Family, Children, and Adult Services (FCASM) Procedure Letter No. 203, published on September 17, 2010 includes an attachment which reports as 2010 survey of foster care rates in Ohio Counties. The federal financial participation (FFP) rate for Title IV-E adoption assistance is based upon the individual child's appropriate foster care rate. Specifically, FFP is available up to the Family, Children, and Adult Services (FCASM) Procedure Letter No. 203, published on September 17, 2010 includes an attachment which reports as 2010 survey of foster care rates in Ohio Counties. The federal financial participation (FFP) rate for Title IV-E adoption assistance is based upon the individual child's appropriate foster care rate. Specifically, FFP is available up to the rate the child would receive if he or she were in a foster home suitable to the child's level of care. The current FFP rate, at least under December 31, 2010, is 68.34%.
To find the foster care survey, go to the ODJFS web site at http://jfs.ohio.gov/. Then, click on
Adoption, Site Index, eManuals, Family, Children and Adult Services Manual , FCASM Procedure Letters. NOTE: The survey does make it clear whether the published foster care rates include monthly payments on behalf of children whose care is provided by outside foster care service agencies under contract with the county agency. Contracting with outside sfoster care services providers has been a long term and expanding trend in Ohio. Often these providers support homes for children with higher, specialized levels of care and children receive relatively higher levels of monthly support. In examining the survey, the adoptive parent should ask if the published rates include foster homes provided through outside service providers.
Knowing the range of county foster care rates can aid adoptive parents in the negotiation of adoption assistance agreements.
FFP functions as kind of a practical ceiling on adoption assistance payment rates because anything amount over the foster home rate must be paid entirely from County funds. Needless to say, county agencies are reluctant to agree to such an arrangement. The foster home rate with respect to FFP in adoption assistance refers to the level of foster care the child would receive today were he or she in a foster home rather than in an adoptive setting.
Just as foster home rates are subject to change based on the child's age and level of care, so does available FFP with respect to adoption assistance.
For example, let's suppose the adoptive parents negotiate an initial adoption assistance agreement of $450 based upon their three year old child's foster care rate of $500 per month. By the time, the child reaches the age of eight, he has been diagnosed with serious developmental and emotional problems. Given his age and level of care, were he placed in an appropriate foster home, the monthly payment would be $1,000 because he would be regarded as a child with a specialized level of care. If the adoptive parents, in experiencing these changes, decide to request an amendment in the initial adoption assistance agreement and an increase in the monthly adoption assistance payment to better reflect the child's current needs and family circumstances, the potential FFP would be $1,000 per month. The county agency is not required to negotiate an revised agreement for $1,000, but federal financial participation is available for an amended adoption assistance agreement up to $1,000 a month.
It shouldbe noted that with respect to federal financial participation in adoption assistance, the applicable foster rate is the level of support the child receives or would receive in a foster home. It makes no diffetrence whether it is a so called "agency home" or one provided through a service provider under contract with the agency.
Section 8.1E of the federal Child Welfare Policy Manual asks and answers the following question.
1. Question: Under the title IV-E foster care program may the title IV-E State agency contract for some child foster care functions (administrative or otherwise) and still be eligible for Federal financial participation (FFP), as long as the State agency retains responsibility for the placement and care of the child?
Answer: Yes. Under title IV-E, such functions as training, recruiting or licensing of foster homes for which the State contracts with private agencies are defined as allowable costs for the proper administration of the State plan and may be claimed for purposes of Federal financial participation (FFP). Responsibility for the placement and care of the foster child, however, must remain with the State agency.
•Source/Date: ACYF-CB-PIQ-82-07 (8/25/82)
•Legal and Related References: Social Security Act - section 474 (a)(3)(B)
If FFP is avaialble for foster service providers under contract with county agencies, then it is obviously the rate of available FFP in the negotiation of adoption assistance agreements. If a child in a therapeutic foster home provided under through Elysian Fields Foster Care Services under contract with Buckeye County is receiving $1,600 per month, then FFP is available for an adoption assistance payment of up to $1,600 per month.