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Children in Foster Homes and Children in Families Receiving Payments in Excess of the Poverty Income Level from a State Program Funded Under Part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act

Published: September 4, 2002
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Data Collection and Reporting, TANF Caseload, TANF Improper Payments
Caseload Data, Data Collection and Reporting Requirements


State Agencies Administering Child Welfare and Public Assistance Programs


Children in Foster Homes and Children in Families Receiving Payments in Excess of the Poverty Income Level from a State Program Funded Under Part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act


Section 1124(c)(5) of Title I of the "Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965," as amended by Public Law 103-382, the "Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994"; Section 110(j) of Public Law 104-193, the "Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996"; and Public Law 107-110, the "No Child Left Behind Act".


Under provisions of the cited public laws, the Secretary of Health and Human Services is directed to collect and, by January 1 of each year, to transmit to the Secretary of Education certain specified data concerning the number of children who, in the immediately preceding month of October, were (1) living in foster homes supported by public funds, or (2) receiving payments from a State program funded under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families [TANF]).  The data collected constitute a part of the formula used by the Department of Education to allocate funds to local educational agencies (LEAs) under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to meet the special educational needs of educationally deprived children.


The purpose of this transmittal is to request October 2002 caseload data on the number of foster children supported with public funds and the number of children in families receiving TANF payments in excess of the poverty income level.  These data will be used by the Department of Education in its formula to allocate school year 2003-2004 Title I grants.

Please complete both Parts I and II of the enclosed Form ACF-4125, Annual Statistical Report on Children in Foster Homes and Children in Families Receiving Payments in Excess of the Poverty Income Level from a State Program Funded under Part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act.  For purposes of this form, 'children' is defined as those ages 5-17 inclusive, i.e., a child who reaches 5 in the month of October is included, one who reaches 18 is not.  ‘Public funds' is defined as any Federal, State, and/or local monies used by public assistance agencies to support foster children.

The monthly ‘poverty income level’ is derived from the The 2002 HHS Poverty Guidelines, a simplified version of the Federal Government’s statistical poverty thresholds issued by the Bureau of the Census.  For purposes of this report, the level is set at 1/12 of the annual poverty threshold for a non-farm family of four.  Applicable amounts for the October 2002 report are:

$1,508.33 for all 48 contiguous States and the District of Columbia

$1,885.83 for Alaska

$1,735.00 for Hawaii.

Payments ‘in excess of the poverty income level’ are public assistance payments which exceed the amounts listed above and which are made under the TANF Program from Federal, State, and/or local funds.  This refers to cash assistance payments only; vendor payments, assistance in kind, and income from other sources are not considered.  Unless the TANF cash assistance received by the family is in excess of the specified poverty income level, children in that family should not be counted for this report.

Children should be reported as belonging to the LEA in which they reside rather than to the area in which they attend school.  Children who reside in other States should not be counted at all. Each LEA has an assigned reporting code (Agency ID) which should be included as part of the reports for both categories of children (foster care and TANF).  If the information is not available by LEA, please provide it by county.

Under separate cover, we are mailing lists of LEAs and counties with the appropriate reporting codes for them.  Lists for each individual State will be sent to the director of the State's public assistance agency and to the person who, according to our files, completed Form ACF-4125 last year.  These lists are also available upon request in the form of Excel spreadsheets.  In completing this survey, please ensure that the data (with emphasis) provided include the LEA (with emphasis) [or county, if not available by LEA] name and reporting code (with emphasis) shown on the list.

Submittal Procedure:

Please submit this report to the Administration for Children and Families in Washington, DC, via regular mail, e-mail, or FAX. Addresses are provided in the Instructions.  In addition, please send one copy to the appropriate ACF Regional Office.

Form ACF-4125 should be submitted by December 31, 2002.  (with emphasis)  Failure to do so will result in the loss of Title I funds.

Effective Date:



Form ACF-4125 [OMB Number 0970-0004] and Instructions.


If you have questions or need further information, please contact Evelyn Mills, ACF/OPRE/Division of Data Collection and Analysis:

Phone: 202/401-4055
FAX: 202/205-3598
E-mail: emills@acf.hhs.gov
Mail: 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW
7th Floor West
Washington, DC 20447

Andrew S. Bush, Director
Office of Family Assistance

Howard Rolston, Director
Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation