DCFS INFO MEMO 2004 - 02     February 25, 2004

Supercedes DCS Info Memo 95-25

 

STATE OF WISCONSIN
Department of Health and Family Services
Division of Children and Family Services

 

To:

Area Administrators/Assistant Area Administrators
Bureau Directors
County Departments of Community Programs Directors
County Departments of Developmental Disabilities Services Directors
County Departments of Human Services Directors
County Departments of Social Services Directors
Section Chiefs/Licensing Chiefs
Tribal Chairpersons/Human Services Facilitators

From:

Kitty Kocol
Administrator

Re:

Child Support When Adoptive Parent(s) Receive Adoption Assistance for an Adopted Child Placed in Out-of-Home Care

When an adopted child whose parents receive a monthly adoption assistance amount is removed from the adoptive home and placed in out-of-home care, the court is required, under s.46.10(14)(b), Wis. Stats., to determine an amount of child support. In these cases, the county social/human service department, the child support agency, and the adoptive family may have concerns about the establishment and payment of an equitable amount of child support to the facility/foster home providing care for the child because such child support could be considered a disincentive for people to adopt children with special care needs.

Title IV-D of the Social Security Act generally requires the collection of child support for children in out-of-home care. (Please refer to Numbered Memo DCS-90-28 for more information.) The amount of child support is determined by the court under s.46.10(14)(b) through (d), Wis. Stats.

When adoption assistance is being provided, s. 46.10(14)(cm), Wis. Stats, provides specific requirements about court-ordered child support for certain out-of-home care placements. The child support is usually set at the child support percentage standard or the current monthly amount of adoption assistance being received, whichever is less.

For example, if an order calculated according to the percentage standard
would be $250 per month, and the amount of the monthly adoption
assistance amount received is $300 per month, the child support order is
generally set at $250. The statute allows the court to vary from this usual
procedure by documenting a finding that this standard is unfair to the minor
child or either of the parents. In this example, the monthly adoption
assistance amount of $300 per month would continue to be paid to the
parent of a minor adopted child and the child support agency would collect a
support amount of $250 per month from that parent.

 

The court may order the monthly adoption assistance amount be paid directly to the county or a family may request that it be done. To notify the Department to send the monthly adoption assistance amount to a clerk of court or county social/human service department, the court order for assignment of Wisconsin adoption assistance benefits should be sent to:

Adoption Assistance Accountant
Division of Children and Family Services
Bureau of Programs and Policies
P.O. Box 8916
Madison WI 53708-8916
Fax: (608) 264-6750

Adoption assistance staff in the Bureau of Programs and Policies can facilitate with concerns related to specific situations.

 

REGIONAL OFFICE CONTACT: Adoption Supervisors

CENTRAL OFFICE CONTACT:

Adoption Assistant Accountants
Adoption and Consultation Section
Bureau of Programs and Policies
(608) 266-3925 or (608) 266-8054

cc:

Adoption Staff/Bureau of Programs and Policies
Contract Adoption Staff/Bureau of Programs and Policies
County Foster Care Coordinators
Licensed Child Placing Agencies
Program Office Directors/Section Chiefs


The Department of Children and Families, protecting children, strengthening families, building communities.