U.S Code last checked for updates: Feb 26, 2020
§ 671.
State plan for foster care and adoption assistance
(a)
Requisite features of State plan
In order for a State to be eligible for payments under this part, it shall have a plan approved by the Secretary which—
(1)
provides for foster care maintenance payments in accordance with section 672 of this title, adoption assistance in accordance with section 673 of this title, and, at the option of the State, services or programs specified in subsection (e)(1) of this section for children who are candidates for foster care or who are pregnant or parenting foster youth and the parents or kin caregivers of the children, in accordance with the requirements of that subsection;
(2)
provides that the State agency responsible for administering the program authorized by subpart 1 of part B of this subchapter shall administer, or supervise the administration of, the program authorized by this part;
(3)
provides that the plan shall be in effect in all political subdivisions of the State, and, if administered by them, be mandatory upon them;
(4)
provides that the State shall assure that the programs at the local level assisted under this part will be coordinated with the programs at the State or local level assisted under parts A and B of this subchapter, under division A 1
1
 See References in Text note below.
of subchapter XX of this chapter, and under any other appropriate provision of Federal law;
(5)
provides that the State will, in the administration of its programs under this part, use such methods relating to the establishment and maintenance of personnel standards on a merit basis as are found by the Secretary to be necessary for the proper and efficient operation of the programs, except that the Secretary shall exercise no authority with respect to the selection, tenure of office, or compensation of any individual employed in accordance with such methods;
(6)
provides that the State agency referred to in paragraph (2) (hereinafter in this part referred to as the “State agency”) will make such reports, in such form and containing such information as the Secretary may from time to time require, and comply with such provisions as the Secretary may from time to time find necessary to assure the correctness and verification of such reports;
(7)
provides that the State agency will monitor and conduct periodic evaluations of activities carried out under this part;
(8)
subject to subsection (c), provides safeguards which restrict the use of or disclosure of information concerning individuals assisted under the State plan to purposes directly connected with (A) the administration of the plan of the State approved under this part, the plan or program of the State under part A, B, or D of this subchapter or under subchapter I, V, X, XIV, XVI (as in effect in Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands), XIX, or XX, the program established by subchapter II, or the supplemental security income program established by subchapter XVI, (B) any investigation, prosecution, or criminal or civil proceeding, conducted in connection with the administration of any such plan or program, (C) the administration of any other Federal or federally assisted program which provides assistance, in cash or in kind, or services, directly to individuals on the basis of need, (D) any audit or similar activity conducted in connection with the administration of any such plan or program by any governmental agency which is authorized by law to conduct such audit or activity, and (E) reporting and providing information pursuant to paragraph (9) to appropriate authorities with respect to known or suspected child abuse or neglect; and the safeguards so provided shall prohibit disclosure, to any committee or legislative body (other than an agency referred to in clause (D) with respect to an activity referred to in such clause), of any information which identifies by name or address any such applicant or recipient; except that nothing contained herein shall preclude a State from providing standards which restrict disclosures to purposes more limited than those specified herein, or which, in the case of adoptions, prevent disclosure entirely;
(9)
provides that the State agency will—
(A)
report to an appropriate agency or official, known or suspected instances of physical or mental injury, sexual abuse or exploitation, or negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child receiving aid under part B or this part under circumstances which indicate that the child’s health or welfare is threatened thereby;
(B)
provide such information with respect to a situation described in subparagraph (A) as the State agency may have; and
(C)
not later than—
(i)
1 year after September 29, 2014, demonstrate to the Secretary that the State agency has developed, in consultation with State and local law enforcement, juvenile justice systems, health care providers, education agencies, and organizations with experience in dealing with at-risk children and youth, policies and procedures (including relevant training for caseworkers) for identifying, documenting in agency records, and determining appropriate services with respect to—
(I)
(II)
at the option of the State, any individual who has not attained 26 years of age, without regard to whether the individual is or was in foster care under the responsibility of the State; and
(ii)
2 years after September 29, 2014, demonstrate to the Secretary that the State agency is implementing the policies and procedures referred to in clause (i).
(10)
provides—
(A)
for the establishment or designation of a State authority or authorities that shall be responsible for establishing and maintaining standards for foster family homes and child care institutions which are reasonably in accord with recommended standards of national organizations concerned with standards for the institutions or homes, including standards related to admission policies, safety, sanitation, and protection of civil rights, and which shall permit use of the reasonable and prudent parenting standard;
(B)
that the standards established pursuant to subparagraph (A) shall be applied by the State to any foster family home or child care institution receiving funds under this part or part B and shall require, as a condition of each contract entered into by a child care institution to provide foster care, the presence on-site of at least 1 official who, with respect to any child placed at the child care institution, is designated to be the caregiver who is authorized to apply the reasonable and prudent parent standard to decisions involving the participation of the child in age or developmentally-appropriate activities, and who is provided with training in how to use and apply the reasonable and prudent parent standard in the same manner as prospective foster parents are provided the training pursuant to paragraph (24);
(C)
that the standards established pursuant to subparagraph (A) shall include policies related to the liability of foster parents and private entities under contract by the State involving the application of the reasonable and prudent parent standard, to ensure appropriate liability for caregivers when a child participates in an approved activity and the caregiver approving the activity acts in accordance with the reasonable and prudent parent standard; and
(D)
that a waiver of any standards established pursuant to subparagraph (A) may be made only on a case-by-case basis for nonsafety standards (as determined by the State) in relative foster family homes for specific children in care;
(11)
provides for periodic review of the standards referred to in the preceding paragraph and amounts paid as foster care maintenance payments and adoption assistance to assure their continuing appropriateness;
(12)
provides for granting an opportunity for a fair hearing before the State agency to any individual whose claim for benefits available pursuant to this part is denied or is not acted upon with reasonable promptness;
