[Background Material and Data on Programs within the Jurisdiction of the Committee on Ways and Means (Green Book)]
[Program Descriptions]
[Section 11. Child Protection, Foster Care, and Adoption Assistance]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]


 
[1998 Green Book] SECTION 11. CHILD PROTECTION, FOSTER CARE, AND ADOPTION ASSISTANCE

                                CONTENTS

Background
Federal Child Welfare Programs Today
  The Title IV-B Child Welfare Services Program
  The Title IV-E Foster Care Program
  The Title IV-E Adoption Assistance Program
  The Title IV-E Independent Living Program
Protections for Children in Foster Care
  Protections Linked to Title IV-B Child Welfare Services 
            Funding
  Mandatory Protections for Foster Children Funded Under Title 
            IV-E
  Reasonable Efforts Requirement
  State Compliance With Section 427 Child Protections
  Federal Financial Review Procedures Under Title IV-E
  New Conformity Review System Under Public Law 103-432
Recent Trends Affecting Child Welfare Populations and Programs
  Child Abuse and Neglect
  Child Abuse Fatalities
  Substance Abuse
  Trends in Foster Care Caseloads
  Increase in ``Kinship'' Care
  Family Preservation Programs
  National Data on Foster Care and Adoption Assistance
  Characteristics of Children in Substitute Care
  Reasons for Placement in Substitute Care
  Permanency Goals
  Living Arrangements of Children in Substitute Care
  Number and Duration of Placements While in Foster Care
  Outcomes for Children Leaving Care
  Characteristics of Children in Adoptive Care
  Trends in Child Welfare and Foster Care Costs
Foster Care and Adoption Information System
  Lack of Adequate Data
  OBRA 1993 and Final Rules for AFCARS and SACWIS
Legislative History
  Adoption Legislation in the 105th Congress
References

                               BACKGROUND

    Child welfare services aim to improve the conditions of 
children and their families and to improve or provide 
substitutes for functions that parents have difficulty 
performing. Child welfare services encompass a broad range of 
activities, including protection of abused or neglected 
children, support and preservation of families, care of the 
homeless and neglected, support for family development, and 
provision of out-of-home care. Services may help the family 
cope with problems or they may protect children while the 
family learns to perform appropriate parenting roles.
    It is generally agreed that it is in the best interests of 
children to live with their families. To this end, experts 
emphasize both the value of preventive and rehabilitative 
services and the need to limit the duration of foster care 
placements. However, if children must be removed, a major 
principle of professional social work is the provision of 
permanent living arrangements, either by returning children to 
their homes in a timely fashion or by moving children into 
adoption or other permanent arrangements.
    Many private, nonprofit and government entities work to 
provide child welfare services to families in need. The primary 
responsibility for child welfare services in the government, 
however, rests with the States. Each State has its own legal 
and administrative structures and programs that address the 
needs of children. The Federal Government has also been 
involved in efforts to improve the welfare of children in 
specific areas of national concern since the early 1900s. 
Almost 40 Federal programs were authorized to provide support 
for such services as of 1994, administered by four different 
Cabinet agencies and overseen by five House Committees 
(Robinson & Forman, 1994). The largest of these programs are 
authorized under titles IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security 
Act. Additional programs include grants to States, local 
governments and nongovernmental agencies for prevention and 
treatment of child abuse and neglect, advocacy centers for 
victims of sexual abuse, services for abandoned infants and 
children with AIDS, promotion of adoption, child abuse-related 
training for judicial personnel, federally administered 
research and demonstration, Indian child welfare programs, 
family violence programs, and a number of small programs. Of 
these programs, a third had funding of less than $25 million in 
1997. In addition, services related to child welfare may be 
provided at State discretion under the Social Services Block 
Grant (title XX of the Social Security Act), described in 
section 10.
    This section will focus specifically on Child Welfare, 
Foster Care and Adoption Assistance Programs authorized under 
titles IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act. Title IV-B 
authorizes funds to States for a broad range of child welfare 
services, including family preservation and family support 
services; title IV-E authorizes the Foster Care, Independent 
Living, and Adoption Assistance Programs. The IV-B and IV-E 
programs are intended to operate in consort to help prevent the 
need for out-of-home placement of children, and in cases where 
such placement is necessary, to provide protections and 
permanent placement for the children involved. Funding is 
provided under the Foster Care Program to assist States with 
the maintenance costs of low-income (AFDC-eligible) children in 
foster care. The Independent Living Program is intended to help 
States facilitate the transition of older children from foster 
care to independent living; the Adoption Assistance Program 
helps States support the adoption of AFDC- or SSI-eligible 
children with ``special needs,'' such as minority status, age, 
membership in a sibling group, or a mental or physical 
handicap.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ Note: Since this chapter was substantially prepared, 
legislation was enacted that significantly amended child welfare 
programs under titles IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act. 
References to major changes are included throughout the chapter; 
however, a more detailed description of the Adoption and Safe Families 
Act (Public Law 105-89) is included at the end of the chapter.)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                  FEDERAL CHILD WELFARE PROGRAMS TODAY

    The Social Security Act contains the primary sources of 
Federal funds available to States for child welfare, foster 
care, and adoption activities. These funds include both 
nonentitlement authorizations (for which the amount of funding 
available is determined through the annual appropriations 
process) and authorized entitlements (under which the Federal 
Government has a binding obligation to make payments to any 
person or unit of government that meets the eligibility 
criteria established by law). The programs include the Title 
IV-B Child Welfare Services and Promoting Safe and Stable 
Families (formerly known as Family Preservation) Programs, the 
Title IV-E Foster Care Program, the Title IV-E Adoption 
Assistance Program, the Title IV-E Independent Living Program, 
and the Title XX Social Services Block Grant Program. Table 11-
1 lists these programs, and describes their funding.
    Table 11-2 provides data on the level of Federal funds 
provided to States under titles IV-B and IV-E for fiscal years 
1986-96, and HHS projections for fiscal years 1997-2002. Under 
the Title XX Social Services Block Grant Program, States have 
discretion over what portion of their allocation they spend on 
child welfare activities, as well as a range of other 
activities not directly focused on children.
    In addition to the funds allocated to the States or 
available on an entitlement basis, title IV-B authorizes funds 
for research and demonstration activities and for direct 
Federal grants to public and private entities for child welfare 
staff training. These activities are authorized under section 
426 of title IV-B. For fiscal year 1997, $4 million is 
appropriated for training and no funding is appropriated for 
research under section 426.
    Welfare reform legislation enacted in 1996 (Public Law 104-
193) further authorized and appropriated funds for a national 
longitudinal study of children at risk for abuse or neglect, 
and of children who have been identified as victims of abuse or 
neglect, established under a new section 429A of the Social 
Security Act. For this study, the welfare reform legislation 
provided $6 million for each of fiscal years 1996-2002. 
Congress subsequently rescinded the appropriation for fiscal 
years 1996 and 1997, with the understanding that adequate 
funding was available for the study in the broader 
appropriation for social services and income maintenance 
research (Public Law 104-208).
    Funds available to States from the Title IV-B Child Welfare 
Program may be used for services to families and children 
without regard to family income. Federal matching funds for 
foster care maintenance payments under title IV-E are provided 
only in those cases in which the child would have been eligible 
for AFDC if still in the home. All children determined to have 
``special needs'' related to their being adopted, as defined 
under title IV-E, are eligible for reimbursement of certain 
nonrecurring costs of adoption under the Title IV-E Adoption 
Assistance Program. However, only AFDC- or SSI-eligible 
``special needs'' children qualify for federally matched 
adoption assistance payments available under title IV-E. Funds 
available to States for the Title IV-E Independent Living 
Program may be used for services which facilitate the 
transition of children from foster care to independent living, 
regardless of whether they are eligible for AFDC foster care 
assistance.

 TABLE 11-1.--FUNDING ENVIRONMENT OF THE FEDERAL PROGRAMS WHICH SUPPORT FOSTER CARE, CHILD WELFARE, AND ADOPTION
                                                    SERVICES                                                    
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Program                           Budgetary classification           Federal support of total  
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Title IV-E Foster Care Program:                                                                                 
    Foster care assistance payments......  Authorized entitlement.................  Open-ended Federal match at 
                                                                                     Medicaid rate.             
    Placement services and administrative  Authorized entitlement.................  Open-ended Federal match of 
     costs.                                                                          50 percent. \1\            
    Training expenses....................  Authorized entitlement.................  Open-ended Federal match of 
                                                                                     75 percent.                
Title IV-E Adoption Assistance Program:                                                                         
    Adoption assistance payments.........  Authorized entitlement.................  Open-ended Federal match at 
                                                                                     Medicaid rate.             
    Nonrecurring adoption expenses.......  Authorized entitlement.................  Open-ended Federal match of 
                                                                                     50 percent. \2\            
    Placement services and administrative  Authorized entitlement.................  Open-ended Federal match of 
     costs.                                                                          50 percent.                
    Training expenses....................  Authorized entitlement.................  Open-ended Federal match of 
                                                                                     75 percent.                
Title IV-E Independent Living Program....  Authorized entitlement.................  100 percent Federal funding,
                                                                                     with a funding ceiling. \3\
Title IV-B Child Welfare Services                                                                               
 Program:                                                                                                       
    Child welfare services (subpart 1)...  Nonentitlement authorization...........  Federal match of 75 percent,
                                                                                     total capped at State      
                                                                                     allotment.                 
    Promoting Safe and Stable Families     Authorized entitlement.................  Federal match of 75 percent,
     \5\ (subpart 2).                                                                with a funding ceiling. \4\
Title XX Social Services Block Grant       Authorized entitlement.................  100 percent Federal funding,
 Program.                                                                            with a funding ceiling.    
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Seventy-five percent matching is available from fiscal year 1994 through fiscal year 1997 for certain costs 
  related to data collection.                                                                                   
\2\ The Federal Government reimburses 50 percent of up to $2,000 of expenditures for any one placement.         
\3\ Beginning for fiscal year 1991, States are required to provide 50 percent matching for any Federal funding  
  claimed that exceeds $45 million.                                                                             
\4\ Program authorized through fiscal year 1998.                                                                
\5\ The name of this program was changed from Family Preservation and Family Support in 1997, by Public Law 105-
  89.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                
 Source: Compiled by House Committee on Ways and Means staff.                                                   


            TABLE 11-2.--FEDERAL FUNDING FOR CHILD WELFARE, FOSTER CARE, AND ADOPTION ACTIVITIES UNDER TITLES IV-B AND IV-E OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT, 1986-2002, UNDER CURRENT LAW            
                                                                                    [In millions of dollars]                                                                                    
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            Title IV-                     Title IV-E foster care State claims                   Title IV-E adoption assistance State            
                                                            B-1 child    Title IV-B-2  -----------------------------------------  Title IV-E                   claims                           
                        Fiscal year                          welfare    Promoting Safe                                           Independent -----------------------------------------   Total  
                                                             services     and Stable    Total \2\  Maintenance  Administration/     Living                Assistance  Administration/           
                                                                         Families \1\                payments     training \3\     Program     Total \4\   payments       training              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1986......................................................       $198  ...............       $605         $392             $214  ...........         $55         $41            $14         $859
1987......................................................        223  ...............        793          480              313          $45          74          54             20        1,134
1988......................................................        239  ...............        891          548              343           45          97          74             23        1,273
1989......................................................        247  ...............      1,153          646              507           45         111          86             24        1,555
1990......................................................        253  ...............      1,473          835              638           50         136         105             31        1,912
1991......................................................        274  ...............      1,819        1,030              789           60         175         130             45        2,328
1992......................................................        274  ...............      2,233        1,204            1,029           70         220         161             58        2,796
1993......................................................        295  ...............      2,547        1,365            1,182           70         272         197             75        3,184
1994......................................................        295              $60      2,607        1,412            1,190           70         325         235             90        3,356
1995......................................................        292              150      3,050        1,594            1,456           70         411         306            105        3,974
1996......................................................        277              225      3,114        1,533            1,581           70         485         361            124        4,171
1997 (estimate)...........................................        292              240      3,243        1,548            1,695           70         571         427            144        4,416
1998 (estimate)...........................................        292              255      3,360        1,660            1,700           70         661         495            166        4,638
1999 (estimate)...........................................        292            (\5\)      3,551        1,781            1,770           70         772         578            194        4,685
2000 (estimate)...........................................        292            (\5\)      3,790        1,912            1,878           70         893         668            225        5,045
2001 (estimate)...........................................        292            (\5\)      4,047        2,043            2,004           70       1,022         765            257        5,431
 2002 (estimate)..........................................        292            (\5\)      4,318        2,182            2,136           70       1,162         870            292       5,842 
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\1\ The name of this program was changed from Family Preservation and Family Support in 1997, by Public Law 105-89.                                                                             
\2\ Total includes administration, SACWIS (State Automated Child Welfare Information System), and training expenditures, as well as maintenace payments, but does not include transfers to the  
  Title IV-B Child Welfare Services Program. Differences in total due to rounding.                                                                                                              
\3\ Includes regular administration, SACWIS costs, and training.                                                                                                                                
\4\ Total includes administration and training expenditures, and maintenance payments. Differences in total due to rounding.                                                                    
\5\ Not authorized.                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                
 Note.--Totals may differ from sum of State amounts because of rounding.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                                                                                
 Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                                                                                                                                          

    Table 11-3 provides data on participation under the title 
IV-B and IV-E programs. Table 11-4 shows the Congressional 
Budget Office projections for Federal foster care and adoption 
assistance for 1997-2002. Between 1997 and 2002, the federally 
funded foster care caseload is projected to increase from 
282,000 to 341,000 (21 percent). Total IV-E foster care outlays 
are expected to increase 45 percent, from $3,272,000 in 1997 to 
$4,742,000 in 2002. Over the same time period, the adoption 
assistance caseload is projected to increase from 141,000 to 
229,000 (62 percent), while total adoption assistance outlays 
are estimated to increase from $562 million to $1,094 million 
(95 percent).

 TABLE 11-3.--PARTICIPATION IN CHILD WELFARE, FOSTER CARE, AND ADOPTION ACTIVITIES UNDER TITLES IV-B AND IV-E OF
                                       THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT, 1983-2001                                       
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                               Title IV-B- Title IV-B-2                                         
                                                 1 child     Promoting    Title IV-E    Title IV-E   Title IV-E 
                 Fiscal year                     welfare     Safe and     foster care  Independent    adoption  
                                                services      Stable      assistance      Living     assistance 
                                                           Families \1\  payments \2\  Program \3\  payments \2\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1983.........................................         NA   ............       97,370   ...........        5,309 
1984.........................................         NA   ............      102,051   ...........       11,581 
1985.........................................         NA   ............      109,122   ...........       16,009 
1986.........................................         NA   ............      110,586   ...........       21,989 
1987.........................................         NA   ............      118,549       20,182        27,588 
1988.........................................         NA   ............      132,757       18,931        34,698 
1989.........................................         NA   ............      156,871       44,191        40,666 
1990.........................................         NA   ............      167,981       44,365        44,024 
1991.........................................         NA   ............      202,687       45,284        54,818 
1992.........................................         NA   ............      222,315       57,360        68,197 
1993.........................................         NA   ............      232,668       57,918        78,044 
1994.........................................         NA            NA       244,473       71,081        91,872 
1995.........................................         NA            NA       260,737       73,137       106,880 
1996.........................................         NA            NA       266,977       85,261       122,657 
1997 (estimated).............................         NA            NA       285,000           NA       131,200 
1998 (estimated).............................         NA            NA       296,400           NA       140,400 
1999 (estimated).............................         NA   ............      308,300           NA       150,200 
2000 (estimated).............................         NA   ............      320,600           NA       160,700 
2001 (estimated).............................         NA   ............      333,400           NA      170,300  
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The name of this program was changed from Family Preservation and Family Support in 1997, by Public Law 105-
  89.                                                                                                           
\2\ Average monthly number of recipients.                                                                       
\3\ Estimated.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                
 NA--Not available.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                
 Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                                                          


  TABLE 11-4.--CBO BASELINE PROJECTIONS FOR THE FEDERAL FOSTER CARE AND ADOPTION ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS, 1997-2002 
                                    [By fiscal year, In millions of dollars]                                    
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Program                   1997         1998         1999         2000         2001         2002   
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Foster care:                                                                                                    
    Title IV-E caseload                                                                                         
     (thousands)..................          282          298          311          323          332          341
    Average monthly maint. payment                                                                              
     (Federal share)..............         $490         $509         $529         $551         $573         $596
    Federal outlays (millions):                                                                                 
      Maintenance payments........        1,632        1,789        1,955        2,121        2,285        2,447
      Administrative and child                                                                                  
       placement services.........        1,490        1,545        1,662        1,805        1,944        2,075
      Training....................          149          161          174          188          203          220
                                   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Total outlays.............        3,272        3,495        3,791        4,114        4,432        4,742
                                   =============================================================================
Adoption assistance:                                                                                            
    Title IV-E caseload                                                                                         
     (thousands)..................          141          159          177          196          213          229
    Average monthly payment.......         $255         $265         $275         $286         $298         $310
    Federal outlays (millions):                                                                                 
      Maintenance payments........          421          494          574          660          747          837
      Administrative and child                                                                                  
       placement services.........          125          143          163          184          204          224
      Training....................           17           20           23           26           29           32
                                   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Total outlays.............          562          657          759          869          981        1,094
                                   =============================================================================
Independent living: Federal                                                                                     
 outlays..........................           70           70           70           70           70           70
                                   =============================================================================
            Total outlays.........        3,904        4,222        4,621        5,054        5,482       5,905 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note.--Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding.                                                           
                                                                                                                
 Source: Congressional Budget Office, March 1997 baseline.                                                      

             The Title IV-B Child Welfare Services Program

Grants to States for child welfare services
    The Child Welfare Services Program under subpart 1 of title 
IV-B permanently authorizes 75 percent Federal matching grants 
to States for services that protect the welfare of children. 
These services: address problems that may result in neglect, 
abuse, exploitation or delinquency of children; prevent the 
unnecessary separation of children from their families and 
restore children to their families, when possible; place 
children in adoptive families when appropriate; and assure 
adequate foster care when children cannot return home or be 
placed for adoption. There are no Federal income eligibility 
requirements for the receipt of child welfare services.
    Under legislation originally enacted in 1980 (Public Law 
96-272), States are limited in the amount of their title IV-B 
allotments that may be used for child day care, foster care 
maintenance payments, and adoption assistance payments. 
Specifically, States may use no more than their portion of the 
first $56.6 million in Federal IV-B appropriations for these 
three activities. The intent of this restriction is to devote 
as much title IV-B funding as possible to supportive services 
that could prevent the need for out-of-home placement. In 
addition, the 1980 legislation required States to implement 
certain foster care protections for all children in foster care 
to be eligible to receive their full allotment of Federal title 
IV-B appropriations. (The foster care protections are described 
later in this section.)
    Between 1977 and 1990, the annual authorization level for 
the Child Welfare Services Program remained flat at $266 
million. The authorization level was increased to $325 million 
under Public Law 101-239 beginning for fiscal year 1990. 
Appropriations for the program--the amount of money Congress 
actually made available for spending each year--increased from 
$163.6 million in fiscal year 1981 to $294.6 million in fiscal 
year 1994. Appropriations have since decreased, to $292 million 
in fiscal year 1995, $277.4 million in fiscal year 1996, and 
$292 million in fiscal year 1997 (see table 11-2).
    Child welfare services funds are distributed to States on 
the basis of their under 21 population and per capita income. 
Because of minimal reporting requirements under the program, 
there are no reliable National or State-by-State data on the 
exact number of children served, their characteristics, or the 
services provided. Table 11-5 details the State-by-State 
distribution of child welfare services funds for selected 
fiscal years.

      TABLE 11-5.--STATE-BY-STATE ALLOCATIONS FOR TITLE IV-B CHILD WELFARE SERVICES, SELECTED YEARS 1987-97     
                                            [In thousands of dollars]                                           
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     Fiscal year                                
                                   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
               State                   1987       1989       1992       1994       1995       1996       1997   
                                      actual     actual     actual     actual     actual     actual   allotments
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama...........................     $4,783     $5,136     $5,432     $5,623     $5,512     $5,106      $5,327
Alaska............................        417        294        614        754        756        725         749
Arizona...........................      3,344      3,797      4,418      5,034      5,036      5,015       5,466
Arkansas..........................      2,838      3,095      3,273      3,424      3,387      3,178       3,359
California........................     20,445     23,100     27,289     31,732     31,575     31,049      32,760
Colorado..........................      2,772      3,091      3,558      3,866      3,904      3,719       3,935
Connecticut.......................      2,081      2,143      1,942      2,120      2,077      2,052       2,154
Delaware..........................        570        654        717        726        720        713         756
District of Columbia..............        386        432        431        447        427        345         346
Florida...........................      9,105     10,361     11,773     13,146     13,096     12,781      13,708
Georgia...........................      6,622      7,301      7,737      8,426      8,418      8,032       8,502
Hawaii............................        656      1,119      1,180      1,204      1,205      1,117       1,179
Idaho.............................      1,304      1,388      1,581      1,703      1,719      1,622       1,736
Illinois..........................      9,932     10,773     11,338     11,773     11,634     11,067      11,684
Indiana...........................      5,572      6,064      6,709      6,952      6,832      6,367       6,697
Iowa..............................      2,861      3,074      3,364      3,475      3,402      3,223       3,358
Kansas............................      2,150      2,461      2,885      3,068      3,034      2,873       3,011
Kentucky..........................      4,154      4,556      4,883      5,030      4,961      4,624       4,842
Louisiana.........................      5,106      5,657      6,350      6,527      6,412      5,910       6,195
Maine.............................      1,313      1,391      1,443      1,482      1,455      1,378       1,432
Maryland..........................      3,440      3,798      3,924      4,343      4,291      4,156       4,358
Massachusetts.....................      2,714      4,418      4,336      4,708      4,597      4,579       4,792
Michigan..........................      8,888      9,551     10,196     10,885     10,634     10,075      10,487
Minnesota.........................      3,937      4,206      4,753      5,092      5,070      4,785       5,022
Mississippi.......................      3,519      3,923      4,177      4,293      4,245      3,949       4,146
Missouri..........................      4,958      5,235      5,798      6,146      6,072      5,727       5,998
Montana...........................        978      1,049      1,136      1,207      1,220      1,158       1,203
Nebraska..........................      1,641      1,744      1,996      2,071      2,032      1,879       1,968
Nevada............................        775        964      1,170      1,401      1,430      1,379       1,516
New Hampshire.....................        950      1,024      1,028      1,087      1,074      1,096       1,152
New Jersey........................      5,424      5,465      4,936      5,224      5,193      5,368       5,669
New Mexico........................      1,642      2,072      2,291      2,510      2,526      2,418       2,541
New York..........................     13,529     14,373     14,490     15,452     15,231     14,148      14,808
North Carolina....................      6,432      7,189      7,771      8,112      8,086      7,728       8,229
North Dakota......................        750        849        942        945        929        858         891
Ohio..............................     10,402     10,429     12,283     12,878     12,748     11,853      12,386
Oklahoma..........................      3,332      3,735      4,144      4,406      4,374      4,133       4,310
Oregon............................      2,586      2,850      3,283      3,556      3,555      3,321       3,531
Pennsylvania......................     10,038     11,236     11,905     12,148     11,949     11,076      11,583
Rhode Island......................        888        953      1,025      1,054      1,032        984       1,012
South Carolina....................      4,015      4,468      4,747      4,948      4,867      4,544       4,696
South Dakota......................        853        938      1,038      1,075      1,077        991       1,029
Tennessee.........................      5,001      5,598      5,933      6,210      6,166      5,792       6,100
Texas.............................     16,243     18,958     21,845     23,795     23,796     22,401      23,783
Utah..............................      2,555      2,891      3,196      3,474      3,481      3,284       3,469
Vermont...........................        632        583        713        715        699        674         703
Virginia..........................      4,907      5,463      5,891      6,373      6,323      6,114       6,408
Washington........................      3,774      4,382      5,169      5,699      5,741      5,231       5,512
West Virginia.....................      2,226      2,397      2,454      2,486      2,417      2,189       2,251
Wisconsin.........................      4,672      5,077      5,639      6,022      5,950      5,574       5,854
Wyoming...........................        101        382        703        724        719        638         661
American Samoa....................         NA        163        175        193        190        183         188
Guam..............................        304        342        376        351        346        329         340
Northern Marianas.................        110        118        124        142        140        136         139
Puerto Rico.......................      3,671      3,674      7,094      8,105      7,951      7,480       7,787
Virgin Islands....................        202        295        311        280        276        263         271
                                   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Total.......................    222,500    246,679    273,911    294,624    291,989    277,389    291,989 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NA--Not applicable; jurisdiction not eligible under statute.                                                    
                                                                                                                
 Note: Totals may differ from sum of State amounts due to rounding.                                             
                                                                                                                
 Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                                                          

Grants to States for promoting safe and stable families
    Grants to States for family preservation and family support 
services were originally authorized as a capped entitlement 
under subpart 2 of title IV-B, beginning in fiscal year 1994. 
States already had the flexibility to expend their child 
welfare services funds available under subpart 1 of title IV-B 
for family support and preservation activities, but few States 
used a significant share of such funds for these two categories 
of services. Entitlement funding was authorized for 5 years at 
the following ceiling levels: $60 million in fiscal year 1994; 
$150 million in fiscal year 1995; $225 million in fiscal year 
1996; $240 million in fiscal year 1997; and either $255 million 
in fiscal year 1998 or the fiscal year 1997 level adjusted for 
inflation, whichever is greater. The Adoption and Safe Families 
Act (Public Law 105-89), enacted in November 1997, reauthorized 
and changed the name of this program to Promoting Safe and 
Stable Families. Entitlement ceilings are now set at the 
following levels: $275 million for fiscal year 1999, $295 
million for fiscal year 2000, and $305 million for fiscal year 
2001.
    From these ceiling amounts, $2 million in fiscal year 1994 
and $6 million in each subsequent fiscal year are reserved for 
use by the Secretary of HHS to fund research, training, 
technical assistance and evaluation of family preservation and 
support activities. In addition, $5 million in fiscal year 1995 
and $10 million in each subsequent fiscal year are reserved for 
a grant program for State courts (described below). Finally, 1 
percent of the family preservation and family support 
entitlement is reserved for allotment to Indian tribes. Table 
11-6 shows State allotments of family preservation and family 
support entitlement funds in fiscal years 1995-97, and 
estimated State allotments for fiscal year 1998.
    After these set-asides are made, remaining entitlement 
funds are allocated among States according to their relative 
shares of children receiving food stamps, subject to a 25-
percent non-Federal match. States must submit a plan to HHS 
that provides a detailed account of how the money will be used. 
Prior to the enactment of Public Law 105-89, at least 90 
percent of the funds had to be used for two categories of 
services: family preservation services and community-based 
family support services. Public Law 105-89 added two additional 
categories: time-limited family reunification services, and 
adoption promotion and support services. No more than 10 
percent of funds can be used for administration.
    The Federal statute does not specify a percentage or 
minimum amount of funds that must be used for any single 
category of service. However, in program guidance to States 
issued on January 18, 1994, HHS stated that allocations of less 
than 25 percent to either type of service will require a strong 
rationale. HHS subsequently restated this position in proposed 
regulations issued on October 4, 1994, and final regulations, 
issued on November 18, 1996. However, these regulations were 
developed before the Adoption and Safe Families Act established 
two additional categories of service for this program.
    Family preservation services are intended for children and 
families, including extended and adoptive families, that are at 
risk or in crisis. Services include: programs to help reunite 
children with their biological families, if appropriate, or to 
place them for adoption or another permanent arrangement; 
programs to prevent placement of children in foster care, 
including intensive family preservation services; programs to 
provide follow-up services to families after a child has been 
returned from foster care; respite care to provide temporary 
relief for parents and other care givers (including foster 
parents); and services to improve parenting skills.

