foster care maintenance payments for children must determine between themselves how the roles and responsibilities for meeting title IV-E requirements will be shared. While tribes that enter into such agreements with States have the latitude to develop their own procedures for satisfying title IV-E requirements, the State child welfare agency is ultimately responsible for the proper administration of the title IV-E program and for assuring compliance. Children served by tribes who are receiving title IV-E foster care maintenance payments as part of a State/tribal agreement will be included in the sample of cases reviewed.
Source/DateQuestions and Answers on the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related References*45 CFR 1356.71

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01/25/2006 - 01/25/2006
QuestionSince only States, and not tribes, are reviewed, how do we assure that title IV-E eligibility requirements are met for children served by the tribes in foster care?
AnswerStates and tribes that enter into agreements whereby the tribes access title IV-E foster care maintenance payments for children must determine between themselves how the roles and responsibilities for meeting title IV-E requirements will be shared. While tribes that enter into such agreements with States have the latitude to develop their own procedures for satisfying title IV-E requirements, the State child welfare agency is ultimately responsible for the proper administration of the title IV-E program and for assuring compliance. Children served by tribes who are receiving title IV-E foster care maintenance payments as part of a State/tribal agreement will be included in the sample of cases reviewed.
Source/DateQuestions and Answers on the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related References*45 CFR 1356.71 Testing Testing7

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01/24/2006 - 01/25/2006
QuestionSince only States, and not tribes, are reviewed, how do we assure that title IV-E eligibility requirements are met for children served by the tribes in foster care?
AnswerStates and tribes that enter into agreements whereby the tribes access title IV-E foster care maintenance payments for children must determine between themselves how the roles and responsibilities for meeting title IV-E requirements will be shared. While tribes that enter into such agreements with States have the latitude to develop their own procedures for satisfying title IV-E requirements, the State child welfare agency is ultimately responsible for the proper administration of the title IV-E program and for assuring compliance. Children served by tribes who are receiving title IV-E foster care maintenance payments as part of a State/tribal agreement will be included in the sample of cases reviewed.
Source/DateQuestions and Answers on the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related References*45 CFR 1356.71 Testing Testing

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01/24/2006 - 01/24/2006
QuestionSince only States, and not tribes, are reviewed, how do we assure that title IV-E eligibility requirements are met for children served by the tribes in foster care?
AnswerStates and tribes that enter into agreements whereby the tribes access title IV-E foster care maintenance payments for children must determine between themselves how the roles and responsibilities for meeting title IV-E requirements will be shared. While tribes that enter into such agreements with States have the latitude to develop their own procedures for satisfying title IV-E requirements, the State child welfare agency is ultimately responsible for the proper administration of the title IV-E program and for assuring compliance. Children served by tribes who are receiving title IV-E foster care maintenance payments as part of a State/tribal agreement will be included in the sample of cases reviewed.
Source/DateQuestions and Answers on the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related References*45 CFR 1356.71 Testing Testing4566336

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01/24/2006 - 01/24/2006
QuestionSince only States, and not tribes, are reviewed, how do we assure that title IV-E eligibility requirements are met for children served by the tribes in foster care?
AnswerStates and tribes that enter into agreements whereby the tribes access title IV-E foster care maintenance payments for children must determine between themselves how the roles and responsibilities for meeting title IV-E requirements will be shared. While tribes that enter into such agreements with States have the latitude to develop their own procedures for satisfying title IV-E requirements, the State child welfare agency is ultimately responsible for the proper administration of the title IV-E program and for assuring compliance. Children served by tribes who are receiving title IV-E foster care maintenance payments as part of a State/tribal agreement will be included in the sample of cases reviewed.
Source/DateQuestions and Answers on the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related References*45 CFR 1356.71 Testing Testing45666

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01/24/2006 - 01/24/2006
QuestionSince only States, and not tribes, are reviewed, how do we assure that title IV-E eligibility requirements are met for children served by the tribes in foster care?
AnswerStates and tribes that enter into agreements whereby the tribes access title IV-E foster care maintenance payments for children must determine between themselves how the roles and responsibilities for meeting title IV-E requirements will be shared. While tribes that enter into such agreements with States have the latitude to develop their own procedures for satisfying title IV-E requirements, the State child welfare agency is ultimately responsible for the proper administration of the title IV-E program and for assuring compliance. Children served by tribes who are receiving title IV-E foster care maintenance payments as part of a State/tribal agreement will be included in the sample of cases reviewed.
Source/DateQuestions and Answers on the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related References*45 CFR 1356.71 Testing Testing4566

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01/24/2006 - 01/24/2006
QuestionSince only States, and not tribes, are reviewed, how do we assure that title IV-E eligibility requirements are met for children served by the tribes in foster care?
AnswerStates and tribes that enter into agreements whereby the tribes access title IV-E foster care maintenance payments for children must determine between themselves how the roles and responsibilities for meeting title IV-E requirements will be shared. While tribes that enter into such agreements with States have the latitude to develop their own procedures for satisfying title IV-E requirements, the State child welfare agency is ultimately responsible for the proper administration of the title IV-E program and for assuring compliance. Children served by tribes who are receiving title IV-E foster care maintenance payments as part of a State/tribal agreement will be included in the sample of cases reviewed.
Source/DateQuestions and Answers on the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related References*45 CFR 1356.71 Testing Testing456

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01/24/2006 - 01/24/2006
QuestionSince only States, and not tribes, are reviewed, how do we assure that title IV-E eligibility requirements are met for children served by the tribes in foster care?
AnswerStates and tribes that enter into agreements whereby the tribes access title IV-E foster care maintenance payments for children must determine between themselves how the roles and responsibilities for meeting title IV-E requirements will be shared. While tribes that enter into such agreements with States have the latitude to develop their own procedures for satisfying title IV-E requirements, the State child welfare agency is ultimately responsible for the proper administration of the title IV-E program and for assuring compliance. Children served by tribes who are receiving title IV-E foster care maintenance payments as part of a State/tribal agreement will be included in the sample of cases reviewed.
Source/DateQuestions and Answers on the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related References*45 CFR 1356.71 Testing Testing45

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01/24/2006 - 01/24/2006
QuestionSince only States, and not tribes, are reviewed, how do we assure that title IV-E eligibility requirements are met for children served by the tribes in foster care?
AnswerStates and tribes that enter into agreements whereby the tribes access title IV-E foster care maintenance payments for children must determine between themselves how the roles and responsibilities for meeting title IV-E requirements will be shared. While tribes that enter into such agreements with States have the latitude to develop their own procedures for satisfying title IV-E requirements, the State child welfare agency is ultimately responsible for the proper administration of the title IV-E program and for assuring compliance. Children served by tribes who are receiving title IV-E foster care maintenance payments as part of a State/tribal agreement will be included in the sample of cases reviewed.
Source/DateQuestions and Answers on the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related References*45 CFR 1356.71 Testing Testing4

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01/24/2006 - 01/24/2006
QuestionSince only States, and not tribes, are reviewed, how do we assure that title IV-E eligibility requirements are met for children served by the tribes in foster care?
AnswerStates and tribes that enter into agreements whereby the tribes access title IV-E foster care maintenance payments for children must determine between themselves how the roles and responsibilities for meeting title IV-E requirements will be shared. While tribes that enter into such agreements with States have the latitude to develop their own procedures for satisfying title IV-E requirements, the State child welfare agency is ultimately responsible for the proper administration of the title IV-E program and for assuring compliance. Children served by tribes who are receiving title IV-E foster care maintenance payments as part of a State/tribal agreement will be included in the sample of cases reviewed.
Source/DateQuestions and Answers on the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related References*45 CFR 1356.71 Testing Testing3

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01/24/2006 - 01/24/2006
QuestionSince only States, and not tribes, are reviewed, how do we assure that title IV-E eligibility requirements are met for children served by the tribes in foster care?
AnswerStates and tribes that enter into agreements whereby the tribes access title IV-E foster care maintenance payments for children must determine between themselves how the roles and responsibilities for meeting title IV-E requirements will be shared. While tribes that enter into such agreements with States have the latitude to develop their own procedures for satisfying title IV-E requirements, the State child welfare agency is ultimately responsible for the proper administration of the title IV-E program and for assuring compliance. Children served by tribes who are receiving title IV-E foster care maintenance payments as part of a State/tribal agreement will be included in the sample of cases reviewed.
Source/DateQuestions and Answers on the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related References*45 CFR 1356.71 Testing

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08/14/2000 - 01/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionSince only States, and not tribes, are reviewed, how do we assure that title IV-E eligibility requirements are met for children served by the tribes in foster care?
AnswerStates and tribes that enter into agreements whereby the tribes access title IV-E foster care maintenance payments for children must determine between themselves how the roles and responsibilities for meeting title IV-E requirements will be shared. While tribes that enter into such agreements with States have the latitude to develop their own procedures for satisfying title IV-E requirements, the State child welfare agency is ultimately responsible for the proper administration of the title IV-E program and for assuring compliance. Children served by tribes who are receiving title IV-E foster care maintenance payments as part of a State/tribal agreement will be included in the sample of cases reviewed.
Source/DateQuestions and Answers on the Final Rule (65 FR 4020) (1/25/00)
Legal and Related References45 CFR 1356.71 Testing Testing Testing

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2.1H CAPTA, Assurances and Requirements, Notification of Allegations

Question Number 1:
09/27/2011 - Current
Question*The provision at section 106(b)(2)(B)(xviii) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) requires the State to have provisions or procedures to advise the individual subject to a child abuse or neglect investigation of the complaints or allegations made against him or her at the time of the initial contact. Would a State be out of compliance with CAPTA if it implemented a rule to specify that "initial contact" in the CAPTA provision at section 106(b)(2)(B)(xviii) meant "face-to-face" contact only?
Answer*Yes. The CAPTA provision requires that the State notify the individual of the complaints or allegations made against him or her at the initial time of contact regardless of how that contact is made. There may be Federal confidentiality restrictions for the State to consider when implementing this CAPTA provision.
Source/Date*updated 9/27/11
Legal and Related References*Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) ┐ section 106(b)(2)(B)(xviii)

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05/16/2006 - 09/27/2011 (Original Record)
QuestionThe provision at section 106(b)(2)(A)(xviii) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) requires the State to have provisions or procedures to advise the individual subject to a child abuse or neglect investigation of the complaints or allegations made against him or her at the time of the initial contact. Would a State be out of compliance with CAPTA if it implemented a rule to specify that "initial contact" in the CAPTA provision at section 106(b)(2)(A)(xviii) meant "face-to-face" contact only?
AnswerYes. The CAPTA provision requires that the State notify the individual of the complaints or allegations made against him or her at the initial time of contact regardless of how that contact is made. There may be Federal confidentiality restrictions for the State to consider when implementing this CAPTA provision.
Source/Date05/02/06
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) ┐ section 106(b)(2)(A)(xviii)

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Question Number 2:
09/27/2011 - Current
Question*The provision at section 106(b)(2)(B)(xviii) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) requires the State to have provisions or procedures to advise the individual subject to a child abuse or neglect investigation of the complaints or allegations made against him or her at the time of the initial contact. One State employs an alternative response system, which is a non-adversarial approach to assess low- and moderate-risk level reports of child abuse and neglect. Does the Federal requirement at section 106(b)(2)(B)(xviii) of CAPTA apply only to child maltreatment investigations or does it also apply to child maltreatment alternative response assessments?
Answer*The State must advise the individual subject to a child abuse or neglect investigation of the complaint or allegation against him/her whether the State is investigating the complaint through a formal investigation or an alternate response system. The method by which the State assesses the complaint against a person is not the issue. There may be Federal confidentiality restrictions for the State to consider when implementing this CAPTA provision.
Source/Date*updated 9/27/11
Legal and Related References*Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106(b)(2)(B)(xviii)

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05/16/2006 - 09/27/2011 (Original Record)
QuestionThe provision at section 106(b)(2)(A)(xviii) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) requires the State to have provisions or procedures to advise the individual subject to a child abuse or neglect investigation of the complaints or allegations made against him or her at the time of the initial contact. One State employs an alternative response system, which is a non-adversarial approach to assess low- and moderate-risk level reports of child abuse and neglect. Does the Federal requirement at section 106(b)(2)(A)(xviii) of CAPTA apply only to child maltreatment investigations or does it also apply to child maltreatment alternative response assessments?
AnswerThe State must advise the individual subject to a child abuse or neglect investigation of the complaint or allegation against him/her whether the State is investigating the complaint through a formal investigation or an alternate response system. The method by which the State assesses the complaint against a person is not the issue. There may be Federal confidentiality restrictions for the State to consider when implementing this CAPTA provision.
Source/Date05/02/06
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) - section 106(b)(2)(A)(xviii)

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Question Number 3:
09/27/2011 - Current
Question*The provision at section 106(b)(2)(B)(xviii) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) requires the State to have provisions or procedures to advise the individual subject to a child abuse or neglect investigation of the complaints or allegations made against him or her at the time of the initial contact. Would a State be out of compliance with CAPTA if it provided notification only to parents who have an allegation of child abuse or neglect?
Answer*Yes. The provision requires notification to "an individual subject to a child abuse or neglect investigation" and does not limit this notification to parents only.
Source/Date*updated 9/27/11
Legal and Related References*Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) ┐ section 106(b)(2)(B)(xviii)

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02/02/2007 - 09/27/2011 (Original Record)
QuestionThe provision at section 106(b)(2)(A)(xviii) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) requires the State to have provisions or procedures to advise the individual subject to a child abuse or neglect investigation of the complaints or allegations made against him or her at the time of the initial contact. Would a State be out of compliance with CAPTA if it provided notification only to parents who have an allegation of child abuse or neglect?
AnswerYes. The provision requires notification to "an individual subject to a child abuse and neglect investigation" and does not limit this notification to parents only.
Source/Date1/29/2007
Legal and Related ReferencesChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) ┐ section 106(b)(2)(A)(xviii)

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3. INDEPENDENT LIVING

Question Number 1:
07/24/2006 - Current
QuestionDoes title IV-E preclude a State agency from passing on to the child title IV-E funds for his use for his maintenance in an independent living program?
Answer*Title IV-E precludes payments made directly to the child or turned over to him by another agency for the purpose of meeting independent living costs. The eligibility of a child for title IV-E is based in part on the fact that he is placed in a family foster home or child care institution as a result of a court determination or voluntary agreement (section 472 (a)(2) of the Social Security Act (the Act)). Federal financial participation is limited to foster care maintenance payments made on behalf of a child described in section 472 (a) of the Act who is in a foster family home or in a child care institution (section 472 (b)). Both "foster family home" and "child care institution" are defined in section 472 (c). Title IV-E does not include "independent living" in these definitions, and it is not considered foster care within the meaning of the Act. Title IV-B may be an alternative source of funding for these independent living programs. Since independent living is not considered foster care, the limitations found in section 423 (c)(1)(B) of title IV-B to foster care payments would not apply.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-83-05 (10/19/83)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 423 and 472; 45 CFR 1355.20

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07/24/2006 - 02/25/2011
QuestionDoes title IV-E preclude a State agency from passing on to the child title IV-E funds for his use for his maintenance in an independent living program?
Answer*Title IV-E precludes payments made directly to the child or turned over to him by another agency for the purpose of meeting independent living costs. The eligibility of a child for title IV-E is based in part on the fact that he is placed in a family foster home or child care institution as a result of a court determination or voluntary agreement (section 472 (a)(2) of the Social Security Act (the Act)). Federal financial participation is limited to foster care maintenance payments made on behalf of a child described in section 472 (a) of the Act who is in a foster family home or in a child care institution (section 472 (b)). Both "foster family home" and "child care institution" are defined in section 472 (c). Title IV-E does not include "independent living" in these definitions, and it is not considered foster care within the meaning of the Act. Title IV-B may be an alternative source of funding for these independent living programs. Since independent living is not considered foster care, the limitations found in section 423 (c)(1)(B) of title IV-B to foster care payments would not apply.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-83-05 (10/19/83)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 423 and 472; 45 CFR 1355.20

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05/06/2001 - 07/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionDoes title IV-E preclude a State agency from passing on to the child title IV-E funds for his use for his maintenance in an independent living program?
AnswerTitle IV-E precludes payments made directly to the child or turned over to him by another agency for the purpose of meeting independent living costs. The eligibility of a child for title IV-E is based in part on the fact that he is placed in a family foster home or child care institution as a result of a court determination or voluntary agreement (section 472 (a)(3) of the Social Security Act (the Act)). Federal financial participation is limited to foster care maintenance payments made on behalf of a child described in section 472 (a) of the Act who is in a foster family home or in a child care institution (section 472 (b)). Both "foster family home" and "child care institution" are defined in section 472 (c). Title IV-E does not include "independent living" in these definitions, and it is not considered foster care within the meaning of the Act. Title IV-B may be an alternative source of funding for these independent living programs. Since independent living is not considered foster care, the limitations found in section 423 (c)(1)(B) of title IV-B to foster care payments would not apply.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-83-05 (10/19/83)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 423 and 472; 45 CFR 1355.20

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8.4A TITLE IV-E, General Title IV-E Requirements, AFDC Eligibility

Question Number 1:
06/07/2013 - Current
Question*Section 108 (d) of the Personal Responsibility Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) (as amended by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, P.L. 105-33) links eligibility for Federal foster care and adoption assistance to the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program as it was in effect on July 16, 1996. Section 401(a) of PRWORA limits Federal public benefits to "qualified aliens." The term "qualified alien" was not defined or in use on July 16, 1996. How are title IV-E agencies to apply these two provisions?
AnswerAlien children must be eligible for AFDC under a State's July 16, 1996 plan and must also meet the PRWORA definition of "qualified alien" to be eligible for Federal foster care maintenance or adoption assistance (except that children receiving adoption assistance pursuant to agreements signed before August 22, 1996 may continue to receive such assistance).
Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PIQ-99-01 (1/14/99) (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 472(a)(4) and 473(a)(2)(B); the Personal Responsibility Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PL 104-193); Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (PL 105-33)

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07/24/2006 - 06/07/2013
QuestionSection 108 (d) of the Personal Responsibility Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) (as amended by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, P.L. 105-33) links eligibility for Federal foster care and adoption assistance to the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program as it was in effect on July 16, 1996. Section 401(a) of PRWORA limits Federal public benefits to "qualified aliens." The term "qualified alien" was not defined or in use on July 16, 1996. How are States to apply these two provisions?
AnswerAlien children must be eligible for AFDC under a State''s July 16, 1996 plan and must also meet the PRWORA definition of "qualified alien" to be eligible for Federal foster care maintenance or adoption assistance (except that children receiving adoption assistance pursuant to agreements signed before August 22, 1996 may continue to receive such assistance).
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-99-01 (1/14/99)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - sections 472(a)(4) and 473(a)(2)(B); the Personal Responsibility Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PL 104-193); Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (PL 105-33)

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09/11/2000 - 07/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionSection 108 (d) of the Personal Responsibility Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) (as amended by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, P.L. 105-33) links eligibility for Federal foster care and adoption assistance to the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program as it was in effect on July 16, 1996. Section 401(a) of PRWORA limits Federal public benefits to "qualified aliens." The term "qualified alien" was not defined or in use on July 16, 1996. How are States to apply these two provisions?
AnswerAlien children must be eligible for AFDC under a State''s July 16, 1996 plan and must also meet the PRWORA definition of "qualified alien" to be eligible for Federal foster care maintenance or adoption assistance (except that children receiving adoption assistance pursuant to agreements signed before August 22, 1996 may continue to receive such assistance).
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-99-01 (1/14/99)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - Titles IV-E; the Personal Responsibility Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PL 104-193); Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (PL 105-33)

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Question Number 5:
06/07/2013 - Current
Question*Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) eligibility requires the counting of a step-parent's income. Is this requirement applicable to title IV-E?
AnswerIf the State deems step-parent income available to the child pursuant to its July 16, 1996 AFDC State plan, step-parent income must be counted in determining title IV-E eligibility (45 CFR 233.30 (a)(3)(xiv)).
Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PIQ-85-07 (6/25/85) (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related References45 CFR 233.30

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02/19/2001 - 06/07/2013 (Original Record)
QuestionAid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) initial eligibility requires the counting of a step-parent's income. Is this requirement applicable to title IV-E?
AnswerIf the State deems step-parent income available to the child pursuant to its July 16, 1996 AFDC State plan, step-parent income must be counted in determining title IV-E eligibility (45 CFR 233.30 (a)(3)(xiv)).
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-85-07 (6/25/85)
Legal and Related References45 CFR 233.30

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Question Number 6:
06/07/2013 - Current
Question*Under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) regulations, certain work expense deductions and disregards are allowable in determining eligibility. In determining the amount of a child's earnings, is the AFDC budgeting procedure to be followed or are title IV-E agencies allowed to establish a separate set of budgeting procedures for title IV-E?
Answer*The AFDC regulations and procedures (45 CFR 233.20) are applicable in the title IV-E foster care maintenance payments program.
Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PIQ-85-07 (6/25/85) (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related References*45 CFR 233.20

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02/19/2001 - 06/07/2013 (Original Record)
QuestionUnder the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) regulations, certain work expense deductions and disregards are allowable in determining eligibility. In determining the amount of a child's earnings, is the AFDC budgeting procedure to be followed or are States allowed to establish a separate set of budgeting procedures for title IV-E?
AnswerThe AFDC regulations and procedures (45 CFR 233.20) are applicable in the title IV-E foster care maintenance payments program. In determining the eligibility of a child who is receiving foster care benefits under title IV-E, the amount of the child''s gross income should be applied to 185% of the need standard, and eligibility would continue in terms of need as long as his gross income did not exceed that point. However, in applying the 185% test when determining initial eligibility, the State has the option to disregard the earned income of a dependent child who is a full time student. Once the child is receiving payments under the title IV-E program, the earned income of the child who is a full time student is disregarded indefinitely (402 (a)(8)(A)(i) and 402 (a)(8)(A)(vii)).

If a portion of the child''s income is applied to the foster care maintenance cost, the State''s claim for Federal financial participation should include only its share of the amount paid for foster care that has not been offset by the child''s countable income.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-85-07 (6/25/85)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - 45 CFR 233.20

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Question Number 10:
06/13/2013 - Current
QuestionFor the purpose of determining a child's AFDC eligibility at the time of the child's removal from his or her home, the child must have been living with and removed from the home of a specified relative. Who is considered a "specified relative" for this purpose?
Answer*A specified relative is defined as any relation by blood, marriage or adoption who is within the fifth degree of kinship to the dependent child. This includes great-great-great grandparents and first cousins once removed (children of first cousins). Accordingly, for the purpose of determining title IV-E eligibility, any otherwise eligible child under age 18 who is removed from the home of a relative who is within the fifth degree of kinship to the child will be eligible for assistance under title IV-E. Also see Q7 in section 8.3A11 for the specified relative requirements for youth over age 18.
Source/DateACYF-CB-IM-92-04 (2/24/92) (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 406 (a) (as in effect on July 16, 1996); 45 CFR 233.90(c)(1)(v)

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06/07/2013 - 06/13/2013
QuestionFor the purpose of determining a child's AFDC eligibility at the time of the child's removal from his or her home, the child must have been living with and removed from the home of a specified relative. Who is considered a "specified relative" for this purpose?
Answer*A specified relative is defined as any relation by blood, marriage or adoption who is within the fifth degree of kinship to the dependent child. This includes great-great-great grandparents and first cousins once removed (children of first cousins). Accordingly, for the purpose of determining title IV-E eligibility, any otherwise eligible under age 18 child who is removed from the home of a relative who is within the fifth degree of kinship to the child will be eligible for assistance under title IV-E. Also see Q7 in section 8.3A11 for the specified relative requirements for youth over age 18.
Source/Date*ACYF-CB-IM-92-04 (2/24/92) (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 406 (a) (as in effect on July 16, 1996); 45 CFR 233.90(c)(1)(v)

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02/19/2001 - 06/07/2013 (Original Record)
QuestionFor the purpose of determining a child's AFDC eligibility at the time of the child's removal from his or her home, the child must have been living with and removed from the home of a specified relative. Who is considered a "specified relative" for this purpose?
AnswerA specified relative is defined as any relation by blood, marriage or adoption who is within the fifth degree of kinship to the dependent child. This includes great-great-great grandparents and first cousins once removed (children of first cousins). Accordingly, for the purpose of determining title IV-E eligibility, any otherwise eligible child who is removed from the home of a relative who is within the fifth degree of kinship to the child will be eligible for assistance under title IV-E.
Source/DateACYF-CB-IM-92-04 (2/24/92)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 406 (a) (as in effect on July 16, 1996); 45 CFR 233.90(c)(1)(v)

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Question Number 11:
06/07/2013 - Current
Question*How does the title IV-E agency determine need and deprivation to establish a child's eligibility for title IV-E adoption assistance?
Answer*If a child's eligibility for title IV-E adoption assistance is based upon his or her eligibility for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) as a dependent child, the title IV-E agency must determine that the child would have been AFDC-eligible in the home from which s/he was removed. To meet the AFDC criteria, the child must be both a needy child and a child who is deprived of parental support or whose principal wage earner parent is unemployed. Need exists in the child's home if the resources available to the family are below $10,000 and meets the income test (see section 8.4A Q/A #18 of the Child Welfare Policy Manual). Deprivation exists in the home in situations where there is death of a parent, an absent parent, or a parent with a mental or physical incapacity to the extent that the parent cannot support or care for the child. At the point of the removal of a child from his or her home, a termination of parental rights (TPR) alone is not proof that deprivation exists. The factors noted here must be established based on the circumstances in that home. If the child meets these AFDC criteria at removal, no further AFDC eligibility determination is needed for adoption assistance.
Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PA-01-01 (1/23/01); 7/17/2006 (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 473 (a)(2); section 8.4B Q/A #18 of the Child Welfare Policy Manual).

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07/20/2006 - 06/07/2013
QuestionHow does the State agency determine need and deprivation to establish a child's eligibility for title IV-E adoption assistance?
Answer*If a child''s eligibility for title IV-E adoption assistance is based upon his or her eligibility for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) as a dependent child, the State must determine that the child would have been AFDC-eligible in the home from which s/he was removed. To meet the AFDC criteria, the child must be both a needy child and a child who is deprived of parental support or whose principal wage earner parent is unemployed. Need exists in the child''s home if the resources available to the family are below $10,000 and meets the income test (see section 8.4B Q/A #18 of the Child Welfare Policy Manual). Deprivation exists in the home in situations where there is death of a parent, an absent parent, or a parent with a mental or physical incapacity to the extent that the parent cannot support or care for the child. At the point of the removal of a child from his or her home, a termination of parental rights (TPR) alone is not proof that deprivation exists. The factors noted here must be established based on the circumstances in that home. If the child meets these AFDC criteria at removal, no further AFDC eligibility determination is needed for adoption assistance.
Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PA-01-01 (1/23/01); 7/17/2006
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - section 473 (a)(2); section 8.4B Q/A #18 of the Child Welfare Policy Manual).

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02/19/2001 - 07/20/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionHow does the State agency determine need and deprivation to establish a child's eligibility for title IV-E adoption assistance?
AnswerIf a child''s eligibility for title IV-E adoption assistance is based upon his or her eligibility for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) as a dependent child, the State must determine that the child would have been AFDC-eligible in the home from which s/he was removed. To meet the AFDC criteria, the child must be both a needy child and a child who is deprived of parental support or whose principal wage earner parent is unemployed. Need exists in the child''s home if the resources available to the family are below $10,000. Deprivation exists in the home in situations where there is death of a parent, an absent parent, or a parent with a mental or physical incapacity to the extent that the parent cannot support or care for the child. At the point of the removal of a child from his or her home, a termination of parental rights (TPR) alone is not proof that deprivation exists. The factors noted here must be established based on the circumstances in that home.

In addition, the child must meet the need and deprivation requirements at the time of the adoption petition. Once a child is in foster care, need is based upon the resources available to the child. Hence, the resources available to the child must be below the $10,000 limit at the time of the adoption petition. After a child has been determined deprived in the home from which s/he is removed, a TPR can serve as proof of deprivation at the time of the petition.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PA-01-01 (1/23/01)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 472 (a) and 473 (a)(2)

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Question Number 12:
07/20/2006 - Current
Question*Pursuant to the provisions of the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999, Section 472(a) of the Social Security Act was amended to permit an increase in the value of resources allowable for title IV-E eligibility to $10,000. What is the effective date of this amendment?
Answer*The effective date of the amendment to section 472(a) of the Social Security Act (the Act) made by the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 is December 14, 1999. (Note: The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 located the resource value provision for the foster care program at section 472(a)(3)(B) and for the adoption assistance program at section 473(a)(2)(A)(i)(I)(bb) of the Act).
Source/Date*Questions and Answers on the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program; 7/17/2006
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - sections 472(a)(3)(B) and 473(a)(2)(A)(i)(I)(bb); The Foster Care Independence Act of 1999; the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005

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07/29/2001 - 07/20/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionPursuant to the provisions of the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999, Section 472 (a) of the Social Security Act was amended to permit an increase in the value of resources allowable for title IV-E eligibility to $10,000. What is the effective date of this amendment?
AnswerThe effective date is December 14, 1999.
Source/DateQuestions and Answers on the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 472(a)

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Question Number 13:
06/07/2013 - Current
Question*Should a title IV-E agency include Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) payments as unearned income when determining whether a child meets the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) requirements in effect on July 16, 1996 for title IV-E eligibility purposes?
AnswerNo. As the title IV-A program, TANF should not be counted as income in determining title IV-E eligibility.
Source/Date*06/09/04 (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSection 472 of the Social Security Act.

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07/14/2004 - 06/07/2013 (Original Record)
QuestionShould a State include Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) payments as unearned income when determining whether a child meets the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) requirements in effect on July 16, 1996 for title IV-E eligibility purposes?
AnswerNo. As the title IV-A program, TANF should not be counted as income in determining title IV-E eligibility.
Source/Date06/09/04
Legal and Related ReferencesSection 472 of the Social Security Act.