(13)
provides that the State shall arrange for a periodic and independently conducted audit of the programs assisted under this part and part B of this subchapter, which shall be conducted no less frequently than once every three years;
(14)
provides (A) specific goals (which shall be established by State law on or before October 1, 1982) for each fiscal year (commencing with the fiscal year which begins on October 1, 1983) as to the maximum number of children (in absolute numbers or as a percentage of all children in foster care with respect to whom assistance under the plan is provided during such year) who, at any time during such year, will remain in foster care after having been in such care for a period in excess of twenty-four months, and (B) a description of the steps which will be taken by the State to achieve such goals;
(15)
provides that—
(A)
in determining reasonable efforts to be made with respect to a child, as described in this paragraph, and in making such reasonable efforts, the child’s health and safety shall be the paramount concern;
(B)
except as provided in subparagraph (D), reasonable efforts shall be made to preserve and reunify families—
(i)
prior to the placement of a child in foster care, to prevent or eliminate the need for removing the child from the child’s home; and
(ii)
to make it possible for a child to safely return to the child’s home;
(C)
if continuation of reasonable efforts of the type described in subparagraph (B) is determined to be inconsistent with the permanency plan for the child, reasonable efforts shall be made to place the child in a timely manner in accordance with the permanency plan (including, if appropriate, through an interstate placement), and to complete whatever steps are necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the child;
(D)
reasonable efforts of the type described in subparagraph (B) shall not be required to be made with respect to a parent of a child if a court of competent jurisdiction has determined that—
(i)
the parent has subjected the child to aggravated circumstances (as defined in State law, which definition may include but need not be limited to abandonment, torture, chronic abuse, and sexual abuse);
(ii)
the parent has—
(I)
committed murder (which would have been an offense under section 1111(a) of title 18, if the offense had occurred in the special maritime or territorial jurisdiction of the United States) of another child of the parent;
(II)
committed voluntary manslaughter (which would have been an offense under section 1112(a) of title 18, if the offense had occurred in the special maritime or territorial jurisdiction of the United States) of another child of the parent;
(III)
aided or abetted, attempted, conspired, or solicited to commit such a murder or such a voluntary manslaughter; or
(IV)
committed a felony assault that results in serious bodily injury to the child or another child of the parent; or
(iii)
the parental rights of the parent to a sibling have been terminated involuntarily;
(E)
if reasonable efforts of the type described in subparagraph (B) are not made with respect to a child as a result of a determination made by a court of competent jurisdiction in accordance with subparagraph (D)—
(i)
a permanency hearing (as described in section 675(5)(C) of this title), which considers in-State and out-of-State permanent placement options for the child, shall be held for the child within 30 days after the determination; and
(ii)
reasonable efforts shall be made to place the child in a timely manner in accordance with the permanency plan, and to complete whatever steps are necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the child; and
(F)
reasonable efforts to place a child for adoption or with a legal guardian, including identifying appropriate in-State and out-of-State placements 2
2
 So in original. Probably should be followed by a comma.
may be made concurrently with reasonable efforts of the type described in subparagraph (B);
(16)
provides for the development of a case plan (as defined in section 675(1) of this title and in accordance with the requirements of section 675a of this title) for each child receiving foster care maintenance payments under the State plan and provides for a case review system which meets the requirements described in sections 675(5) and 675a of this title with respect to each such child;
(17)
provides that, where appropriate, all steps will be taken, including cooperative efforts with the State agencies administering the program funded under part A and plan approved under part D, to secure an assignment to the State of any rights to support on behalf of each child receiving foster care maintenance payments under this part;
(18)
not later than January 1, 1997, provides that neither the State nor any other entity in the State that receives funds from the Federal Government and is involved in adoption or foster care placements may—
(A)
deny to any person the opportunity to become an adoptive or a foster parent, on the basis of the race, color, or national origin of the person, or of the child, involved; or
(B)
delay or deny the placement of a child for adoption or into foster care, on the basis of the race, color, or national origin of the adoptive or foster parent, or the child, involved;
(19)
provides that the State shall consider giving preference to an adult relative over a non-related caregiver when determining a placement for a child, provided that the relative caregiver meets all relevant State child protection standards;
(20)
(A)
provides procedures for criminal records checks, including fingerprint-based checks of national crime information databases (as defined in section 534(f)(3)(A) of title 28), for any prospective foster or adoptive parent before the foster or adoptive parent may be finally approved for placement of a child regardless of whether foster care maintenance payments or adoption assistance payments are to be made on behalf of the child under the State plan under this part, including procedures requiring that—
(i)
in any case involving a child on whose behalf such payments are to be so made in which a record check reveals a felony conviction for child abuse or neglect, for spousal abuse, for a crime against children (including child pornography), or for a crime involving violence, including rape, sexual assault, or homicide, but not including other physical assault or battery, if a State finds that a court of competent jurisdiction has determined that the felony was committed at any time, such final approval shall not be granted; and
(ii)
in any case involving a child on whose behalf such payments are to be so made in which a record check reveals a felony conviction for physical assault, battery, or a drug-related offense, if a State finds that a court of competent jurisdiction has determined that the felony was committed within the past 5 years, such final approval shall not be granted;
(B)
provides that the State shall—
(i)
check any child abuse and neglect registry maintained by the State for information on any prospective foster or adoptive parent and on any other adult living in the home of such a prospective parent, and request any other State in which any such prospective parent or other adult has resided in the preceding 5 years, to enable the State to check any child abuse and neglect registry maintained by such other State for such information, before the prospective foster or adoptive parent may be finally approved for placement of a child, regardless of whether foster care maintenance payments or adoption assistance payments are to be made on behalf of the child under the State plan under this part;
(ii)
comply with any request described in clause (i) that is received from another State; and
(iii)
have in place safeguards to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of information in any child abuse and neglect registry maintained by the State, and to prevent any such information obtained pursuant to this subparagraph from being used for a purpose other than the conducting of background checks in foster or adoptive placement cases;
