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FOSTER CARE MAINTENANCE PAYMENTS PROGRAM[224]

Sec472[42 U.S.C. 672] (a) In General.—

(1) Eligibility.—Each State with a plan approved under this part shall make foster care maintenance payments on behalf of each child who has been removed from the home of a relative specified in section 406(a) (as in effect on July 16, 1996) into foster care if—

(A) the removal and foster care placement met, and the placement continues to meet, the requirements of paragraph (2); and

(B) the child, while in the home, would have met the AFDC eligibility requirement of paragraph (3).

(2) Removal and foster care placement requirements.—The removal and foster care placement of a child meet the requirements of this paragraph if—

(A) the removal and foster care placement are in accordance with—

(i) a voluntary placement agreement entered into by a parent or legal guardian of the child who is the relative referred to in paragraph (1); or

(ii) a judicial determination to the effect that continuation in the home from which removed would be contrary to the welfare of the child and that reasonable efforts of the type described in section 471(a)(15) for a child have been made;

(B) the child’s placement and care are the responsibility of—

(i) the State agency administering the State plan approved under section 471; or

(ii) any other public agency with which the State agency administering or supervising the administration of the State plan has made an agreement which is in effect; and

(iii) an Indian tribe or a tribal organization (as defined in section 479B(a)) or a tribal consortium that has a plan approved under section 471 in accordance with section 479B; and

(C) the child has been placed in a foster family home or child-care institution.

(3) AFDC eligibility requirement.—

(A) In general.—A child in the home referred to in paragraph (1) would have met the AFDC eligibility requirement of this paragraph if the child—

(i) would have received aid under the State plan approved under section 402 (as in effect on July 16, 1996) in the home, in or for the month in which the agreement was entered into or court proceedings leading to the determination referred to in paragraph (2)(A)(ii) of this subsection were initiated; or

(ii)(I) would have received the aid in the home, in or for the month referred to in clause (i), if application had been made therefor; or

(II) had been living in the home within 6 months before the month in which the agreement was entered into or the proceedings were initiated, and would have received the aid in or for such month, if, in such month, the child had been living in the home with the relative referred to in paragraph (1) and application for the aid had been made.

(B) Resources determination.—For purposes of subparagraph (A), in determining whether a child would have received aid under a State plan approved under section 402 (as in effect on July 16, 1996), a child whose resources (determined pursuant to section 402(a)(7)(B), as so in effect) have a combined value of not more than $10,000 shall be considered a child whose resources have a combined value of not more than $1,000 (or such lower amount as the State may determine for purposes of section 402(a)(7)(B)).

(4) Eligibility of certain alien children.—Subject to title IV of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996[225], if the child is an alien disqualified under section 245A(h) or 210(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act[226] from receiving aid under the State plan approved under section 402 in or for the month in which the agreement described in paragraph (2)(A)(i) was entered into or court proceedings leading to the determination described in paragraph (2)(A)(ii) were initiated, the child shall be considered to satisfy the requirements of paragraph (3), with respect to the month, if the child would have satisfied the requirements but for the disqualification.

(b) Foster care maintenance payments may be made under this part only on behalf of a child described in subsection (a) of this section who is—

(1) in the foster family home of an individual, whether the payments therefor are made to such individual or to a public or private child-placement or child-care agency, or

(2) in a child-care institution, whether the payments therefor are made to such institution or to a public or private child-placement or child-care agency, which payments shall be limited so as to include in such payments only those items which are included in the term “foster care maintenance payments” (as defined in section 475(4)).

(c) For the purposes of this part, (1) the term “foster family home” means a foster family home for children which is licensed by the State in which it is situated or has been approved, by the agency of such State having responsibility for licensing homes of this type, as meeting the standards established for such licensing; and (2) the term “child-care institution” means a private child-care institution, or a public child-care institution which accommodates no more than twenty-five children, which is licensed by the State in which it is situated or has been approved, by the agency of such State responsible for licensing or approval of institutions of this type, as meeting the standards established for such licensing, except, in the case of a child who has attained 18 years of age, the term shall include a supervised setting in which the individual is living independently, in accordance with such conditions as the Secretary shall establish in regulations, but the term shall not include detention facilities, forestry camps, training schools, or any other facility operated primarily for the detention of children who are determined to be delinquent.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, Federal payments may be made under this part with respect to amounts expended by any State as foster care maintenance payments under this section, in the case of children removed from their homes pursuant to voluntary placement agreements as described in subsection (a), only if (at the time such amounts were expended) the State has fulfilled all of the requirements of section 422(b)(8).

