Foster Care:

Use of Funds for Youths Placed in the Rite of Passage Program

HRD-87-23BR: Published: Dec 9, 1986. Publicly Released: Dec 19, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the use of federal foster care funds for youths placed in the Rite of Passage (ROP) program, specifically: (1) how much federal money was paid for placements in the program; (2) whether such placements met the requirements of the Social Security Act; and (3) state and federal efforts to monitor the foster care program.

GAO found that: (1) California paid about $434,000 in federal funds for placements claimed as federally eligible as of May 31, 1986; (2) ROP meets two of the three criteria in the definition of a child-care institution since it is licensed and is a nonprofit, private institution; (3) Indian tribes used California and tribal standards for admission, safety, sanitation, and protection of civil rights to license the ROP facilities, but did not document inspections for compliance with all their licensing standards; (4) California annually inspected personnel files at facilities it licensed, while Indian tribes did not inspect such files at the ROP facilities; (5) California met the federal payment requirements by providing periodic case reviews and reunification services to the ROP youths; (6) California monitors its foster care program through its Foster Care Information System, quality control case reviews, audits, and on-site monitoring by its counties; and (7) the Department of Health and Human Services monitors for compliance with federal payment requirements through its review of state plans and annual financial reviews.

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