(C)
provides procedures for criminal records checks, including fingerprint-based checks of national crime information databases (as defined in section 534(f)(3)(A) of title 28), on any relative guardian, and for checks described in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph on any relative guardian and any other adult living in the home of any relative guardian, before the relative guardian may receive kinship guardianship assistance payments on behalf of the child under the State plan under this part; and
(D)
provides procedures for any child-care institution, including a group home, residential treatment center, shelter, or other congregate care setting, to conduct criminal records checks, including fingerprint-based checks of national crime information databases (as defined in section 534(f)(3)(A) of title 28), and checks described in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, on any adult working in a child-care institution, including a group home, residential treatment center, shelter, or other congregate care setting, unless the State reports to the Secretary the alternative criminal records checks and child abuse registry checks the State conducts on any adult working in a child-care institution, including a group home, residential treatment center, shelter, or other congregate care setting, and why the checks specified in this subparagraph are not appropriate for the State;
(21)
provides for health insurance coverage (including, at State option, through the program under the State plan approved under subchapter XIX) for any child who has been determined to be a child with special needs, for whom there is in effect an adoption assistance agreement (other than an agreement under this part) between the State and an adoptive parent or parents, and who the State has determined cannot be placed with an adoptive parent or parents without medical assistance because such child has special needs for medical, mental health, or rehabilitative care, and that with respect to the provision of such health insurance coverage—
(A)
such coverage may be provided through 1 or more State medical assistance programs;
(B)
the State, in providing such coverage, shall ensure that the medical benefits, including mental health benefits, provided are of the same type and kind as those that would be provided for children by the State under subchapter XIX;
(C)
in the event that the State provides such coverage through a State medical assistance program other than the program under subchapter XIX, and the State exceeds its funding for services under such other program, any such child shall be deemed to be receiving aid or assistance under the State plan under this part for purposes of section 1396a(a)(10)(A)(i)(I) of this title; and
(D)
in determining cost-sharing requirements, the State shall take into consideration the circumstances of the adopting parent or parents and the needs of the child being adopted consistent, to the extent coverage is provided through a State medical assistance program, with the rules under such program;
(22)
provides that, not later than January 1, 1999, the State shall develop and implement standards to ensure that children in foster care placements in public or private agencies are provided quality services that protect the safety and health of the children;
(23)
provides that the State shall not—
(A)
deny or delay the placement of a child for adoption when an approved family is available outside of the jurisdiction with responsibility for handling the case of the child; or
(B)
fail to grant an opportunity for a fair hearing, as described in paragraph (12), to an individual whose allegation of a violation of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph is denied by the State or not acted upon by the State with reasonable promptness;
(24)
includes a certification that, before a child in foster care under the responsibility of the State is placed with prospective foster parents, the prospective foster parents will be prepared adequately with the appropriate knowledge and skills to provide for the needs of the child, that the preparation will be continued, as necessary, after the placement of the child, and that the preparation shall include knowledge and skills relating to the reasonable and prudent parent standard for the participation of the child in age or developmentally-appropriate activities, including knowledge and skills relating to the developmental stages of the cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral capacities of a child, and knowledge and skills relating to applying the standard to decisions such as whether to allow the child to engage in social, extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities, including sports, field trips, and overnight activities lasting 1 or more days, and to decisions involving the signing of permission slips and arranging of transportation for the child to and from extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities;
(25)
provides that the State shall have in effect procedures for the orderly and timely interstate placement of children, which, in the case of a State other than the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, or American Samoa, not later than October 1, 2027, shall include the use of an electronic interstate case-processing system; and procedures implemented in accordance with an interstate compact, if incorporating with the procedures prescribed by paragraph (26), shall be considered to satisfy the requirement of this paragraph;
(26)
provides that—
(A)
(i)
within 60 days after the State receives from another State a request to conduct a study of a home environment for purposes of assessing the safety and suitability of placing a child in the home, the State shall, directly or by contract—
(I)
conduct and complete the study; and
(II)
return to the other State a report on the results of the study, which shall address the extent to which placement in the home would meet the needs of the child; and
(ii)
in the case of a home study begun on or before September 30, 2008, if the State fails to comply with clause (i) within the 60-day period as a result of circumstances beyond the control of the State (such as a failure by a Federal agency to provide the results of a background check, or the failure by any entity to provide completed medical forms, requested by the State at least 45 days before the end of the 60-day period), the State shall have 75 days to comply with clause (i) if the State documents the circumstances involved and certifies that completing the home study is in the best interests of the child; except that
(iii)
this subparagraph shall not be construed to require the State to have completed, within the applicable period, the parts of the home study involving the education and training of the prospective foster or adoptive parents;
(B)
the State shall treat any report described in subparagraph (A) that is received from another State or an Indian tribe (or from a private agency under contract with another State) as meeting any requirements imposed by the State for the completion of a home study before placing a child in the home, unless, within 14 days after receipt of the report, the State determines, based on grounds that are specific to the content of the report, that making a decision in reliance on the report would be contrary to the welfare of the child; and
(C)
the State shall not impose any restriction on the ability of a State agency administering, or supervising the administration of, a State program operated under a State plan approved under this part to contract with a private agency for the conduct of a home study described in subparagraph (A);
(27)
