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Implementation of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 Working Document

Published: September 10, 2013
Categories:
Laws
Topics:
Adoption, Foster Care

This document provides the locations of Children's Bureau policy, guidance, and other implementation activities related to the Fostering Connection to Success and Increasing Adoption Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-351).

Background. The President signed the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P. L. 110-351) into law on October 7, 2008.  Generally, the law amends the Social Security Act to extend and expand adoption incentives through FY2013; create an option to provide kinship guardianship assistance payments; create an option to extend eligibility for title IV-E foster care, adoption assistance and kinship guardianship payments to age 21; de-link adoption assistance from Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) eligibility over time; and, provide Federally-recognized Indian Tribes, Tribal organizations, or Tribal consortia (Tribes) with the option to operate a title IV-E program, among many other provisions. A draft compilation of the revised Social Security Act can be found on the CB's website.

Title IV-E Requirements
Guardianship Assistance Payments (GAP) Program
Tribal Option to Operate a Title IV-E Program
Tribal Option to Directly Operate the Chafee Foster Care Independent Living Program (CFCIP) and Education and Training Voucher (ETV) Program
Tribal Title IV-E Plan Development Grants
De-linking a Child's Adoption Assistance Eligibility from AFDC Eligibility Requirements
Extension and Expansion of the Adoption Incentives Program
Option to Extend Eligibility for Title IV-E Payments to Age 21
Educational Stability Requirements
Title IV-B Plan Health Oversight and Coordination Plan Requirements
Transition Plan for Emancipating Youth
State Good Faith Negotiation with Tribes
Training
Notice to Relatives of Removal
Title IV-E Plan Requirements for Sibling Placement
Adoption Tax Credit
Licensing Waivers for Relatives and Report to Congress
Access to Federal Parent Locator Service
Family Connection Grants
Additional Policy Guidance

Title IV-E Requirements – States and Tribes that operate a program pursuant to title IV-E of the Social Security Act must comply with all requirements identified in law, regulation and policy.  Additional information regarding general requirements of title IV-E may be found at:

  • ACYF-CB-PI-13-05: provides a comprehensive title IV-E plan pre-print to replace previous title IV-E plan preprints and amendments and provide instructions to title IV-E agencies on optional and required changes to title IV-E plan requirements.
  • ACYF-CB-PI-11-01: provides guidance for title IV-E agencies with SACWIS systems and may help them interpret and determine the impact of policy changes concerning title IV-E foster care eligibility re-determinations and Fostering Connections legislation.
  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-14: provides State, Territorial and Tribal title IV-E agencies (hereafter, "title IV-E agencies") with the revised form and instructions approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for reporting quarterly financial information on the title IV-E Foster Care, Adoption Assistance and Guardianship Assistance Programs.
  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-11: provides title IV-E agencies comprehensive guidance on the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L.110-351). Also provides instruction on changes to the title IV-E/IV-B plan requirements as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148).
  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-10: provides guidance to States and Tribes on actions they are required to take to be in compliance with the requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148).
  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-07: provides State title IV-E agencies with revised interim instructions on how to report on existing financial reporting form ACF-IV-E-1 estimates and expenditures associated with the Guardianship Assistance Program (GAP), post-termination assisted guardianship waiver demonstration project assistance and services and short-term training for additional trainees eligible for Federal financial participation (FFP) at transitional reimbursement rates.
  • ACYF-CB-PI-09-08: provides a revised title IV-E plan pre-print that incorporates the statutory provisions made by Public Law 110-351 which are effective through fiscal year 2010.
  • ACYF-CB-PI-09-04: provides title IV-E Form ACYF-IV-E-1 and Interim Financial Reporting Instructions for the Foster Care, Adoption Assistance and Guardianship Assistance Programs.  This issuance is superseded by ACYF-CB-PI-10-01 and ACYF-CB-PI-10-07.
  • ACYF-CB-PI-08-05: provides basic information about the provisions of P. L. 110-351.

