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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Child Welfare: State Plan Requirements under the Title IV-E Foster Care, Adoption Assistance, and Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program

Emilie Stoltzfus
Specialist in Social Policy

Under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, states, territories, and tribes are entitled to claim partial federal reimbursement for the cost of providing foster care, adoption assistance, and kinship guardianship assistance to children who meet federal eligibility criteria. The Title IV-E program, as it is commonly called, provides support for monthly payments on behalf of eligible children, as well as funds for related case management activities, training, data collection, and other costs of program administration. For FY2011, states spent $12.4 billion under the Title IV-E program and expected to receive federal reimbursement of $6.7 billion, or 54% of that spending.

As a condition of receiving this funding, states, territories. and tribes must have a Title IV-E plan that is approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families. That plan must ensure direct financial assistance is made available to eligible children under the Title IV-E program. Further, it must ensure that the state, territory, or tribe will adhere to federal plan requirements primarily intended to ensure children’s safety, permanence, and well-being.

Title IV-E plan requirements other than those related to provision of direct financial assistance to eligible children are the focus of this report. Those requirements are intended to (1) enable children to be reunited with their families or prevent their entry to foster care; (2) promote children’s placement with relatives and maintain sibling connections; (3) ensure children’s living arrangements are safe and appropriate; (4) provide for regular oversight and review of each child’s status in foster care and timely development and implementation of a permanency plan; (5) ensure timely efforts to find a permanent home for children or youth who cannot be reunited with their families; (6) ensure the health care and education needs of children in foster care are addressed; (7) help youth make a successful transition from foster care to adulthood; and (8) ensure program coordination and collaboration and meet certain administrative standards.

Date of Report: October 26, 2012
Number of Pages: 25
Order Number: R42794
Price: $29.95

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