provides that, with respect to any child in foster care under the responsibility of the State under this part or part B and without regard to whether foster care maintenance payments are made under section 672 of this title on behalf of the child, the State has in effect procedures for verifying the citizenship or immigration status of the child;
(28)
(29)
provides that, within 30 days after the removal of a child from the custody of the parent or parents of the child, the State shall exercise due diligence to identify and provide notice to the following relatives: all adult grandparents, all parents of a sibling of the child, where such parent has legal custody of such sibling, and other adult relatives of the child (including any other adult relatives suggested by the parents), subject to exceptions due to family or domestic violence, that—
(A)
specifies that the child has been or is being removed from the custody of the parent or parents of the child;
(B)
explains the options the relative has under Federal, State, and local law to participate in the care and placement of the child, including any options that may be lost by failing to respond to the notice;
(C)
describes the requirements under paragraph (10) of this subsection to become a foster family home and the additional services and supports that are available for children placed in such a home; and
(D)
if the State has elected the option to make kinship guardianship assistance payments under paragraph (28) of this subsection, describes how the relative guardian of the child may subsequently enter into an agreement with the State under section 673(d) of this title to receive the payments;
(30)
provides assurances that each child who has attained the minimum age for compulsory school attendance under State law and with respect to whom there is eligibility for a payment under the State plan is a full-time elementary or secondary school student or has completed secondary school, and for purposes of this paragraph, the term “elementary or secondary school student” means, with respect to a child, that the child is—
(A)
enrolled (or in the process of enrolling) in an institution which provides elementary or secondary education, as determined under the law of the State or other jurisdiction in which the institution is located;
(B)
instructed in elementary or secondary education at home in accordance with a home school law of the State or other jurisdiction in which the home is located;
(C)
in an independent study elementary or secondary education program in accordance with the law of the State or other jurisdiction in which the program is located, which is administered by the local school or school district; or
(D)
incapable of attending school on a full-time basis due to the medical condition of the child, which incapability is supported by regularly updated information in the case plan of the child;
(31)
provides that reasonable efforts shall be made—
(A)
to place siblings removed from their home in the same foster care, kinship guardianship, or adoptive placement, unless the State documents that such a joint placement would be contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings; and
(B)
in the case of siblings removed from their home who are not so jointly placed, to provide for frequent visitation or other ongoing interaction between the siblings, unless that State documents that frequent visitation or other ongoing interaction would be contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings;
(32)
provides that the State will negotiate in good faith with any Indian tribe, tribal organization or tribal consortium in the State that requests to develop an agreement with the State to administer all or part of the program under this part on behalf of Indian children who are under the authority of the tribe, organization, or consortium, including foster care maintenance payments on behalf of children who are placed in State or tribally licensed foster family homes, adoption assistance payments, and, if the State has elected to provide such payments, kinship guardianship assistance payments under section 673(d) of this title, and tribal access to resources for administration, training, and data collection under this part;
(33)
provides that the State will inform any individual who is adopting, or whom the State is made aware is considering adopting, a child who is in foster care under the responsibility of the State of the potential eligibility of the individual for a Federal tax credit under section 23 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;
(34)
provides that, for each child or youth described in paragraph (9)(C)(i)(I), the State agency shall—
(A)
not later than 2 years after September 29, 2014, report immediately, and in no case later than 24 hours after receiving information on children or youth who have been identified as being a sex trafficking victim, to the law enforcement authorities; and
(B)
not later than 3 years after September 29, 2014, and annually thereafter, report to the Secretary the total number of children and youth who are sex trafficking victims;
(35)
provides that—
(A)
not later than 1 year after September 29, 2014, the State shall develop and implement specific protocols for—
(i)
expeditiously locating any child missing from foster care;
(ii)
determining the primary factors that contributed to the child’s running away or otherwise being absent from care, and to the extent possible and appropriate, responding to those factors in current and subsequent placements;
(iii)
determining the child’s experiences while absent from care, including screening the child to determine if the child is a possible sex trafficking victim (as defined in section 675(9)(A) of this title); and
(iv)
reporting such related information as required by the Secretary; and
(B)
not later than 2 years after September 29, 2014, for each child and youth described in paragraph (9)(C)(i)(I) of this subsection, the State agency shall report immediately, and in no case later than 24 hours after receiving, information on missing or abducted children or youth to the law enforcement authorities for entry into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, established pursuant to section 534 of title 28, and to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children;
(36)
provides that, not later than April 1, 2019, the State shall submit to the Secretary information addressing—
(A)
whether the State licensing standards are in accord with model standards identified by the Secretary, and if not, the reason for the specific deviation and a description as to why having a standard that is reasonably in accord with the corresponding national model standards is not appropriate for the State;
(B)
whether the State has elected to waive standards established in 671(a)(10)(A) 3
3
 So in original. Probably should be preceded by “section”.
of this title for relative foster family homes (pursuant to waiver authority provided by 671(a)(10)(D) 3 of this title), a description of which standards the State most commonly waives, and if the State has not elected to waive the standards, the reason for not waiving these standards;
(C)
if the State has elected to waive standards specified in subparagraph (B), how caseworkers are trained to use the waiver authority and whether the State has developed a process or provided tools to assist caseworkers in waiving nonsafety standards per the authority provided in 671(a)(10)(D) 3 of this title to quickly place children with relatives; and
(D)
a description of the steps the State is taking to improve caseworker training or the process, if any; and
(37)
includes a certification that, in response to the limitation imposed under section 672(k) of this title with respect to foster care maintenance payments made on behalf of any child who is placed in a setting that is not a foster family home, the State will not enact or advance policies or practices that would result in a significant increase in the population of youth in the State’s juvenile justice system.
(b)
Approval of plan by Secretary

