Sunday, December 30, 2007

State Increases Non-Federal Financial Participation in Federal Title IV-E Adoption Assistance and State Adoption Maintenance Subsidy Programs

On December 18, 2007, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) issued Family and Children and Adult Services Procedure Letter (FCASPL) 129 (AA and SAMS), announcing an increase in the non federal portion of Title IV-E adoption assistance and state adoption subsidy maintenance payments. Beginning in January 2008, ODJFS will provide the non federal portion (about 40%) of federal Title IV-E adoption assistance payments up to $300 per month. Previously the state’s financial participation was limited to payments of $250 per month. This means that for every IV-E adoption assistance payment of $300 per month, federal financial participation will be approximately $180 and state financial participation about $120. As before, public county children services agencies are responsible for the non-federal portions of any amount of assistance over $300 per month.

In accordance with federal and state law, federal Title IV-E adoption assistance payments must be established through a written agreements negotiated between the adopting parents and the responsible county agency. Let us suppose the parents and agency arrive at an adoption assistance agreement of $1,000 per month. Under the revised 2008 funding, the fiscal responsibility would break down as follows:

Total Monthly Adoption Assistance Payment:$1,000Federal ShareState ShareCounty Share
First $300$180 (60%)$120 (40%)$0
Remaining $700$420 (60%)$0$280 (40%)
Totals $1,000$600 (60%)$120 (12%)$280 (28%)

The increase in state financial participation will apply to initial federal Title IV-E adoption assistance agreements negotiated after January 1, 2008. The measure will also apply to adoption assistance agreements that are amended after that date.

The State Adoption Maintenance Subsidy (SAMS) is a non- IV-E subsidy financed entirely without federal dollars. Beginning in January 2008, the state will pay up to $300 per month in state adoption subsidies, an increase from the previous maximum of $250 per month. The $300 amount is not automatic, but is to be determined through discussions between the adopting parents and the responsible county agency.