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Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families Children’s Bureau. The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008.

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fostering connections to success and increasing adoptions act of 2008

Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Administration for Children and Families

Children’s Bureau

the fostering connections to success and increasing adoptions act of 2008
The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008
  • The law amends the Social Security Act to
    • 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
    • Provide federally recognized Indian Tribes, Indian Tribal organizations and Tribal consortia with the option to operate a title IV-E program
    • Amends the Education and Training Voucher (ETV) Program to permit vouchers for youth who after attaining age 16 enter into kinship guardianship or are adopted from foster care

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws_policies/policy/pi/2010/pi1011.htm#secta

additional title iv e plan requirements
Additional Title IV-E Plan Requirements

The law also adds the following title IV-E plan provisions:

Assurances that certain children are enrolled in elementary/secondary school, have finished school, or cannot attend school due to a medical condition

Reasonable efforts to place siblings together and facilitate visitation or interaction for those who cannot be so placed

Develop a transition plan during the 90-day period before the youth attains age 18, or the later if the State has taken the option.

Information to prospective adoptive parents of the Federal adoption tax credit

Effective dates: Upon enactment (October 7, 2008), with delays permitted for States who require legislation to implement title IV-E plan requirements.

kinship guardianship assistance payments
Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payments

Creates a new plan option for States and Tribes to provide kinship guardianship assistance payments under title IV-E for relatives taking legal guardianship of children who have been in foster care.

27 States have submitted Title IV-E plan amendments with the GAP option. 14 States have been approved. (Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Michigan, Montana, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, District of Columbia, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, New York, and Alabama)

Title IV-E agencies must submit an approvable plan amendment per PI-10-01. For more information see http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws_policies/policy/pi/2010/pi1011.htm

conditions for guardianship
Conditions for Guardianship

Eligibility criteria includes:

  • Child is in the placement and care responsibility of the title IV-E agency.
  • Child is eligible for title IV-E foster care for at least 6 months, while in the licensed/approved home of the prospective guardian
  • Criminal record checks for prospective guardians and child abuse neglect checks on the guardian and other adults living in the home.
  • Return home/adoption are not appropriate for the child.
  • A child who has attained age 14 has been consulted about the guardianship.
  • Specific requirements for the guardianship agreement.
slide6

Notifying Relatives

  • Title IV-E plan requirement to:
    • Exercise due diligence to identify and notify all adult relatives of a child’s removal from his/her home within 30 days of removal, subject to exceptions due to family/domestic violence.
    • Specify in the notice:
      • how the relative can participate in the care and placement of the child.
      • what options may be lost if the relative doesn’t respond to the notice.
      • how to become a foster family or guardian for the child, if applicable.
waiving non safety licensing standards for relatives
Waiving Non-Safety Licensing Standards for Relatives

The title IV-E agency has the discretion to:

Waive, on a case by case basis, a non-safety licensing standard for a relative foster family home.

Determine what constitutes a non-safety licensing standard.

Consider variances to meet licensing/approval standards.

CB expects:

Reason for waivers to be clearly documented in licensing/approval record.

Licensing/approval to indicate its applicability to specific relative child.

CB encourages:

Use a variety of means to ensure, when appropriate, relatives are able to meet licensing/approval standards and provide safe care to a child.

Consideration of use of title IV-E administrative funds to assist relatives to meet licensing/approval standards without using waivers.

short term training
Short-Term Training
  • A title IV-E agency may claim for the short-term training of certain categories of trainees including:

Existing categories:

    • current or prospective foster or adoptive parents.
    • members of the staff of licensed or approved child care institutions providing care to foster and adopted children receiving assistance under title IV-E.
    • title IV-E agency staff.

New Categories:

    • relative guardians (if the title IV-E agency has opted to offer IV-E GAP).
    • members of licensed or approved child welfare agencies providing services to children receiving assistance under title IV-E foster care, adoption assistance or guardianship.
    • members of the staff of abuse and neglect courts.
    • agency attorneys and attorneys representing childrenor parents.
    • guardians ad litem or other court-appointed special advocates representing children.
family connection grants
Family Connection Grants

Authorizes the Secretary to award competitive, matching grants to State, local, or Indian Tribal child welfare agencies, and private non-profit organizations for the purpose of helping children who are in or are at-risk of entering into foster care reconnect with family members through:

(1) kinship navigator programs;

(2) efforts to find biological family and reestablish relationships;

(3) family decision making meetings; or,

(4) residential family treatment programs.