The Secretary shall approve any plan which complies with the provisions of subsection (a) of this section.

(c)
Use of child welfare records in State court proceedings

Subsection (a)(8) shall not be construed to limit the flexibility of a State in determining State policies relating to public access to court proceedings to determine child abuse and neglect or other court hearings held pursuant to part B or this part, except that such policies shall, at a minimum, ensure the safety and well-being of the child, parents, and family.

(d)
Annual reports by the Secretary on number of children and youth reported by States to be sex trafficking victims

Not later than 4 years after September 29, 2014, and annually thereafter, the Secretary shall report to the Congress and make available to the public on the Internet website of the Department of Health and Human Services the number of children and youth reported in accordance with subsection (a)(34)(B) of this section to be sex trafficking victims (as defined in section 675(9)(A) of this title).

(e)
Prevention and family services and programs
(1)
In general
Subject to the succeeding provisions of this subsection, the Secretary may make a payment to a State for providing the following services or programs for a child described in paragraph (2) and the parents or kin caregivers of the child when the need of the child, such a parent, or such a caregiver for the services or programs are directly related to the safety, permanence, or well-being of the child or to preventing the child from entering foster care:
(A)
Mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment services

Mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment services provided by a qualified clinician for not more than a 12-month period that begins on any date described in paragraph (3) with respect to the child.

(B)
In-home parent skill-based programs

In-home parent skill-based programs for not more than a 12-month period that begins on any date described in paragraph (3) with respect to the child and that include parenting skills training, parent education, and individual and family counseling.

(2)
Child described
For purposes of paragraph (1), a child described in this paragraph is the following:
(A)
A child who is a candidate for foster care (as defined in section 675(13) of this title) but can remain safely at home or in a kinship placement with receipt of services or programs specified in paragraph (1).
(B)
A child in foster care who is a pregnant or parenting foster youth.
(3)
Date described
For purposes of paragraph (1), the dates described in this paragraph are the following:
(A)
The date on which a child is identified in a prevention plan maintained under paragraph (4) as a child who is a candidate for foster care (as defined in section 675(13) of this title).
(B)
The date on which a child is identified in a prevention plan maintained under paragraph (4) as a pregnant or parenting foster youth in need of services or programs specified in paragraph (1).
(4)
Requirements related to providing services and programs
Services and programs specified in paragraph (1) may be provided under this subsection only if specified in advance in the child’s prevention plan described in subparagraph (A) and the requirements in subparagraphs (B) through (E) are met:
(A)
Prevention plan
The State maintains a written prevention plan for the child that meets the following requirements (as applicable):
(i)
Candidates
In the case of a child who is a candidate for foster care described in paragraph (2)(A), the prevention plan shall—
(I)
identify the foster care prevention strategy for the child so that the child may remain safely at home, live temporarily with a kin caregiver until reunification can be safely achieved, or live permanently with a kin caregiver;
(II)
list the services or programs to be provided to or on behalf of the child to ensure the success of that prevention strategy; and
(III)
comply with such other requirements as the Secretary shall establish.
(ii)
Pregnant or parenting foster youth
In the case of a child who is a pregnant or parenting foster youth described in paragraph (2)(B), the prevention plan shall—
(I)
be included in the child’s case plan required under section 675(1) of this title;
(II)
list the services or programs to be provided to or on behalf of the youth to ensure that the youth is prepared (in the case of a pregnant foster youth) or able (in the case of a parenting foster youth) to be a parent;
(III)
describe the foster care prevention strategy for any child born to the youth; and
(IV)
comply with such other requirements as the Secretary shall establish.
(B)
Trauma-informed

The services or programs to be provided to or on behalf of a child are provided under an organizational structure and treatment framework that involves understanding, recognizing, and responding to the effects of all types of trauma and in accordance with recognized principles of a trauma-informed approach and trauma-specific interventions to address trauma’s consequences and facilitate healing.

