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June 2023Vol. 24, No. 5Guidance for Child Welfare Agencies on Conducting Title IV-E Foster Care Eligibility Reviews

The Title IV-E Foster Care Eligibility Review Guide provides guidance for federal and title IV-E agency staff to use in complying with the title IV-E requirements established in § 472(a) of the Social Security Act and 45 CFR § 1356.71. The guide outlines the purpose of the IV-E reviews, explaining that these periodic reviews help the Children’s Bureau do the following:

  • Determine whether federal funds are spent on behalf of eligible children and are in accordance with federal statute, regulation, and policy
  • Identify improper payments, including overpayments and underpayments
  • Provide a link to the joint planning, technical assistance, and program improvement processes that occur between the [Children’s Bureau] and title IV-E agencies
  • Provide timely and specific feedback to title IV-E agencies that can directly influence the proper and efficient administration and implementation of their title IV-E foster care maintenance payment programs

To help agencies with the process, the guide offers a framework for the IV-E reviews and guidance on planning, conducting, and completing a title IV-E foster care eligibility review. This includes information on aspects such as the following:

  • Selecting the date for an onsite review
  • Selecting the sample of cases to review
  • Choosing members of the review team, their functions, and team leadership
  • Conducting the review
  • Preparing the final report

The guide’s appendices include a variety of vital and supplemental material, such as the title IV-E foster care eligibility onsite review instrument, instructions for completing the instrument, information on materials to read in preparation, recommended topics of discussion for the review team, timeframes, information on eligibility criteria, and more.