Child welfare (1 - 10 of 84 items)
Foster Care: HHS Has Taken Steps to Support States' Oversight of Psychotropic Medications, but Additional Assistance Could Further Collaboration
GAO-17-129: Published: Jan 5, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 6, 2017.
State child welfare and Medicaid officials in seven selected states reported a variety of practices to support the appropriate use of psychotropic medications, which affect mood, thought, or behavior, for children in foster care. Practices include screening for mental health conditions, developing prescription guidelines, and monitoring a child's health while on medication. Additional state effort...
Foster Care: Most Tribes Do Not Anticipate Challenges with Case Goal Changes, but HHS Could Further Promote Guardianship Assistance
GAO-16-625: Published: Aug 8, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 7, 2016.
To receive federal child welfare funding, state and tribal child welfare agencies must comply with certain requirements, including developing a permanency plan for the child that identifies how the child will exit the foster care system to a permanent home (“case goal”). If other case goals, such as reunifying with parents, adoption, or guardianship are not possible or appropriate, a child may...
Foster Care: HHS Could Do More to Support States' Efforts to Keep Children in Family-Based Care
GAO-16-85: Published: Oct 9, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 9, 2015.
Eight states GAO reviewed had a variety of efforts under way to help ensure they placed foster children in family-based settings rather than in group homes or institutions, also known as congregate care. Federal law requires that foster children have a case plan designed to achieve placement in the least restrictive (most family like) and most appropriate setting available, consistent with their n...
Child Welfare: Steps Have Been Taken to Address Unregulated Custody Transfers of Adopted Children
GAO-15-733: Published: Sep 16, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 16, 2015.
Some adoptive families may consider giving their children to another family outside of the courts and child welfare system—an “unregulated child custody transfer”—because of a crisis within the adoptive family and difficulties accessing support services, according to officials GAO interviewed from selected states, child welfare and adoption organizations, and adoption agencies. Children ad...
Foster Care: HHS Needs to Improve the Consistency and Timeliness of Assistance to Tribes
GAO-15-273: Published: Feb 25, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 25, 2015.
Indian tribes developing title IV-E foster care programs faced resource constraints and reported challenges adopting some program requirements. According to GAO's interviews with tribal and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officials, the resource constraints faced by tribes include limited numbers of staff and staff turnover. While the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing A...
Foster Care: HHS Needs to Improve Oversight of Fostering Connections Act Implementation
GAO-14-347: Published: May 29, 2014. Publicly Released: May 29, 2014.
To implement the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (Fostering Connections Act), many states GAO surveyed (which included the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) reported requiring caseworkers to employ multiple practices to improve outcomes for children in foster care; however, states continue to face challenges that can undermine progress. Among the practices...
Foster Children: HHS Could Provide Additional Guidance to States Regarding Psychotropic Medications
GAO-14-651T: Published: May 29, 2014. Publicly Released: May 29, 2014.
In December 2012, GAO reported on the results of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) surveys of children in contact with the child-welfare system conducted during 2008-2011. 18 percent of foster-care children were taking a psychotropic medication at the time they were surveyed. Foster children who lived in group homes or residential treatment centers had much higher rates of psychot...
Child Welfare: Federal Agencies Can Better Support State Efforts to Prevent and Respond to Sexual Abuse by School Personnel
GAO-14-42: Published: Jan 27, 2014. Publicly Released: Jan 30, 2014.
To help prevent the sexual abuse of students in public K-12 schools, 46 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia surveyed by GAO required background checks of applicants--such as teachers or bus drivers--seeking public school employment; however, the methods and sources varied widely. Forty-two states established professional standards or codes of conduct for school personnel, and 22 of those...
Summary of Proposals to Address Income Eligibility Requirement for Federal Foster Care Reimbursement
GAO-13-323R: Published: Mar 25, 2013. Publicly Released: Mar 25, 2013.
Twelve of the 14 proposals we identified would eliminate means testing altogether as a requirement for states to receive federal funding to help pay for the costs associated with supporting children in foster care. Two other proposals would link means testing to a different benchmark. Half of the proposals would mitigate a potential increase in federal costs due to the elimination of means testing...
Child Welfare: States Use Flexible Federal Funds, But Struggle to Meet Service Needs
GAO-13-170: Published: Jan 30, 2013. Publicly Released: Jan 30, 2013.
The four states GAO selected used funds provided under Title IV-B of the Social Security Act for a variety of child welfare services and other activities, and had different strategies for spending these funds. For instance, in fiscal year 2011 Virginia provided funding to all local child welfare agencies to spend on their own priorities, such as parenting classes. New Mexico targeted certain count...