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Question Number 14:
11/29/2004 - Current
QuestionWhat is the definition of unemployed parent for purposes of completing the AFDC portion of a title IV-E eligibility determination?
Answer*The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) amended the definition of unemployed parent at 45 CFR 233.101(a)(1) in 1998 in response to the replacement of the former AFDC program with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Each State was required to establish a reasonable standard for measuring unemployment in order to determine whether an individual qualified for benefits under TANF or Medicaid and whether a child met the AFDC portion of title IV-E eligibility. The amended regulation specifically permits States to consider hours of work, dollar amounts earned, and family size in establishing the reasonable standard of unemployment.
Source/Date6/23/03
Legal and Related ReferencesPublic Law 104-193; 45 CFR 233.101(a)(1); 63 FR 42270-42275, August 7, 1998.

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08/11/2004 - 11/29/2004 (Original Record)
QuestionWhat is the definition of unemployed parent for purposes of completing the AFDC portion of a title IV-E eligibility determination?
AnswerThe Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) amended the definition of ?unemployed parent? at 45 CFR 233.101(a)(1) in 1998 in response to the replacement of the former AFDC program with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Each State was required to establish a ?reasonable standard? for measuring unemployment in order to determine whether an individual qualified for benefits under TANF or Medicaid and whether a child met the AFDC portion of title IV-E eligibility. The amended regulation specifically permits States to consider hours of work, dollar amounts earned, and family size in establishing the reasonable standard of unemployment.
Source/Date6/23/03
Legal and Related ReferencesPublic Law 104-193; 45 CFR 233.101(a)(1); 63 FR 42270-42275, August 7, 1998.

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Question Number 15:
06/07/2013 - Current
QuestionHow is the $10,000 resource limit to be applied in determining eligibility for title IV-E?
Answer*The Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 amended section 472(a) of the Social Security Act to authorize an increase in the value of resources allowable for title IV-E eligibility to $10,000. The $10,000 resource limit applies to the resources of the child and family for the purposes of determining AFDC/title IV-E eligibility. A State may not opt to set the combined value of resources at less than $10,000. (Note: The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 located the resource value provision for the foster care program at section 472(a)(3)(B) and for the adoption assistance program at section 473(a)(2)(A)(i)(I)(aa)(BB) of the Social Security Act).
Source/Date*7/6/05; 7/17/2006 (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act -- Sections 472(a)(3) and 473(a)(2)(A)(i)(I)(aa)(BB); The Foster Care Independence Act of 1999; The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005

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07/20/2006 - 06/07/2013
QuestionHow is the $10,000 resource limit to be applied in determining eligibility for title IV-E?
Answer*The Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 amended section 472(a) of the Social Security Act to authorize an increase in the value of resources allowable for title IV-E eligibility to $10,000. The $10,000 resource limit applies to the resources of the child and family for the purposes of determining initial AFDC/title IV-E eligibility and to the child only for ongoing title IV-E foster care eligibility. A State may not opt to set the combined value of resources at less than $10,000. (Note: The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 located the resource value provision for the foster care program at section 472(a)(3)(B) and for the adoption assistance program at section 473(a)(2)(A)(i)(I)(bb) of the Social Security Act).
Source/Date*7/6/05; 7/17/2006
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act -- Sections 472(a)(3) and 473(a)(2)(A)(i)(I)(bb); The Foster Care Independence Act of 1999; The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005

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07/12/2005 - 07/20/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionHow is the $10,000 resource limit to be applied in determining eligibility for title IV-E?
AnswerSection 111 of P.L. 106-169 amended section 472(a) of the Social Security Act to authorize an increase in the value of resources allowable for title IV-E eligibility to $10,000. The $10,000 resource limit applies to the resources of the child and family for the purposes of determining initial AFDC/title IV-E eligibility and to the child only for ongoing eligibility. A State may not opt to set the combined value of resources at less than $10,000.
Source/Date7/6/05
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act -- Section 472(a)

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Question Number 17:
06/07/2013 - Current
Question*May a title IV-E agency determine a child's title IV-E eligibility based on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program instead of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) Program?
Answer*No. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) retained the connection between the title IV-E program and the AFDC program and established an AFDC "look-back date" of

July 16, 1996. As such, TANF eligibility may not be substituted for an AFDC eligibility determination. States must use the title IV-A State plan that was in effect on July 16, 1996, to determine a child's AFDC eligibility. Tribal title IV-E agencies must use the title IV-A State plan that was in effect on July 16, 1996, in the State in which the child resides at the time of removal from the home to determine a child's AFDC eligibility.

Source/Date*September 29, 2005 (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesPersonal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (P.L.104-193)

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10/20/2005 - 06/07/2013 (Original Record)
QuestionMay a State determine a child's title IV-E eligibility based on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program instead of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) Program?
AnswerNo. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) retained the connection between the title IV-E program and the AFDC program and established an AFDC "look-back date" of

July 16, 1996. As such, TANF eligibility may not be substituted for an AFDC eligibility determination. States must use the title IV-A State plan that was in effect on July 16, 1996, to determine a child?s AFDC eligibility.

Source/DateSeptember 29, 2005
Legal and Related ReferencesPersonal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (P.L.104-193)

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Question Number 18:
06/07/2013 - Current
QuestionQuestion: One of the title IV-E eligibility requirements under section 472(a) of the Social Security Act (Act) is that a child must have been eligible for the former Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program. As such, the title IV-E agency must determine that the child is a dependent child based on the State title IV-A plan in effect as of July 16, 1996. What process must agencies use to determine whether a child is a "needy child" under the former AFDC program, as described in former section 406(a) of the Act?
Answer*The AFDC program required that a child meet eligibility requirements related to both financial need (i.e., a "needy child") and deprivation of parental support. In response to the specific question, this answer addresses only the requirements for establishing that a child meets the requirements related to financial need under AFDC.

For AFDC eligibility determinations, the title IV-E agency must apply the former AFDC program's two-step income test to establish whether a child would have been considered a "needy child" under the State's title IV-A plan in effect on July 16, 1996. In addition to the income test, the agency must apply a test of resources. Both the two-step income and resources tests must be applied, in accordance with 45 CFR 233.20. 1

Prior to the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, each State set its own AFDC need standard to use in determining eligibility for the program. The term "AFDC need standard" refers to the amount of money a State determined that a particular size family needed to subsist. For title IV-E purposes, the State's need standard as of July 16, 1996, (disregarding any Section 1115(a) waivers that may have been in effect on that date) is the amount that provides the basis for both steps in the income test portion of the AFDC eligibility determination process.

The two-step income test to determine financial need under AFDC to be conducted in accord with Federal requirements and the State plan as in effect on July 16, 1996, is as follows (see 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(xiii) and 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(ii)(F)):

Step One of the Income Test-Gross Income Limitation: The title IV-E agency determines if the family's gross income is less than 185 percent of the State's AFDC need standard, after applying appropriate disregards. 2 If the family's gross income is more than 185 percent of the State's AFDC need standard, the child would have been ineligible for the program and, thus, is not eligible for title IV-E. If the family's gross income does not exceed 185 percent of the State's AFDC need standard, the title IV-E agency proceeds to the second step to continue the process of determining if a child is a needy child and would have been eligible for AFDC.

Step Two of the Income Test-Determination of Need: For this second step, the title IV-E agency compares the family's income, after applying further appropriate disregards, to 100 percent of the State's AFDC need standard, the same need standard used in step one. If the family's income is in excess of 100 percent of the State's need standard, the child would not have been eligible for AFDC and, thus, is not eligible for title IV-E. If the family's income does not exceed 100 percent of the need standard, the child would have met the AFDC income test for eligibility.

In addition to applying the two-step income test to determine if a child would have been considered a "needy child" under AFDC, the title IV-E agency must determine whether the child's family has resources under $10,000 in value, after appropriate disregards.3 Both the income and resources tests must be applied to the child and family in the removal home to determine eligibility for AFDC.

Once the child has been determined to be eligible for AFDC, the child remains eligible for AFDC as long as the court order that sanctioned the child?s removal from the home remains in effect.

1 The two-step process has been in place since 1981. See the 1994 Green Book, 14th Edition, July 15, 1994, Section 10 for more details on the two-step process.

2 The gross income limitation -the first step of the process- was increased from 150 percent to 185 percent of the need standard by the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 (Public Law 98-369) and implemented through regulation at 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(xiii).

3 Public Law 106-169 increased the resource limit to $10,000. See the Child Welfare Policy Manual at 8.4A #15 for more information.

Source/Date*April 6, 2010 (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act ┐ Section 472(a), Sections 406(a) and 407 (as in effect on July 16, 1996); 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(xiii); 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(ii)(F); 45 CFR 233.20(a)(2); 45 CFR 233.20(a)(2)(v)

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04/27/2010 - 06/07/2013
Question*Question: One of the title IV-E eligibility requirements under section 472(a) of the Social Security Act (Act) is that a child must have been eligible for the former Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program. As such, the title IV-E agency must determine that the child is a dependent child based on the State title IV-A plan in effect as of July 16, 1996. What process must agencies use to determine whether a child is a "needy child" under the former AFDC program, as described in former section 406(a) of the Act?
Answer*The AFDC program required that a child meet eligibility requirements related to both financial need (i.e., a "needy child") and deprivation of parental support. In response to the specific question, this answer addresses only the requirements for establishing that a child meets the requirements related to financial need under AFDC.

For initial eligibility determinations, the title IV-E agency must apply the former AFDC program''s two-step income test to establish whether a child would have been considered a "needy child" under the State''s title IV-A plan in effect on July 16, 1996. In addition to the income test, the agency must apply a test of resources. Both the two-step income and resources tests must be applied, in accordance with 45 CFR 233.20. 1

Prior to the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, each State set its own AFDC need standard to use in determining eligibility for the program. The term "AFDC need standard" refers to the amount of money a State determined that a particular size family needed to subsist. For title IV-E purposes, the State''s need standard as of July 16, 1996, (disregarding any Section 1115(a) waivers that may have been in effect on that date) is the amount that provides the basis for both steps in the initial income test portion of the AFDC eligibility determination process.

The two-step income test to determine financial need under AFDC to be conducted in accord with Federal requirements and the State plan as in effect on July 16, 1996, is as follows (see 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(xiii) and 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(ii)(F)):

Step One of the Income Test-Gross Income Limitation: The agency determines if the family''s gross income is less than 185 percent of the State''s AFDC need standard, after applying appropriate disregards. 2 If the family''s gross income is more than 185 percent of the State''s AFDC need standard, the child would have been ineligible for the program and, thus, is not eligible for title IV-E. If the family''s gross income does not exceed 185 percent of the State''s AFDC need standard, the agency proceeds to the second step to continue the process of determining if a child is a needy child and would have been eligible for AFDC.

Step Two of the Income Test-Determination of Need: For this second step, the agency compares the family''s income, after applying further appropriate disregards, to 100 percent of the State''s AFDC need standard, the same need standard used in step one. If the family''s income is in excess of 100 percent of the State''s need standard, the child would not have been eligible for AFDC and, thus, is not eligible for title IV-E. If the family''s income does not exceed 100 percent of the need standard, the child would have met the AFDC income test for eligibility.

In addition to applying the two-step income test to determine if a child would have been considered a "needy child" under AFDC, the agency must determine whether the child''s family has resources under $10,000 in value, after appropriate disregards.3 Both the income and resources tests must be applied to the child and family in the removal home to determine initial eligibility for AFDC.

Once the child has been determined to be eligible for AFDC, the child remains eligible for AFDC as long as the court order that sanctioned the child?s removal from the home remains in effect.

1 The two-step process has been in place since 1981. See the 1994 Green Book, 14th Edition, July 15, 1994, Section 10 for more details on the two-step process.

2 The gross income limitation -the first step of the process- was increased from 150 percent to 185 percent of the need standard by the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 (Public Law 98-369) and implemented through regulation at 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(xiii).

3 Public Law 106-169 increased the resource limit to $10,000. See the Child Welfare Policy Manual at 8.4A #15 for more information.

Source/Date*April 6, 2010
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act ┐ Section 472(a), Sections 406(a) and 407 (as in effect on July 16, 1996); 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(xiii); 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(ii)(F); 45 CFR 233.20(a)(2); 45 CFR 233.20(a)(2)(v)

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04/05/2006 - 04/05/2006
QuestionOne of the title IV-E eligibility requirements under section 472(a) of the Social Security Act (Act) is that a child must have been eligible for the former Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program. As such, the State must determine that the child is a dependent child based on the State title IV-A plan in effect as of July 16, 1996. What process must States use to determine whether a child is a "needy child" under the former AFDC program, as described in former section 406(a) of the Act?
Answer*The AFDC program required that a child meet eligibility requirements related to both financial need (i.e., a ?needy child") and deprivation of parental support. In response to the specific question, this answer addresses only the requirements for establishing that a child meets the requirements related to financial need under AFDC.

For initial eligibility determinations, the State must apply the former AFDC program''s two-step income test to establish whether a child would have been considered a "needy child" under the State''s title IV-A plan in effect on July 16, 1996. In addition to the income test, the State must apply a test of resources. Both the two-step income and resources tests must be applied, in accordance with 45 CFR 233.20. 1

Prior to the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, each State set its own AFDC need standard to use in determining eligibility for the program. The term "AFDC need standard" refers to the amount of money a State determined that a particular size family needed to subsist. For title IV-E purposes, the State''s need standard as of July 16, 1996, (disregarding any Section 1115(a) waivers that may have been in effect on that date) is the amount that provides the basis for both steps in the initial income test portion of the AFDC eligibility determination process.

The two-step income test to determine financial need under AFDC to be conducted in accord with Federal requirements and the State plan as in effect on July 16, 1996, is as follows (see 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(xiii) and 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(ii)(F)):

Step One of the Income Test-Gross Income Limitation: The State determines if the family''s gross income is less than 185 percent of the State''s AFDC need standard, after applying appropriate disregards. 2 If the family''s gross income is more than 185 percent of the State''s AFDC need standard, the child would have been ineligible for the program and, thus, is not eligible for title IV-E. If the family''s gross income does not exceed 185 percent of the State''s AFDC need standard, the State proceeds to the second step to continue the process of determining if a child is a needy child and would have been eligible for AFDC.

Step Two of the Income Test-Determination of Need: For this second step, the State compares the family''s income, after applying further appropriate disregards, to 100 percent of the State''s AFDC need standard, the same need standard used in step one. If the family''s income is in excess of 100 percent of the State''s need standard, the child would not have been eligible for AFDC and, thus, is not eligible for title IV-E. If the family''s income does not exceed 100 percent of the need standard, the child would have met the AFDC income test for eligibility.

In addition to applying the two-step income test to determine if a child would have been considered a "needy child" under AFDC, the State must determine whether the child''s family has resources under $10,000 in value, after appropriate disregards.3 Both the income and resources tests must be applied to the child and family in the removal home to determine initial eligibility for AFDC.

