Foster Care:

Federal Policy on Title IV-E Share of Training Costs

HRD-94-7: Published: Nov 3, 1993. Publicly Released: Nov 3, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the availability and use of federal funds for training child welfare workers, focusing on: (1) the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) policy that foster care training costs be allocated proportionately between the title IV-E program and other programs; (2) adherence to the HHS cost-sharing policy; (3) the effect of cost sharing on states' training programs; and (4) changes in funding for title IV-B programs that provide child welfare training grants to institutions of higher learning.

GAO found that: (1) under HHS policy, states allocate foster care training costs between the IV-E foster care program and other programs so that each program is charged its proportionate share of training costs based on the benefits received; (2) some states charge the full costs of foster care training to the IV-E program, because they believe they are not required to allocate foster care training costs on a proportionate basis between IV-E and other programs; (3) some state officials oppose the HHS cost-sharing policy because it limits IV-E reimbursement and the amount of foster care training they can provide; (4) the dispute between the states and HHS exists in part because title IV-E language is vague concerning the allocation of training costs; and (5) Congress needs to clarify the extent of the federal obligation for training child welfare workers.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The requester shared the report with the Senate Finance Committee, which could initiate action on the matter. However, the Committee will not be taking any action on this recommendation.

    Matter: Congress should consider amending the Social Security Act, title IV-E, section 474 (P.L. 96-272), to clarify how states are to allocate foster care training costs for federal payment. Specifically, Congress should make clear whether the federal government will pay for 75 percent of all foster care training costs incurred by each state under its approved title IV-E state plan, which benefits all children whether IV-E eligible or not, or 75 percent of foster care training costs that only benefit IV-E eligible children.


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