           TABLE 11-6.--TITLE IV-B PROMOTING SAFE AND STABLE FAMILIES: \1\ STATE-BY-STATE ALLOCATIONS           
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                      Estimated 
                                                          Fiscal year    Fiscal year   Fiscal year   fiscal year
                         State                            1995 grant     1996 grant       1997          1998    
                                                            awards         awards      allotments    allotments 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama...............................................      $2,880,911    $4,167,863    $4,298,428    $4,586,793
Alaska................................................         186,726       300,567       343,874       366,943
Arizona...............................................       2,414,096     3,767,107     4,126,491     4,403,321
Arkansas..............................................       1,387,105     2,023,818     2,106,230     2,247,529
California............................................      16,631,924    25,989,033    29,852,578    31,855,278
Colorado..............................................       1,480,468     2,184,121     2,256,675     2,408,066
Connecticut...........................................       1,067,004     1,643,100     1,805,340     1,926,453
Delaware..............................................         253,413       400,756       451,335       481,613
District of Columbia..................................         466,814       701,323       752,225       802,689
Florida...............................................       6,281,986    10,479,771    11,691,723    12,476,077
Georgia...............................................       3,734,514     5,891,114     6,297,197     6,719,652
Hawaii................................................         349,853       681,285       773,717       825,623
Idaho.................................................         373,451       581,096       623,272       665,085
Illinois..............................................       6,015,235     8,716,445     8,682,824     9,265,322
Indiana...............................................       2,254,046     3,566,729     3,890,077     4,151,048
Iowa..................................................       1,026,991     1,462,760     1,504,450     1,605,378
Kansas................................................         893,616     1,342,533     1,396,989     1,490,708
Kentucky..............................................       2,600,822     3,706,994     3,696,648     3,944,642
Louisiana.............................................       4,534,767     6,392,059     6,447,642     6,880,190
Maine.................................................         586,852       901,701       924,162       986,160
Maryland..............................................       1,827,244     2,765,217     3,030,392     3,233,689
Massachusetts.........................................       2,307,396     3,426,464     3,632,171     3,875,840
Michigan..............................................       5,535,083     7,694,517     7,995,076     8,531,435
Minnesota.............................................       1,573,831     2,384,499     2,600,549     2,775,010
Mississippi...........................................       2,774,210     3,947,447     4,019,030     4,288,651
Missouri..............................................       2,760,873     4,187,901     4,470,365     4,770,265
Montana...............................................         320,101       480,907       515,811       550,415
Nebraska..............................................         560,177       841,588       924,162       986,160
Nevada................................................         386,789       681,285       752,225       802,689
New Hampshire.........................................         226,738       380,718       429,843       458,679
New Jersey............................................       2,720,860     3,927,410     4,212,459     4,495,057
New Mexico............................................       1,093,679     1,723,251     1,934,292     2,064,057
New York..............................................       9,709,736    14,046,501    15,237,926    16,260,181
North Carolina........................................       2,787,548     4,408,317     4,814,239     5,137,208
North Dakota..........................................         240,076       340,643       343,874       366,943
Ohio..................................................       6,682,112     9,437,806     9,499,525    10,136,813
Oklahoma..............................................       1,667,194     2,524,763     2,750,994     2,935,548
Oregon................................................       1,227,055     1,903,591     2,041,753     2,178,727
Pennsylvania..........................................       5,668,459     8,175,424     8,489,395     9,058,916
Rhode Island..........................................         453,477       701,323       752,225       802,689
South Carolina........................................       1,933,945     2,905,482     3,116,360     3,325,425
South Dakota..........................................         306,764       440,832       429,843       458,679
Tennessee.............................................       3,187,674     4,929,300     5,287,066     5,641,755
Texas.................................................      12,910,748    19,617,010    21,169,757    22,589,956
Utah..................................................         706,890     1,062,004     1,096,099     1,169,632
Vermont...............................................         253,413       380,718       429,843       458,679
Virginia..............................................       2,227,371     3,486,578     3,933,061     4,196,916
Washington............................................       2,254,046     3,306,238     3,481,726     3,715,302
West Virginia.........................................       1,373,768     2,364,461     2,493,088     2,660,340
Wisconsin.............................................       1,973,957     2,745,179     2,836,962     3,027,283
Wyoming...............................................         186,726       260,491       279,398       298,142
American Samoa........................................         122,095       154,717       159,031       165,105
Guam..................................................         219,181       264,143       274,029       287,948
Northern Mariana......................................          96,047       119,418       121,935       125,478
Puerto Rico...........................................       3,498,785     5,618,957     5,901,525     6,299,348
Virgin Islands........................................         188,397       214,725       222,094       232,470
                                                       ---------------------------------------------------------
      Subtotal........................................     137,383,039   206,750,000   221,600,000   236,450,000
                                                       =========================================================
Set-asides:                                                                                                     
    Indians (1 percent)...............................       1,498,773     2,250,000     2,400,000     2,550,000
    Research & Eval...................................       6,000,000     6,000,000     6,000,000     6,000,000
    Courts............................................       5,000,000    10,000,000    10,000,000    10,000,000
                                                       ---------------------------------------------------------
      Subtotal........................................      12,498,773    18,250,000    18,400,000    18,550,000
                                                       =========================================================
        Total.........................................  \2\ 150,000,00                                          
                                                                     0   225,000,000   240,000,000  255,000,000 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The name of this program was changed from Family Preservation and Family Support in 1997, by Public Law 105-
  89.                                                                                                           
\2\ Includes $118,188 in lapsed funds.                                                                          
                                                                                                                
 Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                                                          

    Family support services are intended to reach families 
which are not yet in crisis and to prevent child abuse or 
neglect from occurring. Family support services are generally 
community-based activities designed to promote the well-being 
of children and families, to increase the strength and 
stability of families (including adoptive, foster and extended 
families), to increase parents' confidence and competence, to 
provide children with a stable and supportive family 
environment, and to enhance child development. Examples include 
parenting skills training, respite care to relieve parents and 
other care givers, structured activities involving parents and 
children to strengthen their relationships, drop-in centers for 
families, information and referral services, and early 
developmental screening for children.
    In regulations proposed on October 4, 1994, and made final 
on November 18, 1996, HHS set forth a series of child and 
family services ``principles'' that are intended to guide State 
implementation of the program. According to HHS, these 
principles emphasize the paramount importance of safety for all 
family members, including victims of child abuse and neglect 
and victims of domestic violence and their dependents. In the 
preamble to its proposed regulations, HHS states that family 
preservation ``does NOT mean that the family must stay together 
or `be preserved' under all circumstances.'' The principles 
also are intended to support a family-focused approach while 
allowing for individual needs, and a service delivery approach 
that stresses flexibility, accessibility, coordination, and 
respect for cultural and community strengths.
    The Secretary of HHS is required to evaluate Family 
Preservation and Family Support Programs. Evaluations are 
currently underway. Interim reports were expected in 1997, and 
final reports in 1999. In the meantime, the General Accounting 
Office (GAO) has released two reports on implementation of the 
Family Preservation and Family Support Program. In June 1995, 
GAO reported that States were on schedule in their 
implementation of the program, and that HHS was an active 
partner with the States, providing ongoing consultation and 
technical assistance during the initial comprehensive planning 
process (U.S. General Accounting Office, 1995). GAO identified 
two related areas in which States anticipated difficulty: (1) 
development of appropriate baseline information to guide them 
in setting goals, making decisions, and tracking progress; and 
(2) conducting comprehensive evaluations to measure program 
success. GAO recommended that HHS provide additional assistance 
to States in these areas. In February 1997, GAO reported that 
States were using the new funds to increase the availability of 
services for families, by establishing new programs and 
expanding existing services (U.S. General Accounting Office, 
1997). Over a 2-year period, States used 56 percent of their 
Federal funds for family support activities, and 44 percent for 
family preservation services. States were tracking program 
participants and monitoring progress, and at least 11 States 
were planning formal evaluations. GAO reported that early 
results from 10 States indicated some success in preventing 
child removals and continued maltreatment, and that the 
collaborative planning process required by the law was having a 
positive impact on the service delivery system.
    As stated above, a portion of the entitlement funds is 
reserved for a grant program to the highest State courts to 
assess and improve certain child welfare proceedings. The court 
set-aside equals $5 million in fiscal year 1995 and $10 million 
in each of fiscal years 1996-98. A 25 percent non-Federal match 
is required in each of the last 3 fiscal years.
    Courts use their grant funds to assess their procedures and 
effectiveness in determinations regarding foster care 
placement, termination of parental rights, and recognition of 
adoptions. Courts also can use these grant funds to implement 
changes found necessary as a result of the assessments. 
According to HHS, 48 States and the District of Columbia chose 
to implement this program, beginning in fiscal year 1995. 
Idaho, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming are not participating in the 
program.

                   The Title IV-E Foster Care Program

    The Foster Care Program under title IV-E is a permanently 
authorized entitlement program. The program provides open-ended 
matching funds to States for the maintenance payments made for 
AFDC-eligible children in foster care family homes, private 
for-profit or nonprofit child care facilities, or public child 
care institutions housing up to 25 people. Welfare reform 
legislation enacted in the 104th Congress (Public Law 104-193) 
repealed the AFDC Program and replaced it with a block grant to 
States called Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF). 
All States participating in TANF must certify that they will 
operate a Foster Care and Adoption Assistance Program under 
title IV-E. Under Public Law 104-193, foster children will be 
eligible for title IV-E subsidies if their families would have 
been eligible for AFDC, as in effect on June 1, 1995. Technical 
corrections enacted in 1997 changed this date to July 16, 1996 
(Public Law 105-33).
    The Federal matching rate for foster care maintenance 
payments for a given State is that State's Medicaid matching 
rate, which averages about 57 percent nationally and can range 
from 50 to 83 percent. States may claim open-ended Federal 
matching at a rate of 50 percent for their child placement 
services and administrative costs. States also may claim open-
ended Federal matching at a rate of 75 percent to train 
personnel employed by the State or by local agencies 
administering the program and to train foster and adoptive 
parents. During fiscal years 1994-97, States also were able to 
receive Federal matching at the 75 percent rate for eligible 
costs related to automated child welfare information systems.
    States are required to provide foster care maintenance 
payments to AFDC-eligible children removed from the home of a 
relative if the child received or would have been eligible for 
AFDC prior to removal from the home and if the following apply: 
(1) the removal and foster care placement were based on a 
voluntary placement agreement signed by the child's parents or 
guardians or a judicial determination that remaining in the 
home would be contrary to the child's welfare; (2) reasonable 
efforts were made to eliminate the need for removal or to 
return the child to his home (some exceptions to this 
requirement were enacted in 1997, described later in this 
chapter); and (3) care and placement of the child are the 
responsibility of specified public agencies. Children in the 
Title IV-E Foster Care Program are also eligible for Medicaid.
    Maintenance payments under the Title IV-E Foster Care 
Program are intended to cover the costs of food, shelter, 
clothing, daily supervision, school supplies, general 
incidentals, liability insurance for the child, and reasonable 
travel to the child's home for visits.
Foster care expenditures and participation rates
    The average estimated monthly number of children in title 
IV-E foster care almost tripled between 1983 and 1996, from 
97,370 in fiscal year 1983 to 266,977 in fiscal year 1996 (see 
table 11-3). More detailed data on foster children and their 
characteristics are described later in this section.
    State claims for child placement services and 
administrative costs for the Title IV-E Foster Care Program 
have increased considerably since 1981. Current HHS regulations 
give the following examples of allowable child placement 
services and administrative costs for the Foster Care Program: 
referral to services, preparation for and participation in 
judicial determinations, placement of the child, development of 
the case plan, case reviews, case management and supervision, 
recruitment and licensing of foster homes and institutions, 
rate setting, and a proportionate share of agency overhead. As 
discussed later, many of these activities are required by the 
Federal Government as foster care ``protections.''
    Table 11-7 provides a State breakdown of foster care 
expenditures in fiscal year 1996 for maintenance payments, 
child placement and administration, data collection, and 
training expenditures. Note that California, New York and 
Illinois account for 48 percent of the estimated fiscal year 
1996 expenditures. A more detailed discussion of growth in 
child placement services and administrative costs is presented 
below.
Foster care payment rates
     Table 11-8 shows each State's ``basic'' monthly foster 
care payment rates for children ages 2, 9, and 16, as reported 
in an annual survey conducted by the American Public Welfare 
Association (APWA). States are allowed to set the payments at 
any level; thus, the rates vary widely. The basic monthly 
foster care rates shown in the table are those paid for family 
foster care, and differ from rates paid to institutions or for 
group or congregate care.
     APWA cautions that the family foster care rates shown in 
the table are only generally comparable due to variations among 
States regarding the items that are covered under the basic 
rate, additional services that are provided by supplements, and 
the States' administrative structures. Table 11-8 indicates 
whether the basic rate includes each of the following three 
items: room and board (r); supervision (s); and clothing (c). 
APWA notes that 32 States include other items in their basic 
rates, such as child care, respite care, transportation, 
personal allowance, school supplies, recreational and community 
activities, and incidentals. Forty-three States and counties in 
10 States supplement their basic rates, for items such as 
education, child care, respite care, level of need, clothing, 
transportation, health and medical care (other than Medicaid or 
State-funded medical assistance), and special emotional, 
behavioral, medical, or psychological needs. According to the 
APWA survey, the national average ``basic'' monthly foster care 
maintenance payment in 1996 was $356 for 2-year-olds, $373 for 
9-year-olds, and $431 for 16-year-olds.

                                    TABLE 11-7.--FEDERAL FOSTER CARE EXPENDITURES UNDER TITLE IV-E, FISCAL YEAR 1996                                    
                                                             [Estimate, dollars in millions]                                                            
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                  Child       State Automated                           Child placement 
                                                                Maintenance     placement      Child Welfare                              services and  
                             State                                payments    services and      Information      Training     Total    administration as
                                                                             administration   System (SACWIS)                           percent of total
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama.......................................................        $1.44           $2.93              $0.10      $0.76       $5.23              56.02
Alaska........................................................         2.11            4.43               1.40       0.05        7.99              55.44
Arizona.......................................................        18.15           15.19               8.01       1.62       42.97              35.35
Arkansas......................................................         6.93            7.53               3.92       6.92       25.30              29.76
California....................................................       326.31          296.06              36.73      34.21      693.31              42.70
Colorado......................................................         7.31           14.20               0.35      (1.51)      20.35              69.78
Connecticut...................................................        20.81           35.38               6.52       3.43       66.14              53.49
Delaware......................................................         1.12            3.16               2.68       0.44        7.40              42.70
District of Columbia..........................................         8.51           11.77               1.72       0.07       22.07              53.33
Florida.......................................................        23.98           46.53               6.83       1.16       78.50              59.27
Georgia.......................................................        14.20            7.75               0.73       1.85       24.53              31.59
Hawaii........................................................         3.95            6.72               0.00       1.10       11.77              57.09
Idaho.........................................................         0.81            3.02               2.64       0.24        6.71              45.01
Illinois......................................................       136.09           97.51               1.25       3.48      238.33              40.91
Indiana.......................................................        33.54           10.51               6.35       0.44       50.84              20.67
Iowa..........................................................        10.08            4.57               1.62       0.69       16.96              26.95
Kansas........................................................         9.14           10.14               1.19       3.43       23.90              42.43
Kentucky......................................................        21.86           17.72               6.13       5.87       51.58              34.35
Louisiana.....................................................        21.56           13.03               0.00       2.09       36.68              35.52
Maine.........................................................        15.11            1.56               0.57       1.54       18.78               8.31
Maryland......................................................        31.10           34.49               0.04       5.41       71.04              48.55
Massachusetts.................................................        42.07           37.58              15.83       0.93       96.41              38.98
Michigan......................................................        53.00           37.46               5.91      (0.82)      95.55              39.20
Minnesota.....................................................        23.30           10.60               5.56       5.09       44.55              23.79
Mississippi...................................................         2.98            4.85               0.92       0.31        9.06              53.53
Missouri......................................................        22.39           15.72               1.74       6.12       45.97              34.20
Montana.......................................................         3.85            1.20               1.27       0.98        7.30              16.44
Nebraska......................................................         7.17            6.81               2.68       3.34       20.00              34.05
Nevada........................................................         1.82            1.10               2.10       0.13        5.15              21.36
New Hampshire.................................................         3.14            4.36               2.26       0.48       10.24              42.58
New Jersey....................................................        18.57           11.43               7.20       0.13       37.33              30.62
New Mexico....................................................         3.75            2.33               2.87       3.27       12.22              19.07
New York......................................................       276.41          264.27              13.11      12.48      566.27              46.67
North Carolina................................................        27.61            7.71               0.00       2.11       37.43              20.60
North Dakota..................................................         2.98            4.19               0.40       0.55        8.12              51.60
Ohio..........................................................        74.59           53.35               0.00       7.62      135.56              39.36
Oklahoma......................................................         8.72            5.64               7.09       2.70       24.15              23.35
Oregon........................................................        10.70           12.16               1.19       0.75       24.80              49.03
Pennsylvania..................................................       108.53           34.11               0.01       6.96      149.61              22.80
Rhode Island..................................................         3.95            3.63               1.56       0.34        9.48              38.29
South Carolina................................................         7.06            4.63               5.02       2.07       18.78              24.65
South Dakota..................................................         0.92            1.16               0.84       0.12        3.04              38.16
Tennessee.....................................................        11.72            6.66               0.01       1.15       19.54              34.08
Texas.........................................................        49.44           12.29              12.46       3.02       77.21              15.92
Utah..........................................................         4.42            5.69               1.99       1.11       13.21              43.07
Vermont.......................................................         6.19            1.54               0.01       0.50        8.24              18.69
Virginia......................................................         9.60           21.91               0.00       3.12       34.63              63.27
Washington....................................................         7.88            7.33               7.90       0.48       23.59              31.07
West Virginia.................................................         4.73            1.52               1.75       0.47        8.47              17.95
Wisconsin.....................................................        20.26           24.19               0.18       1.34       45.97              52.62
Wyoming.......................................................         0.75            0.33               0.83       0.01        1.92              17.19
                                                               -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Total...................................................     1,532.62        1,249.94             191.48     140.16    3,114.21             40.14 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note.--Totals may differ from sum of State amounts due to rounding.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                        
 Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                                                                                                  


                     TABLE 11-8.--FOSTER CARE BASIC MONTHLY MAINTENANCE RATES FOR CHILDREN AGES 2, 9, AND 16, SELECTED YEARS 1987-96                    
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             Age 2                               Age 9                              Age 16              
                    State                    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                1987     1991     1994     1996     1987     1991     1994     1996     1987     1991     1994     1996 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama.....................................      168      181      205    205rc      188      202      229    229rc      198      213      241    241rc
Alaska \1\..................................      428      561      588   588rsc      478      499      523   523rsc      565      592      621   621rsc
Arizona.....................................      223      247      297   403rsc      223      247      286   392rsc      282      305      365   471rsc
Arkansas....................................      175      195      300   400rsc      190      210      325   425rsc      220      240      375   475rsc
California..................................      294      345      345   345rsc      340      400      400   400rsc      412      484      484   484rsc
                                                                                                                                                        
Colorado....................................      235      296      319    361rc      266      296      319    361rc      318      352      379    430rc
Connecticut.................................      268      386      567   567rsc      302      424      586   586rsc      350      478      637   637rsc
Delaware....................................      264      301      342   350rsc      266      304      342   350rsc      342      391      440   450rsc
District of Columbia \1\....................      304      304      431   437rsc      304      304      431   437rsc      317      317      519   526rsc
Florida.....................................      233      296      296    296rc      233      296      296    296rc      293      372      372    372rc
                                                                                                                                                        
Georgia \1\.................................      300      300      300     325r      300      300      300     325r      300      300      300     325r
Hawaii......................................      194      529      529    529rs      233      529      529    529rs      301      529      529    529rs
Idaho.......................................      138      198      228     228r      165      205      250     250r      204      278      338     358r
Illinois....................................      233      268      322    343rc      259      299      358    382rc      282      325      390    415rc
Indiana.....................................      226      281      405   405rsc      245      330      462   462rsc      280      398      518   518rsc
                                                                                                                                                        
Iowa \1\....................................      159      198      328   375rsc      201      243      342   397rsc      285      300      405   460rsc
Kansas \1\..................................      187      304      205   305rsc      245      304      277   305rsc      280      386      351   386rsc
Kentucky....................................      248      265      263   300rsc      263      288      285   323rsc      300      333      330   368rsc
Louisiana...................................      199      283      298    348rc      232      316      331    331rc      265      349      364    364rc
Maine \1\...................................      244      296      296     325r      250      304      304     334r      291      353      353     389r
                                                                                                                                                        
Maryland....................................      285      535      535   535rsc      285      535      535   535rsc      303      550      550   550rsc
Massachusetts...............................      362      410      410    415rs      362      410      410    415rs      433      486      486    493rs
Michigan \1\................................      315      332      383   365rsc      315      332      383   365rsc      395      416      454   433rsc
Minnesota \1\...............................      285      341      377   419rsc      285      341      377   419rsc      375      442      487   531rsc
Mississippi.................................      130      145      175    225rc      150      165      205    255rc      160      175      250    300rc
                                                                                                                                                        
Missouri....................................      174      209      212    216rs      212      255      259    264rs      232      281      286    292rs
Montana \1\.................................      283      307      330    345rs      283      307      330    345rs      354      384      416    435rs
Nebraska....................................      210      222      326   326rsc      210      291      394   393rsc      210      351      461   463rsc
Nevada......................................      275      281      281    304rs      275      281      281    304rs      330      337      337    365rs
New Hampshire...............................      200      200      314    314rs      251      251      342    342rs      354      354      404    404rs
                                                                                                                                                        
New Jersey..................................      203      244      272    288rs      215      259      288    339rs      253      305      340    361rs
New Mexico..................................      236      258      308   308rsc      247      270      341   341rsc      259      281      367   367rsc
New York....................................      312      353      367    367rs      375      424      441    441rs      434      490      510    510rs
New York City...............................      342      386      401    401rs      403      455      473    473rs      465      526      547    547rs
North Carolina..............................      215      265      315   315rsc      215      265      365   365rsc      215      265      415   415rsc
                                                                                                                                                        
North Dakota................................      240      260      265   308rsc      287      312      318   349rsc      345      416      424   456rsc
Ohio........................................      240      289      413   544rsc      270      328      413   544rsc      300      366      413   544rsc
Oklahoma....................................      300      300      300   300rsc      360      360      360   360rsc      420      420      420   420rsc
Oregon......................................      200      285      315   315rsc      234      295      327   327rsc      316      363      404   404rsc
Pennsylvania................................      558      303      315    312rc      558      319      368    375rc      558      377      473    482rc
                                                                                                                                                        
Rhode Island................................      223      274      279       NA      223      274      279       NA      275      335      341       NA
South Carolina..............................      138      182      212   212rsc      158      209      239   239rsc      208      275      305   305rsc
South Dakota................................      188      237      259   353rsc      230      291      317   353rsc      276      349      382   424rsc
Tennessee...................................      139      255      336   336rsc      190      226      262    262rs      224      267      385    385rs
Texas \1\...................................      243      420      476   482rsc      243      420      476   482rsc      274      420      476   482rsc
                                                                                                                                                        
Utah \1\....................................      198      300      300   319rsc      198      300      300   319rsc      225      300      300   319rsc
Vermont.....................................      210      371      416   416rsc      249      371      416   416rsc      268      447      504   504rsc
Virginia....................................      193      246      256    262rc      244      288      300    307rc      309      365      379    388rc
Washington..................................      184      270      292   304rsc      227      332      359   374rsc      268      392      425   442rsc
West Virginia...............................      161      161      161   400rsc      202      202      202   400rsc      242      242      242   400rsc
                                                                                                                                                        
Wisconsin...................................      163      231      276   282rsc      224      257      301   307rsc      284      324      361   365rsc
Wyoming.....................................      300      400      400   400rsc      300      400      400   400rsc      330      400      400   400rsc
                                             -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Average monthly rates...................      239      294      329      356      263      314      350      373      307      365      407     431 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Indicates States that provided daily rates for 1996, which were converted to monthly rates using the following formula: [daily rate]  365  
   12. Monthly rates for States providing daily rates for 1994 were computed using the following formula: [daily rate]  30. Due to the 
  formula change, 1996 rates for these States cannot be compared with previous years. Figures are rounded to the nearest dollar.                        
                                                                                                                                                        
 NA--Not available.                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                        
 Note.--Most States and/or counties supplement these basic rates with additional payments. To facilitate data comparability across States, 1996 figures 
  are coded for major items covered in the basic rate. Key: r = room and board, s = supervision, c = clothing.                                          
                                                                                                                                                        
 Source: American Public Welfare Association.                                                                                                           

    The 1980 reform legislation stipulated that title IV-E 
foster care payments could be made for children in public 
institutions, whereas previously under title IV-A payments were 
limited to children in private nonprofit institutions or foster 
family homes. To qualify for Federal payments, these public 
institutions may not accommodate more than 25 children. 
Facilities operated primarily for the detention of delinquents, 
including forestry camps and training schools, are ineligible 
for Federal funds. Legislation enacted in 1996 (Public Law 104-
193) also allows participation of for-profit institutions. It 
is generally agreed that the costs associated with 
institutional care are substantially higher than the cost of 
family foster care. For example, the Child Welfare League of 
America in 1994 estimated that the annual cost of supporting a 
child in family foster care was $4,800, compared to an 
estimated annual cost of $36,500 for a child in group care 
(Time, 1994).
Exclusion of foster children from AFDC assistance units
    The Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 (Public Law 98-369) 
required that certain blood-related, adoptive parents or 
siblings be included in the family unit if the family applied 
for income assistance under the AFDC Program. Because there was 
no statutory exclusion for foster care recipients, AFDC 
operating policy required that their income be included with 
the family's when the family's eligibility was determined. 
However, Public Law 99-514, enacted in 1986, stated that a 
foster child who was receiving IV-E maintenance payments would 
not be considered a family member during the time the family 
received AFDC, and that the child's income in the form of 
maintenance payments, and other income and resources, would be 
excluded from the family's as well.
    The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (Public Law 
101-508) repealed the 1986 provision and added a new section 
409 to title IV-A stipulating that foster children receiving 
maintenance payments under title IV-E or under State or local 
programs would not be considered family members for purposes of 
AFDC. Similarly, the law specified that children receiving 
adoption assistance payments under either title IV-E or State 
or local law were not considered family members for AFDC 
purposes, unless the family would lose AFDC benefits as a 
result.
    Welfare reform legislation enacted in 1996 (Public Law 104-
193) repealed the AFDC Program, including the provision 
described above. The law establishes a block grant to States 
for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and allows States 
to determine for themselves how to define assistance units, 
eligibility, and treatment of income for welfare purposes.