Redeterminations of title IV-E eligibility:

Under AFDC, the two-step income test also applied to eligibility redeterminations. Since the 1980s, however, ACF has had policies in place that allow a State to use a slightly different process to redetermine a child''s AFDC eligibility for the purpose of title IV-E. As stated in the Child Welfare Policy Manual at 8.4A #6, a State may choose to apply only the gross income limitation, which compares the child''s income against 185 percent of the need standard. A State also may substitute a child''s foster care need standard (formerly known as the "foster care payment rate") for the AFDC need standard when redetermining a child''s eligibility. This policy remains in effect. Regardless of the income test the State applies, the $10,000 resources test also must be applied to redetermine a child''s eligibility.

Under the AFDC foster care program, before the creation of title IV-E, a State used a child''s foster care rate (referred to as the foster care need standard) as the need standard for redetermining the child''s eligibility, rather than using the AFDC need standard. When AFDC was replaced by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program in 1996, ACF issued policy (PIQ 96-01, Question #2) directing States to use the AFDC need standard for eligibility determinations, but did not explicitly prohibit the use of a child''s foster care need standard for making redeterminations. Accordingly, States may use either the child''s foster care need standard or the AFDC need standard for making redeterminations unless the Department issues a regulation that directs them otherwise.

1 The two-step process has been in place since 1981. See the 1994 Green Book, 14th Edition, July 15, 1994, Section 10 for more details on the two-step process.

2 The gross income limitation -the first step of the process- was increased from 150 percent to 185 percent of the need standard by the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 (Public Law 98-369) and implemented through regulation at 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(xiii).

3 Public Law 106-169 increased the resource limit to $10,000. See the Child Welfare Policy Manual at 8.4A #15 for more information.

Source/DateMarch 16, 2006
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act ┐ Section 472(a), Sections 406(a) and 407 (as in effect on July 16, 1996); 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(xiii); 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(ii)(F); 45 CFR 233.20(a)(2); 45 CFR 233.20(a)(2)(v)

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04/05/2006 - 04/05/2006
QuestionOne of the title IV-E eligibility requirements under section 472(a) of the Social Security Act (Act) is that a child must have been eligible for the former Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program. As such, the State must determine that the child is a dependent child based on the State title IV-A plan in effect as of July 16, 1996. What process must States use to determine whether a child is a "needy child" under the former AFDC program, as described in former section 406(a) of the Act?
Answer*The AFDC program required that a child meet eligibility requirements related to both financial need (i.e., a ?needy child") and deprivation of parental support. In response to the specific question, this answer addresses only the requirements for establishing that a child meets the requirements related to financial need under AFDC.

For initial eligibility determinations, the State must apply the former AFDC program?s two-step income test to establish whether a child would have been considered a "needy child" under the State?s title IV-A plan in effect on July 16, 1996. In addition to the income test, the State must apply a test of resources. Both the two-step income and resources tests must be applied, in accordance with 45 CFR 233.20. 1

Prior to the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, each State set its own AFDC need standard to use in determining eligibility for the program. The term ?AFDC need standard? refers to the amount of money a State determined that a particular size family needed to subsist. For title IV-E purposes, the State?s need standard as of July 16, 1996, (disregarding any Section 1115(a) waivers that may have been in effect on that date) is the amount that provides the basis for both steps in the initial income test portion of the AFDC eligibility determination process.

The two-step income test to determine financial need under AFDC to be conducted in accord with Federal requirements and the State plan as in effect on July 16, 1996, is as follows (see 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(xiii) and 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(ii)(F)):

Step One of the Income Test?Gross Income Limitation: The State determines if the family''s gross income is less than 185 percent of the State''s AFDC need standard, after applying appropriate disregards. 2 If the family''s gross income is more than 185 percent of the State''s AFDC need standard, the child would have been ineligible for the program and, thus, is not eligible for title IV-E. If the family''s gross income does not exceed 185 percent of the State''s AFDC need standard, the State proceeds to the second step to continue the process of determining if a child is a needy child and would have been eligible for AFDC.

Step Two of the Income Test?Determination of Need: For this second step, the State compares the family''s income, after applying further appropriate disregards, to 100 percent of the State''s AFDC need standard, the same need standard used in step one. If the family''s income is in excess of 100 percent of the State''s need standard, the child would not have been eligible for AFDC and, thus, is not eligible for title IV-E. If the family''s income does not exceed 100 percent of the need standard, the child would have met the AFDC income test for eligibility.

In addition to applying the two-step income test to determine if a child would have been considered a "needy child" under AFDC, the State must determine whether the child?s family has resources under $10,000 in value, after appropriate disregards.3 Both the income and resources tests must be applied to the child and family in the removal home to determine initial eligibility for AFDC.

Redeterminations of title IV-E eligibility:

Under AFDC, the two-step income test also applied to eligibility redeterminations. Since the 1980s, however, ACF has had policies in place that allow a State to use a slightly different process to redetermine a child''s AFDC eligibility for the purpose of title IV-E. As stated in the Child Welfare Policy Manual at 8.4A #6, a State may choose to apply only the gross income limitation, which compares the child''s income against 185 percent of the need standard. A State also may substitute a child?s foster care need standard (formerly known as the "foster care payment rate") for the AFDC need standard when redetermining a child''s eligibility. This policy remains in effect. Regardless of the income test the State applies, the $10,000 resources test also must be applied to redetermine a child''s eligibility.

Under the AFDC foster care program, before the creation of title IV-E, a State used a child?s foster care rate (referred to as the foster care need standard) as the need standard for redetermining the child''s eligibility, rather than using the AFDC need standard. When AFDC was replaced by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program in 1996, ACF issued policy (PIQ 96-01, Question #2) directing States to use the AFDC need standard for eligibility determinations, but did not explicitly prohibit the use of a child''s foster care need standard for making redeterminations. Accordingly, States may use either the child''s foster care need standard or the AFDC need standard for making redeterminations unless the Department issues a regulation that directs them otherwise.

1The two-step process has been in place since 1981. See the 1994 Green Book, 14th Edition, July 15, 1994, Section 10 for more details on the two-step process.

2The gross income limitation?the first step of the process?was increased from 150 percent to 185 percent of the need standard by the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 (Public Law 98-369) and implemented through regulation at 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(xiii).

3Public Law 106-169 increased the resource limit to $10,000. See the Child Welfare Policy Manual at 8.4A #15 for more information.

Source/DateMarch 16, 2006
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act ┐ Section 472(a), Sections 406(a) and 407 (as in effect on July 16, 1996); 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(xiii); 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(ii)(F); 45 CFR 233.20(a)(2); 45 CFR 233.20(a)(2)(v)

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04/05/2006 - 04/05/2006
QuestionOne of the title IV-E eligibility requirements under section 472(a) of the Social Security Act (Act) is that a child must have been eligible for the former Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program. As such, the State must determine that the child is a dependent child based on the State title IV-A plan in effect as of July 16, 1996. What process must States use to determine whether a child is a "needy child" under the former AFDC program, as described in former section 406(a) of the Act?
Answer*The AFDC program required that a child meet eligibility requirements related to both financial need (i.e., a ?needy child") and deprivation of parental support. In response to the specific question, this answer addresses only the requirements for establishing that a child meets the requirements related to financial need under AFDC.

For initial eligibility determinations, the State must apply the former AFDC program?s two-step income test to establish whether a child would have been considered a "needy child" under the State?s title IV-A plan in effect on July 16, 1996. In addition to the income test, the State must apply a test of resources. Both the two-step income and resources tests must be applied, in accordance with 45 CFR 233.20. 1

Prior to the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, each State set its own AFDC need standard to use in determining eligibility for the program. The term ?AFDC need standard? refers to the amount of money a State determined that a particular size family needed to subsist. For title IV-E purposes, the State?s need standard as of July 16, 1996, (disregarding any Section 1115(a) waivers that may have been in effect on that date) is the amount that provides the basis for both steps in the initial income test portion of the AFDC eligibility determination process.

The two-step income test to determine financial need under AFDC to be conducted in accord with Federal requirements and the State plan as in effect on July 16, 1996, is as follows (see 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(xiii) and 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(ii)(F)):

Step One of the Income Test?Gross Income Limitation: The State determines if the family''s gross income is less than 185 percent of the State''s AFDC need standard, after applying appropriate disregards. If the family''s gross income is more than 185 percent of the State''s AFDC need standard, the child would have been ineligible for the program and, thus, is not eligible for title IV-E. If the family''s gross income does not exceed 185 percent of the State''s AFDC need standard, the State proceeds to the second step to continue the process of determining if a child is a needy child and would have been eligible for AFDC.

Step Two of the Income Test?Determination of Need: For this second step, the State compares the family''s income, after applying further appropriate disregards, to 100 percent of the State''s AFDC need standard, the same need standard used in step one. If the family''s income is in excess of 100 percent of the State''s need standard, the child would not have been eligible for AFDC and, thus, is not eligible for title IV-E. If the family''s income does not exceed 100 percent of the need standard, the child would have met the AFDC income test for eligibility.

Source/DateMarch 16, 2006
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act ┐ Section 472(a), Sections 406(a) and 407 (as in effect on July 16, 1996); 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(xiii); 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(ii)(F); 45 CFR 233.20(a)(2); 45 CFR 233.20(a)(2)(v)

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04/05/2006 - 04/05/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionOne of the title IV-E eligibility requirements under section 472(a) of the Social Security Act (Act) is that a child must have been eligible for the former Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program. As such, the State must determine that the child is a dependent child based on the State title IV-A plan in effect as of July 16, 1996. What process must States use to determine whether a child is a "needy child" under the former AFDC program, as described in former section 406(a) of the Act?
AnswerThe AFDC program required that a child meet eligibility requirements related to both financial need (i.e., a ?needy child") and deprivation of parental support. In response to the specific question, this answer addresses only the requirements for establishing that a child meets the requirements related to financial need under AFDC.

For initial eligibility determinations, the State must apply the former AFDC program?s two-step income test to establish whether a child would have been considered a "needy child" under the State?s title IV-A plan in effect on July 16, 1996. In addition to the income test, the State must apply a test of resources. Both the two-step income and resources tests must be applied, in accordance with 45 CFR 233.20. 1

Prior to the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, each State set its own AFDC need standard to use in determining eligibility for the program. The term ?AFDC need standard? refers to the amount of money a State determined that a particular size family needed to subsist. For title IV-E purposes, the State?s need standard as of July 16, 1996, (disregarding any Section 1115(a) waivers that may have been in effect on that date) is the amount that provides the basis for both steps in the initial income test portion of the AFDC eligibility determination process.

The two-step income test to determine financial need under AFDC to be conducted in accord with Federal requirements and the State plan as in effect on July 16, 1996, is as follows (see 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(xiii) and 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(ii)(F)):

Source/DateMarch 16, 2006
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act ┐ Section 472(a), Sections 406(a) and 407 (as in effect on July 16, 1996); 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(xiii); 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)(ii)(F); 45 CFR 233.20(a)(2); 45 CFR 233.20(a)(2)(v)

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Question Number 19:
06/07/2013 - Current
Question*How does a title IV-E agency determine title IV-E eligibility for an abandoned child whose parents are unknown?
Answer*It is unlikely that a title IV-E agency would be able to determine title IV-E eligibility for an abandoned child whose parents are unknown. This situation differs from one in which a parent leaves a child with a friend or relative and is unreachable, but the identity of the parent is known. In either scenario, all of the title IV-E eligibility requirements must be met for a child on whose behalf title IV-E foster care or adoption assistance is claimed. This includes the requirement that the child meet the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) eligibility requirements as outlined at section 472(a)(3) and 473(a)(2)(A)(i)(I)(aa)(BB) of the Social Security Act. As such, the title IV-E agency must be able to establish and verify financial need and deprivation of parental support based on the home from which the child was removed. Determining a child's financial need requires a title IV-E agency to examine the parents' income and resources. In the case in which the identity of the parents is unknown, including when a child has been abandoned, the title IV-E agency will not have any financial information on which to make an AFDC eligibility determination. A title IV-E agency must document that a child meets all AFDC eligibility requirements; a title IV-E agency cannot presume that a child would meet the eligibility requirements simply because the child has been abandoned.
Source/Date*April 6, 2006 (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - sections 472(a)(3), 473(a)(2) and 479B(b)

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04/17/2006 - 06/07/2013 (Original Record)
QuestionHow does a State determine title IV-E eligibility for an abandoned child whose parents are unknown?
AnswerIt is unlikely that a State would be able to determine title IV-E eligibility for an abandoned child whose parents are unknown. This situation differs from one in which a parent leaves a child with a friend or relative and is unreachable, but the identity of the parent is known. In either scenario, all of the title IV-E eligibility requirements must be met for a child on whose behalf title IV-E foster care or adoption assistance is claimed. This includes the requirement that the child meet the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) eligibility requirements as outlined at section 472(a)(3) and 473(a)(2) of the Social Security Act. As such, the State must be able to establish and verify financial need and deprivation of parental support based on the home from which the child was removed. Determining a child''s financial need requires a State to examine the parents'' income and resources. In the case in which the identity of the parents is unknown, including when a child has been abandoned, the State will not have any financial information on which to make an AFDC eligibility determination. A State must document that a child meets all AFDC eligibility requirements; a State cannot presume that a child would meet the eligibility requirements simply because the child has been abandoned.
Source/DateApril 6, 2006
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 472(a)(3) and 473(a)(2)

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Question Number 20:
06/07/2013 - Current
Question*If a child is removed from a specified relative who is the child's legal guardian, must the title IV-E agency determine whether the child meets the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) criteria of deprivation based on the legal guardian or the parent?
Answer*A determination of deprivation is always made in relation to the child's parent for AFDC eligibility purposes. Under no circumstances does the title IV-E agency look to the legal guardian to determine deprivation. Consistent with the provision in 45 CFR 233.90(c)(1)(i), "[t]he determination whether a child has been deprived of parental support or care is made in relation to the child's natural parent or, as appropriate, the adoptive parent or stepparent described in paragraph (a) of this section." Even when parental rights have been terminated and the child is removed from a relative legal guardian, the title IV-E agency must look to the situation of the parents to determine deprivation. When determining deprivation with respect to a child who is living with a relative legal guardian, a positive determination regarding deprivation can be made based upon the fact that the child is deprived of parental support due to continued absence. Although deprivation must be based on the child?s parent, this does not alter the requirement to determine whether the child would have met the AFDC criteria of financial need while living in the home of the specified relative from whom the child was removed (section 472(a)(3) of the Social Security Act and 45 CFR 1356.21(l)).
Source/Date*04/24/07 (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - sections 472(a)(3) and 479B(c)(1)(C)(ii)(II); 45 CFR 233.90(c)(1)(i) and 1356.21(l)

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04/24/2007 - 06/07/2013 (Original Record)
QuestionIf a child is removed from a specified relative who is the child's legal guardian, must the State determine whether the child meets the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) criteria of deprivation based on the legal guardian or the parent?
AnswerA determination of deprivation is always made in relation to the child''s parent for AFDC eligibility purposes. Under no circumstances does the State look to the legal guardian to determine deprivation. Consistent with the provision in 45 CFR 233.90(c)(1)(i), "[t]he determination whether a child has been deprived of parental support or care is made in relation to the child''s natural parent or, as appropriate, the adoptive parent or stepparent described in paragraph (a) of this section." Even when parental rights have been terminated and the child is removed from a relative legal guardian, the State must look to the situation of the parents to determine deprivation. When determining deprivation with respect to a child who is living with a relative legal guardian, a positive determination regarding deprivation can be made based upon the fact that the child is deprived of parental support due to continued absence. Although deprivation must be based on the child?s parent, this does not alter the requirement to determine whether the child would have met the AFDC criteria of financial need while living in the home of the specified relative from whom the child was removed (section 472(a)(3) of the Social Security Act and 45 CFR 1356.21(l)).
Source/Date04/24/07
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 472(a)(3); 45 CFR 233.90(c)(1)(i) and 1356.21(l)