Guardianship Assistance Payments (GAP) Program (Effective October 7, 2008) - creates an option for State and Tribal title IV-E agencies to provide kinship guardianship assistance payments.  Additional information may be found at:

  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-14: provides State, Territorial and Tribal title IV-E agencies (hereafter, "title IV-E agencies") with the revised form and instructions approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for reporting quarterly financial information on the title IV-E Foster Care, Adoption Assistance and Guardianship Assistance Programs.
  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-11: provides title IV-E agencies comprehensive guidance on the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L.110-351). Also provides instruction on changes to the title IV-E/IV-B plan requirements as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148).
  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-07: provides State title IV-E agencies with revised interim instructions on how to report on existing financial reporting form ACF-IV-E-1 estimates and expenditures associated with the GAP, post-termination assisted guardianship waiver demonstration project assistance and services and short-term training for additional trainees eligible for Federal Financial Participation (FFP) at transitional reimbursement rates.
  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-01: title IV-E agencies revised instructions on how to implement and operate the GAP plan option.  This Program Instruction (PI) supersedes ACYF-CB-PI-08-07 issued December 24, 2008 and ACYF-CB-PI-09-04 issued March 24, 2009.
  • ACYF-CB-PI-08-07: provides title IV-E agencies instructions for how to implement and operate the GAP option.  This issuance is superseded by ACYF-CB-PI-10-01.
  • ACYF-CB-PI-09-04: provides the title IV-E Form ACYF-IV-E-1 Interim Financial Reporting Instructions Foster Care, Adoption Assistance and Guardianship Assistance Programs.  This issuance is superseded by ACYF-CB-PI-10-01 and ACYF-CB-PI-10-07.
  • Section 8.5: This section of the Child Welfare Policy Manual (CWPM) provides questions and answers (Q/As) regarding the GAP.
  • CWPM 8.1B, Q #29
  • CWPM 8.5A, Q #2
  • CWPM 8.5A, Q #3
  • CWPM 8.5B, Q #6
  • CWPM 8.5C, Q #2
  • CWPM 8.5C, Q #3
  • CWPM 8.5C.1, Q #1

Tribal Option to Operate a Title IV-E Program (Effective October 1, 2009) - allows Federally-recognized Tribes to apply to receive title IV-E funds directly for foster care, adoption assistance and, at Tribal option, kinship guardianship assistance.  Additional information may be found at:

  • ACYF-CB-PI-13-03: provides instruction to Tribes on the June 30, 2013 Submission of the Annual Progress and Services Report (APSR) required under Title IV-B of the Social Security Act (the Act) for the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Child Welfare Services and Promoting Safe and Stable Families (PSSF) Programs, and the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP), including the Education and Training Vouchers (ETV) program; submission of the CFS-101, Part I, Annual Budget Request; Part II, Annual Summary of Child and Family Services; and Part III, Annual Expenditures for Title IV-B, Subparts 1 and 2.
  • ACFY-CB-PI-10-13: provides information on the applicable cost allocation requirements to Tribes that are operating or planning to operate a title IV-E program pursuant to section 479B of the Act.
  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-11: provides title IV-E agencies comprehensive guidance on the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L.110-351). Also provides instruction on changes to the title IV-E/IV-B plan requirements as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148).
  • ACYF-CB-PI-09-11: provides guidance on the Federal Advance Planning Document (APD) regulations that Tribes have to comply with to claim title IV-B and/or title IV-E Federal Financial Participation for child welfare information technology projects, equipment, and services.
  • ACYF-CB-IM-09-02: provides automation requirements and options for Tribes operating a title IV-E program pursuant to section 479B of the Social Security Act.
  • Tribal Title IV-E Program Considerations, Technical Assistance Document:  provides technical assistance for Tribes to use in considering how to plan for the resources, policies, and procedures they will or may need to implement a direct title IV-E program.
  • ACYF-CB-PI-08-06: requested that Tribes submit a letter of intent if the Tribe intended to directly operate a title IV-E Program or apply for a Fostering Connections grant.  Note:  The request for letters of intent has expired.
  • ACYF-CB-IM-08-03: notifies Indian Tribes of the opportunity to operate the title IV-E programs.
  • Title IV-E Tribal Consultation Meetings: published in the Federal Register March 13, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 48) - a request for public comment concerning the Tribal title IV-E requirements and notice of Tribal consultation meetings.  Note:  The public comment period is closed, and Tribal consultation meetings have concluded.
  • CWPM 9.2, Q #9