(C)
Only services and programs provided in accordance with promising, supported, or well-supported practices permitted
(i)
In general

Only State expenditures for services or programs specified in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) that are provided in accordance with practices that meet the requirements specified in clause (ii) of this subparagraph and that meet the requirements specified in clause (iii), (iv), or (v), respectively, for being a promising, supported, or well-supported practice, shall be eligible for a Federal matching payment under section 674(a)(6)(A) of this title.

(ii)
General practice requirements
The general practice requirements specified in this clause are the following:
(I)
The practice has a book, manual, or other available writings that specify the components of the practice protocol and describe how to administer the practice.
(II)
There is no empirical basis suggesting that, compared to its likely benefits, the practice constitutes a risk of harm to those receiving it.
(III)
If multiple outcome studies have been conducted, the overall weight of evidence supports the benefits of the practice.
(IV)
Outcome measures are reliable and valid, and are administrated consistently and accurately across all those receiving the practice.
(V)
There is no case data suggesting a risk of harm that was probably caused by the treatment and that was severe or frequent.
(iii)
Promising practice
A practice shall be considered to be a “promising practice” if the practice is superior to an appropriate comparison practice using conventional standards of statistical significance (in terms of demonstrated meaningful improvements in validated measures of important child and parent outcomes, such as mental health, substance abuse, and child safety and well-being), as established by the results or outcomes of at least one study that—
(I)
was rated by an independent systematic review for the quality of the study design and execution and determined to be well-designed and well-executed; and
(II)
utilized some form of control (such as an untreated group, a placebo group, or a wait list study).
(iv)
Supported practice
A practice shall be considered to be a “supported practice” if—
(I)
the practice is superior to an appropriate comparison practice using conventional standards of statistical significance (in terms of demonstrated meaningful improvements in validated measures of important child and parent outcomes, such as mental health, substance abuse, and child safety and well-being), as established by the results or outcomes of at least one study that—
(aa)
was rated by an independent systematic review for the quality of the study design and execution and determined to be well-designed and well-executed;
(bb)
was a rigorous random-controlled trial (or, if not available, a study using a rigorous quasi-experimental research design); and
(cc)
was carried out in a usual care or practice setting; and
(II)
the study described in subclause (I) established that the practice has a sustained effect (when compared to a control group) for at least 6 months beyond the end of the treatment.
(v)
Well-supported practice
A practice shall be considered to be a “well-supported practice” if—
(I)
(aa)
were rated by an independent systematic review for the quality of the study design and execution and determined to be well-designed and well-executed;
(bb)
were rigorous random-controlled trials (or, if not available, studies using a rigorous quasi-experimental research design); and
(cc)
were carried out in a usual care or practice setting; and
(II)
at least one of the studies described in subclause (I) established that the practice has a sustained effect (when compared to a control group) for at least 1 year beyond the end of treatment.
(D)
Guidance on practices criteria and pre-approved services and programs
(i)
In general

Not later than October 1, 2018, the Secretary shall issue guidance to States regarding the practices criteria required for services or programs to satisfy the requirements of subparagraph (C). The guidance shall include a pre-approved list of services and programs that satisfy the requirements.

(ii)
Updates

The Secretary shall issue updates to the guidance required by clause (i) as often as the Secretary determines necessary.

(E)
Outcome assessment and reporting
The State shall collect and report to the Secretary the following information with respect to each child for whom, or on whose behalf mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment services or in-home parent skill-based programs are provided during a 12-month period beginning on the date the child is determined by the State to be a child described in paragraph (2):
(i)
The specific services or programs provided and the total expenditures for each of the services or programs.
(ii)
The duration of the services or programs provided.
(iii)
In the case of a child described in paragraph (2)(A), the child’s placement status at the beginning, and at the end, of the 1-year period, respectively, and whether the child entered foster care within 2 years after being determined a candidate for foster care.
(5)
State plan component
(A)
In general

A State electing to provide services or programs specified in paragraph (1) shall submit as part of the State plan required by subsection (a) a prevention services and programs plan component that meets the requirements of subparagraph (B).

