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color="#0000FF" size="4">PLEASE NOTE: This policy issuance has been withdrawn in its entirety and should be used only for historical or reference purposes.
Administration for Children and Families
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN
|1. Log No.: ACYF-IM-91-11||2. Issuance Date: 5/10/91|
|3. Originating Office: Children's Bureau|
|4. Key Word: Title IV-B, Relative Foster Care, Kinship Care|
TO: State Agencies Administering or Supervising the Administration of Title IV-B of the Social Security Act, Indian Tribes and Indian Tribal Organizations
SUBJECT: Kinship Foster Care and the Requirements Under Title IV-B, Section 427, of the Social Security Act
LEGAL AND RELATED REFERENCES: Section 427 of the Social Security Act; ACYF-IQ-82- 12, Dated July 12, 1982; ACYF-PIQ-85-06, Dated June 5, 1985; ACYF-PA-87-02, Dated June 1, 1987; and ACYF-IM-88-22, Dated August 18, 1988
PURPOSE: It has come to our attention that State practices vary greatly in the treatment of children under the State IV-B/IV-E agency's responsibility who have been removed from their homes pursuant to a voluntary placement agreement or by a court and placed with relatives. The purpose of this Information Memorandum is to restate the Federal requirements under section 427 of the Social Security Act (the Act) that all children in foster care under the responsibility of the State title IV-B/IV-E agency must be provided the same statutory protections. This includes children under the responsibility of the State agency who have been placed with relatives regardless of whether the State defines the placement as "kinship care," "foster care," or something different.
BACKGROUND: Section 427 of the Act provides that a State may be eligible for additional title IV-B funds if it has implemented and is operating to the satisfaction of the Secretary certain systems and programs providing protections for children in foster care. The statutory requirements in section 427 of the Act include, among other things, the provision of a case review system for each child in foster care under the supervision of the State and a service program to help children, where appropriate, to return to the families from which they were removed or be placed for adoption or legal guardianship. This language was interpreted by the Department in Policy Interpretation Question ACYF-PIQ-82-12. That issuance states that "the inventory, information system and case review system must cover all children in foster care under the responsibility of the State agency(ies) administering or supervising the administration of the State's title IV-B, IV-E or IV-A (FC) programs. . . . Therefore, any child for whom the State agency is responsible must be included." (Emphasis added.) Additionally, two subsequent policy issuances have addressed the requirements for children under State responsibility who have been placed with relatives. Policy Interpretation Question ACYF-PIQ-85-06 responded to a question about whether children under State responsibility who are placed with unlicensed relatives with no foster care payment should be in the foster care population required to meet the section 427 requirements. The response stated that, "for purposes of section 427, the following considerations would be applied:
If the answers are affirmative, such children would be included in the foster care population." Policy Announcement ACYF-PA-87-02 was issued to clearly identify those children in foster care who must be afforded the section 427 protections and who must be included in the universe of cases from which the sample of cases is selected for Federal review. It states that foster care arrangements include "family foster homes, group homes, and child care institutions, as well as preadoptive homes and relative foster homes, regardless of whether foster care payments are made by the State and local agency." It goes on to say that "The circumstances of placement . . . or the existence of a blood relationship between the foster parent and the child will not be reasons for excluding affected children from the section 427 review."
INFORMATION: If a State has certified its compliance with section 427, it must provide the required statutory protections for all children who have been removed pursuant to a voluntary placement agreement or by a court and placed with relatives under the State title IV-B/IV-E agency's responsibility.
INQUIRIES TO:Acting Regional Administrators, ACF Regions
I - X
Wade F. Horn, Ph.D.