               The Title IV-E Adoption Assistance Program

    The Title IV-E Adoption Assistance Program is an open-ended 
entitlement program required of States that participate in 
TANF. Like the IV-E Foster Care Program, the IV-E Adoption 
Assistance Program funds three distinct types of activities: 
maintenance payments for qualified children who are adopted, 
administrative payments for expenses associated with placing 
children in adoption, and training of professional staff and 
parents involved in adoptions.
    Under the Adoption Assistance Program, which is permanently 
authorized, States develop adoption assistance agreements with 
parents who adopt eligible children with special needs. Federal 
matching funds are provided to States that, under these 
agreements, provide adoption assistance payments to parents who 
adopt AFDC- or SSI-eligible children with special needs. 
Although AFDC was repealed by welfare reform legislation in 
1996 (Public Law 104-193), that law also established that 
special needs adoptive children will be eligible for title IV-E 
subsidies if their original families would have been eligible 
for AFDC, as it was in effect on June 1, 1995. Technical 
corrections enacted in 1997 subsequently changed this date to 
July 16, 1996 (Public Law 105-33). In addition, the program 
authorizes Federal matching funds for States that reimburse the 
nonrecurring adoption expenses of adoptive parents of special 
needs children (regardless of AFDC or SSI eligibility).
Definition of special needs
    A special needs child is defined in the statute as a child 
with respect to whom the State determines there is a specific 
condition or situation, such as age, membership in a minority 
or sibling group, or a mental, emotional, or physical handicap, 
which prevents placement without special assistance. Before a 
child can be considered to be a child with special needs, the 
State must determine that the child cannot or should not be 
returned to the biological family, and that reasonable efforts 
have been made to place the child without providing adoption 
assistance. States have discretion in defining special needs 
eligibility criteria and individually determining whether a 
child is eligible. For example, some States add religion or not 
being able to place the child without subsidy to the definition 
of special needs.
Adoption assistance agreements and payments
    An adoption assistance agreement is a written agreement 
between the adoptive parents, the State IV-E agency, and other 
relevant agencies (such as a private adoption agency) 
specifying the nature and amount of assistance to be given. 
Under the adoption assistance agreement, States may make 
monthly adoption assistance payments for AFDC- and SSI-eligible 
children with special needs who are adopted.
    The amount of adoption assistance payments to be made is 
based on the circumstances of the adopting parents and the 
needs of the child. No means test can be used to determine 
eligibility of parents for the program; however, States do 
consider the adoptive parents' income in determining the amount 
of the payment. Payments may be adjusted periodically if 
circumstances change, with the concurrence of the adopting 
parents. However, the payments may not exceed the amount the 
family would have received on behalf of the child under foster 
care. Adoption assistance payments may continue until the child 
is age 18, or, at State option, age 21 if the child is mentally 
or physically handicapped. Payments are discontinued if the 
State determines that the parents are no longer legally 
responsible for the support of the child. Federally subsidized 
payments may start as soon as an agreement is signed and the 
child has been placed in an adoptive home. Parents who have 
been receiving adoption assistance payments must keep the State 
or local agency informed of circumstances that would make them 
ineligible for payments, or eligible for payments in a 
different amount.
    The Federal matching rate for the adoption assistance 
payments is based on each State's Medicaid matching rate. 
States may also claim open-ended Federal matching at the rate 
of 50 percent for the costs of administering the program, and 
for training both staff and adoptive parents at the rate of 75 
percent.
    Not all families of adopted IV-E eligible children with 
special needs actually receive adoption assistance payments. 
The adoptive parents' circumstances may be such that an 
adoption subsidy is not needed or wanted. Adopted AFDC- or SSI-
eligible children with special needs are also eligible for 
Medicaid if an adoption assistance agreement is in effect, 
regardless of whether adoption assistance payments are being 
made.
    States also have the option under the Medicaid Program to 
provide Medicaid coverage for other special needs children 
(those not eligible for AFDC or SSI) who are adopted under a 
State-funded adoption subsidy program. All States but six 
currently take this option. Pursuant to the 1985 budget 
reconciliation legislation, a child for whom an adoption 
assistance agreement is in effect is eligible for Medicaid from 
the State in which the child resides regardless of whether the 
State is the one with which the adoptive parents have an 
adoption assistance agreement. (The Adoption and Safe Families 
Act, enacted in November 1997, contains additional requirements 
regarding health insurance coverage for special needs adopted 
children who are not eligible for title IV-E adoption 
assistance. See discussion at the end of this chapter about 
legislation in the 105th Congress for details.)
    The structure of adoption subsidy programs varies across 
States. Some States offer basic maintenance payments and also 
allow additional payments for certain activities (such as 
family counseling) or for certain groups of children (such as 
children with severe handicaps). Other States offer one level 
of payment to everyone with no special allowances. Some States 
allow parents to request changes in payment levels on a regular 
basis if circumstances change for a child; others allow very 
little change once the adoption agreement is signed. Some 
States start payments as soon as placement is made; others not 
until the adoption is finalized.
    Table 11-9 indicates, by State, the minimum and maximum 
basic monthly payment rates for adoption assistance, and the 
minimum and maximum special payment rates. The ``criteria'' 
columns highlight the main criteria used by States for 
determining when a family would receive a higher payment rate, 
such as the child's level (or severity) of special needs or 
age.
    Not all children who receive adoption subsidies from States 
are eligible for Federal IV-E funds. Data from the American 
Public Welfare Association (APWA) for 1994 indicate that almost 
two-thirds of children receiving adoption assistance nationwide 
were eligible for title IV-E (Oppenheim, 1995). The non-IV-E 
children's adoption subsidies are paid solely by the State in 
which their adoption agreement was signed.

             TABLE 11-9.--ADOPTION ASSISTANCE MONTHLY PAYMENT RATES, BY STATE, AS OF SEPTEMBER 1996             
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          Basic rate                             Special rate   
              State                   Basic rate           criteria          Special rate          criteria     
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama.........................  $205-$241.........  age/foster rates..  negotiable........  ..................
                                                                                               .................
                                                                                               .............    
 Alaska \1\.....................  $587.94-$831.57...  ..................  case-by-case......  ..................
                                                                                               .................
                                                                                               .............    
Arizona.........................  $350-$406.........  age...............  $458-$710.........  level of special  
                                                                                               needs            
 Arkansas.......................  $300-$375.........  age...............  maximum foster      ..................
                                                                           care rate.          .................
                                                                                               .............    
California......................  $345-$484.........  age...............  $1,500 maximum....  county by county  
 Colorado.......................  $293-$352.........  age...............  $371-$509.........  level of special  
                                                                                               needs/age        
Connecticut.....................  $567-$637.........  age...............  $1,000-$1,200.....  medically fragile 
 Delaware.......................  $342-$440.........  age...............  $464-$562.........  foster rates      
District of Columbia \1\........  $437.08-$526.20...  age...............  $512.21-$874.46...  level of special  
                                                                                               needs/age        
Florida.........................  $296-$372.........  age...............  $314-$407.........  level of special  
                                                                                               needs/age        
 Georgia........................  $239.68...........  75 percent of       $15-$40...........  75 percent of     
                                                       foster rate.                            foster rate      
Hawaii..........................  $529..............  ..................  ..................   .................
                                                                                               .................
                                                                                               ..............   
 Idaho..........................  $228-$358.........  age...............  $464-$598.........  level of special  
                                                                                               needs/age        
Illinois........................  $290-$365.........  age...............  $453-$529.........  special foster    
                                                                                               rates            
 Indiana........................  by county.........  75 percent of       by county.........  75 percent of     
                                                       foster rate.                            foster rate      
Iowa............................  $375.33-$459.89...  age...............  $525.59-$910.05...  level of special  
                                                                                               needs/age        
 Kansas.........................  $386..............  ..................  $786 maximum......  level of special  
                                                                                               needs            
Kentucky........................  $304-$373.........  age...............  $395-$464.........  age               
 Louisiana......................  $281.04-$294.73...  age...............  $521-$552.70......  foster rate/age   
 Maine..........................  $371-$429.........  age...............  $1,130-$1,140.....  level of special  
                                                                                               needs/age        
Maryland........................  $650..............  ..................  none..............  ..................
                                                                                               .................
                                                                                               .............    
 Massachusetts..................  $410-$486.........  age...............  negotiable........  ..................
                                                                                               .................
                                                                                               .............    
Michigan........................  $383-$454.........  age...............  $535.08-$1,001.49.  foster rates/age  
 Minnesota......................  $247-$337.........  age...............  $397-$837.........  level of special  
                                                                                               needs/age        
Mississippi.....................  $225-$300.........  age...............  none..............  ..................
                                                                                               .................
                                                                                               .............    
 Missouri \2\...................  $212-$286.........  age...............  $614-$1,368.72....  level of special  
                                                                                               needs/age        
Montana \3\.....................  ..................  foster rate minus   ..................  foster rate minus 
                                                       $10.                                    $10              
 Nebraska.......................  $222-$351.........  age...............  $326-$576.........  level of special  
                                                                                               needs/age        
Nevada \3\......................  ..................  ..................  ..................   .................
                                                                                               .................
                                                                                               ..............   
 New Hampshire..................  $472-$606.........  age...............  none..............  ..................
                                                                                               .................
                                                                                               .............    
New Jersey......................  $280-$350.........  age...............  $320-$1,280.......  level of special  
                                                                                               needs/age        
 New Mexico.....................  $308-$367.........  age...............  $487-$545.........  level of special  
                                                                                               needs/age        
 New York.......................  $457-$600.........  age/city v.         $984-$1,455.......  level of special  
                                                       upstate.                                needs/age        
 North Carolina.................  $315-$415.........  age...............  $800-$1,600.......  HIV status        
 North Dakota...................  $295-$437.........  age...............  $345-$587 and       level of special  
                                                                           above.              needs            
 Ohio \4\.......................  $250 minimum;       ..................  county determined.   .................
                                   maximum is county                                           .................
                                   determined.                                                 ..............   
 Oklahoma.......................  $300-$420.........  age...............  $350-$645.........  level of special  
                                                                                               needs/age        
 Oregon.........................  $315-$404.........  age...............  negotiated........  ..................
                                                                                               .................
                                                                                               .............    
 Pennsylvania...................  county determined.  ..................  county determined.  ..................
                                                                                               .................
                                                                                               .............    
 Rhode Island...................  $252-$308.........  age...............  case-by-case......  ..................
                                                                                               .................
                                                                                               .............    
 South Carolina.................  $266-$393.........  age...............  none..............  ..................
                                                                                               .................
                                                                                               .............    
 South Dakota...................  $266-$393.........  age...............  none..............  ..................
                                                                                               .................
                                                                                               .............    
 Tennessee......................  $335-$417.........  age...............  $512-$683.........  level of special  
                                                                                               needs/age        
 Texas..........................  $475..............  ..................  none..............  ..................
                                                                                               .................
                                                                                               .............    
 Utah...........................  $310..............  ..................  $465-$775.........  level of special  
                                                                                               needs            
 Vermont \5\....................  $494-$600.........  age...............  $704-$810-$1,300..  level of special  
                                                                                               needs/age        
 Virginia.......................  $262-$388.........  age...............  none..............  ..................
                                                                                               .................
                                                                                               .............    
 Washington.....................  $289.67-$422.89...  ..................  ..................  ..................
                                                                                               .................
                                                                                               .............    
 West Virginia..................  $400..............  foster rate.......  $730 maximum......  level of special  
                                                                                               needs            
 Wisconsin......................  $282-$365.........  ..................  $2,000 maximum....  level of special  
                                                                                               needs            
 Wyoming........................  $399..............  ..................  negotiated, county  ..................
                                                                           determined.         .................
                                                                                               .............    
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Alaska and the District of Columbia have daily rates. Monthly rates were calculated by multiplying the daily
  rate by 30.416.                                                                                               
\2\ Missouri has a ``career parent'' rate of $45 per day.                                                       
\3\ Nevada and Montana's are for 1995.                                                                          
\4\ The State rate for adoption assistance is $250 per month. Some of the larger county agencies pay higher     
  rates by providing the non-Federal portion of the monthly payment.                                            
\5\ Vermont has three maximum rates: two ``extraordinary care'' maximums based on age and a maximum             
  ``therapeutic'' rate of $1,300.                                                                               
                                                                                                                
 Source: North American Council on Adoptable Children.                                                          

Nonrecurring adoption costs
    The Adoption Assistance Program also authorizes Federal 
matching funds for States to pay the one-time adoption expenses 
of parents of special needs children (regardless of AFDC or SSI 
eligibility). In order to be eligible, the child must be a 
child with special needs, as defined in section 473(c) of the 
Social Security Act and described above.
    Through the program, parents may receive reimbursement of 
up to $2,000 per child for these nonrecurring adoption 
expenses, and States may claim 50 percent Federal matching for 
these reimbursements. Qualified adoption expenses are defined 
as reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, 
attorney fees, and other expenses that are directly related to 
the adoption of a child with special needs. States may vary in 
the maximum amount they allow parents to receive under this 
provision (see table 11-10 for State-by-State data on maximum 
reimbursement rates).
    All 50 States have implemented the program; the District of 
Columbia has not. However, the average reimbursements have not 
equaled the $2,000 Federal cap, with the average payment being 
$966 in 1996. According to the Association of Administrators of 
the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance 
(AAICAMA), for which the American Public Welfare Association 
serves as the secretariat, in a number of States the larger 
amounts of nonrecurring adoption costs are being paid for costs 
incurred in the adoption of special needs children from foreign 
countries and private agencies. Parents adopting children from 
the public child welfare agencies are not claiming as many 
expenses because many costs incurred in the adoption of these 
children are already covered under the States' adoption 
programs.
Adoption assistance expenditures
    The number of children receiving adoption assistance 
payments and the Federal expenditures for these payments have 
increased significantly since the program began. In fiscal year 
1981, only six States participated in the program, with 
payments being made for an average of 165 children per month. 
In fiscal year 1996, 50 States plus the District of Columbia 
participated, and 122,657 children (see table 11-11) were 
served.
    Federal expenditures for adoption assistance payments have 
increased from less than $400,000 in fiscal year 1981 to $427 
million in fiscal year 1996, and are expected to reach $495 
million in fiscal year 1997.
    HHS data indicate that expenditures for child placement 
services and administration for the Adoption Assistance Program 
have also increased significantly in recent years. In fiscal 
year 1981, claims totaled $100,000; in fiscal year 1996 they 
totaled $124 million and are expected to be $144 million in 
fiscal year 1997.

                                 TABLE 11-10.--STATE REIMBURSEMENT OF NONRECURRING ADOPTION COSTS, 1991, 1992, AND 1996                                 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            Has your                         Estimated                                                                  
                                             State                Estimated   average                                                                   
                                          implemented    Maximum   average    payment     Estimated average                                             
                 State                        the        payment   payment     as of     payment as of April          Major reimbursement cost(s)       
                                         reimbursement            as of May    April             1996                                                   
                                            program?                 1991       1992                                                                    
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama................................         Yes       $1,000       $350       $412                 $1,000  Legal fees, travel, preplacement visits. 
Alaska.................................         Yes        2,000      1,200        829                 \1\ NA  Legal fees, travel, home studies.        
Arizona................................         Yes        2,000      2,000      1,596                  2,000  Legal fees, agency fees, travel, home    
                                                                                                                studies.                                
Arkansas...............................         Yes        1,500        100        500                    200  Court filing, fingerprint checks.        
California.............................         Yes          500        400        400                    500  Agency fees.                             
Colorado...............................         Yes          800        250        250                    800  Legal fees.                              
Connecticut............................         Yes          750         90         90                    424  Legal fee.                               
Delaware...............................         Yes        2,000        300        300                     NA  Agency fees.                             
District of Columbia...................          No                                                                                                     
Florida................................         Yes        1,000        400        400                  1,000  Attorney fees.                           
Georgia................................         Yes          700        400        400                    400  Legal fees.                              
Hawaii.................................         Yes        2,000         NA         NA                     NA                                           
Idaho..................................         Yes        2,000         NA        350                \2\ 550  Agency fees, attorney fees, travel.      
                                                                                                        2,000                                           
                                                                                              average = 1,275                                           
Illinois...............................         Yes        1,500         NA         NA                     NA  Legal fees, home studies.                
Indiana................................         Yes        1,500        635         NA                    700  Legal fees, agency fees.                 
Iowa...................................         Yes        1,000        700        700                    300  Legal fees.                              
Kansas.................................         Yes        2,000         NA         NA                    700  Legal fees, home studies, travel.        
Kentucky...............................         Yes        1,000        378        378                    476  Legal fees, agency fees.                 
Louisiana..............................         Yes        1,000        400        600                    600  Legal fees.                              
Maine..................................         Yes     \3\ 2,00         NA  .........                     NA  Legal fees, travel.                      
                                                               0                                                                                        
Maryland...............................         Yes        2,000         NA      2,000                  2,000  Legal fees, travel, home studies by      
                                                                                                                private agencies. \4\                   
Massachusetts..........................         Yes          400        400  .........                    400  Legal fees, home studies.                
Michigan...............................         Yes        2,000  .........  .........                    170  Court fees, birth certificate cost.      
Minnesota..............................         Yes        2,000      2,000      2,000                  1,750  Legal fees, agency fees.                 
Mississippi............................         Yes        1,000        500        500                    550  Legal fees.                              
Missouri...............................         Yes        2,000         NA     \5\ 45             625--legal  Legal fees, agency fees.                 
                                                                                                   910--other                                           
                                                                                              average = 1,535                                           
Montana................................         Yes        2,000      1,000      1,000                    200  Legal fees, home studies, private agency 
                                                                                                                fees.                                   
Nebraska...............................         Yes        1,500         NA         NA                  1,500  Legal fees, private agency fees, travel. 
Nevada.................................         Yes          250        250        250                     NA  Legal fees, travel, home studies.        
New Hampshire..........................         Yes        2,000      2,000      2,000                  1,556  Legal costs, agency fees, travel.        
New Jersey.............................         Yes        2,000         NA        850                     NA  Home studies, legal fees.                
New Mexico.............................         Yes        2,000        500        500                     NA  Legal fees, travel.                      
New York...............................         Yes        2,000        500        500                    600  Legal fees.                              
North Carolina.........................         Yes        2,000         NA        176                     NA  Legal fees.                              
North Dakota...........................         Yes        2,000        350        540                     NA  Legal fees.                              
Ohio...................................         Yes        2,000        761        672                  2,000  Legal fees, travel.                      
Oklahoma...............................         Yes        2,000      2,000        350      \6\ domestic--275  Legal fees, agency fees.                 
                                                                                            tribal, foreign--                                           
                                                                                                        2,000                                           
                                                                                              private                                                   
                                                                                              average = 1,138                                           
Oregon.................................         Yes        2,000        300        450                     NA  Legal fees.                              
Pennsylvania...........................         Yes        2,000         NA        700                    811  Legal fees, agency fees.                 
Rhode Island...........................         Yes        1,000         NA        902                  1,000  Legal fees, home studies, preadoption    
                                                                                                                supervision.                            
South Carolina.........................         Yes        1,500        750        750                  1,500  Legal fees.                              
South Dakota...........................         Yes        1,500        650        650                    440  Legal fees.                              
Texas..................................         Yes        1,500         NA         NA                    875  Legal fees, agency fees.                 
Utah...................................         Yes        2,000        327        327                    650  Legal fees, home studies, travel.        
Vermont................................         Yes        2,000      1,500      1,500              \7\ 2,000  Legal fees, home studies, agency         
                                                                                                                placement fees.                         
Virginia...............................         Yes        2,000        280        396                    884  Legal fees.                              
Washington.............................         Yes        1,500        655        780                    636  Legal fees.                              
West Virginia..........................         Yes        2,000  .........  .........                  1,400  Legal fees, private agency home studies. 
Wisconsin..............................         Yes        2,000        655        780                    468  Legal fees home studies.                 
Wyoming................................         Yes        2,000        350        350                     NA  Legal fees.                              
                                                       -------------------------------------------------------                                          
      Average..........................                    1,651        682        664               \8\ 966                                            
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Alaska: Indicated that the maximum amount was being paid primarily for the adoption of special needs children from foreign countries.               
\2\ Idaho: For domestic adoptions, the average payment is $500; For foreign (China & Haiti) adoptions, the average payment is $2,000. This differential 
  is due to the fact that most expenses are paid for by the public agency when a child is adopted from the public agency.                               
\3\ Maine: The program was not implemented until 1996.                                                                                                  
\4\ Maryland: Bills submitted are often over $5,000, many of which are for children adopted from foreign countries.                                     
\5\ Missouri: The low cost of this number is due to the fact that at the time the State was able to secure a lot of pro bono legal representation.      
\6\ Oklahoma: The average payment for children adopted from the Department of Human Services is $275; For special needs children adopted from foreign   
  countries, private agencies, and tribal adoptions, the average payment is $2,000.                                                                     
\7\ Vermont: Most payments made for nonrecurring adoption costs are for children adopted from foreign countries; nonrecurring adoption costs are paid   
  for the adoption of special needs children being adopted from foreign countries. There are few, if any, costs for adopting children from the public   
  agency.                                                                                                                                               
\8\ This number accounts for the total average payment of nonrecurring adoption costs in 36 States.                                                     
                                                                                                                                                        
 NA--Not available.                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                        
 Source: Special survey conducted in spring 1996 by the American Public Welfare Association.                                                            


 TABLE 11-11.--ADOPTION ASSISTANCE STATE CLAIMS, FISCAL YEARS 1991-96, AND AVERAGE NUMBER OF CHILDREN RECEIVING 
                                      ADOPTION ASSISTANCE, FISCAL YEAR 1996                                     
                                            [In thousands of dollars]                                           
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  Fiscal year                                   
                             -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                         1996   
            State                                                                                       Average 
                                 1991        1992        1993        1994        1995        1996       monthly 
                                Claims      Claims      Claims      Claims      Claims      Claims     number of
                                                                                                       children 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama.....................      $1,054      $1,070      $1,195      $1,830      $1,866       1,786         282
Alaska......................         360         590         839       1,070       1,286       1,562         448
Arizona.....................       1,338       1,660       3,117       3,960       5,522       6,856       1,403
Arkansas....................         582         670       1,241       1,960       1,541       2,387         458
California..................      27,747      30,230      36,623      43,590      48,235      52,281      15,087
                                                                                                                
Colorado....................       1,177       1,120       1,961       3,230       3,315       4,361       1,551
Connecticut.................       1,529       2,640       3,652       6,310       7,028       6,661       1,163
Delaware....................         330         380         413         430         536         556         198
District of Columbia........       (191)         820       1,269       1,970       1,846       1,987         342
Florida.....................       5,357       7,980       8,257      10,580      16,824      19,612       5,233
                                                                                                                
Georgia.....................       1,341       2,070       3,146       3,320       4,365       4,864       1,653
Hawaii......................          47         160         243         480         606         980         108
Idaho.......................         330         360         570         580         753         982         269
Illinois....................       4,376       6,300       7,558      13,060      16,802      19,362       6,697
Indiana.....................       2,540       4,020       5,711       6,710       7,338       8,692       2,302
                                                                                                                
Iowa........................       2,878       2,750       2,923       3,870       4,976       6,591       1,207
Kansas......................         725         880       1,576       2,240       2,740       3,180       1,609
Kentucky....................       2,692       2,930       3,052       3,320       3,539       3,835         902
Louisiana...................       2,746       5,830       7,656       9,320      11,043      12,180       1,551
Maine.......................       1,229       2,300       2,646       2,960       2,794       3,669         598
                                                                                                                
Maryland....................       1,219       1,680       2,385       2,880       3,633       4,491       1,322
Massachusetts...............       5,010       6,230       7,134       8,380       9,604      11,147       3,395
Michigan \1\................      14,202      17,540      21,868      26,840      31,917      36,550       9,469
Minnesota...................       1,462       1,710       4,003       4,620       5,224       5,861       1,326
Mississippi.................         398         410         410         390         667         795         267
                                                                                                                
Missouri....................       2,470       5,450       4,674       5,190       6,743       6,270       2,480
Montana.....................         603         530         631         760         905       1,330         274
Nebraska....................         767       1,000       1,179       1,560       1,771       2,062         696
Nevada......................         204         250         333         460         669         870         240
New Hampshire...............         438         620         600         740         842         834         336
                                                                                                                
New Jersey \1\..............       4,157       5,000       6,009       6,700       8,869       8,074       2,286
New Mexico..................       1,609       1,810       1,798       1,890       2,438       2,722         804
New York \1\................      39,200      44,400      57,520      72,590      89,816     101,975      24,508
North Carolina..............         836       1,090       1,748       2,550       4,228       5,257       1,765
North Dakota................         250         350         466         500         461         554         132
                                                                                                                
Ohio........................      14,167      18,860      22,964      30,300      35,007      56,331       9,056
Oklahoma....................       1,161       1,630       1,960       2,240       2,950       4,030         770
Oregon......................       1,547       2,370       2,804       3,300       4,020       4,936       2,529
Pennsylvania................       4,263       5,440       6,820       8,090      10,273      12,385       2,760
Rhode Island................       3,353       3,610       4,399       4,610       4,194       3,101         737
                                                                                                                
South Carolina..............       1,766       2,070       2,235       2,910       3,915       4,454         925
South Dakota................         492         540         555         630         649         666         270
Tennessee...................       2,010       2,100       3,573       3,240       3,620       5,771       1,262
Texas.......................       5,233       6,750       9,142      14.520      17,160      17,308       4,682
Utah........................         447         660         748       1,240       1,158       2,021         465
                                                                                                                
Vermont.....................       1,248       1,740       2,009       1,860       1,947       2,080         458
Virginia....................       1,655       1,970       2,291       2,590       2,997       4,568       1,341
Washington..................       2,055       4,000       1,987       3,940       3,013       4,441       2,880
West Virginia...............         230         260         285         440         492         542         115
Wisconsin...................       4,565       5,290       6,171       7,730       9,056      10,339       2,030
Wyoming.....................          79         110          60          60          23          51          16
                             -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Total.................     175,283     220,230     272,409     344,540     411,216     484,196    122,657 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Fourth quarter data is estimated.                                                                           
                                                                                                                
 Note.--Totals may differ from sum of State amounts because of rounding.                                        
                                                                                                                
 Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                                                          

               The Title IV-E Independent Living Program

    In 1986, title IV-E was amended by Public Law 99-272 
(Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985) to 
include section 477, which established the Independent Living 
Program to assist youth who would eventually be emancipated 
from the foster care system. Several surveys conducted during 
the mid-1980s showed that a significant number of homeless 
shelter users had been recently discharged from foster care, 
prompting Congress to establish a program to help youngsters in 
foster care establish their independence.
    An annual entitlement amount of $45 million was established 
for 1987 and 1988 to provide States with the resources to 
create and implement independent living services. These 
services are designed to assist IV-E-eligible children age 16 
and over make a successful transition from foster care to 
independent adult living when they become ineligible for foster 
care maintenance payments at age 18. In 1988, the program was 
expanded under Public Law 100-647, which permitted States to 
provide independent living services to all youth in foster care 
aged 16 to 18 (not just title IV-E-eligible youth); States 
could also provide follow-up services to youth up to 6 months 
after their emancipation from substitute care. Under Public Law 
101-508, States have the option of serving individuals up to 
age 21 in the Independent Living Program. Funds are allocated 
on the basis of each State's share of children receiving IV-E 
foster care in 1984.
    Public Law 101-239 increased the amount of Federal 
entitlement funds available to the States for the Independent 
Living Program to $50 million for fiscal year 1990, $60 million 
for fiscal year 1991, and $70 million for fiscal year 1992. 
Beginning in fiscal year 1991, States are required to provide 
50 percent matching for any Federal funding claimed that 
exceeds the original $45 million funding level. In 1993, 
Congress permanently extended the authority for independent 
living under Public Law 103-66. Table 11-12 shows State 
allotments under the Independent Living Program in fiscal year 
1996.