(B)
Prevention services and programs plan component
In order to meet the requirements of this subparagraph, a prevention services and programs plan component, with respect to each 5-year period for which the plan component is in operation in the State, shall include the following:
(i)
How providing services and programs specified in paragraph (1) is expected to improve specific outcomes for children and families.
(ii)
How the State will monitor and oversee the safety of children who receive services and programs specified in paragraph (1), including through periodic risk assessments throughout the period in which the services and programs are provided on behalf of a child and reexamination of the prevention plan maintained for the child under paragraph (4) for the provision of the services or programs if the State determines the risk of the child entering foster care remains high despite the provision of the services or programs.
(iii)
With respect to the services and programs specified in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (1), information on the specific promising, supported, or well-supported practices the State plans to use to provide the services or programs, including a description of—
(I)
the services or programs and whether the practices used are promising, supported, or well-supported;
(II)
how the State plans to implement the services or programs, including how implementation of the services or programs will be continuously monitored to ensure fidelity to the practice model and to determine outcomes achieved and how information learned from the monitoring will be used to refine and improve practices;
(III)
how the State selected the services or programs;
(IV)
the target population for the services or programs; and
(V)
how each service or program provided will be evaluated through a well-designed and rigorous process, which may consist of an ongoing, cross-site evaluation approved by the Secretary.
(iv)
A description of the consultation that the State agencies responsible for administering the State plans under this part and part B engage in with other State agencies responsible for administering health programs, including mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment services, and with other public and private agencies with experience in administering child and family services, including community-based organizations, in order to foster a continuum of care for children described in paragraph (2) and their parents or kin caregivers.
(v)
A description of how the State shall assess children and their parents or kin caregivers to determine eligibility for services or programs specified in paragraph (1).
(vi)
A description of how the services or programs specified in paragraph (1) that are provided for or on behalf of a child and the parents or kin caregivers of the child will be coordinated with other child and family services provided to the child and the parents or kin caregivers of the child under the State plans in effect under subparts 1 and 2 of part B.
(vii)
Descriptions of steps the State is taking to support and enhance a competent, skilled, and professional child welfare workforce to deliver trauma-informed and evidence-based services, including—
(I)
ensuring that staff is qualified to provide services or programs that are consistent with the promising, supported, or well-supported practice models selected; and
(II)
developing appropriate prevention plans, and conducting the risk assessments required under clause (iii).
(viii)
A description of how the State will provide training and support for caseworkers in assessing what children and their families need, connecting to the families served, knowing how to access and deliver the needed trauma-informed and evidence-based services, and overseeing and evaluating the continuing appropriateness of the services.
(ix)
A description of how caseload size and type for prevention caseworkers will be determined, managed, and overseen.
(x)
An assurance that the State will report to the Secretary such information and data as the Secretary may require with respect to the provision of services and programs specified in paragraph (1), including information and data necessary to determine the performance measures for the State under paragraph (6) and compliance with paragraph (7).
(C)
Reimbursement for services under the prevention plan component
(i)
Limitation

Except as provided in subclause (ii), a State may not receive a Federal payment under this part for a given promising, supported, or well-supported practice unless (in accordance with subparagraph (B)(iii)(V)) the plan includes a well-designed and rigorous evaluation strategy for that practice.

(ii)
Waiver of limitation

The Secretary may waive the requirement for a well-designed and rigorous evaluation of any well-supported practice if the Secretary deems the evidence of the effectiveness of the practice to be compelling and the State meets the continuous quality improvement requirements included in subparagraph (B)(iii)(II) with regard to the practice.

(6)
Prevention services measures
(A)
Establishment; annual updates
Beginning with fiscal year 2021, and annually thereafter, the Secretary shall establish the following prevention services measures based on information and data reported by States that elect to provide services and programs specified in paragraph (1):
(i)
Percentage of candidates for foster care who do not enter foster care

The percentage of candidates for foster care for whom, or on whose behalf, the services or programs are provided who do not enter foster care, including those placed with a kin caregiver outside of foster care, during the 12-month period in which the services or programs are provided and through the end of the succeeding 12-month period.

(ii)
Per-child spending

The total amount of expenditures made for mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment services or in-home parent skill-based programs, respectively, for, or on behalf of, each child described in paragraph (2).

(B)
Data
The Secretary shall establish and annually update the prevention services measures—
(i)
based on the median State values of the information reported under each clause of subparagraph (A) for the 3 then most recent years; and
(ii)
taking into account State differences in the price levels of consumption goods and services using the most recent regional price parities published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the Department of Commerce or such other data as the Secretary determines appropriate.
(C)
Publication of State prevention services measures

The Secretary shall annually make available to the public the prevention services measures of each State.

(7)
Maintenance of effort for State foster care prevention expenditures
(A)
In general

If a State elects to provide services and programs specified in paragraph (1) for a fiscal year, the State foster care prevention expenditures for the fiscal year shall not be less than the amount of the expenditures for fiscal year 2014 (or, at the option of a State described in subparagraph (E), fiscal year 2015 or fiscal year 2016 (whichever the State elects)).

(B)
State foster care prevention expenditures
The term “State foster care prevention expenditures” means the following:
(i)
TANF; IV–B; SSBG

State expenditures for foster care prevention services and activities under the State program funded under part A (including from amounts made available by the Federal Government), under the State plan developed under part B (including any such amounts), or under the Social Services Block Grant Programs under division A of subchapter XX (including any such amounts).

(ii)
Other State programs

State expenditures for foster care prevention services and activities under any State program that is not described in clause (i) (other than any State expenditures for foster care prevention services and activities under the State program under this part (including under a waiver of the program)).

(C)
State expenditures

The term “State expenditures” means all State or local funds that are expended by the State or a local agency including State or local funds that are matched or reimbursed by the Federal Government and State or local funds that are not matched or reimbursed by the Federal Government.

(D)
Determination of prevention services and activities

The Secretary shall require each State that elects to provide services and programs specified in paragraph (1) to report the expenditures specified in subparagraph (B) for fiscal year 2014 and for such fiscal years thereafter as are necessary to determine whether the State is complying with the maintenance of effort requirement in subparagraph (A). The Secretary shall specify the specific services and activities under each program referred to in subparagraph (B) that are “prevention services and activities” for purposes of the reports.

(E)
State described

For purposes of subparagraph (A), a State is described in this subparagraph if the population of children in the State in 2014 was less than 200,000 (as determined by the United States Census Bureau).

