Adoption and Legal Guardianship Incentive Payments

To provide incentives to States and eligible Tribes to increase annually the number of children in foster care who find permanent homes through adoption or legal guardianship.




Related Programs93.556 Promoting Safe and Stable Families; 93.645 Child Welfare Services_State Grants; 93.658 Foster Care_Title IV-E; 93.659 Adoption Assistance

Agency - Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to those who are least able to help themselves.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

ACF Children's Bureau Regional Child Welfare Program Managers.



Selected Recipients for this Program


RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Human Services, Georgia Department Of $ 1,584,000   2017-10-012021-09-30
Maryland Department Of Human Services $ 619,500   2017-10-012021-09-30
Child Safety, Arizona Department Of $ 6,582,000   2017-10-012021-09-30
Arkansas Department Of Human Services $ 1,232,500   2017-10-012021-09-30
Children & Family Services, Illinois Department Of $ 3,598,500   2017-10-012021-09-30
Health & Human Services, Michigan Department Of $ 1,660,000   2017-10-012021-09-30
Children And Family Services, Louisiana Department Of $ 1,268,000   2017-10-012021-09-30
Human Services, Utah Department Of $ 129,000   2017-10-012021-09-30
Division Of Child & Family Services $ 803,500   2017-10-012021-09-30
Social Services, California Department Of $ 8,005,998   2017-10-012021-09-30



Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: 47 states and jurisdictions received adoption and legal guardianship incentive payments. Incentives are earned in one year and paid out in the following two years. Fiscal Year 2017: It is anticipated that 47 states and jurisdictions will receive incentive payments. Fiscal Year 2018: It is anticipated that 47 states and jurisdictions will receive incentive payments.

Uses and Use Restrictions

State and tribal agencies receiving incentive payments must spend the funds for services (including post-adoption services) and activities allowable under title IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act (the Act).

Incentive funds may not be used as non-Federal (i.e., state, local or tribal) matching funds for Federal financial participation.

Payments must be used to supplement and not supplant Federal or non-Federal funds for services under title IV-B or IV-E of the Act (see section 473A(f) of the Act).

Amounts expended by a state or tribe in accordance with the preceding sentence shall be disregarded in determining state or tribal expenditures for purposes of Federal matching payments under Sections 424, 434, and 474 of the Social Security Act.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Applications are not required.

States (including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S.

Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa) and tribes that have an approved title IV-E plan and that submit data to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) are eligible to receive payments.

The Children's Bureau (CB) shall determine an agency's eligibility for funding based on foster care, adoption and guardianship data reported to AFCARS.

AFCARS data must be reported and accepted by CB no later than May 15 of the fiscal year subsequent to the fiscal year in which the adoptions or guardianships were finalized (i.e., the 'earning year').

Beneficiary Eligibility

Beneficiaries are those children and families eligible under Title IV-B and Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, as amended.

Credentials/Documentation

The Children's Bureau (CB) shall determine the number of foster child adoptions, foster child guardianships, pre-adolescent (age 9 - 13) adoptions and guardianships, and older child (age 14 and over) adoptions and guardianships eligible to earn incentive payments, based on data reported by each agency to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) data and accepted by CB no later than May 15 of the fiscal year subsequent to the fiscal year in which the adoptions were finalized (i.e., the 'earning year'). In addition, if funds remain after making other awards, incentive payments will be made to agencies in which the average number of months from removal of children from their home to finalized adoption is less than 24 months. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. States, tribes and territories meeting eligibility requirements are automatic applicants.

Award Procedures

Incentive payments will be issued annually, in the fiscal year subsequent to the earning year. Payment will be based on AFCARS data submitted no later than May 15 of the fiscal year following the earning year. AFCARS data must be accepted and approved by the Children's Bureau.

Deadlines

May 15, 2017 AFCARS data submissions must be received no later than May 15, for subsequent fiscal years in order to be considered for incentive payments.

Authorization

Social Security Act, Title IV, Part E, Section 473A; as amended.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Adoption and Legal Guardianship Incentive awards are generally made in August or September each year.

Appeals

Not Applicable.

Renewals

Each 'earning year' will be considered on its own merit.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory Formula: The adoption and legal guardianship incentive payment payable to an agency for a fiscal year shall be equal to the sum of (a) $5,000, multiplied by the number of foster child adoptions that exceed the product of a base rate of foster child adoptions and the number of children in foster care under the supervision of the title IV-E agency on the last day of the preceding fiscal year; (b) $4,000 multiplied by the number of foster child guardianships that exceed the product of a base rate of foster child guardianships and the number of children in foster care under the supervision of the title IV-E agency on the last day of the preceding fiscal year; (c) $7,500 multiplied by the number of pre-adolescent (ages 9 - 13) child adoptions and pre-adolescent foster child guardianships that exceeds the product of a base rate of pre-adolescent child adoptions and pre-adolescent foster guardianships and the number of pre-adolescent children (ages 9 - 13) in foster care under the supervision of the title IV-E agency on the last day of the preceding fiscal year; and (d) $10,000 multiplied by the number of older child (age 14 and older) adoptions and older foster child guardianships that exceeds the product of a base rate of older child adoptions and older foster child guardianships and the number of older children (ages 14 and older) in foster care under the supervision of the title IV-E agency on the last day of the preceding fiscal year. In the event that the total amount of incentive payments earned by title IV-E agencies exceeds the amount of funds appropriated for this purpose, payments to title IV-E agencies will be prorated accordingly. If the total amount of incentives payable under the above categories are less than the amount of funding appropriated for a fiscal year, then the balance remaining will be used to make awards to agencies in which the average number of months from removal of children from their home to finalized adoption is less than 24 months. This program has no matching requirements. This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Payments to a title IV-E agency in a fiscal year shall remain available for use by the title IV-E agency for 36 months. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Agencies must identify in the Child and Family Services Plan (CFSP) or Annual Progress and Services Report (APSR) as applicable (due June 30 of each year), the services they have provided to children and families as a result of the expenditure of adoption and legal guardianship incentive payments.

Should more than one fiscal year's incentive funds be expended during a given reporting period, the report should reflect the services provided and identify the fiscal year's funds expended.

Actual expenditures of incentive funds must be reported annually on SF-425, Financial Status Report.

No progress reports are required.

Standard form (SF) 425, Financial Status Report (FSR), must be completed and submitted utilizing the HHS Payment Management System (PMS).

Performance monitoring is not applicable.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.

Records

None.

Financial Information

Account Identification

75-1536-0-1-506.

Obigations

(Formula Grants) FY 16 $37,943,000; FY 17 est $37,943,000; and FY 18 est $37,943,000

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

FY 2016 earning year, 47 States earned incentive payments that ranged from $3,072 to $1,961,606, with an average award amount of $807,297 .

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

ACYF-CB-PI-15-08, issued July 8, 2015.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. ACF Children's Bureau Regional Child Welfare Program Managers.

Headquarters Office

Gail Collins 330 C Street, SW, Room 3512, Washington, District of Columbia 20201 Email: gail.collins@acf.hhs.gov Phone: 202-205-8552

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not Applicable.



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