 TABLE 11-12.--TITLE IV-E INDEPENDENT LIVING FEDERAL AWARDS, FISCAL YEAR
                                  1996                                  
                        [In thousands of dollars]                       
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Total   
                           State                                awards  
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama....................................................       $1,044
Alaska.....................................................           13
Arizona....................................................          272
Arkansas...................................................          350
California.................................................       12,551
Colorado...................................................          830
Connecticut................................................          759
Delaware...................................................          204
District of Columbia.......................................          927
Florida....................................................          993
Georgia....................................................        1,105
Hawaii.....................................................           18
Idaho......................................................          108
Illinois...................................................        2,833
Indiana....................................................        1,020
Iowa.......................................................          452
Kansas.....................................................          721
Kentucky...................................................          792
Louisiana..................................................        1,358
Maine......................................................          569
Maryland...................................................        1,245
Massachusetts..............................................          639
Michigan...................................................        4,195
Minnesota..................................................        1,148
Mississippi................................................          517
Missouri...................................................        1,302
Montana....................................................          244
Nebraska...................................................          438
Nevada.....................................................          154
New Hampshire..............................................          322
New Jersey.................................................        2,311
New Mexico.................................................          208
New York...................................................       11,650
North Carolina.............................................        1,051
North Dakota...............................................          193
Ohio.......................................................        2,877
Oklahoma...................................................          624
Oregon.....................................................          936
Pennsylvania...............................................        4,664
Rhode Island...............................................          317
South Carolina.............................................          583
South Dakota...............................................          193
Tennessee..................................................          782
Texas......................................................        1,852
Utah.......................................................          203
Vermont....................................................          297
Virginia...................................................        1,362
Washington.................................................          830
West Virginia..............................................          335
Wisconsin..................................................        1,563
Wyoming....................................................           45
                                                            ------------
      Total................................................      70,000 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                   

    Section 477 of title IV-E instructed HHS to carry out a 
study of the program's effectiveness. Under contract with HHS, 
Westat, Inc. completed the first phase of the study in 1989 
(Cook, 1990) and the second phase in 1992 (Cook, 1992). The 
first phase is a purely descriptive assessment of the needs of 
youth emancipated from foster care between January 1, 1987 and 
July 31, 1988, States' development of Independent Living 
Programs to serve these youth, and the proportion of youth 
served.
    The first report found that independent living services 
offered by the States generally fell into the following 
categories: basic skills training (including health promotion, 
housekeeping, money management, decisionmaking, and food and 
nutrition management); education initiatives (including private 
tutoring, and GED and college preparation); and employment 
initiatives (including job training and placement, and personal 
presentation and social skills). In addition, 14 States held 
teen conferences designed to bring these foster care youth 
together to provide them with supportive contacts, teach them 
independent living skills, focus on self-esteem building, and 
help prepare them for their impending emancipation from foster 
care.
    The report concluded that emancipated youth were a troubled 
population. In the study population, two-thirds of 18-year-olds 
did not complete high school or a GED and 61 percent had no job 
experience. In addition, 38 percent had been diagnosed as 
emotionally disturbed, 17 percent had a drug abuse problem, 9 
percent had a health problem, and 17 percent of the females 
were pregnant. The group also lacked placement stability. 
During the time they were in foster care, 58 percent 
experienced at least three living arrangements and 
approximately 30 percent had been in substitute care for an 
average of 9 years.
    Of the total 34,600 youth emancipated from foster care 
during the study period, 31 percent received services through 
their State's formalized Independent Living Program, 29 percent 
received nonformalized (but related) services, and 40 percent 
received no independent living services at all.
    The second phase of the Westat report, released in 1992, 
followed up on youths who had been emancipated from foster care 
during the period from January 1987 to July 1988. Interviews 
conducted with these youths about their experiences after 
leaving foster care revealed several notable results. First, 
many of the skills encouraged by the Independent Living Program 
were positively related to good outcomes once the adolescents 
left foster care. These skills included money management, 
consumer education, and job training. Westat also found that 
2\1/2\ to 4 years after leaving foster care, many of the youths 
were encountering problems adjusting to life as an adult. Only 
about half had completed high school, a little less than half 
had jobs and only about 40 percent had had a job for at least 1 
year, 60 percent of the females had given birth, 25 percent of 
the youth had been homeless for at least one night, and fewer 
than 1 in 5 were completely self-supporting.

                PROTECTIONS FOR CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE

    Protections Linked to Title IV-B Child Welfare Services Funding

    To encourage State use of IV-B funds to help keep families 
together and prevent the placement of children in substitute 
care, the 1980 legislation required that if the title IV-B 
appropriation for any year exceeds the Federal appropriation in 
1979 ($56.5 million), States may not use any funds in excess of 
their portion of the $56.5 million for foster care maintenance 
payments, adoption assistance, or work-related child care. 
Appropriations for title IV-B have consistently exceeded this 
amount.
    Further, under the 1980 legislation as originally enacted, 
States were not eligible for all of their Federal IV-B funds 
unless the following protections had been implemented: (1) a 
one-time inventory of children in foster care more than 6 
months to determine the appropriateness of and necessity for 
the current foster care placement, whether the child should be 
returned to his parents or freed for adoption, and the services 
necessary to achieve this placement goal; (2) a statewide 
information system from which the status, demographic location, 
and placement goals of every child in care for the preceding 12 
months could be determined; (3) a case review system to assure 
procedural safeguards for each child in foster care, including 
a 6-month court or administrative review and an 18-month 
dispositional hearing to assure placement in a setting that is 
the least restrictive (most familylike) setting available, in 
close proximity to the original home, and in the best interest 
of the child; and (4) a reunification program to return 
children to their original homes.
    These provisions were contained in section 427 of the act. 
Effective for fiscal years beginning after April 1, 1996, 
however, these protections are required of States as a 
component of their State plans, under section 422 of the act. 
This change was enacted under the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation 
Act of 1993 (Public Law 103-66). In addition, the Adoption and 
Safe Families Act (Public Law 105-89) made significant changes 
in the case review system, including dispositional hearings 
(renamed permanency hearings) at 12 months after placement and 
requiring States to initiate procedures to terminate parental 
rights after a child has been in foster care for a certain 
period of time. (See discussion at the end of this chapter on 
legislation in the 105th Congress for more details.)
    In addition to the protections specified above, States were 
required to implement a preplacement preventive service program 
if the title IV-B appropriation amount was at least $325 
million for 2 consecutive years. The amount appropriated for 
title IV-B was never sufficient to trigger this provision. 
However, effective April 1, 1996, States are required to 
implement preplacement preventive services as a component of 
their State plans. In addition, under Public Law 103-66, States 
are required to review their policies and procedures related to 
abandoned children and to implement any changes necessary to 
enable permanent placement decisions to be made expeditiously 
for such children.

   Mandatory Protections for Foster Children Funded Under Title IV-E

    The 1980 legislation strengthened the State plan 
requirements under title IV-E to emphasize protections for 
foster children originating from families eligible for AFDC at 
the time of placement. By law, for children receiving payments 
under the title IV-E State plan, States must establish specific 
goals as to the maximum number of children in care more than 24 
months, and a description of the steps the State will take to 
meet these goals. In addition, State IV-E plans must include 
the same case review provisions for IV-E-eligible children as 
are required for all foster children under the title IV-B 
protections (described above). The case review must be 
conducted every 6 months and include:
 1. A written document describing the child's placement and its 
        appropriateness;
 2. A plan, if necessary, for compliance with requirements made 
        by judicial determination;
 3. A plan of services to be provided to improve family 
        conditions and facilitate the reunification of the 
        child with her family, or--if reunification is not 
        possible--to provide for a permanent placement and to 
        serve the needs of the child during the time she is 
        placed in foster care; and case plans showing that 
        reasonable efforts have been made prior to placement to 
        prevent the need for placement or to return the child 
        home if removed.
    As a result of Public Law 101-239, foster children's case 
records must include their health and education records. The 
names and addresses of the child's health and educational 
providers must be recorded as well as the child's grade level 
performance, school record, and assurances that the child's 
placement takes into account the proximity of the school in 
which the child was enrolled at the time of placement. In 
addition, a record of the child's immunizations, medical 
problems, required medications, and other relevant information 
must be included.
    The 1980 law provided sanctions for noncompliance with 
these State plan requirements and mandated an independent audit 
of States' title IV-E programs (including adoption assistance) 
and an administrative review (see below).

                     Reasonable Efforts Requirement

    The 1980 legislation required that ``reasonable efforts'' 
must be made to prevent the placement of a child in foster 
care, and to reunify a foster child with his parents. The 
Adoption and Safe Families Act (Public Law 105-89), enacted in 
November 1997, established exceptions to this requirement, such 
as in cases of murder or extreme child abuse, when States will 
not be required to make efforts to reunify a foster child with 
his parents. (See the discussion at the end of this chapter 
about legislation in the 105th Congress for more details of the 
new provisions.) The Social Security Act specifies the 
``reasonable efforts'' requirement in two separate provisions. 
First, in order for a State to be eligible for title IV-E 
funding, its plan must specify that reasonable efforts will be 
made prior to the placement of a child in foster care to 
prevent the need for foster care or to help the child return 
home (sec. 471 (a)(15)). Second, every IV-E-eligible child 
placed in foster care must have a judicial determination that 
reasonable efforts were made to prevent out-of-home placement 
in that particular case (sec. 472(a)(1)).
    The term ``reasonable efforts'' is not defined in the law, 
nor has it been defined by HHS in Federal regulations. For 
States to comply with the plan requirement on reasonable 
efforts, HHS regulations have required State plans to include a 
description of the services offered and provided to prevent 
removal of children from their homes and to reunify the family. 
The regulations further provide an illustrative list of the 
types of preplacement preventive and reunification services 
that may be offered. This list includes: 24-hour emergency 
caretaker and homemaker services, day care, crisis counseling, 
emergency shelters, access to available emergency financial 
assistance, respite care, home-based family services, self-help 
groups, services to unmarried parents, provision of or 
arrangement for mental health, drug and alcohol abuse 
counseling, vocational counseling or vocational rehabilitation, 
and postadoption services. The actual services to be provided 
in specific cases depends on State, and in some cases, 
individual judicial interpretations of the Federal law. 
Research conducted by the American Bar Association in the mid-
1980s (Ratterman, Dodson & Hardin, 1987) and anecdotal reports 
since then indicate that the interpretation of reasonable 
efforts varies widely among States.
    As a result of the lack of definition of ``reasonable 
efforts,'' Federal courts have become a source of direction for 
defining reasonable efforts in individual cases. Nationwide, 
foster children, parents, and advocacy groups have brought 
suits against State and local child welfare systems challenging 
their failure, in whole or in part, to make reasonable efforts 
to preserve or reunify families. In deciding these cases, 
courts are defining what State actions would fulfill the 
reasonable efforts criterion. Federal courts have also become 
involved in the overall child welfare system, although this has 
traditionally been an area of exclusive State jurisdiction.
    On March 25, 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Suter 
v. Artist M., an Illinois case, that the reasonable efforts 
requirement of Public Law 96-272 does not confer a private 
right on the child beneficiaries of the act. The plaintiffs, 
abused and neglected children in State custody, brought suit 
under the act and under 42 U.S.C. 1983 alleging that the State 
social services agency failed to: (1) make ``reasonable 
efforts'' to prevent the removal of children from their homes; 
(2) make ``reasonable efforts'' to reunify children who were 
removed from their homes with their families; (3) notify 
appropriate agencies when a child was mistreated while placed 
in another home; and (4) develop case plans to assure proper 
services were provided to children while in placement. State 
officials questioned the appropriateness of involvement by the 
Federal judiciary in the resolution of child welfare disputes 
and in the operation of child welfare systems.
    Both the district court and the Seventh Circuit Court of 
Appeals held that the ``reasonable efforts'' requirements 
conferred enforceable rights on the child beneficiaries which 
were sufficiently specific to be enforceable in an implied 
cause of action directly under Public Law 96-272 or in an 
action brought under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The Supreme Court 
reversed, and construed the ``reasonable efforts'' requirement 
to impose only a generalized duty on the State, to be enforced 
not by the child beneficiaries, but by the Secretary of Health 
and Human Services in monitoring and enforcing compliance with 
State plan requirements. The Court found that Public Law 96-272 
does not create any rights, privileges, or immunities within 
the meaning of section 1983, and fails to provide the 
``unambiguous notice'' that is necessary before States 
receiving Federal grants can be subjected to suit.
    As a result of the Court's decision in Suter, Congress 
enacted legislation in 1994 (Public Law 103-432) adding a new 
section 1130A to the Social Security Act. The provision 
establishes that, in any action brought to enforce a provision 
of the Social Security Act, the provision is not to be deemed 
unenforceable because of its inclusion in a section of the act 
requiring a State plan. Congress explicitly stated in section 
1130A that it does not intend to limit or expand any grounds 
for determining the availability of private actions to enforce 
State plan requirements. The provision also is not intended to 
alter the Court's decision in Suter that the reasonable efforts 
requirement in Public Law 96-272 is not enforceable in a 
private right of action.
    In response to a congressional request, HHS in 1994 
directed two of its child welfare resource centers to gather 
information and make recommendations regarding implementation 
of the reasonable efforts requirement. The National Resource 
Center for Legal and Court Issues (part of the American Bar 
Association's Center on Children and the Law) and the National 
Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement 
(University of Southern Maine) convened an interdisciplinary 
advisory panel on April 21, 1995, and released a summary of the 
panel's discussion. Among the panel's findings and 
recommendations:
 1. Despite its varied implementation, the reasonable efforts 
        requirement in Public Law 96-272 has had a positive 
        impact overall for children and families. The 
        reasonable efforts concept is most effective in 
        communities with strong Family Preservation Programs. 
        However, reasonable efforts are appropriate only when 
        consistent with the child's health and safety, and 
        activities must be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
 2. Reasonable efforts requirements in Federal law should be 
        continued and actively enforced. However, in some 
        cases, it is appropriate not to offer family 
        preservation or reunification services, and the Federal 
        Government should clarify to States when such inaction 
        is proper. Further, child welfare workers need training 
        in making these decisions.
 3. The Federal Government should support and guide States as 
        they identify and incorporate services into their State 
        plans, but there was little support among the panel for 
        a federally mandated set of core services.
 4. Judicial oversight of reasonable efforts is effective and 
        should be continued, including as a component of 
        determining eligibility for Federal reimbursement. 
        However, judges need proper training and should be 
        assigned to regular child welfare caseloads. Likewise, 
        agency personnel need training in adequately educating 
        the court with regard to specific cases. In the case of 
        a judicial determination that reasonable efforts have 
        not been made, there should be a short grace period for 
        appropriate efforts to be made before Federal financial 
        assistance is denied.
 5. Reasonable efforts determinations should be made at every 
        critical step in a case, from removal from home through 
        the case review, rather than on a one-time basis.

          State Compliance With Section 427 Child Protections

    As described earlier, section 427 of title IV-B, as 
originally enacted, specified the child protections that had to 
be in place in order for a State to receive its allotment of 
certain appropriated title IV-B funds. Effective for fiscal 
years beginning after April 1, 1996, however, these protections 
are required of States as part of their title IV-B plan, under 
section 422(b)(9) of the Social Security Act (table 11-13).

TABLE 11-13.--SECTIONS 427 [422] AND 475 REQUIRED PROTECTIONS FOR FOSTER
                                CHILDREN                                
------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Requirement                          Description             
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inventory, sec. 427(a)(1)........     Includes all children in foster   
 [422(b)(9)(A)]                       care under State responsibility   
                                      for 6 months preceding the        
                                      inventory;                        
                                       State determines appropriateness 
                                       of and necessity for current     
                                       foster placement;                
                                       Whether a child can or should be 
                                       returned to parents or be freed  
                                       for adoption;                    
                                       Services necessary to facilitate 
                                       either the return of a child or  
                                       the child's placement for        
                                       adoption or legal guardianship.  
                                                                        
Statewide information system,         Includes status, demographic      
 sec. 427(a)(2)(A).                   characteristics, location, and    
 [422(b)(9)(B)(i)]                    placement goals of foster children
                                      in care the preceding 12 months.  
                                                                        
Service program, sec.                 To help children where            
 427(a)(2)(C).                        appropriate, return to families or
 [422(b)(9)(B)(iii)]                  be placed for adoption or legal   
                                      guardianship.                     
                                                                        
Case plan, sec. 427(a)(2)(B).....     A written document that includes: 
 [422(b)(9)(B)(ii)]                    a plan to achieve placement in   
and sec. 475(1) (A) and (C) and        the least restrictive (most      
 475(5)(A).                            familylike) setting available;   
                                       a plan for placement in close    
                                       proximity to the parents home    
                                       consistent with the best interest
                                       and special needs of the child,  
                                       including additional protections 
                                       for children placed out of their 
                                       home State (sec. 475(5)(A));     
                                       a description of type of home or 
                                       institution in which a child is  
                                       to be placed;                    
                                       a discussion of appropriateness  
                                       of placement;                    
                                       a statement of how the           
                                       responsible agency plans to carry
                                       out the voluntary placement      
                                       agreement or judicial            
                                       determination made in accordance 
                                       with sec. 472(a)(1);             
                                       a plan for ensuring that the     
                                       child will receive proper care;  
                                       a plan for providing services to 
                                       the parents, child, and foster   
                                       parents to improve conditions in 
                                       the parents home and facilitate  
                                       the return of the child home or  
                                       permanent placement;             
                                       a plan for services to address   
                                       the needs of a child while in    
                                       foster care;                     
                                       a discussion of appropriateness  
                                       of services provided:            
                                        where appropriate for a child 16
                                        or over, a description of       
                                        programs and services to prepare
                                        for transition to independent   
                                        living;                         
                                        to the extent available and     
                                        accessible the health and       
                                        educational records of the      
                                        child.                          
                                                                        
Case reviews, sec. 427(a)(2)(B)..     Status of each child is reviewed  
 [422(b)(9)(B)(ii)]                   periodically but not less         
                                      frequently than once every 6      
                                      months by a court or              
                                      administrative review to          
                                      determine:                        
                                       continuing necessity for and     
                                       appropriateness of placement;    
                                       extent of compliance with case   
                                       plan;                            
                                       extent of progress made toward   
                                       alleviating or ``mitigating''    
                                       causes of foster placement;      
                                       likely date child may be returned
                                       home or placed for adoption or   
                                       provided legal guardianship.     
                                      Administrative review means:      
                                       open to participation of the     
                                       parents;                         
                                       conducted by panel or appropriate
                                       persons, at least one of whom is 
                                       not responsible for the case     
                                       management of, or the delivery of
                                       services to, the child or parents
                                       (sec. 475(6)).                   
                                                                        
Dispositional hearing, sec.           To be held:                       
 427(a)(2)(B) and sec. 475(5)(C).      in family or juvenile court or   
 [422(b)(9)(B)(ii)]                    other court of competent         
                                       jurisdiction or by administrative
                                       body approved by the court;      
                                       no later than 18 months \2\ after
                                       the original placement (and not  
                                       less frequently than every 12    
                                       months thereafter);              
                                       to determine future status of the
                                       child (return to parent, continue
                                       foster care for special period on
                                       permanent or long-term basis,    
                                       placement for adoption);         
                                       to determine transition services 
                                       needed for a child 16 or older.  
                                                                        
Procedural safeguards, sec.           Applied to:                       
 427(a)(2)(B) and sec. 475(5)(C).      parental rights pertaining to    
 [422(b)(9)(B)(ii)]                    removal of child from parent's   
                                       home;                            
                                       a change in child's placement;   
                                       any determination of parents'    
                                       visitation privileges.           
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The sections enclosed in brackets were effective October 1, 1996 as 
  mandated in Public Law 103-432; section 427 is repealed.              
\2\ Public Law 105-89 changed this requirement to 12 months and renamed 
  the hearing ``permanency'' hearing.                                   
                                                                        
 Source: U.S. General Accounting Office (1989), and U.S. Department of  
  Health and Human Services.                                            

    In 1980, following the enactment of Public Law 96-272, HHS 
identified a total of 18 child protections required by section 
427 of title IV-B. In what came to be known as ``427 reviews,'' 
the caseload of each State receiving incentive funds was 
examined to determine compliance with these child protections. 
The HHS reviews required the following:
 A. That the case plan for each child include a:
   1. Description of the type of home or institution in which 
            the child is to be placed;
   2. Discussion of the appropriateness of the placement;
   3. Plan to achieve placement in the least restrictive (most 
            familylike) setting;
   4. Plan for placement in close proximity to the parents' 
            home, consistent with the best interest and special 
            needs of the child;
   5. Statement of how the responsible agency plans to carry 
            out the voluntary placement agreement or judicial 
            determination;
   6. Plan for ensuring that the child will receive proper 
            care;
   7. Plan for providing services to the parents, child, and 
            foster parents to improve conditions in the 
            parents' home and facilitate the return of the 
            child to the home, or into a permanent placement;
   8. Plan for services to address the needs of the child while 
            in foster care;
   9. Discussion of the appropriateness of services provided;
 B. That the status of each child in foster care be reviewed 
        periodically but no less frequently than every 6 months 
        by a court or administrative review to determine the:
  10. Continuing necessity for and appropriateness of 
            placement;
  11. Extent of compliance with the case plan;
  12. Extent of progress made toward alleviating or 
            ``mitigating'' the causes of foster placement;
  13. Likely date the child may be returned home or placed for 
            adoption or provided legal guardianship;
 C. That all administrative reviews must:
  14. Be open to participation by parents;
  15. Be conducted by a panel of appropriate persons, at least 
            one of whom is not responsible for the case 
            management of, or the delivery of services to, the 
            child or parents;
 D. That procedural safeguards that pertain to parental rights 
        are followed when:
  16. The child is removed from the parents' home;
  17. A change is made in the child's placement;
  18. Any determination of the parents' visitation privileges 
            is made.
    Table 11-13 identifies child protections in section 427, 
the new section 422(b)(9), and section 475 of the Social 
Security Act.
    Under the old section 427, Federal review of a State's 
foster care system consisted of two phases: (1) the 
administrative review, and (2) the survey of case records. The 
process was initiated when a State ``self-certified'' after 
determining that it was in compliance with the 18 protections 
outlined above. An administrative review was then conducted to 
determine if all policy and procedural systems necessary to 
implement the child protections were in place on a statewide 
basis.
    If the State had fully implemented these administrative 
components, the review process proceeded to the case record 
survey stage. Three separate case record surveys were conducted 
in each State (an initial, subsequent, and triennial review) by 
a team composed of Federal and State personnel. Each of these 
reviews demanded a higher level of compliance, and a State had 
to pass the preceding review before moving to the next one. If 
a State was found out of compliance, HHS issued a disallowance 
against the State's allotment of incentive funds for the coming 
fiscal year. States could appeal the disallowance to the HHS 
Departmental Appeals Board.
    According to HHS, virtually all funding disallowances 
occurred as a result of States not holding periodic reviews and 
dispositional hearings within the timeframe specified in the 
statute. Between 1981 and 1991, about $21 million in 
disallowances were issued against 18 States and the District of 
Columbia.

          Federal Financial Review Procedures Under Title IV-E

    In addition to the child protection reviews described above 
to assure compliance with section 427, HHS reviewed 
expenditures made under the Title IV-E Foster Care and Adoption 
Assistance Programs. The title IV-E statute requires, as a 
component of State plans, that States arrange for independent 
audits of their activities under both titles IV-B and IV-E at 
least once every 3 years. In addition, section 471(b) allows 
the Secretary of HHS to withhold or reduce payments to States 
upon finding that a State plan no longer complies with State 
plan requirements, or, in the State's administration of the 
plan, there is substantial failure to comply with its 
provisions. The Secretary must first provide reasonable notice 
and opportunity for a hearing.
    In practice, the Secretary has disallowed expenditures for 
Federal reimbursement under title IV-E as a result of several 
review procedures, including audits conducted pursuant to 
section 471(a)(13). Disallowances may result from audits 
conducted by the HHS inspector general, regional office reviews 
of quarterly expenditure reports submitted by States as part of 
the claims reimbursement process, or Federal financial reviews. 
During fiscal year 1996, $128 million in disallowances were 
issued against 7 States, compared with $275 million in 
disallowances against 5 States in fiscal year 1995, and $222 
million in disallowances against 4 States in fiscal year 1994. 
Although the actions were taken in the years specified, the 
disallowed expenditures may have occurred in a prior year.

         New Conformity Review System Under Public Law 103-432

    In 1994, Congress enacted legislation (Public Law 103-432) 
adding a new section 1123 to the Social Security Act. This 
section establishes a child welfare conformity review system to 
replace the various title IV-B and IV-E review methods 
described above. This legislation also changes the enforcement 
mechanism for the child protection requirements originally 
contained in section 427. As mentioned earlier, States were 
required to comply with section 427 child protections in order 
to qualify for their full allotment of title IV-B funds. 
Effective for fiscal years beginning after April 1, 1996, 
however, this incentive funding mechanism is eliminated and 
States are instead required to comply with the child 
protections as a component of their State plans, under a new 
section 422(b)(9).
    HHS is currently pilot-testing the new conformity review 
system. As of October 1997, a notice of proposed rulemaking was 
under review within HHS. In the interim, reviews are no longer 
being conducted under the old systems described above and 
disallowances are not being made. The new system is intended to 
be more comprehensive and streamlined, and to provide technical 
assistance in addition to financial penalties to help States 
comply with Federal requirements.
    Specifically, Public Law 103-432 requires the new review 
system to determine whether State programs conducted under 
titles IV-B and IV-E are in substantial conformity with State 
plan requirements contained in Federal law, implementing 
regulations, and approved State plans. The system will provide 
for an initial review of each State program, a timely 
subsequent review of any program found to be out of substantial 
conformity, and less frequent reviews for States that are in 
substantial conformity. Federal regulations must specify the 
requirements subject to review and the criteria that will be 
used to measure conformity. The regulations also must specify a 
method for determining the amount of any Federal matching funds 
to be withheld due to a State's failure to substantially 
conform. States will be given an opportunity to develop and 
implement a corrective action plan, subject to Federal 
approval, and financial penalties may be suspended and 
ultimately rescinded if a State successfully completes the 
corrective action plan. States must be notified within 10 days 
after any determination that they are not in conformity, and 
may appeal the determination to the Departmental Appeals Board. 
Decisions of the Appeals Board may be subject to judicial 
review.

