This memo accompanies policies and training material to be used in the determination of eligibility for federal Title IV-E funds of children placed in out-of-home care.
As transmitted in earlier notices to all counties and tribes, MAXIMUS, Inc. was contracted by the State to review Wisconsins claiming of reimbursable expenditures under Foster Care (IV-E) and Medical Assistance (XIX) where the state and counties/tribes could be claiming additional federal reimbursement.
As part of the Title IV-E component of the effort, MAXIMUS has been reviewing social services and financial eligibility file folders for Title IV-E ineligible children. This effort is an important part of the IV-E Incentive Funding recently announced by the Department.
Training of county and state staff on eligibility determination problems identified by the MAXIMUS review and policy changes from recent federal guidelines and interpretations were incorporated into the IV-E training sessions conducted by MAXIMUS. Over two hundred staff participated in the training in November and December, 1997.
Attached is the finalized Title IV-E Eligibility and Reimbursability Policy manual. Changes made to the manual after the training was completed are explained in Attachment A.
An area which desires special attention is IV-E required court determinations. A significant number of court-related barriers to obtaining IV-E reimbursement for children in foster care were revealed during the case review. The accumulated statewide effect of all court-related problems is an annual loss of three to five million dollars. Appendix V of the manual outlines these barriers and proposes recommendations that may be appropriate.
The Department has proposed minor model court order changes to the Supreme Court, Office of the Director of State Courts, but county-specific interventions are most effective in addressing these IV-E claiming barriers. To request assistance from my office in your efforts to solve IV-E court problems, please call the Title IV-E Hotline at 608-267-9647. State and MAXIMUS staff will gladly review potential corrective actions and meet jointly with you, your staff, and county court and/or district attorney staff.
To ensure the continued success of the IV-E Incentive Funding program, the Department:
If there are any questions concerning this material, please call Mark Mitchell at 608-266-2860. To receive copies of the manual, please complete a Forms/Publication Requisition (DMT-25) and send it to: DCFS Publications Manager, Room 550, 1 West Wilson St., P. O. Box 8916, Madison, WI 53708-8916.
Thank you very much for your assistance in this important effort.
Revisions Made to the Manual
Training Materials (Appendix IV) - Making the Determination Decision: Pages 5 thru 8
Guidance to counties in making IV-E determination decisions was included to clarify that obtaining documentation to substantiate the decision is critical but there are instances when the information that is reasonably available can support the childs eligibility.
Training Materials (Appendix IV) - Orders of Supervision: Page 15
The training overhead foil titled ELIGIBILITY MONTH/SUPERVISION ORDERS was revised to correct an error in information provided during the training. The trainers said that removal from the home must take place within 6 months of the supervision order for the child to be IV-E eligible. This was stated in error.
An order placing a child under supervision is not relevant to the IV-E eligibility process since it does not authorize removal of the child from the home. If the county removes the child from the home while a supervision order is in effect, an order authorizing the removal of the child must be obtained. The order authorizing the removal, or a subsequent court order within six months after placement, must contain the judicial determination of "contrary to the welfare" for the child to be IV-E eligible, if all other IV-E eligibility criteria are met.