(e) No Federal payment may be made under this part with respect to amounts expended by any State as foster care maintenance payments under this section, in the case of any child who was removed from his or her home pursuant to a voluntary placement agreement as described in subsection (a) and has remained in voluntary placement for a period in excess of 180 days, unless there has been a judicial determination by a court of competent jurisdiction (within the first 180 days of such placement) to the effect that such placement is in the best interests of the child.

(f) For the purposes of this part and part B of this title, (1) the term “voluntary placement” means an out-of-home placement of a minor, by or with participation of a State agency, after the parents or guardians of the minor have requested the assistance of the agency and signed a voluntary placement agreement; and (2) the term “voluntary placement agreement” means a written agreement, binding on the parties to the agreement, between the State agency, any other agency acting on its behalf, and the parents or guardians of a minor child which specifies, at a minimum, the legal status of the child and the rights and obligations of the parents or guardians, the child, and the agency while the child is in placement.

(g) In any case where—

(1) the placement of a minor child in foster care occurred pursuant to a voluntary placement agreement entered into by the parents or guardians of such child as provided in subsection (a), and

(2) such parents or guardians request (in such manner and form as the Secretary may prescribe) that the child be returned to their home or to the home of a relative,

the voluntary placement agreement shall be deemed to be revoked unless the State agency opposes such request and obtains a judicial determination, by a court of competent jurisdiction, that the return of the child to such home would be contrary to the child’s best interests.

(h)(1) For purposes of title XIX, any child with respect to whom foster care maintenance payments are made under this section is deemed to be a dependent child as defined in section 406 (as in effect as of July 16, 1996) and deemed to be a recipient of aid to families with dependent children under part A of this title (as so in effect). For purposes of subtitle I oftitle XX, any child with respect to whom foster care maintenance payments are made under this section is deemed to be a minor child in a needy family under a State program funded under part A of this title and is deemed to be a recipient of assistance under such part.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (1), a child whose costs in a foster family home or child care institution are covered by the foster care maintenance payments being made with respect to the child’s minor parent, as provided in section 475(4)(B), shall be considered a child with respect to whom foster care maintenance payments are made under this section.

(i) Administrative Costs Associated With Otherwise Eligible Children Not In Licensed Foster Care Settings.—Expenditures by a State that would be considered administrative expenditures for purposes of section 474(a)(3) if made with respect to a child who was residing in a foster family home or childcare institution shall be so considered with respect to a child not residing in such a home or institution—

(1) in the case of a child who has been removed in accordance with subsection (a) of this section from the home of a relative specified in section 406(a) (as in effect on July 16, 1996), only for expenditures—

(A) with respect to a period of not more than the lesser of 12 months or the average length of time it takes for the State to license or approve a home as a foster home, in which the child is in the home of a relative and an application is pending for licensing or approval of the home as a foster family home; or

(B) with respect to a period of not more than 1 calendar month when a child moves from a facility not eligible for payments under this part into a foster family home or child care institution licensed or approved by the State; and

(2) in the case of any other child who is potentially eligible for benefits under a State plan approved under this part and at imminent risk of removal from the home, only if—

(A) reasonable efforts are being made in accordance with section 471(a)(15) to prevent the need for, or if necessary to pursue, removal of the child from the home; and

(B) the State agency has made, not less often than every 6 months, a determination (or redetermination) as to whether the child remains at imminent risk of removal from the home.


[224]  See Vol. II, P.L. 96-272, §102(e), with respect to the Secretary’s report to Congress on the placement of children in foster care pursuant to certain voluntary agreements.

[225]  See Vol. II, P.L. 104-193, §§400-435.

[226]  See Vol. II, P.L. 82-414, §§210(f) and 245A(h).