     RECENT TRENDS AFFECTING CHILD WELFARE POPULATIONS AND PROGRAMS

    Data on social problems that are a common focus of child 
welfare services--such as incidence and causes of child abuse 
and neglect and trends in foster care caseloads--are sometimes 
used to show the need for both child protection and preventive 
services for families. Although these data do not represent the 
absolute number of children or families in need of services, 
they are often used to suggest trends in the need for services.

                        Child Abuse and Neglect

    Between 1963 and 1967, every State and the District of 
Columbia enacted some form of child abuse and neglect reporting 
law. The model reporting law disseminated by the U.S. 
Children's Bureau facilitated the States' rapid adoption of 
these laws; after 1974 reporting laws were modified to conform 
to the standards established by the Child Abuse Prevention and 
Treatment Act of 1974 (CAPTA).
Reporting of abuse and neglect
    The trend in child abuse and neglect reporting, in terms of 
numbers of reports and rates, has been one of steady growth 
with more than a fourfold increase in reporting between 1976 
and 1996, although the rate of growth has slowed in the 1990s. 
In 1976, there were 669,000 child abuse and neglect reports 
received by the 50 States and the District of Columbia, for a 
rate of 10 per 1,000 children. By 1996, there were 3,126,000 
children reported for maltreatment, for a rate of 47 per 1,000 
children (see chart 11-1).

  CHART 11-1. REPORTS OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT AND CHILD FATALITIES, 
                            SELECTED YEARS 





     Source: McCurdy and Daro (1993).


    Increased reporting does not necessarily mean that there 
has been a corresponding increase in child abuse and neglect. 
As noted below, not all reports are substantiated. Increased 
reporting may be as much an indicator of how many cases of 
suspected abuse come to professional attention as an indicator 
of the true extent of child maltreatment. Public awareness 
campaigns, increased training of professionals, and increases 
in child protective service staff may result in more cases of 
child maltreatment coming to professional attention. On the 
other hand, researchers and professionals agree that even with 
more than 3 million reports, not all maltreated children are 
reported.
Substantiated cases
    In 1996, 31 percent of the children reported were either 
substantiated or indicated as abused and neglected. \2\ The 
remaining reports were either unsubstantiated, no finding was 
made, there was an unknown disposition, or some other 
disposition of the report was made. There has been a decline in 
the rate of substantiation of child maltreatment reports from 
65 percent in 1976 to 31 percent in 1996 (McCurdy & Daro, 1993; 
Wang & Daro, 1997).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\ Substantiated means that the allegation of maltreatment or risk 
of maltreatment is supported or founded on the basis of State law. 
Indicated means that maltreatment cannot be substantiated, but there is 
reason to believe that the child was maltreated or at risk of 
maltreatment (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1996).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Types of maltreatment
    In 1996, of the child victims for whom maltreatment was 
substantiated or indicated and for whom there were data on the 
type of maltreatment, 60 percent experienced neglect, 23 
percent experienced physical abuse, 9 percent sexual abuse, 4 
percent emotional abuse, and 5 percent other forms of 
maltreatment.

                         Child Abuse Fatalities

    The U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect (1995) 
estimated that 2,000 children under the age of 18 are killed by 
parents or caretakers each year. The Board suggests that this 
is a low estimate. Philip McClain and his colleagues (1993) 
report that abuse and neglect kills 5.4 to 11.6 children per 
100,000 children under 4 years of age (see chart 11-1).

                            Substance Abuse

    There is widespread belief that a significant portion of 
the increase in child abuse and neglect and foster care 
placements resulted from the introduction of crack cocaine 
during the mid-1980s. The availability of crack has been linked 
to the abuse of children of all ages. According to a 1990 
publication by the House Committee on Ways and Means, New York 
City officials blame the introduction of crack for the 
threefold increase in that city's child abuse and neglect cases 
involving parental substance abuse between 1986 and 1988. 
Perhaps the biggest impact that crack has had on the child 
welfare system is the large increases in very young infants 
entering the foster care system at birth as a result of 
prenatal drug use, drug toxicity at birth, or abandonment at 
the time of birth in the hospital (boarder babies). Drug-
exposed infants also often enter substitute care shortly after 
they are born as a result of a diagnosed failure to thrive or 
of parental abuse and neglect.
    The National Association for Perinatal Addiction Research 
and Education estimated in 1988 that 11 percent of all pregnant 
women use illegal drugs. A 1990 General Accounting Office (GAO) 
study reported that the actual number of drug-exposed infants 
born each year is unknown, although the study noted that the 
two most widely cited estimates are 100,000 and 375,000. An HHS 
Office of the Inspector General (OIG) 1989 survey of 12 cities 
found that 30 to 50 percent of drug-exposed infants enter 
foster care. New York City reported a 268 percent increase 
between 1986 and 1989 in referrals of drug-exposed infants to 
the child welfare system (Office of the Inspector General, 
1990a).
    More recently, the National Pregnancy and Health Survey, 
sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, surveyed a 
nationally representative sample of 2,613 women who delivered 
babies between October, 1992 and August, 1993. These survey 
results were used to estimate the drug, alcohol, and cigarette 
use of the approximately 4 million women who gave birth in the 
United States during 1992. The survey estimated that 221,000 or 
5.5 percent of the women used some illicit drug during 
pregnancy. At some time during their pregnancy, 119,000 women, 
or 2.9 percent, reported using marijuana; 45,000 women, or 1.1 
percent, used cocaine, and 34,800, or 0.9 percent, used crack. 
The survey also estimated that 757,000 women, or 18.8 percent, 
used alcohol and 820,000, or 20.4 percent, smoked cigarettes at 
some time during their pregnancy (National Institute on Drug 
Abuse, 1995).
    Data from a five State foster care archive show how 
increasing numbers of drug-exposed infants are stretching State 
child welfare systems to their limits (Goerge, Wulczyn, & 
Harden, n.d.). Data for California, Illinois, Michigan, New 
York, and Texas indicate that the most striking change in the 
characteristics of children entering foster care in the mid to 
late 1980s was the increase in the number of infants who were 
admitted into care.
    Researchers conducting the five State study divided the 
period from 1983 to 1992 into 3 periods: 1983-86 (the period 
before admissions began to surge); 1987-89 (the period of most 
rapid growth); and 1990-92 (when caseloads in several States 
began to decline). Between 1983 and 1986, about 16 percent of 
first admissions into foster care were of children younger than 
1 year of age. By contrast, between 1987 and 1989 children 
under the age of 1 represented almost 23 percent of first 
admissions. Fortunately, the rate increased only slightly to 24 
percent from 1990 to 1992.
    Looking at individual States, researchers found that the 
proportion of infants entering foster care nearly doubled in 
New York, from 16 percent of first admissions in 1983-86 to 28 
percent in 1990-92. Infants entering foster care in Illinois 
increased as a percentage of first admissions from 16 percent 
in 1983-86 to 28 percent in 1990-92, and in Michigan, from 17 
percent to 20 percent during the same time periods.
    This rise in infant admissions is likely to result in 
larger foster care caseloads in the future, regardless of 
whether overall admissions begin to decline. Researchers in the 
five State data archive found that infants who are placed in 
foster care tend to remain in care longer than children placed 
at older ages. Data for each of the five States indicated that 
duration of care generally decreased with age of placement.
    Not only do younger children spend the longest time in 
foster care, but many children discharged from foster care 
eventually reenter care. During 1989, 15 percent of New York's 
admissions into foster care was comprised of children 
reentering care. A 1988 Illinois study by Mark Testa and Robert 
Goerge found that nearly 40 percent of the earliest cohorts of 
foster children that are reunified with their parents 
eventually reenter substitute care.
     In a 1994 report, GAO reported that most of the young 
children who entered foster care in 1991 were prenatally 
exposed to drugs, and that 58 percent of young foster children 
had serious health-related problems, compared to 46 percent in 
1986 (U.S. General Accounting Office, 1994). Young foster 
children at high risk for problems resulting from prenatal drug 
exposure increased from 29 percent in 1986 to 62 percent in 
1991. Cocaine was the most prevalent drug that children were 
exposed to in both years. Documented prenatal cocaine exposure 
rose from 17 percent in 1986 to 55 percent in 1991.

                    Trends in Foster Care Caseloads

    The incidence of all children in the United States who are 
in foster care has increased from 3.9 per 1,000 in 1962 to an 
estimated 6.9 per 1,000 in 1996. The incidence of children in 
foster care increased slowly during the 1960s, climbed sharply 
in the 1970s, and then deceased until 1982. In fact, the 
incidence of childen in foster care in 1982 was 3.9 per 1,000-
exactly the same as twenty years earlier. However, since 1982, 
the incidence has risen steadily each year. In just 2 years 
between 1987 and 1989, the incidence rose from 4.5 per 1,000 to 
5.7 per 1,000. The incidence has continued to rise to an 
estimated 6.9 per 1,000 on 1996, the most recent year for which 
data are available on the total number of children in foster 
care.
    The number of children in federally assisted foster care 
has grown significantly in the years since funding first became 
available under AFDC in the early 1960s. The number grew from 
1962 to 1976, then decreased from 1976 to 1983. Since 1983, the 
number of foster care children funded under title IV-E has 
increased steadily. In 1980, when title IV-E was first enacted, 
33 percent of the total foster care population was funded under 
title IV-E. By 1996, this proportion increased to an estimated 
53 percent (see table 11-14).

TABLE 11-14.--U.S. FOSTER CARE AND IV-E FOSTER CARE POPULATION, TOTAL AFDC CHILDREN, AND U.S. POPULATION AGES 0-
                                                  18, 1962-2001                                                 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                     U.S. foster
                                                       U.S. foster    IV-E foster      Total AFDC      children 
                                                           care      care children      children      per 1,000 
                         Year                           population     (average         (average       in U.S.  
                                                         (end of        monthly     monthly number)   population
                                                          fiscal      number) \2\       \3\ \6\       ages 0-18 
                                                        year) \1\                                        \4\    
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1962.................................................      272,000             989      2,781,000            3.9
1963.................................................      276,000           2,308      2,921,000            3.9
1964.................................................      287,000           4,081      3,075,000            4.0
1965.................................................      300,000           5,623      3,243,000            4.1
1966.................................................      309,400           7,385      3,369,000            4.2
1967.................................................      309,600           8,030      3,558,000            4.2
1968.................................................      316,200           8,500      4,013,000            4.3
1969.................................................      320,000          16,750      4,591,000            4.3
1970.................................................      326,000          34,450      5,494,000            4.4
1971.................................................      330,400          57,075      6,963,000            4.5
1972.................................................      319,800          71,118      7,698,000            4.4
1973.................................................           NA          84,097      7,965,000             NA
1974.................................................           NA          90,000      7,824,000             NA
1975.................................................           NA         106,869      7,928,000             NA
1976.................................................           NA         114,962      8,156,000             NA
1977.................................................           NA         110,494      7,818,000             NA
1978.................................................           NA         106,504      7,475,000             NA
1979.................................................           NA         103,771      7,193,000             NA
1980.................................................      302,000         100,272      7,320,000            4.4
1981.................................................      274,000         104,851      7,615,000            4.1
1982.................................................  \5\ 262,000          97,309      6,975,000            3.9
1983.................................................  \5\ 269,000          93,360      7,051,000            4.0
1984.................................................  \5\ 276,000         102,051      7,153,000            4.1
1985.................................................  \5\ 276,000         109,122      7,165,000            4.1
1986.................................................  \5\ 280,000         110,749      7,294,000            4.2
1987.................................................  \5\ 300,000         118,549      7,381,000            4.5
1988.................................................  \5\ 340,000         132,757      7,326,000            5.0
1989.................................................  \5\ 383,000         156,871      7,370,000            5.6
1990.................................................  \5\ 400,000         167,981      7,755,000            5.9
1991.................................................  \5\ 414,000         202,726      8,515,000            6.0
1992.................................................  \5\ 427,000         224,507      9,225,000            6.1
1993.................................................  \5\ 445,000         231,048      9,539,000            6.3
1994.................................................  \5\ 468,000         244,473      9,590,000            6.6
1995.................................................  \5\ 483,000         260,737      9,275,000            6.7
1996 (estimate)......................................  \5\ 502,000         266,977      8,673,000            6.9
1997 (estimate)......................................           NA         285,000             NA             NA
1998 (estimate)......................................           NA         296,400             NA             NA
1999 (estimate)......................................           NA         308,300             NA             NA
2000 (estimate)......................................           NA         320,600             NA             NA
2001 (estimate)......................................           NA         333,400             NA            NA 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Data from Child Welfare Research Notes #8 (July 1984), published by Administration for Children, Youth, and 
  Families at HHS. This note cites as sources of data for the foster care population: annual reports from 1962  
  to 1972 of the Children's Bureau and the National Center for Social Statistics, Social and Rehabilitation     
  Services; National Study of Social Services to Children and their Families, published by ACYF in 1978, for    
  1977 data; and the Office of Civil Rights, HHS, report, ``1980 Children and Youth Referral Survey: Public     
  Welfare and Social Service Agencies'' for 1980 data.                                                          
\2\ Incomplete data based on voluntary reporting to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, prior to   
  1975.                                                                                                         
\3\ Includes foster children 1971-81.                                                                           
\4\ Based on data from U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division, unpublished data (1962-80); U.S. Bureau of the  
  Census, Current Population Reports, Series 1095 (1980-89), PPL-41 (1990-95), and 1130 (1996-2001).            
\5\ American Public Welfare Association.                                                                        
\6\ Effective in 1997, AFDC is repealed and replaced with a block grant to States.                              
                                                                                                                
 NA--Not available.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                
 Source: Compiled by staff of the House Committee on Ways and Means.                                            

    More detailed information is available on these trends from 
a number of State data systems. Currently, some of the most 
interesting data are from the multistate data archive mentioned 
above, in which California, Illinois, Michigan, New York and 
Texas are participating. According to the most recent report 
from the archive, a total of 208,011 children were in foster 
care in these 5 States as of December 31, 1993 (of which 
California and New York accounted for 70 percent) (Goerge, 
Wulczyn, & Harden, n.d.). The five State figure represented 
almost half of the nation's total number of foster children, as 
estimated by the American Public Welfare Association's 
voluntary data collection system.
    All five States saw tremendous growth in their foster care 
populations during the period from 1983 to 1993. In fact, in 
every State except Michigan, the number of children in care had 
doubled during this period. Specific growth rates were: 
California, 154 percent; Illinois, 158 percent; Michigan, 67 
percent; New York, 120 percent; and Texas, 123 percent. The 
most intense growth in the five States combined was between the 
years 1987-89, when the caseload grew by almost 40 percent. 
However, since then the growth rate in foster care caseloads 
has returned to the lower levels observed prior to 1987, except 
in Illinois and Texas. In Illinois, the foster care population 
grew by an additional 65 percent during the period from 1990 to 
1993.
    When researchers separated the primary urban area in each 
of the five States from the balance of the State, they 
determined that 75 percent of the caseload growth between 1983 
and 1992 occurred in urban areas. New York City and Chicago 
were responsible for virtually all of the foster care caseload 
growth in New York State and Illinois. Both of these urban 
areas experienced a tripling of their foster care populations 
during the time period. Since 1990, the growth rate in New York 
City has slowed, but there has not been a similar decline in 
the Cook County growth rate.
    Total caseload size is a function of both the number of 
children entering care (admissions) and the number of children 
leaving care (discharges). When examining admissions and 
discharges, researchers in the five State data archive found 
somewhat different patterns in each of the States. For example, 
the number of Illinois' admissions had been stable during the 
period from 1983 to 1986, but increased by 42 percent from 1987 
to 1993. Throughout this entire period, the number of children 
discharged in Illinois stayed constant; therefore, the number 
of discharges did not offset the increase in admissions, 
resulting in overall growth in the total caseload.
    In New York, both admissions and discharges grew from 1983 
to 1985, but discharges somewhat outnumbered admissions so that 
overall caseload size declined slightly during that period. 
However, from 1985 to 1987, discharges decreased by almost 10 
percent while admissions grew by 38 percent, resulting in 
significant caseload growth. Admissions grew by an additional 
29 percent from 1987 to 1989. During this period, discharges 
also grew but only by 17 percent so that the overall caseload 
continued to increase. Since 1989, the number of admissions in 
New York has declined and discharges have grown, so that by 
1993, the total size of the foster care population declined.
    Texas and Michigan experienced growth in both their number 
of admissions and discharges during the decade from 1983 to 
1993. However, admissions exceeded discharges in both States 
during most of the period, resulting in overall growth. 
Michigan saw a slight decrease in its caseload in 1992 and 
1993. In California, admissions declined in 1990 and 1991 and 
have since increased, along with the overall caseload.
    Researchers in the five State data archive also examined 
the length of time children stayed in foster care and found 
that, for children placed between 1988 and 1993, the median 
duration was almost 3 years (34.8 months) in Illinois, 2 years 
in New York, 1\1/2\ years in California, 1 year in Michigan, 
and almost 9 months in Texas. However, certain groups are more 
likely to stay in care longer. Specifically, children from 
urban areas in four of the five States had significantly longer 
durations and black children in four of the five States stayed 
longer than all other racial or ethnic groups. Further, 
children placed as infants generally stayed in care longer than 
older children.

                      Increase in ``Kinship'' Care

    In recent years, States appear to have increased their use 
of ``kinship'' foster care in which foster children are placed 
with their own relatives. Little reliable national data are 
available to document this trend, but some State reporting 
systems and national surveys support the conclusion that 
kinship care is growing.
    In its annual survey of State foster care reimbursement 
rates, the American Public Welfare Association (APWA) asked a 
series of questions about kinship care in late 1992. While many 
States could not distinguish relative placements from other 
foster care placements, at least 26 States indicated that they 
had experienced an increase in their use of kinship care during 
the previous 3 years.
    Children placed with relatives grew from 18 percent to 31 
percent of the total foster care caseload during the period 
from 1986 through 1990 in 25 States that supplied information 
to the Inspector General of HHS (Office of Inspector General, 
1992). This percentage increase is especially notable because 
it occurred during a period of rapid overall caseload growth. 
Kinship care is growing most rapidly in urban areas; for 
example, almost half of New York City's foster care population 
is children in kinship care. It appears that most of the recent 
growth in foster care in some parts of the country may actually 
have been growth in kinship care.
    State policies and practices governing the implementation 
of Federal programs vary widely. Particularly with regard to 
kinship families, these differences in State policies have a 
direct impact on family income and Federal costs. For example, 
eligibility for federally subsidized foster care payments is 
limited to licensed foster care providers. However, some States 
routinely license relatives as foster care providers, making 
them eligible for Federal foster care subsidies, while other 
States do not usually license relatives, leaving them eligible 
only for welfare payments, which are usually lower than foster 
care subsidies.
    Recent studies on children in kinship care suggest that 
children placed with relatives are similar in many respects to 
children in traditional foster care (Berrick, Barth & Needell, 
1992; Dubowitz, Feigelman & Zuravin, 1993). One difference 
found in both studies was racial composition; children in 
kinship care were more likely to be black than foster children 
living with nonrelatives. Further, children placed with 
relatives tend to remain in care longer than children placed in 
nonrelative foster care.
     HHS released a report on kinship care in June 1997 that 
had been prepared by the Urban Institute and Chapin Hall Center 
for Children at the University of Chicago (U.S. Department of 
Health and Human Services, 1997). The report confirmed that the 
kinship care population is growing nationwide, but not among 
all groups. Researchers found no evidence of any increase in 
kinship care among white non-Hispanic children in recent years, 
and said that all of the observed growth had occurred among 
white Hispanic and nonwhite children. African-American children 
are the most likely to live in kinship care settings. Kinship 
care also is more prevalent in the South, among nonurban 
children, and for older children.
     The report also found that two-thirds of kinship care 
givers are grandparents, about half are married, and more than 
85 percent of single kinship care givers are female. Kinship 
care givers are generally older than parents who live with 
their own children, are less educated, and are more likely to 
be unemployed, poor, and to receive government benefits.
     In California, Illinois, New York and Missouri, informal 
kinship care is far more common than formal foster care 
placements with relatives. Less than 16 percent of kinship 
children in the four States combined were in formal kinship 
care placements. Younger children were more likely than older 
children to be in formal kinship care.

                      Family Preservation Programs

     In response to the rising foster care caseloads of the 
late 1980s, States have shown great interest in family 
preservation services, which are intended to prevent the need 
to remove children from families where child abuse or neglect 
has been identified. In particular, interest has developed in 
recent years in ``intensive'' family preservation services, 
which differ from traditional services in several important 
ways. First, the services are intensive. That means that 
caseworkers provide services to families as many as three to 
five times each week. The services are available at any time of 
day or week. Caseworkers have much smaller caseloads than 
traditional child welfare caseworkers, often only 2 or 3 
families as compared with as many as 60 families. Intensive 
family preservation services are provided for a limited period 
of time, usually between 6 and as many as 30 weeks. They are 
designed to identify and work with family strengths so that, 
for example, if a family had a strong network of relatives, 
caseworkers would use this network to help with family 
stressors or crises.
     The initial evaluations of intensive family preservation 
services were generally enthusiastic. The programs were claimed 
to have reduced placement of children, while at the same time 
assuring the children's safety. Foundation program officers and 
program administrators claimed that families receiving 
intensive family preservation services had low rates of 
placement and ``100 percent safety records'' (Barthel, 1991; 
Forsythe, 1992). However, there were major methodological and 
design limitations of these early evaluations. The vast 
majority of evaluations either employed no control or 
comparison group, or used a comparison group that was not an 
appropriate match for the group receiving treatment. Moreover, 
there were questions raised about whether ``placement 
avoidance'' was the appropriate outcome measure for the 
evaluations. Peter Rossi cautioned that placement avoidance was 
not the proper outcome variable, since it was itself the 
treatment. In his 1992 review, Rossi concluded that the 
evaluation studies did not convincingly demonstrate that 
intensive family preservation services reduced placement rates 
or reduced child welfare costs (Rossi, 1992).
    There have been at least 46 evaluations of Intensive Family 
Preservation Programs, of one form or another (Heneghan, 
Horwitz & Leventhal, 1996; Lindsey, 1994). Of these 46 
evaluations and of 802 published articles on intensive family 
preservation, only 10 studies actually evaluated an Intensive 
Family Preservation Program, included outcome data in the 
report, and used a control group. In California, New Jersey, 
and Illinois, the studies had large samples and randomized 
control groups, thus allowing for a rigorous evaluation. In all 
three studies, there were either small or insignificant 
differences between the group receiving intensive family 
preservation services and the group receiving traditional 
casework services. Even in terms of placement avoidance, there 
were no differences between the two groups, thus suggesting 
that earlier claims that Intensive Family Preservation Programs 
were successful in reducing placement obtained those results 
because of the low overall rate of placement in child welfare 
agencies. These results also point to how difficult it is for 
caseworkers to accurately classify a family as at high risk of 
being placed, since 80-90 percent of the children in the 
control groups were not placed.
     In 1993, Congress authorized Federal funding for family 
preservation and family support services under a new subpart 2 
of title IV-B of the Social Security Act, and directed HHS to 
evaluate these activities. This evaluation, conducted by 
Westat, the Chapin Hall Center for Children, and James Bell 
Associates, will examine a range of family preservation and 
family reunification activities at a number of sites across the 
country. The study is scheduled for completion in 1999, and 
will use a randomized trial design with a variety of outcome 
measures, including placement, cost, and family functioning. As 
part of this national evaluation, the contractors prepared a 
literature review of existing research on Family Preservation 
and Family Reunification Programs, which found little solid 
evidence that programs designed to prevent child removal have 
actually achieved this goal (U.S. Department of Health and 
Human Services, 1995). Nonexperimental studies have produced 
misleading results, and the few controlled studies that have 
been conducted have produced mixed findings. The research also 
indicated that family preservation services have very modest 
effects on child and family functioning, although the 
contractors suggested that it would be unrealistic to expect 
dramatic results in this area, given the scope of problems 
facing child welfare clients and the short-term nature of 
family preservation services.

          National Data on Foster Care and Adoption Assistance

    The primary source of national data on foster care, until 
recently, has been the Voluntary Cooperative Information System 
(VCIS) conducted by the American Public Welfare Association 
(APWA). This voluntary survey was begun by APWA with support 
from HHS in 1982. Detailed VCIS data are available for fiscal 
years 1982-90 (Tatara, 1993). In addition, data are available 
from the VCIS on the total numbers of children in care through 
fiscal year 1995 and rough estimates are available for 1996.
    For fiscal year 1990, 41 States and Puerto Rico responded 
to the voluntary survey. However, not all States and 
jurisdictions were able to respond to every question in the 
survey; therefore, the data are incomplete for many items, and, 
according to APWA, should be considered ``rough'' national 
estimates. It also should be noted that definitions of some 
terms varied and that reporting periods were not identical 
among States.
    The VCIS contains information on all children in substitute 
care under the management and responsibility of the State child 
welfare agency, including: foster family care (relative and 
nonrelative), group homes, residential child care facilities, 
emergency shelter care, supervised independent living, 
nonfinalized adoptive placements, and any other arrangement 
considered 24-hour substitute care by the State agency. No 
distinctions are made among these different forms of substitute 
care. Finalized adoptions are not included in the VCIS data.
    As a result of Federal legislation enacted in 1986, States 
now are required to participate in a mandatory data collection 
system known as the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and 
Reporting System (AFCARS). Once fully operational, AFCARS will 
replace the VCIS. Currently, limited data are available from 
AFCARS from fewer than half the States. All States must be in 
compliance with AFCARS by October 1997 or they will face 
financial penalties. AFCARS requires States to collect and 
submit to HHS key information on all children in foster care, 
and on adoptions when the State child welfare agency was 
involved in the placement or financial support of the adopted 
child. The legislative history and development of this data 
collection system are described later in this section.
Number of children in substitute care
    The following table shows the number of children in 
substitute care, by year, based on VCIS data collected by APWA. 
These numbers indicate dramatic increases starting in the 
second half of the 1980s, from 270,000 children at the end of 
1985 to 483,000 children by the end of 1995 (see table 11-15). 
This trend is also illustrated in chart 11-2. APWA has further 
calculated 502,000 as a rough national estimate for the number 
of children in foster care at the end of 1996. In addition to 
the number of children reported as being in care on the first 
and last days of the fiscal year, the numbers of children who 
entered and left care during the year and a cumulative total 
number of children served throughout the year also were 
estimated by APWA, as shown below.