(8)
Prohibition against use of state foster care prevention expenditures and Federal IV–E prevention funds for matching or expenditure requirement

A State that elects to provide services and programs specified in paragraph (1) shall not use any State foster care prevention expenditures for a fiscal year for the State share of expenditures under section 674(a)(6) of this title for a fiscal year.

(9)
Administrative costs
Expenditures described in section 674(a)(6)(B) of this title
(A)
shall not be eligible for payment under subparagraph (A), (B), or (E) of section 674(a)(3) of this title; and
(B)
shall be eligible for payment under section 674(a)(6)(B) of this title without regard to whether the expenditures are incurred on behalf of a child who is, or is potentially, eligible for foster care maintenance payments under this part.
(10)
Application
(A)
In general

The provision of services or programs under this subsection to or on behalf of a child described in paragraph (2) shall not be considered to be receipt of aid or assistance under the State plan under this part for purposes of eligibility for any other program established under this chapter, nor shall the provision of such services or programs be construed to permit the State to reduce medical or other assistance available to a recipient of such services or programs.

(B)
Candidates in kinship care

A child described in paragraph (2) for whom such services or programs under this subsection are provided for more than 6 months while in the home of a kin caregiver, and who would satisfy the AFDC eligibility requirement of section 672(a)(3)(A)(ii)(II) of this title but for residing in the home of the caregiver for more than 6 months, is deemed to satisfy that requirement for purposes of determining whether the child is eligible for foster care maintenance payments under section 672 of this title.

(C)
Payer of last resort

In carrying out its responsibilities to ensure access to services or programs under this subsection, the State agency shall not be considered to be a legally liable third party for purposes of satisfying a financial commitment for the cost of providing such services or programs with respect to any individual for whom such cost would have been paid for from another public or private source but for the enactment of this subsection (except that whenever considered necessary to prevent a delay in the receipt of appropriate early intervention services by a child or family in a timely fashion, funds provided under section 674(a)(6) of this title may be used to pay the provider of services or programs pending reimbursement from the public or private source that has ultimate responsibility for the payment).

(Aug. 14, 1935, ch. 531, title IV, § 471, as added Pub. L. 96–272, title I, § 101(a)(1), June 17, 1980, 94 Stat. 501; amended Pub. L. 97–35, title XXIII, § 2353(r), Aug. 13, 1981, 95 Stat. 874; Pub. L. 97–248, title I, § 160(d), Sept. 3, 1982, 96 Stat. 400; Pub. L. 98–378, § 11(c), Aug. 16, 1984, 98 Stat. 1318; Pub. L. 99–514, title XVII, § 1711(c)(2), Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2784; Pub. L. 100–485, title II, § 202(c)(1), Oct. 13, 1988, 102 Stat. 2378; Pub. L. 101–508, title V, § 5054(b), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–229; Pub. L. 103–66, title XIII, § 13711(b)(4), Aug. 10, 1993, 107 Stat. 655; Pub. L. 103–432, title II, § 203(b), Oct. 31, 1994, 108 Stat. 4456; Pub. L. 104–188, title I, § 1808(a), Aug. 20, 1996, 110 Stat. 1903; Pub. L. 104–193, title I, § 108(d)(2), title V, § 505, Aug. 22, 1996, 110 Stat. 2166, 2278; Pub. L. 105–33, title V, § 5591(b), Aug. 5, 1997, 111 Stat. 643; Pub. L. 105–89, title I, §§ 101(a), 106, title III, §§ 306, 308, Nov. 19, 1997, 111 Stat. 2116, 2120, 2132, 2133; Pub. L. 105–200, title III, § 301(a), July 16, 1998, 112 Stat. 658; Pub. L. 106–169, title I, § 112(a), title IV, § 401(o), Dec. 14, 1999, 113 Stat. 1829, 1859; Pub. L. 109–171, title VII, § 7401(c), Feb. 8, 2006, 120 Stat. 150; Pub. L. 109–239, §§ 3, 4(a)(1), 10, July 3, 2006, 120 Stat. 508, 513; Pub. L. 109–248, title I, § 152(a), (b), July 27, 2006, 120 Stat. 608, 609; Pub. L. 109–432, div. B, title IV, § 405(c)(1)(B)(i), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 2999; Pub. L. 110–351, title I, §§ 101(a), (c)(2)(A), (B)(i), 103, 104(a), title II, §§ 204(b), 206, title III, § 301(c)(1)(A), title IV, § 403, Oct. 7, 2008, 122 Stat. 3950–3952, 3956, 3957, 3960, 3962, 3969, 3979; Pub. L. 111–148, title VI, § 6703(d)(2)(B), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 803; Pub. L. 113–183, title I, §§ 101(a), 102, 104, 111(a)(2), (b), 112(b)(2)(A)(ii), title II, § 209(a)(1), Sept. 29, 2014, 128 Stat. 1920–1922, 1924, 1927, 1941; Pub. L. 115–123, div. E, title VII, §§ 50711(a), 50722(a), 50731(b), 50741(d)(1), 50745, Feb. 9, 2018, 132 Stat. 232, 246, 251, 256, 261; Pub. L. 115–165, title I, § 103(a)(2), Apr. 13, 2018, 132 Stat. 1262; Pub. L. 115–271, title VIII, § 8082(b),
cite as: 42 USC 671