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Question Number 21:
06/07/2013 - Current
Question*In determining a child's Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) eligibility, should the title IV-E agency look to the household circumstances at the time of the child's removal or should the title IV-E agency look at the whole month of the removal petition or voluntary placement agreement to determine deprivation and/or income? For example, can a child's deprivation be based on circumstances that occur in the month of removal, but after the child┐s removal from the home?
Answer*AFDC eligibility criteria, including deprivation, must be met in the month of, but prior to, the child's removal from the home. The title IV-E agency may not establish the child's deprivation based on household circumstances that occur after a child's removal. This is based on section 472(a)(1)(B) of the Social Security Act (the Act) which specifies that "the child, while in the home [emphasis added], would have met the AFDC eligibility requirement of [section 472(a)(3) of the Act]."
Source/Date*04/26/07 (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act ┐ sections 472(a)(1)(B) and 472(a)(3)

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04/27/2007 - 06/07/2013 (Original Record)
QuestionIn determining a child's Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) eligibility, should the State look to the household circumstances at the time of the child's removal or should the State look at the whole month of the removal petition or voluntary placement agreement to determine deprivation and/or income? For example, can a child's deprivation be based on circumstances that occur in the month of removal, but after the child┐s removal from the home?
AnswerAFDC eligibility criteria, including deprivation, must be met in the month of, but prior to, the child''s removal from the home. The State may not establish the child''s deprivation based on household circumstances that occur after a child''s removal. This is based on section 472(a)(1)(B) of the Social Security Act (the Act) which specifies that "the child, while in the home [emphasis added], would have met the AFDC eligibility requirement of [section 472(a)(3) of the Act]."
Source/Date04/26/07
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act ┐ sections 472(a)(1)(B) and 472(a)(3)

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Question Number 23:
06/13/2013 - Current
QuestionHow should the title IV-E agency determine financial need for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program eligibility purposes when the child is removed from a specified relative other than a parent? Must the title IV-E agency consider the relative's income and resources?
Answer*If a child is removed from the non-parental specified relative through a contrary to the welfare judicial determination, or a valid voluntary placement agreement, the title IV-E agency determines financial need based on the financial situation of the child only. However, if the State's July 16, 1996 AFDC State plan required the title IV-E agency to consider non-parental relative income or resources, then the title IV-E agency must consider the relative's income and resources.
Source/Date12/31/07 (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related References45 CFR 233.20

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06/07/2013 - 06/13/2013
Question*How should the title IV-E agency determine financial need for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program eligibility purposes when the child is removed from a specified relative other than a parent? Must the title IV-E agency consider the relative's income and resources?
Answer*If a child is removed from the non-parental specified relative through a contrary to the welfare judicial determination, or a valid voluntary placement agreement, the title IV-E agency determines financial need based on the financial situation of the child only. However, if the State''s July 16, 1996 AFDC State plan required the title IV-E agency to consider non-parental relative income or resources, then the State must consider the relative''s income and resources.
Source/Date*12/31/07 (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related References45 CFR 233.20

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12/31/2007 - 06/07/2013 (Original Record)
QuestionHow should the State determine financial need for initial Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program eligibility purposes when the child is removed from a specified relative other than a parent? Must the State consider the relative's income and resources?
AnswerIf a child is removed from the non-parental specified relative through a contrary to the welfare judicial determination, or a valid voluntary placement agreement, the State determines financial need based on the financial situation of the child only. However, if the State''s July 16, 1996 AFDC State plan required the State to consider non-parental relative income or resources, then the State must consider the relative''s income and resources.
Source/Date12/31/07
Legal and Related References45 CFR 233.20

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8.1G TITLE IV-E, Administrative Functions/Costs, Title IV-E Agreements

Question Number 1:
07/24/2006 - Current
QuestionMay a court be considered a "public agency" for purposes of entering into a title IV-E agreement, or does "public agency" refer only to the executive branch of State government? Is separation of powers an issue here?
Answer*There is no statutory prohibition on agreements between the public agency administering the title IV-E foster care program and the court. However, legislative and program history do not provide precedent for agreements whose only purpose is to transfer the decision-making authority for placement and care from the title IV-E administering agency to the court or its affiliated citizen review panel. Rather, discussion of such agreements in the 1963 Handbook of Public Assistance Administration describes "another public agency" as a child placing agency authorized by State law to operate a program of services to children and families, with supervision by the agency administering the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program. Current ACF policy sustains this position.

Therefore, the requirements of section 472 (a)(2)(B) of the Social Security Act may be met through an agreement with a public agency (including a court) which is authorized under State law to operate as a child placing agency, and, if so authorized, is operating a child placing agency. The agreement, properly written, should be binding on both parties and should permit the State agency to have access to case records, reports or other informational materials as needed to monitor title IV-E compliance. The State must maintain a supervisory role in relation to all title IV-E eligible children and would need to monitor the provisions required under title IV-E.

However, if a court is not authorized under State law to operate and is not operating as a child placing agency, the court could not be considered "another public agency" with responsibility for placement and care of otherwise eligible children for purposes of section 472 (a)(2)(B).

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-85-02 (3/13/85)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - section 472 (a)(2)(B); Handbook of Public Assistance Administration, Part IV, Department of Health, Education and Welfare 7/24/63

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08/14/2000 - 07/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionMay a court be considered a "public agency" for purposes of entering into a title IV-E agreement, or does "public agency" refer only to the executive branch of State government? Is separation of powers an issue here?
AnswerThere is no statutory prohibition on agreements between the public agency administering the title IV-E foster care program and the court. However, legislative and program history do not provide precedent for agreements whose only purpose is to transfer the decision-making authority for placement and care from the title IV-E administering agency to the court or its affiliated citizen review panel. Rather, discussion of such agreements in the 1963 Handbook of Public Assistance Administration describes "another public agency" as a child placing agency authorized by State law to operate a program of services to children and families, with supervision by the agency administering the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program. Current ACF policy sustains this position.

Therefore, the requirements of section 472 (a)(2) of the Social Security Act may be met through an agreement with a public agency (including a court) which is authorized under State law to operate as a child placing agency, and, if so authorized, is operating a child placing agency. The agreement, properly written, should be binding on both parties and should permit the State agency to have access to case records, reports or other informational materials as needed to monitor title IV-E compliance. The State must maintain a supervisory role in relation to all title IV-E eligible children and would need to monitor the provisions required under title IV-E.

However, if a court is not authorized under State law to operate and is not operating as a child placing agency, the court could not be considered "another public agency" with responsibility for placement and care of otherwise eligible children for purposes of section 472 (a)(2).

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-85-02 (3/13/85)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 472 (a)(2); Handbook of Public Assistance Administration, Part IV, Department of Health, Education and Welfare 7/24/63

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Question Number 2:
02/22/2007 - Current
QuestionWhich agency (State or Tribal) has responsibility for providing foster care payments and child welfare services to Indian children?
Answer*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 consistent with the purposes in section 421 of the Act.

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 Bureau of Indian Affairs, as payor of last resort, may pay for these services.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-88-02 (1/27/88)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - sections 421, 422, 428 and 472; 25 CFR 20.3

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08/14/2000 - 02/22/2007 (Original Record)
QuestionWhich agency (State or Tribal) has responsibility for providing foster care payments and child welfare services to Indian children?
AnswerThe 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 Bureau of Indian Affairs, as payor of last resort, may pay for these services.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-88-02 (1/27/88)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 420, 422, 428 and 472; 25 CFR 20.3

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Question Number 5:
07/24/2006 - Current
Question*Is a public entity that has entered into a title IV-E agreement pursuant to section 472(a)(2)(B) of the Social Security Act (the Act) with the State agency permitted to perform the title IV-E functions of an employee of the State title IV-E agency?
Answer*Yes. Entering into a section 472(a)(2)(B) agreement with the State title IV-E agency permits another public agency to have responsibility for the placement and care of title IV-E eligible children. An agency that exercises responsibility for the placement and care of a title IV-E eligible child is fulfilling the fundamental purpose of the program and is, in effect, implementing the title IV-E State plan on behalf of a specified population of children under the agreement. Thus, such public agencies are permitted to perform functions that the State agency is required to perform pursuant to 45 CFR 205.100(b), such as eligibility determinations. Public agencies that enter into section 472(a)(2)(B) agreements are subject to all applicable Federal statutory, regulatory, and policy guidance as well as State rules that implement Federal requirements.
Source/Date06/09/04
Legal and Related References*Section 472(a)(2)(B) of the Social Security Act, 45 CFR 205.100.

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07/14/2004 - 07/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionIs a public entity that has entered into a title IV-E agreement pursuant to section 472(a)(2) of the Social Security Act (the Act) with the State agency permitted to perform the title IV-E functions of an employee of the State title IV-E agency?
AnswerYes. Entering into a section 472(a)(2) agreement with the State title IV-E agency permits another public agency to have responsibility for the placement and care of title IV-E eligible children. An agency that exercises responsibility for the placement and care of a title IV-E eligible child is fulfilling the fundamental purpose of the program and is, in effect, implementing the title IV-E State plan on behalf of a specified population of children under the agreement. Thus, such public agencies are permitted to perform functions that the State agency is required to perform pursuant to 45 CFR 205.100(b), such as eligibility determinations. Public agencies that enter into section 472(a)(2) agreements are subject to all applicable Federal statutory, regulatory, and policy guidance as well as State rules that implement Federal requirements.
Source/Date06/09/04
Legal and Related References: Section 472(a)(2) of the Social Security Act, 45 CFR 205.100.

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8.1E TITLE IV-E, Administrative Functions/Costs, Contracting

Question Number 4:
03/14/2007 - Current
QuestionMay title IV-E foster care maintenance payments flow through a for-profit entity to the foster care provider?
Answer*Yes. The Fair Access Foster Care Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-113), which took effect on November 22, 2005, amended section 472(b) of the Social Security Act to eliminate the prohibition against making foster care maintenance payments through a for-profit entity.
Source/Date*01/29/07
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act, section 472; Public Law 109-113

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05/06/2001 - 03/14/2007 (Original Record)
QuestionMay title IV-E foster care maintenance payments flow through a for-profit entity to the foster care provider?
AnswerNo. Foster care maintenance payments must be made directly to foster family homes or child-care institutions from the State child welfare agency or through the public or private nonprofit child-placement or child-care agency with which the State contracts for making and/or supervising placements. Federal financial participation is not available for foster care maintenance payments made through a for-profit child-placing or child-care agency.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PA-97-01 (7/25/97)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 472 and 473

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8.4I TITLE IV-E, General Title IV-E Requirements, Social Security Numbers

Question Number 1:
06/12/2013 - Current
QuestionWhat is the policy regarding a Social Security Number for persons eligible under title IV-E?
Answer*Section 472 of the Social Security Act does not require that an otherwise eligible child apply for or furnish to the title IV-E agency a Social Security Number in order to be eligible for the title IV-E foster care maintenance and adoption assistance programs.
Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PA-86-01 (2/25/86) (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 472

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02/03/2001 - 06/12/2013 (Original Record)
QuestionWhat is the policy regarding a Social Security Number for persons eligible under title IV-E?
AnswerSection 472 of the Social Security Act does not require that an otherwise eligible child apply for or furnish to the State agency a Social Security Number in order to be eligible for the title IV-E foster care maintenance and adoption assistance programs.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PA-86-01 (2/25/86)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 472

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Question Number 2:
06/12/2013 - Current
Question*How should title IV-E agencies reconcile the inconsistent requirements for furnishing social security numbers (SSN) under Medicaid and title IV-E?
AnswerChanges brought about by the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 (DEFRA) (Public Law 98-369) resulted in an OHDS Policy Announcement which stated that otherwise eligible children are not required to apply for or furnish a Social Security Number (SSN) in order to be eligible for the title IV-E Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program or the Adoption Assistance Program.

However, title XIX program regulations at 42 CFR 435.910 were amended to require, effective April 1, 1985, that each individual (including children)

requesting Medicaid services furnish his/her SSN as a condition of eligibility for Medicaid. (It should be noted that if an individual needs emergency medical care, medical assistance cannot be denied if the individual has not previously applied for a SSN.)

Children who are eligible for title XIX Medicaid on the basis of their eligibility under title IV-E must furnish a SSN as a condition of eligibility for Medicaid, even though a SSN is not required under title IV-E.

Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PA-87-01 (1/5/87) (revised 6/6/13)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 472 (h), 473 (b), 1102 and 1137; Public Law 98-369; 42 CFR 435.910

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02/03/2001 - 06/12/2013 (Original Record)
QuestionHow should States reconcile the inconsistent requirements for furnishing social security numbers (SSN) under Medicaid and title IV-E?
AnswerChanges brought about by the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 (DEFRA) (Public Law 98-369) resulted in an OHDS Policy Announcement which stated that otherwise eligible children are not required to apply for or furnish a Social Security Number (SSN) in order to be eligible for the title IV-E Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program or the Adoption Assistance Program.

However, title XIX program regulations at 42 CFR 435.910 were amended to require, effective April 1, 1985, that each individual (including children)

requesting Medicaid services furnish his/her SSN as a condition of eligibility for Medicaid. (It should be noted that if an individual needs emergency medical care, medical assistance cannot be denied if the individual has not previously applied for a SSN.)

Children who are eligible for title XIX Medicaid on the basis of their eligibility under title IV-E must furnish a SSN as a condition of eligibility for Medicaid, even though a SSN is not required under title IV-E.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PA-87-01 (1/5/87)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 472 (h), 473 (b), 1102 and 1137; Public Law 98-369; 42 CFR 435.910

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8.3A.1 TITLE IV-E, Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program, Eligibility, Adjudicated delinquents

Question Number 1:
07/24/2006 - Current
QuestionAre adjudicated delinquents eligible for title IV-E foster care maintenance payments?
Answer*The question of eligibility for Federal reimbursement in the case of adjudicated delinquents rests on two factors: (1) eligibility of the child, and (2) the type of facility in which the child is placed. Any child for whom title IV-E foster care maintenance payments are claimed must meet the eligibility criteria described in section 472 (a) of the Social Security Act (the Act). These general requirements are: (a) The child must be a "dependent child" as defined in section 406 (a) or 407 of the Act (as in effect on July 16, 1996) and the applicable regulation, 45 CFR 233.90 (c)(1), but for his or her removal from the home of a specified relative; (b) That the child was eligible for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in the month described in section 472 (a)(3)(A)(i) of the Act and consistent with the contingencies explained in section 472 (a)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act; (c) The child must be removed from the home of a relative pursuant to a voluntary placement agreement or as the result of a judicial determination to the effect that continuation in the home would be contrary to the welfare of the child and that reasonable efforts were made prior to placement to prevent the need for removal of the child from his home; and (d) The child's placement and care must be the responsibility of the State title IV-E agency or another public agency with whom the State agency has a currently effective agreement.