                     TABLE 11-15.--NUMBER AND MOVEMENT OF SUBSTITUTE CARE CHILDREN, 1982-95                     
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            Start of   Entered     Total                 End of 
                           Year                               year       care      served   Left care     year  
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1982.....................................................    273,000    161,000    434,000    172,000    262,000
1983.....................................................    263,000    184,000    447,000    178,000    269,000
1984.....................................................    272,000    184,000    456,000    180,000    276,000
1985.....................................................    270,000    190,000    460,000    184,000    276,000
1986.....................................................    273,000    183,000    456,000    176,000    280,000
1987.....................................................    280,000    222,000    502,000    202,000    300,000
1988.....................................................    312,000    199,000    511,000    171,000    340,000
1989.....................................................    347,000    222,000    565,000    182,000    383,000
1990.....................................................    379,000    238,000    617,000    217,000    400,000
1991.....................................................    400,000    224,000    624,000    210,000    414,000
1992.....................................................    414,000    238,000    652,000    225,000    427,000
1993.....................................................    427,000    230,000    657,000    212,000    445,000
1994.....................................................    444,000    254,000    698,000    230,000    468,000
1995.....................................................    455,000    255,000    710,000    227,000   483,000 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: American Public Welfare Association.                                                                    


         CHART 11-2. CHILDREN IN SUBSTITUTE CARE, END OF YEAR 





    Source: American Public Welfare Association.

     Under AFCARS, States are required to submit data reports 
twice yearly. Data from the fourth reporting period (April 1, 
1996, through September 30, 1996), are included in some of the 
following tables. For this reporting period, a total of 38 
States submitted foster care data; however, the reports of up 
to 22 States were excluded from each table, because of data 
quality issues or requests from the States not to have their 
data included. A total of 33 States submitted adoption data; 
the reports of up to 17 States were excluded from each adoption 
table. HHS cautions that many States extracted their data from 
old information systems or new systems that were still under 
development, and that differing State policies may also affect 
the way information is categorized and reported. In addition, 
data on children exiting care are particularly sensitive to 
undercounts because of delays associated with entering 
information into the data collection systems. The complete set 
of tables for the fourth reporting period and previous periods 
are available at the following web site: http://
www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cb/stats.
    Table 11-16 shows the number of foster children by State, 
including the percent male and female, for the jurisdictions 
that submitted data under AFCARS that met HHS' selection 
criteria.

 TABLE 11-16.--CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE AS OF SEPTEMBER 30, 1996 BY STATE
                               AND GENDER                               
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           In percent   
                   State                      Number   -----------------
                                                         Males   Females
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alaska....................................       1,310       60       40
Arkansas..................................       1,745       50       50
California................................     102,963       51       49
Idaho.....................................         937       48       52
Illinois..................................      53,493       50       50
Louisiana.................................       6,016       49       51
Maine.....................................       2,546       47       53
Massachusetts.............................      14,617       51       49
Mississippi...............................       2,901       48       52
New Jersey................................       7,591       53       47
North Carolina............................      11,468       51       49
Oklahoma..................................       4,118       50       50
Puerto Rico...............................       1,659       51       49
Rhode Island..............................       3,099       57       43
South Carolina............................       6,492       49       51
Utah......................................       2,034       51       49
Vermont...................................       1,782       55       45
Washington................................      10,313       51       49
                                           -----------------------------
      Total...............................     235,084       51      49 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services                    

    Table 11-17 lists the average monthly number of children in 
foster care who received Federal funding under title IV-E for 
the years 1986, 1990, 1994, and 1996. These figures are lower 
than VCIS and AFCARS estimates of the total number of children 
in foster care because they do not include the substantial 
number of children who were not eligible for Federal funding 
(primarily because they were not from AFDC-eligible homes).

     TABLE 11-17.--TITLE IV-E FOSTER CARE AVERAGE MONTHLY NUMBER OF CHILDREN, SELECTED FISCAL YEARS 1986-96     
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    Fiscal year                 Percent change  
                        State                        -----------------------------------------------------------
                                                        1986      1990      1994      1996     1990-96   1986-96
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama.............................................     1,450       965       957       977         1       -33
Alaska..............................................         8       347       271       291       -16     3,538
Arizona.............................................       481       866     2,697     3,181       268       561
Arkansas............................................       434       323       773       995       208       129
California..........................................    23,901    40,286    52,646    61,805        53       159
Colorado............................................     1,440     2,011     2,274     2,709        35        88
Connecticut.........................................     1,104     2,006     1,971     3,667        83       232
Delaware............................................       289       125       221       334       168        16
District of Columbia................................       928       593     1,248     1,405       137        51
Florida.............................................     1,374     3,454     4,070     6,147        78       347
Georgia.............................................     1,893     2,647     3,426     3,945        49       108
Hawaii..............................................        46        41       530     1,017     2,365     2,111
Idaho...............................................       435       138       280       334       142       -23
Illinois............................................     4,378     9,340    16,808    25,225       170       476
Indiana.............................................     1,310     1,822     3,123     4,766       162       264
Iowa................................................       940     1,189     1,547     1,881        58       100
Kansas..............................................     1,076     1,113     1,326     1,060        -5        -1
Kentucky............................................     1,613     1,536     1,928     2,603        69        61
Louisiana...........................................     2,274     2,618     2,792     3,034        16        33
Maine...............................................       655       774     1,126     1,399        81       114
Maryland............................................     1,511       803     3,553     3,861       381       156
Massachusetts.......................................     1,018     3,695    12,223     9,335       153       817
Michigan............................................     6,823     8,218     8,244     8,897         8        30
Minnesota...........................................     1,574     2,100     3,063     3,696        76       135
Mississippi.........................................       627       723       836       917        27        46
Missouri............................................     2,114     2,410     4,421     4,826       100       128
Montana.............................................       281       364       615       730       101       160
Nebraska............................................       799     1,036     1,170     1,458        41        82
Nevada..............................................       222       462       696       657        42       196
New Hampshire.......................................       249       414       532       577        39       132
New Jersey..........................................     3,840     2,816     3,715     4,749        69        24
New Mexico..........................................       601       729       719       764         5        27
New York............................................    17,188    31,036    51,310    44,082        42       156
North Carolina......................................     1,411     3,561     3,550     4,437        25       214
North Dakota........................................       256       308       528       478        55        87
Ohio................................................     4,166     5,164     6,358     7,017        36        68
Oklahoma............................................       885       894     1,447     1,658        86        87
Oregon..............................................     1,313     2,218     2,155     2,752        24       110
Pennsylvania........................................     7,058     8,823    14,346    13,763        56        95
Rhode Island........................................       434       433       670       846        95        95
South Carolina......................................       946     1,209     1,364     1,726        43        82
South Dakota........................................       302       219       196       200        -9       -34
Tennessee...........................................     1,031     1,876     5,150     2,233        19       117
Texas...............................................     2,917     3,595     5,461     6,034        68       107
Utah................................................       283       385       515       751        95       165
Vermont.............................................       500       860       907     1,054        23       111
Virginia............................................     1,795     1,878     2,335     2,842        51        58
Washington..........................................       983     2,751     1,989     1,997       -27       103
West Virginia.......................................       759     1,166     1,515     3,095       165       308
Wisconsin...........................................     2,620     5,562     4,780     4,640       -17        77
Wyoming.............................................        53        85        96       130        52       145
                                                     ----------------------------------------                   
      Totals........................................   110,586   167,981   244,473  266,977                     
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                                                           

             Characteristics of Children in Substitute Care

    Much of the demographic data collected on children in 
substitute care through the VCIS reflect three different 
groupings: children entering care during the study period 
(i.e., fiscal year 1990), all children remaining in care at the 
end of the period, and children who left care during the 
period. AFCARS data reported below reflect children in foster 
care as of September 30, 1996.
Age
    Table 11-18 shows the age breakdown of children entering 
care, in care, and leaving care during fiscal year 1990. APWA's 
analysis of these data with comparable information from 
previous years shows gradual increases in the percentages of 
younger children entering foster care from fiscal year 1982 
through fiscal year 1990.

   TABLE 11-18.--AGES OF CHILDREN ENTERING, IN, AND LEAVING SUBSTITUTE  
                         CARE, FISCAL YEAR 1990                         
                              [In percent]                              
------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Age range                  Entering   In care    Leaving 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Under 1 year...........................       16.1        4.9        5.2
1-5 years..............................       26.1       31.1       26.5
6-12 years.............................       26.2       32.3       25.6
13-18 years............................       31.1       29.7       39.3
19 years and older.....................        0.4        1.7        3.2
Age unknown............................        0.1        0.3       0.02
Median age (years).....................        7.8        8.6       10.3
Number of States reporting.............         22         23        23 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: American Public Welfare Association.                            

    Table 11-19 shows the age breakdown in 1996 in the 18 
jurisdictions that submitted useable data to HHS under the new 
AFCARS system.

            TABLE 11-19.--CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE AS OF SEPTEMBER 30, 1996, BY SELECTED STATE AND AGE           
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                            Age distribution                    
                                                       ---------------------------------------------------------
                                                                       In percent                               
                                                       ------------------------------------------               
                    State                      Number                                        19    Mean   Median
                                                        Under   1-5    6-10  11-15  16-18  years   years   years
                                                          1    years  years  years  years   and                 
                                                         year                              older                
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alaska......................................     1,311     4      20     18     30     28  .....   11.20   13.29
Arkansas....................................     1,744     3      24     23     31     18     1    10.34   10.94
California..................................   102,902     4      29     28     26     13  .....    9.27    8.99
Idaho.......................................       934     3      29     27     28     12     1     9.32    9.12
Illinois....................................    53,392     4      32     28     22     11     3     9.03    8.33
Louisiana...................................     6,016     3      27     28     30     12  .....    9.50    9.57
Maine.......................................     2,545     2      22     27     30     17     2    10.53   10.64
Massachusetts...............................    14,671     3      25     25     30     17     1    10.14   10.36
Mississippi.................................     2,880     3      28     28     27     12     2     9.63    9.38
New Jersey..................................     7,584     7      32     22     24     14     1     8.84    8.22
North Carolina..............................    11,384     4      29     26     27     13     1     9.38    9.08
Oklahoma....................................     4,115     4      31     29     25     10  .....    8.73    8.28
Puerto Rico.................................     1,653     6      32     30     24      7     1     8.28    7.92
Rhode Island................................     3,081     5      24     18     24     25     5    10.93   11.86
South Carolina..............................     6,473     4      27     24     27     16     1     9.76    9.91
Utah........................................     2,035     4      21     23     33     18     1    10.56   11.43
Vermont.....................................     1,471     1      13     17     37     30     3    12.71   14.39
Washington..................................    10,273     5      32     25     24     12     1     8.94    8.38
                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------
      Total.................................   234,464     4      29     27     26     13     1     9.51    9.2 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services                                                            

Race/ethnicity
    Black children are significantly overrepresented in the 
foster care population. Table 11-20 indicates the racial 
composition of children who entered substitute care during 
fiscal year 1990, who were in care at the end of fiscal year 
1990, and who left substitute care during fiscal year 1990. 
These data indicate that white children made up almost half of 
the children who entered and left foster care in 1990, while 
black children comprised less than third of these children. 
However, among children who remained in care at the end of 
1990, black children slightly outnumbered white children. APWA 
has additional data from 38 States on the racial composition of 
children who remained in foster care at the end of 1995, (see 
table 11-21; Tatara, 1997). These data indicate that the 
proportion of white children in foster care has decreased, and 
that African-American and Hispanic children now comprise more 
than half of the children in care.

TABLE 11-20.--RACE/ETHNICITY OF CHILDREN ENTERING, IN, AND LEAVING CARE,
                            FISCAL YEAR 1990                            
                              [In percent]                              
------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Race/ethnicity               Entering   In care    Leaving 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
White..................................       47.2       39.3       49.9
Black..................................       30.8       40.4       29.4
Hispanic...............................       13.7       11.8       12.8
Other..................................        4.6        4.3        4.7
Unknown................................        3.7        4.2        3.2
Number of States reporting.............         23         31        25 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note.--According to the Census Bureau, in 1990 whites were 75.6 percent 
  of the population, blacks were 11.8 percent, and Hispanics were 9.0   
  percent.                                                              
                                                                        
 Source: American Public Welfare Association.                           


   TABLE 11-21.--RACE/ETHNICITY OF CHILDREN IN CARE, FISCAL YEAR 1995   
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Race/ethnicity                          Percent 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
African-American.............................................       45.1
White........................................................       36.5
 Hispanic....................................................       11.3
 Unknown.....................................................        2.3
Other........................................................        2.2
 American Indian/Alaskan Native..............................        1.6
 Asian/Pacific Islander......................................       1.0 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: American Public Welfare Association.                            

    Table 11-22 shows the racial composition of foster children 
in care at the end of 1994 in the 18 jurisdictions that 
submitted data to HHS under AFCARS.
Disability/health status
    Based on reports from 16 States, APWA found that 13 percent 
of children in substitute care at the end of fiscal year 1990 
had one or more disabling conditions.

     TABLE 11-22.--CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE AS OF SEPTEMBER 30, 1996, BY STATE AND RACE/ETHNICITY, IN PERCENT    
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Non-Hispanic                                    
            State              Number   Hispanic ------------------------------------------  Unable to    Total 
                                                    White     Black   Asian/PI     AI/AN     determine          
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alaska......................     1,311         3        47        11         1          43           3       100
Arkansas....................     1,745         1        59        39  ........  ..........           1       100
California..................   103,009        26        35        35         2           1  ..........       100
Idaho.......................       937  ........        88         2  ........           3           8       100
Illinois....................    53,493         4        17        78  ........  ..........           1       100
Louisiana...................     6,016         1        32        67  ........  ..........           1       100
Maine.......................     2,546         1        95         2  ........           2  ..........       100
Massachusetts...............    14,368        20        52        24         1  ..........           3       100
Mississippi.................     2,968         1        38        56         1  ..........           3       100
New Jersey..................     7,591        10        23        65  ........  ..........           2       100
North Carolina..............    11,468  ........        43        54  ........           2           1       100
Oklahoma....................     4,098         2        54        26  ........          16           2       100
Puerto Rico.................     1,659       100  ........  ........  ........  ..........  ..........       100
Rhode Island................     3,099        13        54        24         2           1           6       100
South Carolina..............     6,492  ........        36        62  ........  ..........           2       100
Utah........................     2,035        12        75         4  ........           6           2       100
Vermont.....................     1,782         1        96         2         1  ..........  ..........       100
Washington..................    10,321         6        62        17         2          13  ..........       100
                             -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Total.................   234,938        15        35        46         1           2           1      100 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                                                           

                Reasons for Placement in Substitute Care

    For fiscal year 1990, the VCIS data report the reasons 
children were placed in substitute care in 19 States. The 
majority of children--71.1 percent--were placed in substitute 
care either for their protection or because their parent was 
unable or unavailable to care for them (table 11-23).

TABLE 11-23.--REASONS CHILDREN ENTERED SUBSTITUTE CARE, FISCAL YEAR 1990
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Percent 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Protective service...........................................       50.2
Parent condition or absence..................................       20.9
Status offense/delinquent....................................       11.3
Relinquishment of parental rights............................        0.8
Handicap of child............................................        1.9
Other........................................................       12.5
Unknown......................................................       2.4 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: American Public Welfare Association.                            

                            Permanency Goals

    Table 11-24 indicates the permanency planning goals for 
substitute care children in fiscal year 1990, according to 
reports from 26 States. As the table shows, family 
reunification was the permanency goal for more than half the 
children in care.

  TABLE 11-24.--PERMANENCY PLANNING GOALS FOR CHILDREN IN CARE, FISCAL  
                                YEAR 1990                               
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Percent 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Family reunification.........................................       60.1
Long-term foster care........................................       12.0
Adoption.....................................................       15.1
Independent living...........................................        5.2
Guardianship.................................................        3.1
Care and protection in substitute care.......................        2.2
Unknown......................................................       2.3 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: American Public Welfare Association.                            

    Comparing the data in table 11-24 with earlier years shows 
a significant increase in family reunification as a permanency 
goal. Family reunification was the goal for 39.2 percent of 
children in fiscal year 1982, according to VCIS data, compared 
with 60.1 percent of substitute care children in fiscal year 
1990.
     Table 11-25 indicates permanency planning goals for 
children in foster care as of September 30, 1996, in States 
submitting data included in AFCARS. In these States, family 
reunification was the goal for 54 percent of the children. 
However, unlike VCIS, AFCARS shows ``live with relatives'' 
separately from family reunification, and this was the goal for 
another 6 percent of the children.

              TABLE 11-25.--MOST RECENT PERMANENCY GOAL FOR CHILDREN IN CARE ON SEPTEMBER 30, 1996              
                                        [In percent; 283,679 total cases]                                       
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 Long-                                          
                                          Live with              term                                  Not yet  
             State               Reunify  relatives  Adoption   foster   Emancipation  Guardianship  established
                                                                 care                                           
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alaska \1\....................        88          2         4         1           1              3             1
Arizona \2\...................        59          8        19         9           5                             
Arkansas......................        75          3         9         6           7                             
California \3\................        62  .........         8        21           1              8              
Florida \4\...................        69          2        18         9           2                             
Georgia \5\...................        61          5        17        11           4              1             1
Illinois \6\..................        27         21        27  ........          10             15              
Louisiana.....................        55          6        17        17           4                             
Maine.........................        55  .........        21         7          18                             
Massachusetts \7\.............        44  .........        29        11           7              5             3
Mississippi...................        42         29        20         5           4              1              
New Jersey....................        52          9        29         8           3                             
North Carolina................        41         11        20        14           3    ............           11
Oklahoma \8\..................        56          4        18        16           6                             
Puerto Rico...................        53         13        15        13           4              1             1
South Dakota..................        60  .........        11         9           1              3            16
Tennessee \9\.................        67          1         6         4           3    ............           20
Utah..........................        61  .........        20        15           4                             
Vermont.......................        20          3        12        13          11              1            40
Washington....................        61          3        15         6           1              5            10
                               ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Total...................        54          6        16        12           4              6            2 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Data may include juvenile justice children not defined by the AFCARS population. Data were extracted from an
  outdated (legacy) information system which is being replaced. Therefore, one should exercise caution in using 
  the data.                                                                                                     
\2\ Arizona is currently reviewing its data extraction methodology for probable changes.                        
\3\ California has estimated that 5 percent of their AFCARS population are juvenile justice children on         
  supervised probation.                                                                                         
\4\ Florida extracted case records based on actual dates in care. Florida's placement records for children in   
  ``relative'' home settings are selected based on the child's living arrangement at the date of extraction     
  since history is not available; these values could vary from those during the reporting period. Florida's code
  for custody on a permanent basis to a foster parent is coded as long-term foster care; relative and           
  nonrelative care (short term) and guardianship cannot be distinguished from reunification.                    
\5\ Georgia went online with a new information system 2 months into the AFCARS reporting period (April 1, 1996  
  through September 30, 1996) the period from which the table's data are based. Georgia's AFCARS submission for 
  the period includes 2 months of data from their ``old'' reporting system and 4 months of data from their      
  ``new'' system. Due to the mix of data, ``old and new'' and the learning process experienced by county staff  
  in utilizing their new system, one should exercise caution in using the data. Subsequent submissions (all from
  the ``new'' system) are expected to more accurately reflect activity in Georgia's child welfare system.       
\6\ The lack of any responses to the case plan goal ``long-term foster care'' and ``case plan goal not yet      
  established'' is due to technical difficulties which Illinois is currently rectifying.                        
\7\ Massachusetts indicated that their AFCARS population does not include any children in the juvenile justice  
  system. Massachusetts extracted case records based on actual dates in care.                                   
\8\ Oklahoma indicated that its higher than expected number of missing cases is due to its information system   
  and is instituting additional quality assurance features to rectify the problem.                              
\9\ Tennessee extracted case records based on actual dates in care.                                             
                                                                                                                
 Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                                                          

           Living Arrangements of Children in Substitute Care

    The VCIS data for fiscal year 1990 contain information on 
the living arrangements of substitute care children in 28 
States. Table 11-26 shows that the majority of substitute care 
children were living in foster family homes, although a 
significant percentage were living in either group homes, 
residential treatment centers, or emergency shelters. Table 11-
27 shows current living arrangements for children who were in 
foster care as of September 30, 1996, in those States whose 
data were included in AFCARS. Unlike VCIS, AFCARS distinguishes 
between foster placements with relatives and those with 
nonrelatives. According to these data, more than a third (37 
percent) of foster children in these States were actually 
living with relatives, while 42 percent were in foster homes 
with nonrelatives.

 TABLE 11-26.--LIVING ARRANGEMENTS OF CHILDREN IN CARE, FISCAL YEAR 1990
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Percent 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Foster family homes..........................................       74.5
Nonfinalized adoptions.......................................        2.7
Group homes/residential treatment/emergency shelters.........       16.4
Independent living...........................................        0.5
Other........................................................        5.6
Unknown......................................................       0.3 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: American Public Welfare Association.                            

         Number and Duration of Placements While in Foster Care

    The VCIS collected data on the number of placements during 
the preceding 3 years experienced by children in care at the 
end of fiscal year 1990. More than half the children in care at 
the end of fiscal year 1990 had experienced more than one 
placement, according to data from 15 States (table 11-28).
    A comparison of these data with data from previous years 
suggests a trend toward more multiple placements between fiscal 
years 1982 and 1990. Specifically, a total of 43.1 percent of 
children in care at the end of fiscal year 1982 had been in 
more than one placement, compared with 57.2 percent at the end 
of 1990.
    Table 11-29 indicates the length of time in continuous care 
experienced by children who remained in care at the end of 
1990. A comparison with 1982 data on length of stay for 
children remaining in care at the end of the year indicates 
that the percentage of children in care for 5 or more years had 
decreased from 18.2 to 10.2 percent, and the percentage of 
children in care 6 months or less was somewhat less in 1990 
than it was in 1982 (21.7 percent). Table 11-30 shows length of 
stay data for children in foster care on September 30, 1996, in 
those States whose data were included in the AFCARS reports. 
These data suggest that the percentage of children in care for 
5 or more years has increased since 1990. As the table shows, 
18 percent of children in foster care in the States listed had 
been in care for 5 years or longer.

                                   TABLE 11-27.--CURRENT LIVING ARRANGEMENT OF CHILDREN IN CARE ON SEPTEMBER 30, 1996                                   
                                                            [In percent; 283,679 total cases]                                                           
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                                  Trial 
                           State                            Preadopt    Foster        Foster       Group   Institution    Indep.      Runaway     home  
                                                              home    (relative)  (nonrelative)    home                   living                  visit 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alaska \1\................................................         1         14            31           8          16   ..........           2        28
Arizona \2\...............................................        14         21            43           8          15                                   
Arkansas..................................................         3         12            64           8           9            1           1         1
California \3\............................................  ........         43            35          21           1                                   
Florida \4\...............................................         5         50            37           6           1            1           1          
Georgia \5\...............................................         4         24            59           5           5   ..........           1         1
Illinois \6\..............................................         1         52            33           1           7            2           2         2
Louisiana \7\.............................................  ........         13            70           5           7   ..........           1         4
Maine.....................................................         3          5            62           1          19            4           1         5
Massachusetts \8\.........................................         6         16            48          12           1            1           3        13
Mississippi...............................................         2         24            48          18           5   ..........  ..........         4
New Jersey................................................         2          2            72          10          12            2                      
North Carolina............................................         6         19            50           6           9   ..........           5         5
Oklahoma..................................................         1          9            77           4           7   ..........           1         1
Puerto Rico...............................................         1         36            50           1           7            1  ..........         2
South Dakota..............................................  ........         18            69    ........          13                                   
Tennessee \9\.............................................  ........         18            56    ........  ...........  ..........  ..........        26
Utah......................................................         4          2            59          24           2            2           2         5
Vermont...................................................         3         16            47          13           5           11  ..........         5
Washington \10\...........................................         1         24            66           6           2   ..........           1          
                                                           ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Total...............................................         2         37            42          11           4            1           1        2 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Data may include juvenile justice children not defined by the AFCARS population. Data were extracted from an outdated (legacy) information system   
  which is being replaced. Therefore, one should exercise caution in using the data.                                                                    
\2\ Arizona is currently reviewing its data extraction methodology for probable changes.                                                                
\3\ California has estimated that 5 percent of their AFCARS population are juvenile justice children on supervised probation.                           
\4\ Florida extracted case records based on actual dates in care. Florida's placement records for children in ``relative'' home settings are selected   
  based on the child's living arrangement at the date of extraction since history is not available; these values could vary from those during the       
  reporting period. Relatives licensed as foster or shelter parents cannot be distinguished, therefore all family home settings are coded as            
  nonrelative. Trial home visits are not captured by the State's information system. delinquency, alcohol, drug abuse and mental health residential     
  programs are coded as institutions because the majority would meet that definition although a few would qualify as group homes; hospitals are coded as
  institutions.                                                                                                                                         
\5\ The missing cases (1,865) are due to a logistics issue in that counties are not required to enter data about placement type if they are legally     
  responsible for the child but the child is not placed in their county. this practice has been eliminated and the county legally responsible for the   
  child enters placement data. Georgia went online with a new information system 2 months into the AFCARS reporting period (April 1, 1996 through       
  September 30, 1996) the period from which the table's data are based. Georgia's AFCARS submission for the period includes 2 months of data from their 
  ``old'' reporting system and 4 months of data from their ``new'' system. Due to the mix of data, ``old and new'' and the learning process experienced 
  by county staff in utilizing their new system, one should exercise caution in using the data. Subsequent submissions (all from the ``new'' system) are
  expected to more accurately reflect activity in Georgia's child welfare system.                                                                       
\6\ Illinois utilizes relative care as a first choice for child's living arrangement when applicable. Illinois ``supervised independent living''        
  includes college/university scholarship students and a very small number of youths in the military.                                                   
\7\ Louisiana indicated that the percentages for preadopted and family foster home (relative) appears too low and is reevaluating the codiing and       
  definitions used in their information system to resolve the problem.                                                                                  
\8\ Family foster homes (relative) include blood relatives and ``kinship'' relationships; persons significantly attached to a child's family with the   
  same intensity as a blood relative. Massachusetts indicated that their AFCARS population does not include any children in the juvenile justice system.
  Massachusetts extracted case records based on actual dates in care. The Department of social Services (DSSD) area offices are licensed by the State of
  Massachusetts ``Office for Children'' to qualify foster homes. the qualifications of a foster home requires the same standards as teh licensing of a  
  foster home--a home study and background records check. DSS plans to revise this process into a biannual foster home license and annual foster home   
  reevaluation in 1998.                                                                                                                                 
\9\ Tennessee extracted case records based on actual dates in care.                                                                                     
\10\ Of the children identified as being in institutional care settings (17 percent), it is estimated that more than 95 percent of them are in CRC      
  (crisis residential centers) of which the majority are group and family foster home type settings and generally the duration of stay is 5 days or     
  less.                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                        
 Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                                                                                                  


 TABLE 11-28.--NUMBER OF PLACEMENTS DURING PREVIOUS 3 YEARS FOR CHILDREN
                 IN CARE AT END OF FISCAL YEAR 1990 \1\                 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Percent 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 placement..................................................       42.6
2 placements.................................................       27.5
3-5 placements...............................................       23.6
6 or more placements.........................................        6.1
Unknown......................................................       0.2 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Includes current placement.                                         
                                                                        
 Source: American Public Welfare Association.                           


    TABLE 11-29.--LENGTH OF TIME IN CONTINUOUS CARE, FISCAL YEAR 1990   
                              [In percent]                              
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               Children 
                                                                in care 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
0-6 months..................................................        17.8
6-12 months.................................................        14.8
1-2 years...................................................        23.9
2-3 years...................................................        15.8
3-5 years...................................................        16.9
5 years or more.............................................        10.2
Unknown.....................................................         0.6
Median (years)..............................................         1.7
Number of States............................................         22 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: American Public Welfare Association.                            