Tribal Option to Directly Operate the Chafee Foster Care Independent Living Program (CFCIP) and Education and Training Voucher (ETV) Program (Effective October 1, 2009) - provides an option for Tribes with an approved title IV-E plan or a title IV-E Tribal/State agreement to receive directly from the Secretary of HHS a portion of the State's CFCIP and ETV allotments to fund the provision of services to Tribal youth.  Additional information may be found at:

  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-08: provides guidance to Indian Tribes, Tribal Organizations or Tribal Consortia on actions they are required to take in order to receive their allotments for fiscal year (FY) 2011 (subject to the availability of appropriations) authorized under title IV-B, subparts 1 and/or 2, the CFCIP and ETV programs.
  • ACYF-CB-PI-09-07: provides guidance to Tribes on the June 30, 2009 submission of a CFCIP and ETV plan, among other provisions.

Tribal Title IV-E Plan Development Grants - are authorized for the development of a Tribal title IV-E plan and implementation of a title IV-E program.

  • 2011 Tribal title IV-E Plan Development grants. The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement is to solicit applications for one-time grants to Tribes, tribal organizations, or tribal consortia that are seeking to develop, and within 24 months of grant receipt, to submit to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) a plan to implement a title IV-E foster care, adoption assistance, and, at tribal option, guardianship assistance program.
  • 2010 Tribal Title IV-E Plan Development Grants. The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement is to make one-time grants to Tribes, Tribal organizations, or Tribal consortia that are seeking to develop, and within 24 months of grant receipt, submit to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) a plan to implement a title IV-E foster care, adoption assistance and, at Tribal option, guardianship assistance program.
  • 2009 Tribal Title IV-E Plan Development Grant Awardees. The application announcement for 2010 grants is open beginning March 23, 2010.  All applications are due by June, 21, 2010.  The application and additional information can be found at: grants.gov

De-linking a Child's Adoption Assistance Eligibility from AFDC Eligibility Requirements (Effective October 1, 2009, subject to phase-in) - establishes new criteria associated with the de-linking of Adoption Assistance eligibility AFDC eligibility requirements, phased in over time beginning in FY 2010.  In FY 2010 beginning with children aged 16 years and older, eligibility for Adoption Assistance will be delinked from AFDC and every fiscal year after the age drops two years.  Additional information may be found at:

  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-14: provides State, Territorial and Tribal title IV-E agencies (hereafter, "title IV-E agencies") with the revised form and instructions approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for reporting quarterly financial information on the title IV-E Foster Care, Adoption Assistance and Guardianship Assistance Programs.
  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-11: provides title IV-E agencies comprehensive guidance on the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L.110-351). Also provides instruction on changes to the title IV-E/IV-B plan requirements as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148).
  • ACYF-CB-PI-09-10: provides State and Tribal title IV-E agencies with information regarding changes to the title IV-E adoption assistance eligibility requirements made by P.L. 110-351.
  • CWPM 8.2B, Q#5
  • CWPM 8.2B, Q#6-10
  • CWPM 8.2B.3, Q#3
  • CWPM 8.2B.11,Q#3
  • CWPM 8.2B.11, Q#4
  • CWPM 8.2B.12, Q#3

Extension and Expansion of the Adoption Incentives Program (Effective October 7, 2008) - extends the Adoption Incentive Program through FY 2013, updates the "base year" used to measure increases to FY 2007, doubles incentive payment amounts for special needs and older child adoptions and creates  a "highest ever" foster child adoption rate payment.  Additional information may be found at:

  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-14: provides State, Territorial and Tribal title IV-E agencies (hereafter, "title IV-E agencies") with the revised form and instructions approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for reporting quarterly financial information on the title IV-E Foster Care, Adoption Assistance and Guardianship Assistance Programs.
  • FY 2009 Adoption Incentive Awards Press Release and State Listing
  • ACYF-CB-IM-09-03: informs States of the procedures for determining the Adoption Incentive grant amounts and includes the schedule of payments to be used by ACYF in awarding the Adoption Incentive funds to States.

Option to Extend Eligibility for Title IV-E Payments to Age 21 (Effective October 1, 2010) - allows States and Tribes to elect to provide title IV-E foster care, adoption assistance and kinship guardianship payments to youth up to age 19, 20 or 21, when those youth meet certain education, training or work requirements.