If the child meets the title IV-E eligibility requirements, FFP may be claimed for foster care costs in licensed or approved facilities as described in section 472 (b) and (c) of the Act. Such facilities, however, may not include "detention facilities, forestry camps, training schools, or any other facility operated primarily for the detention of children who are determined to be delinquent."

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-82-10 (8/11/82); ACYF-CB-PIQ-88-03 (4/11/88)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 406 (a) and 407 (as in effect on July 16, 1996) and 472; 45 CFR 1355.20 and 233.90 (c)(1)

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09/15/2000 - 07/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionAre adjudicated delinquents eligible for title IV-E foster care maintenance payments?
AnswerThe question of eligibility for Federal reimbursement in the case of adjudicated delinquents rests on two factors: (1) eligibility of the child, and (2) the type of facility in which the child is placed. Any child for whom title IV-E foster care maintenance payments are claimed must meet the eligibility criteria described in section 472 (a) of the Social Security Act (the Act). These general requirements are: (a) The child must be a "dependent child" as defined in section 406 (a) or 407 of the Act (as in effect on July 16, 1996) and the applicable regulation, 45 CFR 233.90 (c)(1), but for his or her removal from the home of a specified relative; (b) That the child was eligible for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in the month described in section 472 (a)(4)(A) of the Act and consistent with the contingencies explained in section 472 (a)(4)(B) of the Act; (c) The child must be removed from the home of a relative pursuant to a voluntary placement agreement or as the result of a judicial determination to the effect that continuation in the home would be contrary to the welfare of the child and that reasonable efforts were made prior to placement to prevent the need for removal of the child from his home; and (d) The child''s placement and care must be the responsibility of the State title IV-E agency or another public agency with whom the State agency has a currently effective agreement.

If the child meets the title IV-E eligibility requirements, FFP may be claimed for foster care costs in licensed or approved facilities as described in section 472 (b) and (c) of the Act. Such facilities, however, may not include "detention facilities, forestry camps, training schools, or any other facility operated primarily for the detention of children who are determined to be delinquent."

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-82-10 (8/11/82); ACYF-CB-PIQ-88-03 (4/11/88)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 406 (a) and 407 (as in effect on July 16, 1996) and 472; 45 CFR 1355.20 and 233.90 (c)(1)

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Question Number 2:
07/24/2006 - Current
QuestionIf a temporary detention order states that the child is to be detained until sentencing because there is reason to believe he would run away, would this satisfy the requirement for a determination regarding "contrary to the welfare?"
AnswerNo. This language could not be construed to mean that to continue in the home would be "contrary to the (child's) welfare." It is important to remember that the judicial determinations required for title IV-E eligibility were intended to ensure that children were not removed from their homes unnecessarily. In juvenile justice procedures, where children are removed for correctional purposes, the courts must determine that continuation in the home would be contrary to the child's welfare if title IV-E eligibility is to be established.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-91-03 (4/3/91)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - sections 472 (a)(2)(A)(ii)

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09/15/2000 - 07/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionIf a temporary detention order states that the child is to be detained until sentencing because there is reason to believe he would run away, would this satisfy the requirement for a determination regarding "contrary to the welfare?"
AnswerNo. This language could not be construed to mean that to continue in the home would be "contrary to the (child''s) welfare." It is important to remember that the judicial determinations required for title IV-E eligibility were intended to ensure that children were not removed from their homes unnecessarily. In juvenile justice procedures, where children are removed for correctional purposes, the courts must determine that continuation in the home would be contrary to the child''s welfare if title IV-E eligibility is to be established.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-91-03 (4/3/91)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 472 (a)(1)

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Question Number 3:
07/24/2006 - Current
QuestionCourt orders that sentence a child to a juvenile detention facility often include language which differs from that in a dependency order resulting in a foster care placement. Does language in a detention order indicating that the child is a "threat to himself or the community" meet the requirement in section 472 of the Social Security Act regarding "contrary to the welfare?"
AnswerA court order indicating that the child is a threat to himself satisfies the requirement of a determination that remaining in the home would be contrary to the child's welfare. However, if the court order indicates only that the child is a threat to the community, such language would not satisfy the requirement for a determination that continuation in the home would be contrary to the child's welfare.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-91-03 (4/3/91)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - sections 472 (a)(2)(A)(ii)

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10/01/2000 - 07/24/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionCourt orders that sentence a child to a juvenile detention facility often include language which differs from that in a dependency order resulting in a foster care placement. Does language in a detention order indicating that the child is a "threat to himself or the community" meet the requirement in section 472 of the Social Security Act regarding "contrary to the welfare?"
AnswerA court order indicating that the child is a threat to himself satisfies the requirement of a determination that remaining in the home would be contrary to the child''s welfare. However, if the court order indicates only that the child is a threat to the community, such language would not satisfy the requirement for a determination that continuation in the home would be contrary to the child''s welfare.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-91-03 (4/3/91)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 472 (a)(1)

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8.2B TITLE IV-E, Adoption Assistance Program, Eligibility

Question Number 1:
07/20/2006 - Current
QuestionPlease explain who is eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance.
Answer*A State is required to enter into an adoption assistance agreement with the adoptive parents of a child with special needs (as defined in section 473(c) of the Social Security Act (the Act)) and provide adoption assistance if the child meets specific requirements. There are four ways that a child can be eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance:

1. Child is eligible for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and meets the definition of a child with special needs - Adoption assistance eligibility that is based on a child's AFDC eligibility (in accordance with the program rules in effect on July 16, 1996) is predicated on a child meeting the criteria for such at the time of removal. In addition, the State must determine that the child meets the definition of a child with special needs prior to finalization of the adoption.

The method of removal has the following implications for the AFDC-eligible child's eligibility for title IV-E adoption assistance: If the child is removed from the home pursuant to a judicial determination, such determination must indicate that it was contrary to the child's welfare to remain in the home; or if the child is removed from the home pursuant to a voluntary placement agreement, that child must actually receive title IV-E foster care payments to be eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance.

Children placed pursuant to a voluntary placement agreement under which a title IV-E foster care maintenance payment is not made are not eligible to receive title IV-E adoption assistance.

2. Child is eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and meets the definition of a child with special needs - A child is eligible for adoption assistance if the child meets the requirements for title XVI SSI benefits and is determined by the State to be a child with special needs prior to the finalization of the adoption.

There are no additional criteria that a child must meet to be eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance when eligibility is based on a special needs child meeting SSI requirements. Specifically, how a child is removed from his or her home or whether the State has responsibility for the child's placement and care is irrelevant in this situation.

Unlike AFDC eligibility that is determined by the State child welfare agency, only a designated Social Security Administration claims representative can determine SSI eligibility and provide the appropriate eligibility documentation to the State.

3. Child is eligible as a child of a minor parent and meets the definition of a child with special needs - A child is eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance in this circumstance if: prior to the finalization of the adoption, the child's parent was in foster care and received a title IV-E foster care maintenance payment that covered both the minor parent and the child of the minor parent and is determined by the State to meet the definition of a child with special needs.

There are no additional criteria that must be met in order for a child to be eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance if the child's eligibility is based on his or her minor parent's receipt of a foster care maintenance payment while placed with the minor parent in foster care. As with SSI, there is no requirement that a child must have been removed from home pursuant to a voluntary placement agreement or as a result of a judicial determination.

4. Child is eligible due to prior title IV-E adoption assistance eligibility and meets the definition of a child with special needs - In the situation where a child is adopted and receives title IV-E adoption assistance, but the adoption later dissolves or the adoptive parents die, a child may continue to be eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance in a subsequent adoption. The only determination that must be made by the State prior to the finalization of the subsequent adoption is whether the child is a child with special needs, consistent with the requirements in section 473(c) of the Act. Need and eligibility factors in section 473(a)(2)(A) of the Act must not be redetermined when such a child is subsequently adopted because the child is to be treated as though his or her circumstances are the same as those prior to his or her previous adoption. Since title IV-E adoption assistance eligibility need not be re-established in such subsequent adoptions, the manner of a child's removal from the adoptive home, including whether the child is voluntarily relinquished to an individual or private agency, is irrelevant.

Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PA-01-01 (1/23/01); 7/17/2006
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - sections 473(a)(2) and 473(c) ; The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005

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02/19/2001 - 07/20/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionPlease explain who is eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance.
AnswerA State is required to enter into an adoption assistance agreement with the adoptive parents of a child with special needs (as defined in section 473(c) of the Social Security Act (the Act)) and provide adoption assistance if the child meets specific requirements. There are four ways that a child can be eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance:

1. Child is eligible for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and meets the definition of a child with special needs - Adoption assistance eligibility that is based on a child''s AFDC eligibility (in accordance with the program rules in effect on July 16, 1996) is predicated on a child meeting the criteria for such both at the time of removal and in the month the adoption petition is initiated. In addition, the State must determine that the child meets the definition of a child with special needs prior to finalization of the adoption.

The method of removal has the following implications for the AFDC-eligible child''s eligibility for title IV-E adoption assistance: If the child is removed from the home pursuant to a judicial determination, such determination must indicate that it was contrary to the child''s welfare to remain in the home; or if the child is removed from the home pursuant to a voluntary placement agreement, that child must actually receive title IV-E foster care payments to be eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance.

Children placed pursuant to a voluntary placement agreement under which a title IV-E foster care maintenance payment is not made are not eligible to receive title IV-E adoption assistance.

2. Child is eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and meets the definition of a child with special needs - A child is eligible for adoption assistance if, at the time the adoption petition is filed, the child meets the requirements for title XVI SSI benefits, and prior to the finalization of the adoption is determined by the State to be a child with special needs.

There are no additional criteria that a child must meet to be eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance when eligibility is based on a special needs child meeting SSI requirements. Specifically, how a child is removed from his or her home or whether the State has responsibility for the child''s placement and care is irrelevant in this situation.

Unlike AFDC eligibility that is determined by the State child welfare agency, only a designated Social Security Administration claims representative can determine SSI eligibility and provide the appropriate eligibility documentation to the State. The child''s eligibility for SSI benefits must be established no later than at the time the adoption petition is filed.

3. Child is eligible as a child of a minor parent and meets the definition of a child with special needs - A child is eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance in this circumstance if: the child''s parent is in foster care and receiving title IV-E foster care maintenance payments that cover both the minor parent and the child at the time the adoption petition is initiated; and prior to the finalization of the adoption, the child of the minor parent is determined by the State to meet the definition of a child with special needs.

There are no additional criteria that must be met in order for a child to be eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance if the child''s eligibility is based on his or her minor parent''s receipt of foster care while placed with the minor parent in foster care. As with SSI, there is no requirement that a child must have been removed from home pursuant to a voluntary placement agreement or as a result of a judicial determination. However, if the child and minor parent have been separated in foster care prior to the time of the adoption petition, the child''s eligibility for title IV-E adoption assistance must be determined based on the child''s current and individual circumstances, consistent with section 473 of the Act.

4. Child is eligible due to prior title IV-E adoption assistance eligibility and meets the definition of a child with special needs - In the situation where a child is adopted and receives title IV-E adoption assistance, but the adoption later dissolves or the adoptive parents die, a child may continue to be eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance in a subsequent adoption. The only determination that must be made by the State prior to the finalization of the subsequent adoption is whether the child is a child with special needs, consistent with the requirements in section 473(c) of the Act. Need and eligibility factors in sections 473(a)(2)(A) and (B) of the Act must not be redetermined when such a child is subsequently adopted because the child is to be treated as though his or her circumstances are the same as those prior to his or her previous adoption. Since title IV-E adoption assistance eligibility need not be re-established in such subsequent adoptions, the manner of a child''s removal from the adoptive home, including whether the child is voluntarily relinquished to an individual or private agency, is irrelevant.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PA-01-01 (1/23/01)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 473(a)(2) and 473(c)

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Question Number 2:
03/14/2007 - Current
Question*Does a child need to be continuously eligible for Aid to Families for Dependent Children (AFDC) during the period s/he is in foster care in order to be eligible for adoption assistance after the termination of parental rights?
Answer*No. A child for whom eligibility for title IV-E adoption assistance payments is being established need not have been continuously eligible for AFDC during his or her tenure in foster care. The statute requires that the child be eligible for AFDC only at the time of the child's removal from the home (section 473(a)(2)(A)(i)(I)(bb) of the Social Security Act). Please see the Child Welfare Policy Manual at 8.2B for an explanation of all the eligibility criteria for the adoption assistance payments program.
Source/Date*03/14/07
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - section 473

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02/19/2001 - 03/14/2007 (Original Record)
QuestionDoes a child need to be continuously eligible for AFDC during the period he is in foster care in order to be eligible for adoption assistance after the termination of parental rights?
AnswerEligibility for adoption assistance payments, among other criteria, requires that a child either meet the requirements of section 406 (a) or 407 of the Social Security Act (the Act)(as in effect on July 16, 1996) except for his removal from the home, or meet all requirements of title XVI with respect to eligibility for Supplemental Security Income benefits. This discussion will only address the requirement for meeting section 406(a) or 407 and not SSI eligibility.

A child for whom eligibility for title IV-E adoption assistance payments is being established need not have been continuously eligible for title IV-E foster care during his tenure in foster care prior to the initiation of adoption proceedings. The critical times for meeting the eligibility requirements for AFDC is at the time of the child''s removal from the home and at the time the adoption proceedings are initiated. For example, a ten year old child enters foster care. At that time the child would have met all the requirements for AFDC in terms of deprivation (since parents were separated), need, age, and "living with" requirements, and his removal was the result of a court determination. However, no application for title IV-E foster care was made. Several months later, the child''s parents reunite and although he continues in care, the child would be ineligible for title IV-E foster care because he would no longer be deprived of parental support and care in his home. One year from the date of original placement, the father dies. The child, still in foster care, may now be eligible for AFDC if he meets the age and need requirements of the State. However the application for title IV-E foster care still is not made. Sometime after the death of the father, the mother''s parental rights are terminated, and the child is then free for adoption.

The agency reviews its caseload, evaluates the child''s situation and decides to apply for title IV-E foster care for the child. The State agency would reconstruct the facts at the time the child came into care to determine eligibility for AFDC insofar as the child met the "living with" requirements and could have been eligible for a payment under section 402 of the Act if an application had been made. The child''s present situation must be addressed to assure that the child currently meets the eligibility factors of age, deprivation and need. If, three months later, adoption proceedings are initiated, then current eligibility would be reviewed in terms of age and the child''s need, since deprivation was already established by the death of the father. Of course, the agency must also determine that the child meets the other criteria required by section 473 of the Act for adoption assistance.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-82-18 (8/11/82)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 472 and 473

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Question Number 3:
07/20/2006 - Current
QuestionAre children whose legal guardianships disrupt eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance?
Answer*If a child who had been receiving title IV-E foster care maintenance payments prior to a legal guardianship returns to foster care or is placed in an adoptive home after disruption of the legal guardianship, the factors below must be considered in determining the child's eligibility for title IV-E adoption assistance:

1) Title IV-E Demonstration Waiver States - In States that have an approved title IV-E demonstration waiver from the Department to operate a subsidized legal guardianship program, the title IV-E terms and conditions allow reinstatement of the child's title IV-E eligibility status that was in place prior to the establishment of the guardianship in situations where the guardianship disrupts. Therefore, if a guardianship disrupts and the child returns to foster care or is placed for adoption, the State would apply the eligibility criteria in section 473 of the Social Security Act (the Act) for the child as if the legal guardianship had never occurred.

2) Non-Demonstration Waiver States - In States that do not have an approved title IV-E demonstration waiver from the Department, the eligibility requirements in section 473 of the Act must be applied to the child's current situation. Therefore, in a situation where the child has returned to foster care from the home of a non-related legal guardian, the child would not be eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance since the child was not removed from the home of a specified relative. If, however, the child has been removed from the home of a related legal guardian, an otherwise eligible child could be eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance.

In either situation, however, if a child meets the eligibility criteria for Supplemental Security Income and meets the definition of special needs prior to the finalization of the adoption, the child would be eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance. If a child meets these criteria, no further eligibility criteria must be met.

Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PA-01-01 (1/23/01); 7/17/2006
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - sections 473; The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005

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05/06/2001 - 07/20/2006 (Original Record)
QuestionAre children whose legal guardianships disrupt eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance?
AnswerIf a child who had been receiving title IV-E foster care maintenance payments prior to a legal guardianship returns to foster care or is placed in an adoptive home after disruption of the legal guardianship, the factors below must be considered in determining the child''s eligibility for title IV-E adoption assistance:

1) Title IV-E Demonstration Waiver States - In States that have an approved title IV-E demonstration waiver from the Department to operate a subsidized legal guardianship program, the title IV-E terms and conditions allow reinstatement of the child''s title IV-E eligibility status that was in place prior to the establishment of the guardianship in situations where the guardianship disrupts. Therefore, if a guardianship disrupts and the child returns to foster care or is placed for adoption, the State would apply the eligibility criteria in section 473 of the Social Security Act (the Act) for the child as if the legal guardianship had never occurred.

2) Non-Demonstration Waiver States - In States that do not have an approved title IV-E demonstration waiver from the Department, the eligibility requirements in section 473 of the Act must be applied to the child''s current situation. Therefore, in a situation where the child has returned to foster care from the home of a non-related legal guardian, the child would not be eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance since the child was not removed from the home of a specified relative. If, however, the child has been removed from the home of a related legal guardian, an otherwise eligible child could be eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance.

In either situation, however, if a child is determined to be eligible for Supplemental Security Income at or prior to the time of the adoption petition and, subsequent to the adoption, meets the definition of special needs, the child would be eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance. If a child meets these criteria, no further eligibility criteria must be met.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PA-01-01 (1/23/01)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - sections 473

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Question Number 6:
05/05/2011 - Current
QuestionThe Adoption Assistance eligibility criteria for an ┐applicable child┐ includes one pathway to title IV-E adoption assistance eligibility which requires that the child must be in the ┐care┐ of a public or licensed private child placement agency by way of a voluntary placement, voluntary relinquishment or a court-ordered removal with a judicial determination that remaining at home would be contrary to the child┐s welfare. Does ┐care┐ mean that that a public or private agency must have placement and care responsibility for the child?
Answer*No. Although the term "care" as it is used in 473(a)(2)(A)(ii)(I)(aa) of the Social Security Act (the Act) may imply that a public or private agency has placement and care responsibility for the child, it is not explicit. Therefore, in situations where any sort of care is being provided for an applicable child by a public or licensed private child placement agency or Indian tribal organization at the time the adoption proceedings are initiated, the requirements in section 473(a)(2)(A)(ii)(I)(aa) of the Act will be met.
Source/Date5/04/11
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act ┐ section 473(a)(2)(A)(ii)(I)(aa)

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05/05/2011 - 05/05/2011 (Original Record)
QuestionThe Adoption Assistance eligibility criteria for an ┐applicable child┐ includes one pathway to title IV-E adoption assistance eligibility which requires that the child must be in the ┐care┐ of a public or licensed private child placement agency by way of a voluntary placement, voluntary relinquishment or a court-ordered removal with a judicial determination that remaining at home would be contrary to the child┐s welfare. Does ┐care┐ mean that that a public or private agency must have placement and care responsibility for the child?
AnswerNo. Although the term ?care? as it is used in 473(a)(2)(A)(ii)(I)(aa) of the Social Security Act (the Act) may imply that a public or private agency has placement and care responsibility for the child, it is not explicit. Therefore, in situations where any sort of care is being provided for an applicable child by a public or licensed private child placement agency or Indian tribal organization at the time the adoption proceedings are initiated, the requirements in section 473(a)(2)(A)(ii)(I)(aa) of the Act will be met.
Source/Date5/04/11
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act ┐ section 473(a)(2)(A)(ii)(I)(aa)

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Question Number 7:
05/05/2011 - Current
QuestionThe Adoption Assistance eligibility criteria for an ┐applicable child┐ includes one pathway to title IV-E adoption assistance eligibility which requires that the child must be in the care of a public or licensed private child placement agency by way of a voluntary placement, voluntary relinquishment or a court-ordered removal with a judicial determination that remaining at home would be contrary to the child┐s welfare. When referring to a ┐licensed┐ private child placement agency, does this mean that the agency must be licensed by the State or Tribe entering into the adoption assistance agreement? Or is it required that the title IV-E agency provide a payment to an eligible child even if the agency was not licensed in the State or Tribe that is entering into the agreement?
Answer*Section 473(a)(2)(A)(ii)(I)(aa) prescribes only that the child be in the care of "...a licensed private child placement agency or Indian tribal organization." So long as the child placement agency is licensed for title IV-E eligibility purposes it does not matter who licenses the agency.
Source/Date5/04/11
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act ┐ section 473(a)(2)(A)(ii)(I)(aa)

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05/05/2011 - 05/05/2011 (Original Record)
QuestionThe Adoption Assistance eligibility criteria for an ┐applicable child┐ includes one pathway to title IV-E adoption assistance eligibility which requires that the child must be in the care of a public or licensed private child placement agency by way of a voluntary placement, voluntary relinquishment or a court-ordered removal with a judicial determination that remaining at home would be contrary to the child┐s welfare. When referring to a ┐licensed┐ private child placement agency, does this mean that the agency must be licensed by the State or Tribe entering into the adoption assistance agreement? Or is it required that the title IV-E agency provide a payment to an eligible child even if the agency was not licensed in the State or Tribe that is entering into the agreement?
AnswerSection 473(a)(2)(A)(ii)(I)(aa) prescribes only that the child be in the care of ?? a licensed private child placement agency or Indian tribal organization.? So long as the child placement agency is licensed for title IV-E eligibility purposes it does not matter who licenses the agency.
Source/Date5/04/11
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act ┐ section 473(a)(2)(A)(ii)(I)(aa)

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8.2D.3 TITLE IV-E, Adoption Assistance Program, Payments, Non-recurring expenses

Question Number 1:
06/25/2007 - Current
QuestionPlease summarize the requirements for the nonrecurring expenses of adoption.
AnswerThe State must enter into an adoption assistance agreement prior to the finalization of the adoption and reimburse (up to $2000, or at State option a lower limit) the nonrecurring adoption expenses incurred by any parent who adopts a child with special needs. The only eligibility criterion to be applied for reimbursement of the nonrecurring expenses of adoption is that the State determine that the child meets the definition of special needs, in accordance with section 473 (c) of the Act. A child does not have to be eligible for Aid to Families with Dependent Children, title IV-E foster care, or Supplemental Security Income in order for the adoptive parents to receive reimbursement for their nonrecurring adoption expenses. Nor does the child have to be under the responsibility for placement and care of the State agency in order for the adoptive parents to be reimbursed for the nonrecurring expenses of adoption.

The term "nonrecurring adoption expenses" is defined as the reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees and other expenses which are directly related to the legal adoption of a child with special needs, which are not incurred in violation of State or Federal law, and which have not been reimbursed from other sources or funds.

Federal financial participation is available at the matching rate of 50 percent for State expenditures up to $2000 for each adoptive placement.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PA-01-01 (1/23/01)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - section 473(a)(6); 473(a)(1)(B)(i); 45 CFR 1356.41

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07/18/2000 - 06/25/2007 (Original Record)
QuestionPlease summarize the requirements for the nonrecurring expenses of adoption.
AnswerThe State must enter into an adoption assistance agreement prior to the finalization of the adoption and reimburse (up to $2000, or at State option a lower limit) the nonrecurring adoption expenses incurred by any parent who adopts a child with special needs. The only eligibility criterion to be applied for reimbursement of the nonrecurring expenses of adoption is that the State determine that the child meets the definition of special needs, in accordance with section 473 (c) of the Act. A child does not have to be eligible for Aid to Families with Dependent Children, title IV-E foster care, or Supplemental Security Income in order for the adoptive parents to receive reimbursement for their nonrecurring adoption expenses. Nor does the child have to be under the responsibility for placement and care of the State agency in order for the adoptive parents to be reimbursed for the nonrecurring expenses of adoption.

The term "nonrecurring adoption expenses" is defined as the reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees and other expenses which are directly related to the legal adoption of a child with special needs, which are not incurred in violation of State or Federal law, and which have not been reimbursed from other sources or funds.

Federal financial participation is available at the matching rate of 50 percent for State expenditures up to $2000 for each adoptive placement.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PA-01-01 (1/23/01)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 473(a)(6); 45 CFR 1356.40 (i)

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Question Number 3:
12/01/2004 - Current
Question*States are required to reimburse up to $2,000, or such lower amount as set by the State, for the non-recurring adoption expenses of parents who adopt children with special needs. The regulations define "non-recurring adoption expenses" as reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees and other expenses which are directly related to the legal adoption of a child with special needs. "Other expenses" were defined as the costs of adoption incurred by or on behalf of the parents and for which parents carry the burden of payment, such as the adoption study, including health and psychological examinations, supervision of the placement prior to adoption, transportation and the reasonable costs of lodging and food for the child and/or the adoptive parents when necessary to complete the adoption process.

Would it be possible for a State to further limit the reimburseable areas within the allowable expense category? For instance, could reimbursement be limited to attorney fees only? Or, could a State elect not to reimburse adoption study fees and transportation costs?

AnswerNo. A State may not limit reimbursement for nonrecurring adoption expenses by category. Adoptive parents who apply for reimbursement of the non-recurring expenses of adoption must be reimbursed for any of the non-recurring adoption expenses described at 45 CFR 1356.41 (i) when they adopt a child with special needs as set forth in section 473 (c) of the Social Security Act..
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-89-02 (5/23/89)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 473

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12/01/2004 - 12/01/2004
Question*States are required to reimburse up to $2,000, or such lower amount as set by the State, for the non-recurring adoption expenses of parents who adopt children with special needs. The regulations define "non-recurring adoption expenses" as reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees and other expenses which are directly related to the legal adoption of a child with special needs. "Other expenses" were defined as the costs of adoption incurred by or on behalf of the parents and for which parents carry the burden of payment, such as the adoption study, including health and psychological examinations, supervision of the placement prior to adoption, transportation and the reasonable costs of lodging and food for the child and/or the adoptive parents when necessary to complete the adoption process.

Would it be possible for a State to further limit the reimburseable areas within the allowable expense category? For instance, could reimbursement be limited to attorney

AnswerNo. A State may not limit reimbursement for nonrecurring adoption expenses by category. Adoptive parents who apply for reimbursement of the non-recurring expenses of adoption must be reimbursed for any of the non-recurring adoption expenses described at 45 CFR 1356.41 (i) when they adopt a child with special needs as set forth in section 473 (c) of the Social Security Act..
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-89-02 (5/23/89)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 473

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05/06/2001 - 12/01/2004 (Original Record)
QuestionStates are required to reimburse up to $2,000, or such lower amount as set by the State, for the non-recurring adoption expenses of parents who adopt children with special needs. The regulations define "non-recurring adoption expenses" as reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees and other expenses which are directly related to the legal adoption of a child with special needs. "Other expenses" were defined as the costs of adoption incurred by or on behalf of the parents and for which parents carry the burden of payment, such as the adoption study, including health and psychological examinations, supervision of the placement prior to adoption, transportation and the reasonable costs of lodging and food for the child and/or the adoptive parents when necessary to complete the adoption process.

Would it be possible for a State to further limit the reimburseable areas within the allowable expense category? For instance, could reimbursement be limited to attorne

AnswerNo. A State may not limit reimbursement for nonrecurring adoption expenses by category. Adoptive parents who apply for reimbursement of the non-recurring expenses of adoption must be reimbursed for any of the non-recurring adoption expenses described at 45 CFR 1356.41 (i) when they adopt a child with special needs as set forth in section 473 (c) of the Social Security Act..
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-89-02 (5/23/89)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 473

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05/06/2001 - 12/01/2004 (Original Record)
QuestionStates are required to reimburse up to $2,000, or such lower amount as set by the State, for the non-recurring adoption expenses of parents who adopt children with special needs. The regulations define "non-recurring adoption expenses" as reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees and other expenses which are directly related to the legal adoption of a child with special needs. "Other expenses" were defined as the costs of adoption incurred by or on behalf of the parents and for which parents carry the burden of payment, such as the adoption study, including health and psychological examinations, supervision of the placement prior to adoption, transportation and the reasonable costs of lodging and food for the child and/or the adoptive parents when necessary to complete the adoption process.

Would it be possible for a State to further limit the reimburseable areas within the allowable expense category? For instance, could reimbursement be limited to attorne

AnswerNo. A State may not limit reimbursement for nonrecurring adoption expenses by category. Adoptive parents who apply for reimbursement of the non-recurring expenses of adoption must be reimbursed for any of the non-recurring adoption expenses described at 45 CFR 1356.41 (i) when they adopt a child with special needs as set forth in section 473 (c) of the Social Security Act.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-89-02 (5/23/89)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 473

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05/06/2001 - 12/01/2004 (Original Record)
QuestionStates are required to reimburse up to $2,000, or such lower amount as set by the State, for the non-recurring adoption expenses of parents who adopt children with special needs. The regulations define "non-recurring adoption expenses" as reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees and other expenses which are directly related to the legal adoption of a child with special needs. "Other expenses" were defined as the costs of adoption incurred by or on behalf of the parents and for which parents carry the burden of payment, such as the adoption study, including health and psychological examinations, supervision of the placement prior to adoption, transportation and the reasonable costs of lodging and food for the child and/or the adoptive parents when necessary to complete the adoption process.

Would it be possible for a State to further limit the reimburseable areas within the allowable expense category? For instance, could reimbursement be limited to attorne

AnswerNo. A State may not limit reimbursement for nonrecurring adoption expenses by category. Adoptive parents who apply for reimbursement of the non-recurring expenses of adoption must be reimbursed for any of the non-recurring adoption expenses described at 45 CFR 1356.41 (i) when they adopt a child with special needs as set forth in section 473 (c) of the Social Security Act.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-89-02 (5/23/89)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 473

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05/06/2001 - 12/01/2004 (Original Record)
QuestionStates are required to reimburse up to $2,000, or such lower amount as set by the State, for the non-recurring adoption expenses of parents who adopt children with special needs. The regulations define "non-recurring adoption expenses" as reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees and other expenses which are directly related to the legal adoption of a child with special needs. "Other expenses" were defined as the costs of adoption incurred by or on behalf of the parents and for which parents carry the burden of payment, such as the adoption study, including health and psychological examinations, supervision of the placement prior to adoption, transportation and the reasonable costs of lodging and food for the child and/or the adoptive parents when necessary to complete the adoption process.

Would it be possible for a State to further limit the reimburseable areas within the allowable expense category? For instance, could reimbursement be limited to attorne

AnswerNo. A State may not limit reimbursement for nonrecurring adoption expenses by category. Adoptive parents who apply for reimbursement of the non-recurring expenses of adoption must be reimbursed for any of the non-recurring adoption expenses described at 45 CFR 1356.41 (i) when they adopt a child with special needs as set forth in section 473 (c) of the Social Security Act.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-89-02 (5/23/89)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 473

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05/06/2001 - 12/01/2004 (Original Record)
QuestionStates are required to reimburse up to $2,000, or such lower amount as set by the State, for the non-recurring adoption expenses of parents who adopt children with special needs. The regulations define "non-recurring adoption expenses" as reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees and other expenses which are directly related to the legal adoption of a child with special needs. "Other expenses" were defined as the costs of adoption incurred by or on behalf of the parents and for which parents carry the burden of payment, such as the adoption study, including health and psychological examinations, supervision of the placement prior to adoption, transportation and the reasonable costs of lodging and food for the child and/or the adoptive parents when necessary to complete the adoption process.

Would it be possible for a State to further limit the reimburseable areas within the allowable expense category? For instance, could reimbursement be limited to attorne

AnswerNo. A State may not limit reimbursement for nonrecurring adoption expenses by category. Adoptive parents who apply for reimbursement of the non-recurring expenses of adoption must be reimbursed for any of the non-recurring adoption expenses described at 45 CFR 1356.41 (i) when they adopt a child with special needs as set forth in section 473 (c) of the Social Security Act.
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-89-02 (5/23/89)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 473

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8.3A.5 TITLE IV-E, Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program, Eligibility, Child of a minor parent

Question Number 1:
07/14/2004 - Current
Question*Please explain the requirements with respect to title IV-E eligibility and the case review system at section 475(5) of the Social Security Act (the Act) for a child and his/her minor parent in foster care. Specifically: Must the State have placement and care responsibility of both? Is the child considered to be in foster care even if the State does not have placement and care responsibility? May the child continue to receive IV-E if the minor parent runs away? May the State claim administrative costs for the child? Is the child eligible for medical assistance under title XIX and social services under title XX?
Answer*Section 475(4)(B) of the Act requires that foster care maintenance payments for a minor parent in foster care cover a child of such parent if the child is placed with the minor parent. Neither the statute nor regulations require the State to have placement and care responsibility for the child in order for such costs to be included in the minor parent?s foster care maintenance payment. Good social work practice suggests that the minor parent?s case plan include the needs of the child and that the child?s needs and interests be addressed during the six-month periodic reviews and permanency hearings held on behalf of the minor parent. However, the State is not required to satisfy these requirements independently on behalf of the child because s/he is not under the State?s responsibility for placement and care and, therefore, pursuant to Federal law and regulations, is not in foster care.

In cases where the State has placement and care responsibility for both the minor parent and the child, title IV-E eligibility would have to be determined individually for each. Likewise, if a minor parent leaves the foster home and does not take the child, the child?s eligibility for foster care then would be based upon his or her individual circumstances. In addition, the State would have to obtain responsibility for placement and care of the child through either a voluntary placement agreement or a court order with the required judicial determinations. Once the child of a minor parent is in foster care, the requirements of the case review system at section 475(5) of the Act apply.

When a child is placed with his/her minor parent without placement and care responsibility by the State, no administrative costs may be claimed on her/his behalf because s/he is not eligible for nor a recipient of title IV-E foster care maintenance payments. The State is merely increasing the amount of the title IV-E foster care maintenance payment made on behalf of the eligible minor parent to accommodate the board and care of the child. In situations where the eligibility of the minor parent and his/her infant are determined separately and both are placed in foster care, the State may claim administrative costs for the child because s/he is eligible for and receiving title IV-E maintenance payments in her/his own right.

Section 472(h) of the Act makes clear that a child whose costs are covered by the title IV-E payment made with respect to the minor parent is a child with respect to whom foster care maintenance payments are made under title IV-E and is thus eligible for medical assistance and social services under titles XIX and XX.

Source/Date*06/09/04
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act ┐ sections 472 and 475 and Titles XIX and XX; 45 CFR 1356.21

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07/31/2002 - 07/14/2004
Question*Please explain the requirements with respect to title IV-E eligibility and the case review system at section 475 (5) of the Social Security Act (the Act) for a child and his/her minor parent in foster care. Specifically: Must the State have placement and care responsibility of both? Is the child considered to be in foster care even if the State does not have placement and care responsibility? May the child continue to receive IV-E if the minor parent runs away? May the State claim administrative costs for the child? Is the child eligible for medical assistance under title XIX and social services under title XX?
Answer*Section 475 (4)(B) of the Act requires that foster care maintenance payments for a minor parent in foster care cover a child of such parent if the child is placed with the minor parent. Neither the statute nor regulations require the State to have placement and care responsibility of the child in order for such costs to be included in the minor parent''s foster care maintenance payment. Good social work practice suggests that the minor parent''s case plan include the needs of the child and that the child''s needs and interests be addressed during the six-month periodic reviews and permanency hearings held on behalf of the minor parent. However, the State is not required to satisfy these requirements independently on behalf of the child because s/he has not been removed from her/his biological parent and; therefore, pursuant to Federal law and regulations, is not in foster care.

In cases where the State has placement and care responsibility for both the minor parent and child, and has placed them in different foster homes, title IV-E eligibility would have to be determined individually for each. Likewise, if a minor parent leaves the foster home and does not take the child, the child''s eligibility for foster care then would be based upon his or her individual circumstances. In addition, the State would have to obtain responsibility for placement and care of the child through either a voluntary placement agreement or a court order with the required judicial determinations. Once the child is placed separately from the minor parent, s/he is considered to be in foster care and the requirements of the case review system at section 475(5) of the Act apply.

When a child is placed with his/her minor parent, no administrative costs may be claimed on her/his behalf because s/he is not eligible for nor a recipient of title IV-E foster care maintenance payments. The State is merely increasing the amount of the title IV-E foster care maintenance payment made on behalf of the eligible minor parent to accommodate the board and care of the child. In situations where the eligibility of the minor parent and his/her infant is determined separately and the two are placed separately, the State may claim administrative costs for the child because s/he is eligible for and receiving title IV-E maintenance payments in her/his own right.

Section 472 (h) of the Act makes clear that the child whose costs are covered by the title IV-E payment made with respect to the parent shall be considered a child with respect to whom foster care maintenance payments are made under title IV-E and is thus eligible for medical assistance and social services under titles XIX and XX.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PA-88-01 (7/6/88); Questions and Answers on the Final Rule (65 FR 4020 (1/25/00)
Legal and Related References*Social Security Act - section 472 and 475 Title XIX and XX; 45 CFR 1356.21

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10/05/2000 - 07/31/2002 (Original Record)
QuestionPlease explain the requirements with respect to title IV-E eligibility and the case review system at section 475 (5) of the Social Security Act (the Act) for a child and his/her minor parent in foster care. Specifically: Must the State have placement and care responsibility of both? Is the child considered to be in foster care even if the State does not have placement and care responsibility? May the child continue to receive IV-E if the minor parent runs away? May the State claim administrative costs for the child? Is the child eligible for adoption assistance under title IV-E of the Act? Is the child eligible for medical assistance under title XIX and social services under title XX?
AnswerSection 475 (4)(B) of the Act requires that foster care maintenance payments for a minor parent in foster care cover a child of such parent if the child is placed with the minor parent. Neither the statute nor regulations require the State to have placement and care responsibility of the child in order for such costs to be included in the minor parent's foster care maintenance payment. Good social work practice suggests that the minor parent's case plan include the needs of the child and

that the child's needs and interests be addressed during the six-month periodic reviews and permanency hearings held on behalf of the minor parent. However, the State is not required to satisfy these requirements independently on behalf of the child because s/he has not been removed from her/his biological parent and; therefore, pursuant to Federal law and regulations, is not in foster care.

In cases where the State has placement and care responsibility for both the minor parent and child, and has placed them in different foster homes, title IV-E eligibility would have to be determined individually for each. Likewise, if a minor parent leaves the foster home and does not take the child, the child's eligibility for foster care then would be based upon his or her individual circumstances. In addition, the State would have to obtain responsibility for placement and care of the child through either a voluntary placement agreement or a court order with the required judicial determinations. Once the child is placed separately from the minor parent, s/he is considered to be in foster care and the requirements of the case review system at section 475(5) of the Act apply.

When a child is placed with his/her minor parent, no administrative costs may be claimed on her/his behalf because s/he is not eligible for nor a recipient of title IV-E foster care maintenance payments. The State is merely increasing the amount of the title IV-E foster care maintenance payment made on behalf of the eligible minor parent to accommodate the board and care of the child. In situations where the eligibility of the minor parent and his/her infant is determined separately and the two

are placed separately, the State may claim administrative costs for the child because s/he is eligible for and receiving title IV-E maintenance payments in her/his own right.

Section 473 (a)(2) of the Act provides that the child whose costs in a foster family home or child-care institution are covered by the title IV-E foster care payment made with respect to the parent is eligible for adoption assistance under title IV-E, if determined by the State to be a child with special needs under section 473 (c).

Section 472 (h) of the Act makes clear that the child whose costs are covered by the title IV-E payment made with respect to the parent shall be considered a child with respect to whom foster care maintenance payments are made under title IV-E and is thus eligible for medical assistance and social services under titles XIX and XX.

Source/DateACYF-CB-PA-88-01 (7/6/88); Questions and Answers on the Final Rule (65 FR 4020 (1/25/00)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 472, 473 and 475 Title XIX and XX; 45 CFR 1356.21

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1.2B.3 AFCARS, Data Elements and Definitions, Foster Care Specific Elements, Episode and removal circumstances

Question Number 7:
07/03/2002 - Current
Question*For a child who is in and out of the foster care system over a period of several years, what does the State report for foster care element 18 "Date of first removal from home" if it does not have the date of the first removal?
Answer*This information is required by the regulations at appendix A to 45 CFR 1355 and should exist in the case record or a court record. As is the case for all missing data, if the date of the child's first removal from home is not available, the date should be left blank.(See: 45 CFR1355, Appendix D, Detailed Foster Care, Element Number 18.)
Source/Date*ACYF-CB-PIQ-95-01 (3/8/95), updated (5-28-02)
Legal and Related References*45 CFR 1355.40; Appendix A to 45 CFR 1355

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05/06/2001 - 07/03/2002 (Original Record)
QuestionFor a child who is in and out of the foster care system during the next several years, what do you report if the State does not have the date of the first removal? Is it considered missing data?
AnswerThis information should exist in the case record or a court record. If the date is left blank, it will be considered missing and subject to penalty in every reporting period in which the case appears. (See: 45 CFR1355, Appendix D, Detailed Foster Care, Element Number 18.)
Source/DateACYF-CB-PIQ-95-01 (3/8/95)
Legal and Related ReferencesSocial Security Act - section 479; 45 CFR Parts 1355, 1356 and 1357

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4.3 MEPA/IEAP, Guidance for Compliance

7.3 TITLE IV-B, Programmatic Requirements

3.4 INDEPENDENT LIVING, Related Foster Care Requirements

8.3C.2e TITLE IV-E, Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program, State Plan/Procedural Requirements, Case review system, termination of parental rights

2.1G CAPTA, Assurances and Requirements, Triage

1.3 AFCARS, Reporting Population

8.2B.4 TITLE IV-E, Adoption Assistance Program, Eligibility, Deceased adoptive parents/dissolved adoptions

8.3A.8d TITLE IV-E, Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program, Eligibility, Facilities requirements, supervised independent living

8.2B.10 TITLE IV-E, Adoption Assistance Program, Eligibility, Responsibility for placement and care

8.1 TITLE IV-E, Administrative Functions/Costs

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

2.3 CAPTA, Definitions

8.2B.3 TITLE IV-E, Adoption Assistance Program, Eligibility, Child of a minor parent

3.2B INDEPENDENT LIVING, Data Collection, Outcome Measures

8.3C.2c TITLE IV-E, Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program, State Plan/Procedural Requirements, Case review system, permanency hearings

8.3C.1 TITLE IV-E, Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program, State Plan/Procedural Requirements, Case plans

2.1J CAPTA, Assurances and Requirements, Criminal Background Checks

2.1A.1 CAPTA, Assurances and Requirements, Access to Child Abuse and Neglect Information, Confidentiality

8.1C TITLE IV-E, Administrative Functions/Costs, Calculating Claims

8.4D TITLE IV-E, General Title IV-E Requirements, Concurrent Receipt of Federal Benefits

8.3A.9b TITLE IV-E, Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program, Reasonable efforts, to prevent a removal

8.3A.4 TITLE IV-E, Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program, Eligibility, Child in facility outside scope of foster care

2.1E CAPTA, Assurances and Requirements, Reunification

2.1B CAPTA, Assurances and Requirements, Appeals

9.3 TRIBES/INDIAN TRIBAL ORGANIZATIONS, Responsibilities of the Bureau of Indian Affairs

3.1H INDEPENDENT LIVING, Certifications and Requirements, Training

8.4F TITLE IV-E, General Title IV-E Requirements, Criminal Record and Registry Checks

2.1A.4 CAPTA, Assurances and Requirements, Access to Child Abuse and Neglect Information, Public disclosure

2.1D CAPTA, Assurances and Requirements, Guardian Ad Litems

8.1H TITLE IV-E, Administrative Functions/Costs, Training

8.4 TITLE IV-E, General Title IV-E Requirements

8.3A.13 TITLE IV-E, Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program, Eligibility, Voluntary placement agreements

8.3A.8a TITLE IV-E, Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program, Eligibility, Facilities requirements, child-care institution

8.2B.8 TITLE IV-E, Adoption Assistance Program, Eligibility, Medicaid

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

8.2B.1 TITLE IV-E, Adoption Assistance Program, Eligibility, Biological parents

8.3A.3 TITLE IV-E, Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program, Eligibility, Biological parents

1.2A AFCARS, Data Elements and Definitions, Adoption Specific Elements

8.2B.5 TITLE IV-E, Adoption Assistance Program, Independent Adoptions

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

8.5C.1 Guardianship Assistance Program, Payments, Termination

8.2B.7 TITLE IV-E, Adoption Assistance Program, Eligibility, Judicial determinations

8.3B TITLE IV-E, Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program, Payments

8.2D TITLE IV-E, Adoption Assistance Program, Payments

8.2B.6 TITLE IV-E, Adoption Assistance Program, International Adoptions

 

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