                   Outcomes for Children Leaving Care

    Data are available from the VCIS from 24 States on the 
outcomes for children who left care in 1990. Table 11-31 
indicates that two-thirds of children were reunified with their 
families. A comparison of these data with earlier years 
indicates that family reunification significantly increased 
from 49.7 percent in fiscal year 1982 to 66.6 percent in fiscal 
year 1990. Adoption, on the other hand, decreased as an outome 
for children leaving care from 10.4 percent in fiscal year 1982 
to 7.7 percent in fiscal year 1990.
     Unlike VCIS, AFCARS distinguishes between family 
reunification and placement with relatives as an outcome for 
children upon discharge from foster care. Table 11-32 shows 
outcomes for children who left foster care during the period 
from April 1, 1996, through September 30, 1996, and indicates 
that 63 percent of the children who left care in the listed 
States were reunited with their families, while another 9 
percent left to live with relatives. At the same time, 11 
percent of children who left foster care during that period 
were adopted.

                                      TABLE 11-30.--LENGTH OF STAY OF CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE ON SEPTEMBER 30, 1996                                     
                                                            [In percent; 288,726 total cases]                                                           
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          Less                                                                                More                      
                 State                   than 1      1-5      6-11      12-17     18-23      24-29       30-35       3-4     than 5     Mean     Median 
                                          month    months    months    months    months     months      months      years     years    months    months 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alaska \1\............................         9        28        18        14         9           7           3         7         5     17.45     10.09
Arizona \2\...........................         6        24        12        12        11           8           5        12        10     24.24     15.64
Arkansas..............................         7        25        17         9         9           8           6        12         7     20.83     12.58
California \3\........................         2        13        13        11         9           7           6        16        25     39.86     26.64
                                                                                                                                                        
Florida \4\...........................         3        18        18        13        10           8           6        14        10     24.80     16.53
Georgia \5\...........................         3        16        16        12         9           8           6        15        15     31.17     20.01
Idaho.................................         6        19        15        13        10           8           6        13         9     23.75     16.03
Illinois..............................         1         8         8         9        10          10           9        23        21     40.17     31.84
                                                                                                                                                        
Louisiana.............................         3        15        14        10         9           8           6        15        19     35.61     22.98
Maine.................................         2        12        13        12        10           8           7        20        16     33.25     24.11
Massachusetts \6\.....................         4        16        13        12        10           8           6        16        15     29.81     20.34
Mississippi...........................         3        16        11        12        10           7           5        18        18     35.37     23.06
                                                                                                                                                        
New Jersey............................         4        17        13        12        11           8           6        13        15     30.61     19.68
North Carolina........................         5        27        17        13         8           7           5        11         8     20.98     12.55
Oklahoma..............................         6        21        17        13         9           7           4        13        10     25.23     14.59
Puerto Rico...........................         6        42         5         2         2           5           2        14        20     31.24      6.80
                                                                                                                                                        
South Carolina........................         2        12        13        12        10          10           6        17        18     34.80     24.49
South Dakota..........................         8        42        17        11         5           4           3         7         3     13.43      5.98
Tennessee \7\.........................         4        18        19        14         9           8           6        13        10     25.18     15.64
Utah..................................         5        24        20        16        10           8           4         9         4     17.63     12.39
                                                                                                                                                        
Vermont...............................         3        12        12         9         8           7           6        13        30     51.20     29.37
Washington............................         4        16        14        14        11           8           7        14        12     28.21     18.83
                                       -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Total...........................         3        15        13        11         9           8           6        16        18     34.25    23.20 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Data may include juvenile justice children not defined by the AFCARS population. Data were extracted from an outdated (legacy) information system   
  which is being replaced. Therefore, one should exercise caution in using the data.                                                                    
\2\ Arizona is currently reviewing its data extraction methodology for probable changes.                                                                
\3\ California has estimated that 5 percent of their AFCARS population are juvenile justice children on supervised probation.                           
\4\ Florida extracted case records based on actual dates in care. Florida's placement records for children in ``relative'' home settings are selected   
  based on the child's living arrangement at the date of extraction since history is not available; these values could vary from those during the       
  reporting period.                                                                                                                                     
\5\ The percentages of children in care in the ``3-4 years'' and ``5 years +'' (30 percent) is skewed due to the fact that prior to the addition of an  
  edit check for this element there were many records that did not have a date of original placement. The edit check necessary to address this problem  
  has been added to the information system. Georgia went online with a new information system 2 months into the AFCARS reporting period (April 1, 1996  
  through September 30, 1996) the period from which the table's data are based. Georgia's AFCARS submission for the period includes 2 months of data    
  from their ``old'' reporting system and 4 months of data from their ``new'' system. Due to the mix of data, ``old and new'' and the learning process  
  experienced by county staff in utilizing their new system, one should exercise caution in using the data. Subsequent submissions (all from the ``new''
  system) are expected to more accurately reflect activity in Georgia's child welfare system.                                                           
\6\ Massachusetts indicated that their AFCARS population does not include any children in the juvenile justice system. Massachusetts extracted case     
  records based on actual dates in care.                                                                                                                
\7\ Tennessee extracted case records based on actual dates in care.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                        
 Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                                                                                                  


   TABLE 11-31.--OUTCOMES FOR CHILDREN WHO LEFT CARE, FISCAL YEAR 1990  
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Percent 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reunified....................................................       66.6
Adopted......................................................        7.7
Reached age of majority/emancipated..........................        6.5
Other \1\....................................................       15.7
Unknown......................................................       3.5 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ ``Other'' includes such reasons as running away, marriage,          
  incarceration, death, discharge to another agency, or legal           
  guardianship established.                                             
                                                                        
 Source: American Public Welfare Association.                           

    When evaluating data on outcomes for children leaving care, 
it should be remembered that a portion of the children will 
likely return to substitute care at some point. For example, 15 
percent of children entering care in fiscal year 1990 were 
reentrants, according to VCIS.

              Characteristics of Children in Adoptive Care

    As with foster care, national data on the characteristics 
of children for whom adoption assistance payments are made are 
sketchy. Thus far, the only available data has been from the 
VCIS reports. Once AFCARS is fully operational, data on 
adoptive children will become available from this source as 
well. Some limited data are available from AFCARS now.
    VCIS collects information on adoptions related to 
substitute care children only. VCIS divides children in 
adoptive care into those with finalized adoptions, those 
awaiting adoptive placement, and those residing in nonfinalized 
adoptive homes. Children in the latter two categories are 
included in VCIS' definition of substitute care. VCIS collects 
data on the age, race/ethnicity, special needs status, and 
relation to adoptive parents of these children. The numbers 
below represent national estimates calculated on data received 
from reporting States. Not all of the children described below 
were adopted with subsidies. AFCARS collects data on adoptions 
where the public child welfare agency was involved.
    As shown in table 11-33, VCIS reported that 17,000 children 
had their adoption finalized in fiscal year 1990, and another 
18,000 were placed in nonfinalized adoptive homes. In addition, 
20,000 were still in substitute care and awaiting adoptive 
placement at the end of fiscal year 1990. Of the adoptions that 
were finalized in fiscal year 1990, the two largest age groups 
of children were between 1 and 5 years of age (49.7 percent) 
and between 6 and 12 years of age (37.4 percent). About half of 
these children (50.8 percent) were white, while 29.2 percent 
were black. Two-thirds had one or more special needs.

                               TABLE 11-32.--OUTCOMES FOR CHILDREN WHO LEFT CARE APRIL 1, 1996 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 1996                               
                                                            [In percent; 41,966 total cases]                                                            
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                       Live with                                                                 Child's
                           State                              Reunify  relatives  Adoption  Emancipation  Guardianship   Transfer     Runaway     death 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alaska \1\.................................................        85  .........         8           4             3                                    
Arizona \2\................................................        86  .........  ........           4             8    ..........           2          
Arkansas...................................................        50         50                                                                        
California \3\.............................................        62          2        11           8             5    ..........          12          
Florida \4\................................................        31         45        11           7    ............           6                      
Georgia \5\................................................        46         16        17           5             1            13           1         1
Idaho......................................................        78         13         3           4    ............           2                      
Illinois \6\...............................................        67          4        20           6    ............           2  ..........         1
Louisiana..................................................        60         24        11           1             2             1           1          
Maine......................................................        65          4  ........          28             5                                    
Massachusetts \7\..........................................        61  .........        17           2             5            15                      
Mississippi................................................        54         26         9           6             2    ..........           2          
New Jersey.................................................        77  .........        14           3    ............           2           4          
North Carolina.............................................        84  .........        12           4                                                  
Oklahoma \8\...............................................        59         20        10           3             1             2           6          
Rhode Island \9\...........................................        29         14        57                                                              
Tennessee \10\.............................................        84  .........         3          11             1             1                      
Utah.......................................................        64  .........        10           5            21             2                      
Vermont....................................................        59          3        12          13             1             1          10          
Washington.................................................        82  .........         6           6             5             1                      
                                                            --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Total................................................        63          9        11           6             3             3           4        0 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Data may include juvenile justice children not defined by the AFCARS population. Data were extracted from an outdated (legacy) information system   
  which is being replaced. Therefore, one should exercise caution in using the data.                                                                    
\2\ Arizona is currently reviewing its data extraction methodology for probable changes.                                                                
\3\ California has estimated that 5 percent of their AFCARS population are juvenile justice children on supervised probation.                           
\4\ Florida extracted case records based on actual dates in care. Florida's placement records for children in ``relative'' home settings are selected   
  based on the child's living arrangement at the date of extraction since history is not available; these values could vary from those during the       
  reporting period. Placement with legal guardian (not a relative) cannot be distinguished from reunification with parents. Transfer to another agency  
  includes juvenile justice, adult corrections, other Florida Department of Children and Families Programs (not child welfare), private agencies and    
  closure of interstate cases.                                                                                                                          
\5\ The missing cases (252) are due to the lack of an online edit checking utility at the time of data extraction, however, enhancements have been made 
  to address the problem. Georgia went online with a new information system 2 months into the AFCARS reporting period (April 1, 1996 through September  
  30, 1996) the period from which the table's data are based. Georgia's AFCARS submission for the period includes 2 months of data from their ``old''   
  reporting system and 4 months of data from their ``new'' system. Due to the mix of data, ``old and new'' and the learning process experienced by      
  county staff in utilizing their new system, one should exercise caution in using the data. Subsequent submissions (all from the ``new'' system) are   
  expected to more accurately reflect activity in Georgia's child welfare system.                                                                       
\6\ A number of deaths in foster care come from medically complex children taken into the system; substance exposed infants (SEI), and older child      
  deaths attributable to accidents or gang-related violence. Illinois children can exit foster care for the following reasons: (1) the case is closed;  
  (2) the child(ren) have been in a ``home of parent'' living arrangement for more than 6 months; (3) no legal status in place; (4) child resides in an 
  ``other'' living arrangement that does not have a ``provider ID''; (5) child has been in ``unknown'' living arrangement for more than 30 days.        
\7\ Massachusetts indicated that their AFCARS population does not include any children in the juvenile justice system. Massachusetts extracted case     
  records based on actual dates in care.                                                                                                                
\8\ Oklahoma indicated that its higher than expected number of missing cases is due to its information systems and is instituting additional quality    
  assurance features to rectify the problem.                                                                                                            
\9\ Data has been extracted from an information system under development, therefore one should exercise caution in utilizing the data.                  
\10\ Tennessee extracted case records based on actual dates in care.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                                        
 Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                                                                                                  


    TABLE 11-33.--FINALIZED ADOPTIONS AND CHILDREN AWAITING ADOPTIVE    
                       PLACEMENT, FISCAL YEAR 1990                      
                            [In percentages]                            
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Children  
                                              Finalized       awaiting  
                                            adoptions \1\     adoptive  
                                                           placement \2\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Age:                                                                    
    0-1 year..............................       \3\ 4.5        \3\ 4.0 
    1-5 years.............................          49.7           36.2 
    6-12 years............................          37.4           43.2 
    13-18 years...........................           7.7           15.8 
    19 years and older....................           0.2            0.7 
    Unknown...............................           0.5            0.1 
Race/ethnicity:                                                         
    White.................................      \4\ 50.8       \5\ 44.3 
    Black.................................          29.2           42.8 
    Hispanic..............................          13.3            7.0 
    Other.................................           4.5            3.7 
    Unknown...............................           2.2            2.2 
Special needs status:                                                   
    1 or more special needs...............      \6\ 66.7       \7\ 71.7 
    No special needs......................          33.3           27.9 
    Unknown...............................           0.0            0.4 
Time awaiting adoptive placement: \8\                                   
    0-6 months............................  .............          19.4 
    6-12 months...........................  .............          12.4 
    1-2 years.............................  .............          21.4 
    2 years or more.......................  .............          46.3 
    Unknown...............................  .............          0.5  
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Data reported on the number of finalized adoptions which took place 
  during fiscal year 1990.                                              
\2\ Data reported on the number of children awaiting placement at the   
  end of fiscal year 1990.                                              
\3\ Data provided by 20 States.                                         
\4\ Data provided by 27 States.                                         
\5\ Data provided by 25 States.                                         
\6\ Data provided by 19 States.                                         
\7\ Data provided by 18 States.                                         
\8\ Data provided by 16 States.                                         
                                                                        
 Source: American Public Welfare Association.                           

    Less than half (41.5 percent) of the children whose 
adoptions were finalized in fiscal year 1990 were adopted by 
people unrelated to them, i.e., people who were neither foster 
parents nor relatives of the children. Another 47.2 percent of 
the children were adopted by nonrelative foster parents. Seven 
percent were adopted by relatives. The characteristics of 
children awaiting adoptive placement are somewhat different 
from children whose adoptions were finalized. These children 
are generally older and include a greater percentage of black 
children (42.8 percent versus 29.2 percent of finalized 
children). In addition, of the children awaiting adoptive 
placement, 46.3 percent had been waiting for 2 or more years. 
Table 11-34 shows the special needs status of foster children, 
including foster children awaiting adoption and those with 
finalized adoptions.

 TABLE 11-34.--PROPORTION OF SPECIAL NEEDS \1\ CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE, 
         AWAITING ADOPTION, AND ADOPTED, SELECTED YEARS 1984-90         
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   Year                 
             Status              ---------------------------------------
                                    1984      1985      1988      1990  
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Number of children in foster                                            
 care...........................   276,000   276,000   340,000   406,000
(Percent with special needs)....        22        18        22        13
Number of foster children                                               
 awaiting adoption..............    17,000    16,000    18,000    20,000
(Percent with special needs)....        43        51        64        72
Number of foster children                                               
 adopted........................    20,000    16,000    19,000    17,000
(Percent with special needs)....        57        62        59       67 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Special needs are determined by the States and may include a child's
  age, minority status, membership in a sibling group, or medical,      
  emotional, or physical disability.                                    
                                                                        
 Source: Maximus (1987); American Public Welfare Association (1993).    

             Trends in Child Welfare and Foster Care Costs

    As a result of the trends in foster care caseloads and the 
Federal requirements of Public Law 96-272, funding for the 
Title IV-E Foster Care Program has increased significantly from 
1981 to 1997. Based on Administration estimates for fiscal year 
1997, Federal title IV-E expenditures have increased tenfold, 
from $308.8 million to $3,243 million, between 1981 and 1997. 
Similarly, funding for the Title IV-B Child Welfare Services 
Program increased by almost 80 percent from 1981 to 1997 
($163.6 million to $292 million). Funding for the Title XX 
Social Services Block Grant, which States may use for child 
welfare services, has actually fallen in nominal terms.
    In recent years, an increasing proportion of title IV-E 
costs has been expended on child placement services, 
administration, and training. Table 11-35 shows HHS and CBO 
estimates of title IV-E expenditures through fiscal year 2002. 
Expenditures for administration include child placement service 
expenditures on behalf of children who are ``candidates'' for 
foster care, as well as children who are actual recipients of 
foster care maintenance benefits. In other words, funds are 
expended on behalf of certain children before and during the 
time a title IV-E eligibility determination is made; as a 
result, Federal reimbursement is provided for administration 
and services for some children who, ultimately, are determined 
not eligible for title IV-E maintenance payments.
    Table 11-36 shows Federal foster care expenditures by State 
in 1984, 1988, 1993, and 1996. Between 1984 and 1996, total 
foster care expenditures increased by 610 percent. Between 1988 
and 1996, total foster care expenditures increased by 249 
percent. Over this latter time period, foster care maintenance 
costs increased by 180 percent. Because of the large increase 
in administrative and placement costs relative to maintenance 
costs, the share of total cost represented by maintenance costs 
decreased between 1988 and 1996.

  TABLE 11-35.--PROPORTION OF TITLE IV-E FOSTER CARE EXPENDITURES SPENT ON ADMINISTRATION AND TRAINING, FISCAL  
                                               YEARS 1983-2002 \1\                                              
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      Total                                     
                                                                     Federal     Administration   Administration
                                                                    title IV-E    and training     and training 
                           Fiscal year                             expenditure    expenditures    proportion of 
                                                                       (in       (in millions)        total     
                                                                    millions)         \2\                       
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Actual:                                                                                                         
    1983.........................................................       $394.8           $117.9             0.30
    1984.........................................................        445.2            147.4             0.33
    1985.........................................................        546.2            190.9             0.35
    1986.........................................................        605.4            213.8             0.35
    1987.........................................................        792.6            312.9             0.39
    1988.........................................................        891.1            342.8             0.38
    1989.........................................................      1,153.1            507.1             0.44
    1990.........................................................      1,473.2            638.2             0.43
    1991.........................................................      1,819.2            788.8             0.43
    1992.........................................................      2,232.8          1,029.0             0.46
    1993.........................................................      2,547.0          1,182.0             0.46
    1994.........................................................      2,606.5          1,190.5             0.46
    1995.........................................................      3,050.2          1,455.7             0.48
    1996.........................................................      3,114.0          1,580.0             0.51
HHS estimate:                                                                                                   
    1997.........................................................      3,243.0          1,695.0             0.52
    1998.........................................................      3,360.0          1,700.0             0.51
    1999.........................................................      3,551.0          1,770.0             0.50
    2000.........................................................      3,790.0          1,878.0             0.49
    2001.........................................................      4,047.0          2,004.0             0.49
    2002.........................................................      4,318.0          2,136.0             0.49
CBO estimate:                                                                                                   
    1997.........................................................      3,272.0          1,639.0             0.50
    1998.........................................................      3,495.0          1,706.0             0.49
    1999.........................................................      3,791.0          1,836.0             0.48
    2000.........................................................      4,114.0          1,993.0             0.48
    2001.........................................................      4,432.0          2,147.0             0.48
    2002.........................................................      4,742.0          2,295.0            0.48 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Does not include transfer to title IV-B.                                                                    
\2\ Includes regular administration, training, and for fiscal years 1994-2002, State Automated Child Welfare    
  Information System (SACWIS) costs.                                                                            
                                                                                                                
 Source: Compiled by House Committee on Ways and Means staff based on data from U.S. Department of Health and   
  Human Services and Congressional Budget Office.                                                               


                                     TABLE 11-36.--FEDERAL FOSTER CARE EXPENDITURES BY STATE, SELECTED YEARS 1984-96                                    
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      Fiscal year total expenditures (dollars in   Maintenance costs   Maintenance costs    Percentage  
                                                                       millions)                      (dollars in     as a percentage of     growth in  
                        State                        --------------------------------------------      millions)             total             total    
                                                                                        1996 \2\ ----------------------------------------  expenditures,
                                                        1984 \1\    1988 \1\  1993 \2\     \3\      1988    1996 \2\    1988    1996 \3\    1988-96 \3\ 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama.............................................         $2.20     $1.96     $4.68     $5.23     $1.79     $1.44      91.3      27.5             167
Alaska..............................................          0.08      0.59      4.41      7.99      0.59      2.11     100.0      26.4           1,254
Arizona.............................................          0.12      3.78     17.97     42.97      1.40     18.15      37.0      42.2           1,037
Arkansas............................................          0.55      1.11      9.75     25.30      0.65      6.93      58.6      27.4           2,179
California..........................................         99.74    196.95    478.06    693.31    123.63    326.31      62.8      47.1             252
Colorado............................................          1.60      4.59     20.27     20.35      3.19      7.31      69.5      35.9             343
Connecticut.........................................          2.93      6.86     15.90     66.14      5.08     20.81      74.1      31.5             864
Delaware............................................          0.42      0.53      1.34      7.40      0.52      1.12      98.1      15.1           1,296
District of Columbia................................          7.15      2.79     11.20     22.07      0.52      8.51      18.6      38.6             691
Florida.............................................          2.92      9.66     45.88     78.50      6.03     23.98      62.4      30.5             713
Georgia.............................................          7.39     11.35     24.50     24.53      5.88     14.20      51.8      57.9             116
Hawaii..............................................          0.04      0.09      2.91     11.77      0.07      3.95      77.8      33.6          12,978
Idaho...............................................          0.25      0.64      2.15      6.71      0.59      0.81      92.2      12.1             948
Illinois............................................          6.30     26.95    117.59    238.33     18.12    136.09      67.2      57.1             784
Indiana.............................................          1.10      1.79     37.65     50.84      1.50     33.54      83.8      66.0           2,740
Iowa................................................          1.84      4.64     13.66     16.96      2.30     10.08      49.6      59.4             266
Kansas..............................................          3.45      4.61     19.37     23.90      3.65      9.14      79.2      38.2             418
Kentucky............................................          2.19      7.78     34.06     51.58      6.32     21.86      81.2      42.4             563
Louisiana...........................................         10.51     15.07     28.56     36.68      7.48     21.56      49.6      58.8             143
Maine...............................................          2.97      5.09      9.44     18.78      3.20     15.11      62.9      80.5             269
Maryland............................................          3.06     22.27     44.60     71.04      5.29     31.10      23.8      43.8             219
Massachusetts.......................................          5.12     10.65     57.40     96.41      6.49     42.07      60.9      43.6             805
Michigan............................................         33.32     46.34    103.27     95.55     29.28     53.00      63.2      55.5             106
Minnesota...........................................          6.38     20.59     33.00     44.55      7.30     23.30      35.5      52.3             116
Mississippi.........................................          0.97      0.93      4.09      9.06      0.91      2.98      97.8      32.9             874
Missouri............................................          4.35     14.51     29.07     45.97      6.43     22.39      44.3      48.7             217
Montana.............................................          1.53      2.16      4.58      7.30      1.82      3.85      84.3      52.7             238
Nebraska............................................          2.29      5.28     10.16     20.00      2.52      7.17      47.7      35.9             279
Nevada..............................................          0.36      1.06      2.88      5.15      0.68      1.82      64.2      35.3             386
New Hampshire.......................................          1.21      2.83      7.37     10.24      1.75      3.14      61.8      30.7             262
New Jersey..........................................          5.87     15.05     25.30     37.33      7.16     18.57      47.6      49.7             148
New Mexico..........................................          0.63      3.91      5.46     12.22      2.21      3.75      56.5      30.7             213
New York............................................        128.61    255.27    779.23    566.27    177.57    276.41      69.6      48.8             122
North Carolina......................................          2.11      2.36     17.63     37.43      2.15     27.61      91.1      73.8           1,486
North Dakota........................................          0.79      1.33      5.41      8.12      1.06      2.98      79.7      36.7             511
Ohio................................................          5.80     32.16     91.98    135.56     14.11     74.59      43.9      55.0             322
Oklahoma............................................          3.68      4.21      8.19     24.15      2.20      8.72      52.3      36.1             474
Oregon..............................................          6.26     13.12     14.08     24.80      5.92     10.70      45.1      43.1              89
Pennsylvania........................................         29.19     45.28    180.46    149.61     39.25    108.53      86.7      72.5             230
Rhode Island........................................          1.24      5.45      8.08      9.48      2.26      3.95      41.5      41.7              74
South Carolina......................................          1.34      4.42      8.82     18.78      1.92      7.06      43.4      37.6             325
South Dakota........................................          0.52      1.63      2.57      3.04      0.67      0.92      41.1      30.3              87
Tennessee...........................................          1.68      2.71     15.77     19.54      2.65     11.72      97.8      60.0             621
Texas...............................................         10.18     31.21     72.18     77.21      8.92     49.44      28.6      64.0             147
Utah................................................          0.81      1.68      5.96     13.21      1.22      4.42      72.6      33.5             686
Vermont.............................................          1.93      3.83      6.65      8.24      1.91      6.19      49.9      75.1             115
Virginia............................................          3.09      4.64     13.39     34.63      3.33      9.60      71.8      27.7             646
Washington..........................................          4.36      7.58     19.89     23.59      3.77      7.88      49.7      33.4             211
West Virginia.......................................          5.56      7.50      4.27      8.47      5.31      4.73      70.8      55.8              13
Wisconsin...........................................         10.32     13.61     42.58     45.97      9.43     20.26      69.3      44.1             238
Wyoming.............................................          0.14      0.76      1.05      1.92      0.34      0.75      44.7      39.1             153
                                                     ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Total.........................................        438.45    891.16  2,524.72  3,114.21    548.34  1,532.82      61.5      49.2            249 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Does not include transfers from title IV-E foster care to title IV-B (child welfare services).                                                      
\2\ Does not include disputes and reconciliations.                                                                                                      
\3\ For fiscal year 1995 and 1996, includes State Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS) expenditures.                                     
                                                                                                                                                        
 Note.--Totals may differ from sum of State amounts because of rounding.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                                        
 Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.                                                                                                  

    Some have argued that foster care and adoption assistance 
became more expensive for the Federal Government after 
enactment of Public Law 96-272 because a growing number of 
States transferred costs they had traditionally paid with State 
dollars to the Federal Government as administrative expenses. 
During an April 1987 hearing of the House Select Committee on 
Children, Youth, and Families, Dodie Livingston, Commissioner 
of the Administration for Children, Youth, and Families, 
testified that ``States are finding ways to refinance existing 
services through these entitlements and the growth in 
administrative cost does not reflect increases in services or 
improved management.'' She also expressed concern that the 
open-ended entitlement of title IV-E was being exploited by 
States that were hiring consultants to help them ``capture'' 
more available Federal funds. As evidence, the Assistant 
Secretary pointed to the high variability of title IV-E 
administrative and cost claims among States.
    In October 1987, the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) 
published a report on the high absolute levels of title IV-E 
administrative and training costs and the wide variation of 
claims among States. The report found that the administrative 
costs associated with the Foster Care Program were much higher 
than those associated with similar programs such as AFDC, and 
the Medicaid and Food Stamp Programs. However, the additional 
spending was attributed to the fact that regulations 
implementing Public Law 96-272 expressly defined many 
activities as allowable administrative costs that were not 
reimbursed by the Federal Government when foster care was part 
of AFDC. By regulation, claimable title IV-E administrative 
costs include:
 1. Referral to services at time of intake;
 2. Preparation for, and participation in, judicial 
        determinations;
 3. Placement in foster care;
 4. Development of a case plan;
 5. Case reviews;
 6. Case management and supervision;
 7. Recruitment and licensing of foster homes and institutions; 
        and
 8. Foster care rate setting.
    The 1987 report also found that much of the variation of 
States' administrative cost claims was linked to the degree of 
sophistication of each State's accounting practices. The report 
concluded that although HHS had uncovered some random 
accounting errors ``there was no evidence found to demonstrate 
patterns of abuse.'' In fact, OIG did an audit of the State of 
Missouri, in which claimed administrative costs had risen 
``precipitously'' and found no serious State violations of 
Federal guidelines or regulations.
    In addition, the report noted that the decision by the HHS 
Departmental Appeals Board concerning Missouri's title IV-E 
allowable administrative costs, which was issued shortly before 
the OIG's report, would further expand the allowable expenses 
that could be charged as administration and training. The 
Office of Inspector General issued another report in August 
1990 with the following specific findings, which are generally 
consistent with the findings made in the 1987 report:
 1. The term ``administrative costs'' is a misnomer. Most of 
        the activities being funded are not traditional 
        administrative costs, but are ``important child 
        placement services.'' Administrative costs grew from 
        $143 million in 1985 to $400 million in 1988. However, 
        only 20 percent of the cost increase is attributable to 
        administration of the program; nearly 80 percent 
        relates to direct service activities that the IG 
        classified as ``child placement services.''
 2. The current procedure used to account for costs does not 
        allow for examining any correlation between increased 
        administrative costs and increased services to foster 
        children.
 3. Cost increases occurred for two primary reasons: the 
        expanded definition of allowable administrative 
        activities provided in Public Law 96-272, and a broad 
        interpretation of that definition by the Departmental 
        Appeals Board. Other factors contributing to the 
        increases were the States' use of consultants, an 
        increase in the number of title IV-E children, 
        increases in the number of caseworkers, and cost-of-
        living increases for State employees.
 4. Variations in costs among States resulted from using 
        nonhomogeneous cost indicators, a lack of uniformity in 
        defining and allocating allowable costs, a gradual 
        trend by States to use consultants for identifying 
        opportunities to maximize Federal funding sources, and 
        States' revision of cost allocation plans to capture 
        costs for children who are ``candidates'' for IV-E 
        foster care (but who may not ultimately receive foster 
        care maintenance payments) (see Office of Inspector 
        General, 1990b).
    The report concluded that legislative and administrative 
measures were necessary for containing escalating 
administrative costs.
    During the second session of the 101st Congress, 
legislation was enacted as part of the Omnibus Budget 
Reconciliation Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-508) designed to 
provide better information on State reimbursement for 
administrative costs. Under the provisions of Public Law 101-
508, ``child placement services'' was added as a separate 
category for which States may claim reimbursement, in addition 
to administrative costs. Prior to this provision, States 
claimed reimbursement for child placement services as 
administrative costs. The amendment, while not changing the 
type of services for which States may claim reimbursement, was 
designed to provide more specific information on how Federal 
matching funds are used. HHS reports that of claims filed for 
child placement and administrative costs in fiscal year 1996, 
47 percent were for case planning and management activities, 26 
percent were for preplacement activities, 9 percent were for 
eligibility determinations, and the remaining 18 percent were 
for other activities, including traditional administrative and 
overhead costs. These percentages are based on claims submitted 
for nonvoluntary placements only, and also include adjustments 
made by some States from claims submitted for previous years.

