Saturday, August 1, 2009

Latest News on Budget Cuts Affecting Adoption Assistance Programs in Ohio

The following memorandums was issued by Deputy Director Sandra Holt on July 31, 2009. The memo was shared with various advocacy groups.

July 31, 2009

TO: Directors, Public Children Services Agencies

FROM: Sandra T. Holt, Deputy Director,

July 31, 2009

TO: Directors, Public Children Services Agencies

FROM: Sandra T. Holt , Deputy Director Office of Families and Children

SUBJECT: Budget Impact on Child Welfare Programs

I know many of you are eager for more information about the impacts the state fiscal year 2010-2011 budget will have on our child welfare programs, so I am writing to provide an update. As you know, the downturn in the national economy and declining state revenues will require us all to make some very difficult adjustments.

Here is how the budget will impact the following programs:

• Post Adoption Special Services Subsidy (PASSS) – Although the final budget reduced overall funding for adoption services, funding for the PASSS program has been secured, at the SFY 2009 level.

• Title IV-E Adoption Assistance (AA) – State AA reimbursement will need to be reduced. The state will provide the non-federal match for AA payments at or below $225 per month per child, beginning with the September subsidy payments. County agencies will be responsible for providing the non-federal match amount above $225.

• State Adoption Maintenance Subsidy (SAMS) - There will be no reduction in the state share for those eligible for SAMS prior to September 1, 2009. However, no new applications for SAMS will be accepted or approved on or after September 1.

• Non-Recurring Adoption Expenses – As you know, Ohio’s AA program provides a state-matched federal reimbursement to adoptive families for expenses such as adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees and other expenses directly related to the legal adoption of children with special needs. We intend to reduce this reimbursement to a maximum of $1,000 per child.