Review of Certain Aspects of Group Home Care for Children in California

HRD-85-62: Published: Jul 19, 1985. Publicly Released: Aug 19, 1985.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed federal assistance for residential care for children placed in foster family homes.

GAO found that: (1) the only funds identifiable at the state level for maintenance of children in group homes were provided through title IV-E of the Social Security Act; (2) some case files showed no written case plan for children in foster care; (3) federal foster care maintenance payments were used to provide basic food, clothing, and shelter necessities; and (4) safety standards were met at the group homes that were visited. GAO, however, could not assess the reasonableness of the amounts paid to group homes for each child since there were no specific federal or state criteria on comparable costs of similar institutions. GAO noted that, although county auditors had identified duplicate payments in the past, there was no evidence that the homes it reviewed had duplicately billed other federal programs.

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