              FOSTER CARE AND ADOPTION INFORMATION SYSTEM

                         Lack of Adequate Data

    Historically, there has been a lack of reliable data on 
foster care and adoption. In fact, not every State even 
reported its average monthly foster care caseload under the 
federally assisted program until 1975. Moreover, States have 
never been required to collect data on nonfederally-assisted 
foster care, which in a typical State constitutes about half 
the cases in foster care. This lack of data was one of several 
concerns that Congress hoped to address with enactment of the 
Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 (Public Law 
96-272).
    The 1980 law imposed several requirements on States as a 
condition for incentive funds under the Title IV-B Child 
Welfare Services Program, including a one-time inventory of 
children in foster care and a statewide information system for 
tracking children in foster care. Shortly after enactment of 
Public Law 96-272, HHS wrote detailed guidelines for the 
implementation of these requirements, which were published as 
an interim final rule on December 31, 1980. However, HHS 
withdrew these regulations the following March, stating that 
the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) had not reviewed and 
approved certain sections. In 1982, the Department issued a 
policy information question (ACYF-PIQ-82-06) which restated the 
law's requirement that States have an information system, but 
did not specify the system's content. The 1980 regulations were 
never reissued.
    As we have seen, since 1982 HHS has funded the American 
Public Welfare Association (APWA) to conduct a voluntary annual 
survey of States, known as the Voluntary Cooperative 
Information System (VCIS). Until now, VCIS has been the only 
source of national data on the number and characteristics of 
children in foster and adoptive care. However, the VCIS is of 
limited use for several reasons: (1) not all States participate 
fully in the survey; (2) reporting periods are not consistent 
among States; (3) there is a serious time lag between data 
collection and publication; and (4) data are available only in 
an aggregated, State-specific format, preventing the type of 
analysis that could be conducted with case-specific data. VCIS 
data were presented earlier in this section.
    In response to the need for better data collection, 
Congress in 1986 approved an amendment to title IV-E (section 
479) requiring that an advisory committee be established and 
submit a report to Congress and HHS with recommendations for 
establishing, administering, and financing a system for 
collecting data on adoption and foster care. This amendment, 
contained in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, Public Law 
99-509, required that the Secretary of HHS issue final 
regulations for the new data system by December 31, 1988, and 
that mandatory data collection be fully implemented no later 
than October 1, 1991.
    The advisory committee submitted its final report in 1987, 
and in May 1989, HHS submitted an implementation plan to 
Congress.
    On September 27, 1990, HHS proposed regulations to 
implement the data collection system known as the Adoption and 
Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS). The 
population to be covered was children under the responsibility 
of the State child welfare agency and financing was to come 
from the title IV-E administrative cost match. States were to 
claim only that portion of their costs that related to children 
eligible for title IV-E, although the system would have 
required States to collect data on non-IV-E children as well.

            OBRA 1993 and Final Rules for AFCARS and SACWIS

    In 1993, as part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act 
(Public Law 103-66), Congress amended section 479, the title 
IV-E provision added in 1986 that required establishment of a 
foster care and adoption data collection system.
    The 1993 amendment authorized an enhanced Federal matching 
rate to States for certain costs related to data collection for 
fiscal years 1994-96. Welfare reform legislation enacted in 
1996 (Public Law 104-193) extended this enhanced match through 
fiscal year 1997. The statute specifies that this enhanced 
match of 75 percent is available for costs of planning, design, 
development and installation of statewide mechanized data 
collection and information retrieval systems, including costs 
of hardware, as long as the systems do the following: comply 
with HHS regulations; to the extent practicable, interface with 
State child abuse and neglect data collection systems and with 
AFDC data collection systems; and provide more efficient, 
economical, and effective administration of State Child Welfare 
Programs, as determined by HHS. The law also provides that 
ongoing operational costs of State data collection and 
information retrieval systems will be matched at the 50 percent 
Federal rate available for administrative expenses under title 
IV-E. After fiscal year 1997, the enhanced match will expire 
and all data collection costs will be matched at the 50 percent 
rate. Further, the amendment specifies that States may claim 
reimbursement for data collection systems without regard to 
whether they are used for foster and adoptive children who are 
not eligible for title IV-E assistance.
    On December 22, 1993, HHS published two sets of rules in 
the Federal Register: interim final rules for State Automated 
Child Welfare Information Systems (SACWIS), issued in response 
to enactment of Public Law 103-66; and final rules implementing 
AFCARS. Under the interim final rules for SACWIS, States must 
develop ``comprehensive'' child welfare data collection 
systems, of which AFCARS will be a component, in order to 
qualify for Federal funding, including the 75 percent enhanced 
match. According to HHS, ``comprehensive'' means that a State 
SACWIS system must include child welfare services, foster care 
and adoption assistance, family preservation and support 
services, and independent living.
    Under the interim final rules, State SACWIS systems must do 
the following, at a minimum:
 1. Meet the AFCARS data collection and reporting requirements;
 2. Provide for intrastate electronic data exchange with data 
        collection systems operated under AFDC, Medicaid, child 
        support enforcement, and the National Child Abuse and 
        Neglect Data System (unless not practicable for certain 
        reasons);
 3. Provide for automated data collection on all children in 
        foster care under the responsibility of the State child 
        welfare agency to support implementation of section 427 
        protections and requirements;
 4. Collect and manage information necessary to facilitate 
        delivery of child welfare services, family preservation 
        and family support services, family reunification 
        services, and permanent placement;
 5. Collect and manage information necessary to determine 
        eligibility for the Foster Care, Adoption Assistance, 
        and Independent Living Programs and to meet case 
        management requirements for these programs;
 6. Monitor case plan development, payment authorization and 
        issuance, and review and management including 
        eligibility determinations and redeterminations; and
 7. Ensure confidentiality and security of information.
    In addition, optional SACWIS functions could include (if 
cost-beneficial) resource management, tracking and maintenance 
of legal and court information, administration and management 
of staff and workloads, licensing verification, risk analysis, 
and interfacing with other automated information systems.
     HHS reports that, as of July 1997, 38 States were 
implementing SACWIS and another 9 were in the planning phase. 
Among those in some phase of implementation, 12 States were 
fully or partially operational. The 38 implementing States 
were: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, 
District of Columbia, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Indiana, Georgia, 
Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, 
Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, 
New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, 
Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, 
Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
     The nine States in the planning process were: Alabama, 
Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, North 
Carolina, and Virginia.
     Hawaii, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania were not 
participating, and Vermont had terminated its project.
    Under the final AFCARS rules, States are required to 
collect case-specific data on all children in foster care for 
whom the State child welfare agency has responsibility for 
placement, care, or supervision, regardless of their 
eligibility for title IV-E. Further, States are required to 
collect data on all adopted children who were placed by the 
State child welfare agency, and on all adopted children for 
whom the State provides adoption assistance (ongoing payments 
or for nonrecurring expenses), care, or services either 
directly or by contract with other private or public agencies. 
States must report data to HHS twice a year. Penalties for 
noncompliance with AFCARS requirements will not be imposed 
during the first six reporting periods (Oct. 1, 1994-Sept. 30, 
1997). Half penalties will be imposed during the following two 
reporting periods, and full penalties will be imposed on States 
out of compliance for the reporting period beginning October 1, 
1998.
    Preliminary data are available from AFCARS and are 
presented earlier in this section.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    Federal assistance to enable States to make maintenance 
payments for children who were not living with a parent and had 
been placed in foster care by a child welfare agency first 
became available under what was then called the Aid to 
Dependent Children (ADC) Program under title IV-A of the Social 
Security Act in 1961. Federal assistance to States for child 
welfare services (as opposed to maintenance payments) had been 
authorized originally under title V of the Social Security Act 
of 1935; the assistance authorization was then transferred to 
title IV-B in 1967.
    Foster care under title IV-A of the Social Security Act was 
amended in 1980 by Public Law 96-272. This legislation 
continued AFDC foster care as a required Federal matching grant 
program, but transferred it to a newly created title IV-E. It 
also changed the funding mechanism for this program and the 
Child Welfare Services Program under title IV-B, providing 
linkages between the two to encourage less reliance on foster 
care placement and greater use of services aimed at preventing 
placement and encouraging family rehabilitation. The 
entitlement nature of AFDC foster care was retained, but under 
title IV-E its open-endedness was potentially limited by a 
provision that was contingent on the funding level of title IV-
B. The legislation specified a number of protections to help 
prevent inappropriate placements or long-term stays in foster 
care. Under title IV-E, a new Federal matching grant program 
for payments to parents who adopt a child with special needs 
was also established and permanently authorized. Funding for 
adoption assistance is on an open-ended entitlement basis.
    The Foster Care and Adoption Assistance Programs were 
amended in the 99th Congress, under the Consolidated Omnibus 
Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA, Public Law 99-272). 
This legislation also established a new entitlement program 
under title IV-E to help States facilitate the transition of 
children age 16 and over from AFDC foster care to independent 
living. The program is called the Independent Living Program.
    The 99th Congress also enacted legislation as part of the 
Tax Reform Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-514) that amended the 
Adoption Assistance Program under title IV-E to provide for 
Federal matching funds for the one-time adoption expenses of 
children with special needs, regardless of whether the children 
are eligible for AFDC or SSI payments.
    During the 100th Congress, legislation was enacted in 1987 
to expand the Independent Living Program to include children 
ages 16 or over who are in any foster care situation and to 
provide services for specified children for 6 months after 
foster care payments or foster care ends (Public Law 100-647).
    During the first session of the 101st Congress, legislation 
was enacted as part of the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1989 
(Public Law 101-239) to increase the authorization level of the 
IV-B program from $266 million to $325 million; to extend the 
Independent Living Program through 1992 and to increase the 
entitlement ceiling from $45 million to $50 million for fiscal 
year 1990, $60 million for fiscal year 1991, and $70 million 
for fiscal year 1992; and to establish a State match for the 
Independent Living Program beginning in fiscal year 1991.
    During the second session of the 101st Congress, the 
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-508) 
made several minor amendments to the Child Welfare, Foster Care 
and Adoption Assistance Programs. Among other things, these 
amendments required States to distinguish between traditional 
administrative costs and child placement costs which previously 
had been classified as administrative costs, and gave States 
the option of providing independent living services to foster 
children up to age 21.
    The 103d Congress enacted significant child welfare 
amendments in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 
(Public Law 103-66). This legislation created a new capped 
entitlement under title IV-B for a broad range of services to 
families (including foster, adoptive, and extended families), 
termed ``family preservation'' and ``family support'' services. 
The legislation also: included a set-aside for grants to State 
courts for assessments and improvements of judicial child 
welfare proceedings; authorized a 3-year enhanced match to 
States for planning, designing, developing or installing child 
welfare data collection systems; permanently authorized the 
Independent Living Program; and permanently authorized a 75 
percent matching rate for certain State training expenses.
    Also enacted during the 103d Congress were the Social 
Security Act Amendments of 1994 (Public Law 103-432), which 
contained a variety of child welfare provisions. Under these 
amendments, the ``section 427'' child protections were 
reestablished as State plan requirements under a new section 
422(b)(9) of the act, effective April 1, 1996. In addition, 
Public Law 103-432 authorized a new conformity review system to 
monitor and enforce State compliance with Federal requirements 
and State plan provisions.
    Public Law 103-432 also: requires States to describe 
measures taken to comply with the Indian Child Welfare Act in 
their title IV-B State plans; authorizes child welfare 
traineeships; requires foster care placements to be in the 
``most appropriate'' as well as ``most familylike'' setting; 
and requires dispositional hearings to be held at least every 
12 months after the first such hearing. Further, the 1994 
legislation authorizes HHS to conduct child welfare 
demonstrations in up to 10 States, allowing States to waive 
certain IV-B and IV-E provisions; establishes additional case 
plan and case review procedures for children placed outside 
their home State; and establishes a timetable for Federal 
review of State foster care and adoption assistance claims. 
Finally, Public Law 103-432 established a new section 1130A of 
the Social Security Act, addressing judicial review of Social 
Security Act provisions that are required as components of 
State plans. This provision was developed in response to a 
Supreme Court ruling in Suter v. Artist M., an Illinois child 
welfare case.
     During the 104th Congress, comprehensive welfare reform 
legislation was enacted that contained provisions affecting 
child welfare (Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity 
Reconciliation Act, Public Law 104-193). The centerpiece of the 
welfare reform legislation was the repeal of AFDC and creation 
of a new block grant to States for Temporary Assistance for 
Needy Families (TANF). As a condition of receiving TANF funds, 
States must operate Foster Care and Adoption Assistance 
Programs under title IV-E of the Social Security Act. However, 
eligibility for title IV-E historically has been linked to AFDC 
eligibility. Thus, Public Law 104-193 provides that foster or 
adoptive children will now be eligible for title IV-E subsidies 
if their families would have been eligible for AFDC, as it was 
in effect in their State on June 1, 1995. Children eligible for 
SSI will continue to be eligible for title IV-E adoption 
assistance, and foster and adoptive children will continue to 
be eligible for Medicaid.
     Public Law 104-193 also amended title IV-E to enable for-
profit child care institutions to participate in the Federal 
Foster Care Program; extended the enhanced Federal matching 
rate for certain data collection costs through fiscal year 
1997; mandated HHS to conduct a national random sample study of 
children in the child welfare system; and required States, as a 
component of their title IV-E plans, to consider giving 
preference to adult relatives in determining a foster or 
adoptive placement for a child.

               Adoption Legislation in the 105th Congress

     Since this chapter was completed, Congress passed and the 
President signed the Adoption and Safe Families Act (Public Law 
105-89), which constitutes a significant reform of Federal 
child welfare law in an effort to promote adoption and ensure 
safety for children in foster care. The new law, enacted on 
November 19, 1997, amends titles IV-B and IV-E of the Social 
Security Act, and is described below.
 Child safety and ``reasonable efforts'' to preserve families
    The Adoption and Safe Families Act requires that a child's 
health and safety be of ``paramount'' concern in any efforts 
made by the State to preserve or reunify the child's family. 
States continue to be required to make ``reasonable efforts'' 
to avoid the need to place children in foster care, and to 
return them home if they are removed, but the new law 
establishes exceptions to this requirement. Specifically, 
States are not required to make efforts to preserve or reunify 
a family if a court finds that a parent had killed another of 
their children, or committed felony assault against the child 
or a sibling, or if their parental rights to another child had 
previously been involuntarily terminated.
    In addition, the new law establishes that efforts to 
preserve or reunify a family are not required if the court 
finds that a parent had subjected the child to ``aggravated 
circumstances.'' Each State will define these circumstances in 
State law, although the Adoption and Safe Families Act cites 
abandonment, torture, chronic abuse, and sexual abuse as 
examples. Moreover, the new law does not preclude individual 
judges from using their discretion to protect a child's health 
and safety in any case, regardless of whether the specific 
circumstances are cited in Federal law.
     To further promote safety, the new law adds references to 
child safety in various sections of titles IV-B and IV-E. The 
legislation also requires that States conduct criminal 
background checks for all prospective foster or adoptive 
parents, and deny approval to anyone who has ever been 
convicted of felony child abuse or neglect, spousal abuse, a 
crime against children (including child pornography), or a 
violent crime including rape, sexual assault, or homicide. In 
addition, States must deny approval to anyone with a felony 
conviction for physical assault, battery, or a drug-related 
offense, if the felony occurred within the past 5 years. States 
may opt out of the criminal record check requirement either 
through a letter from the Governor to the Secretary of Health 
and Human Services (HHS), or through legislation enacted by the 
State legislature.
     Finally, the new law requires States to develop standards 
to ensure quality services that protect the health and safety 
of children in foster care with public and private agencies. 
These standards are in addition to licensing requirements 
already established under title IV-E.
 ``Reasonable efforts'' to promote adoption
     If efforts to preserve or reunify a family are not 
required because the court has found that an exception to this 
requirement exists, as described above, the Adoption and Safe 
Families Act requires that a permanency hearing (formerly 
called ``dispositional'' hearing) be held for the child within 
30 days of that court finding. In these cases, or whenever a 
child's permanency plan is adoption or another alternative to 
family reunification, the new law requires States to make 
reasonable efforts to place the child in a timely manner in 
accordance with the permanency plan, which may include 
placement for adoption, with a guardian, or in another planned, 
permanent arrangement. States also must document specific 
efforts made to place the child for adoption. These provisions 
are intended to shorten the length of time that children spend 
in foster care, once a court has determined that family 
reunification is not feasible or likely.
     The new law also specifies that efforts to preserve or 
reunify a family can be made concurrently with efforts to place 
the child for adoption or guardianship. This practice is 
referred to as ``concurrent planning'' and allows States to 
develop a backup plan, to save time in case efforts to restore 
the original family are unsuccessful.
     The Adoption and Safe Families Act also contains 
provisions intended to eliminate interjurisdictional issues as 
a potential barrier to a child's adoption. First, the new law 
requires States to assure in their title IV-B plans that they 
will make effective use of cross-jurisdictional resources to 
facilitate timely adoptions for waiting children. The law also 
denies Federal foster care and adoption assistance funding to 
any State that is found to have denied or delayed a child's 
adoptive placement if an approved family is available outside 
the child's jurisdiction, or has denied a fair hearing to 
anyone who alleges a violation of this provision. In addition, 
the Adoption and Safe Families Act directs the General 
Accounting Office (GAO) to conduct a study of 
interjurisdictional adoption issues, including the 
implementation of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of 
Children, and to report findings to Congress within 1 year.
 Permanency hearings and termination of parental rights
     Prior to enactment of the Adoption and Safe Families Act, 
Federal law required that every foster child must have a 
judicial hearing, known as a ``dispositional'' hearing, within 
18 months of their placement in care to determine their future 
status. The new law requires this hearing to occur within 12 
months of placement, and changes the name to ``permanency'' 
hearing. The law revises the list of permanency goals (which 
had included long-term foster care) to include returning home, 
referral for adoption and termination of parental rights, 
guardianship, placement with a relative, or, as a last resort, 
another planned, permanent living arrangement. Public Law 105-
89 also requires that foster parents, preadoptive parents, and 
relative care givers be given notice and an opportunity to be 
heard at reviews and hearings.
     One of the most significant provisions of the new law 
requires States to initiate proceedings to terminate parental 
rights (TPR) for certain foster children; there was no 
comparable provision in prior law. Specifically, Public Law 
105-89 requires States to initiate TPR proceedings for children 
who have been in foster care for 15 of the most recent 22 
months, or for infants determined under State law to be 
abandoned, or in any case where the court has found that a 
parent has killed another of their children or committed felony 
assault against the child or a sibling. States can opt not to 
initiate such proceedings if the child is in a relative's care, 
or if the State agency has documented in the child's case plan 
a compelling reason to determine that TPR would not be in the 
child's best interest, or if the State had not provided 
necessary services to the family.
     For children entering foster care after the new law's date 
of enactment, States must comply with this provision no later 
than 3 months after the end of their first legislative session 
that begins after the date of enactment. For children who 
already were in care on the date of enactment, States may phase 
in compliance but must be in compliance for all children by no 
later than 18 months after the end of the legislative session. 
For purposes of the TPR provision and the 12-month permanency 
hearing, children will be considered to have entered foster 
care on the first date that the court finds they have been 
subjected to child abuse or neglect, or 60 days after their 
removal from home, whichever occurs first.
 Adoption incentive payments
    The Adoption and Safe Families Act intends to promote 
adoption by providing incentive payments to States to increase 
their number of foster child adoptions, with additional 
incentives for the adoption of foster children with special 
needs. As in the existing Adoption Assistance Program, which 
provides ongoing subsidies to adoptive parents of special needs 
children, the definition of special needs is determined by each 
State, and may include age, ethnic group, or membership in a 
sibling group, in addition to disability or a medical condition 
that makes a child difficult to place for adoption. Incentive 
payments will equal $4,000 for each foster child whose adoption 
is finalized (over a certain base level) and $6,000 for each 
special needs adoption above the base level. The new law 
authorizes $20 million annually for these incentive payments, 
for fiscal years 1999-2003. In addition, discretionary budget 
caps are adjusted to help ensure that these funds will actually 
be appropriated.
    The new legislation also authorizes HHS to provide 
technical assistance to help States increase their number of 
foster child adoptions, and authorizes appropriations of $10 
million annually for each of fiscal years 1998-2000. HHS must 
use half of the funds that are appropriated to provide 
technical assistance to the courts.
 Eligibility for adoption and medical assistance
     Children who are eligible for Federal adoption assistance 
under title IV-E are automatically eligible for Medicaid. 
However, States are not required (although they have the 
option) to provide Medicaid coverage to special needs adopted 
children who do not meet the AFDC or SSI eligibility criteria 
for title IV-E subsidies. The Adoption and Safe Families Act 
requires States to provide health insurance coverage to these 
children, if they have special needs for medical, mental 
health, or rehabilitative care. This health coverage may be 
through Medicaid or another program, as long as benefits are 
comparable. In addition, to be eligible for adoption incentive 
payments (described above) in fiscal year 2000 or fiscal year 
2001, States must provide health coverage to any special needs 
child whose adoptive parents have entered into an adoption 
assistance agreement with any State. States also must comply 
with this provision to be eligible for a waiver demonstration 
(described below).
     The Adoption and Safe Families Act also contains a 
provision intended to ensure that children who had once been 
eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance will continue to be 
eligible in a subsequent adoption, if their initial adoption is 
disrupted or their adoptive parents die, regardless of whether 
they would have qualified for AFDC or SSI based on the income 
and assets of their first adoptive family.
 Reauthorization and renaming of Family Preservation Program
     The new law reauthorizes and changes the name of the 
existing Family Preservation Program to Promoting Safe and 
Stable Families. This program was scheduled to expire at the 
end of fiscal year 1998 and is reauthorized under Public Law 
105-89 at: $275 million in fiscal year 1999; $295 million in 
fiscal year 2000; and $305 million in fiscal year 2001. Prior 
law required States to devote significant expenditures to each 
of two types of services: family preservation; and community-
based family support. The Adoption and Safe Families Act adds 
two more categories: time-limited family reunification services 
provided during the 15-month period after a child is removed 
from home; and adoption promotion and support services.
 State accountability for performance
     The Adoption and Safe Families Act also aims to increase 
the accountability of States for the performance of their child 
welfare programs. The legislation requires HHS, in consultation 
with public officials and child welfare advocates, to develop 
outcome measures in various categories (i.e., number of foster 
care placements and adoptions, length of stay in foster care), 
and to rate State performance according to these measures in an 
annual report. The first annual report is due by May 1, 1999.
     In addition, the new law directs HHS to conduct a study 
and develop recommendations for a performance-based financial 
incentive system under titles IV-B and IV-E. To the extent 
feasible, this system will be based on the annual performance 
report described above. HHS must submit a progress report to 
Congress within 6 months of the new law's enactment, and a 
final report within 15 months.
 State innovation and demonstration waivers
     Under legislation enacted in 1994, HHS is authorized to 
approve up to 10 States to receive waivers from title IV-B and 
IV-E rules in order to conduct demonstration projects. The 
Adoption and Safe Families Act allows HHS to approve an 
additional 10 demonstrations in each of fiscal years 1998-2002. 
Federal law does not mandate specific goals for these 
demonstrations. However, the new law directs the Secretary to 
give consideration to any applications received with the 
following purposes: (1) to identify and address barriers to 
adoption for foster children; (2) to identify and address 
parental substance abuse problems that result in foster care 
placement for children, including through placement of children 
together with their parents in appropriate residential 
treatment facilities; and (3) to address kinship care.
 Additional provisions
    Additional provisions in Public Law 105-89: require HHS to 
submit a report to Congress by June 1, 1999, on the issue of 
kinship care; give child welfare agencies access to the Federal 
Parent Locator Service; clarify eligibility for the Independent 
Living Program; establish a sense of Congress in favor of 
standby guardianship laws; and make a statement of intent about 
``reasonable'' parenting. Unless specified otherwise, the new 
law takes effect upon enactment, except that, where enactment 
of new State laws is required, States have until 3 months after 
their first legislative session to comply.

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