Educational Stability Requirements (Effective October 7, 2008) - adds travel to and from school in the foster care maintenance payment definition, adds a case plan requirement to ensure educational stability for children in foster care, and requires that the title IV-E agency ensure that each child receiving a payment under the title IV-E plan is attending school full time or has completed secondary school.

Title IV-B Plan Health Oversight and Coordination Plan Requirements (Effective October 7, 2008) - requires the title IV-B agency to develop ongoing oversight and coordination of health care services for children in foster care, including coordination with the state Medicaid agency.  Additional information can be found at:

  • ACYF-CB-PI-13-04: provides instruction to States on the June 30, 2013 submission of the Annual Progress and Services Report (APSR) required under Title IV-B of the Act for the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Child Welfare Services (CWS) and Promoting Safe and Stable Families (PSSF) Programs, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) State Grant Program; and the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) and the Education and Training Vouchers (ETV) Program; and the CFS-101, Part I, Annual Budget Request, Part II, Annual Summary of Child and Family Services, and Part III, Annual Expenditure Report—Title IV-B, subparts 1 and 2, CFCIP, and ETV.
  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-11: provides title IV-E agencies comprehensive guidance on the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L.110-351). Also provides instruction on changes to the title IV-E/IV-B plan requirements as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148).
  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-10: provides guidance to States and Tribes on actions they are required to take to be in compliance with the requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148).
  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-09: provides guidance to States, Territories, and Insular Areas on actions they are required to take to receive their allotments for FY2011 (subject to the availability of appropriations) authorized under title IV-B, subparts 1 and 2, section 106 of CAPTA, CFCIP and ETV programs.
  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-08: provides guidance to Indian Tribes, Tribal Organizations or Tribal Consortia on actions they are required to take in order to receive their allotments for FY2011 (subject to the availability of appropriations) authorized under title IV-B, subparts 1 and/or 2, the CFCIP and ETV programs.
  • ACYF-CB-PI-09-07: provides guidance to Tribes on actions they are required to take for the June 30, 2009 submission of the title IV-B plan, among other provisions.
  • ACYF-CB-PI-09-06: provides guidance to States, Territories, and Insular Areas on actions they are required to take for the June 30, 2009 submission of the title IV-B plan, among other provisions.

Transition Plan for Emancipating Youth (Effective October 7, 2008) – requires that during the 90-day period prior to a child's emancipation, the child's caseworker must develop a personalized transition plan that is directed by the child.

  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-11: provides title IV-E agencies comprehensive guidance on the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L.110-351). Also provides instruction on changes to the title IV-E/IV-B plan requirements as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148).
  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-10: provides guidance to States and Tribes on actions they are required to take to be in compliance with the requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148).

State Good Faith Negotiation with Tribes (Effective October 7, 2008) - creates a title IV-E plan requirement and a Chafee plan requirement for the State to negotiate in good faith with any Tribe that requests the development of an agreement with the State to provide payments for Indian children.  Additional information can be found at:

  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-11: provides title IV-E agencies comprehensive guidance on the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L.110-351). Also provides instruction on changes to the title IV-E/IV-B plan requirements as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148).
  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-09: provides guidance to States, Territories, and Insular Areas on actions they are required to take to receive their allotments for FY2011 (subject to the availability of appropriations) authorized under title IV-B, subparts 1 and 2, section 106 of CAPTA, CFCIP and ETV programs.
  • ACYF-CB-PI-09-07: provides guidance to Tribes on actions they are required to take for the June 30, 2009 submission of the title IV-B, CFCIP and ETV plans.
  • ACYF-CB-PI-09-06: provides guidance to States, Territories, and Insular Areas on actions they are required to take for the June 30, 2009 submission of the title IV-B, CFCIP and ETV plans.

Training (Effective October 7, 2008) - permits title IV-E agencies to claim the costs of short-term training for relative guardians, attorneys and others.  Questions added to the CWPM or significantly revised to address this provision include:

  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-11: provides title IV-E agencies comprehensive guidance on the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L.110-351). Also provides instruction on changes to the title IV-E/IV-B plan requirements as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148).
  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-09: provides guidance to States, Territories, and Insular Areas on actions they are required to take to receive their allotments for FY2011 (subject to the availability of appropriations) authorized under title IV-B, subparts 1 and 2, section 106 of CAPTA, CFCIP and ETV programs.
  • CWPM 8.1H, Q #1
  • CWPM 8.1H, Q #8
  • CWPM 8.1H, Q #17
  • CWPM 8.1H, Q #18
  • CWPM 8.1H, Q #19
  • CWPM 8.1H, Q #20

Notice to Relatives of Removal (Effective October 7, 2008) - the law adds a new plan requirement at section 471(a)(29) to require that title IV-E agencies exercise due diligence to identify and notify all adult relatives of a child within 30 days of the child's removal, of the relatives' options to become a placement resource for the child.

  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-11: provides title IV-E agencies comprehensive guidance on the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L.110-351). Also provides instruction on changes to the title IV-E/IV-B plan requirements as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148).

Title IV-E Plan Requirements for Sibling Placement (Effective October 7, 2008) - the law adds a new plan requirement at section 471(a)(31) of the Act to require title IV-E agencies to make reasonable efforts to place siblings removed from their home in the same foster care, adoption or guardianship placement, or facilitate visitation or ongoing contacts with those that cannot be placed together, unless it is contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings to do so.

  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-11: provides title IV-E agencies comprehensive guidance on the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L.110-351). Also provides instruction on changes to the title IV-E/IV-B plan requirements as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148).

Adoption Tax Credit (Effective October 7, 2008) - the law adds a new plan requirement at section 471(a)(33) for title IV-E agencies to inform prospective adoptive parents of the adoption tax credit.

  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-11: provides title IV-E agencies comprehensive guidance on the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L.110-351). Also provides instruction on changes to the title IV-E/IV-B plan requirements as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148).

Licensing Waivers for Relatives and Report to Congress (Effective October 7, 2008) - the law amends section 471(a)(10) to explicitly permit the title IV-E agency to waive on a case-by-case basis a non-safety licensing standard for a relative foster family home.  In addition, HHS must submit a Report to Congress, two years after enactment, on children placed in relative foster family homes and the use of licensing waivers.

  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-11: provides title IV-E agencies comprehensive guidance on the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L.110-351). Also provides instruction on changes to the title IV-E/IV-B plan requirements as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148).
  • ACYF-CB-PI-09-06: provides guidance to States, Territories, and Insular Areas on how to report data on foster family homes to ACYF, among other provisions.

Access to Federal Parent Locator Service (Effective October 7, 2008) - the law amends section 453(j)(3) of title IV-D of the Act to grant authority to the Secretary to conduct comparisons and make disclosures to States of information for the purposes of the title IV-B and IV-E programs using the Federal Parent Locator Service.

  • ACYF-CB-PI-10-11: provides title IV-E agencies comprehensive guidance on the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L.110-351). Also provides instruction on changes to the title IV-E/IV-B plan requirements as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148).
  • OCSE-AT-10-12:  transmits a final rule issued by the Office of Child Support Enforcement on December 30, 2010 (73 FR 56442). The rule addresses release of information to IV-B and IV-E agencies to assist state child welfare agencies in carrying out their program responsibilities to locate relatives for potential placement of a child removed from parental custody in response to changes made by the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-351).
  • OCSE-IM-12-02: provides information to State child support agencies authorized under title IV-D and State child welfare agencies authorized under title IV-B and IV-E regarding the child support agency’s authority to share Federal and State Parent Locator and other case information with the State child welfare agency in response to changes made by the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-351).

Family Connection Grants (awarded in September 2009) - authorizes and appropriates $15 million in discretionary grant funds to be awarded to State, local or Tribal child welfare agencies and private non-profit organizations that have experience in working with fostering children or children in kinship care arrangements in four program areas to support evidence-based and evidence informed demonstration projects.  The four program areas include Kinship Navigator, Family Finding, Family Group Decision-making and Residential Family Treatment.

Additional Policy Guidance
In addition to the resources provided above, please note that as a result of the enactment P.L. 110-351, the relevant Child Welfare Policy Manual Q/As are in the process of being revised to reflect the many changes made by the law.  The latest revisions can be found in the Modifications to the Manual and Additions to the Manual sections of the CWPM.  Until such time as the edits to the sections of the CWPM related to the changes made to the Act by P.L. 110-351 are complete, please refer to the statute and official guidance from the CB (such as Program Instructions and Information Memoranda) for definitive guidance on the requirements.  You also may contact your Regional Office representative for further clarification.