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    Subject Term: "Child adoption"

    2 publications with a total of 2 open recommendations
    Director: Kay Brown
    Phone: (202) 512-7215

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To help improve tribes' ability to maintain safe, stable, and permanent care for children, the Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the Children's Bureau to explore the reasons for low tribal participation and identify actions to increase this participation in the title IV-E Guardianship Assistance Program.

    Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
    Status: Open

    Comments: HHS agreed with this recommendation. HHS reported that it would take several actions: 1) task the Tribal Workgroup with identifying reasons for low tribal participation in GAP and identifying actions to increase participation in GAP; 2) improve its website offerings on Tribal IV-E, including providing the briefing materials as well direct IV-E and pass-through related products created by the CB Central and Regional Offices and the Capacity Building Center for Tribes; 3) improve coordination with non-governmental organizations that provide technical assistance and direct outreach to tribes for Title IV-E; and 4) encourage states to work with tribes on GAP. HHS noted that some states have already developed GAP frequently asked questions, practice guides, and other GAP support products to raise awareness and engage tribal interest in GAP. GAO awaits documentation that these actions have been completed. The agency also hopes to host a national tribal consultation to solicit feedback and determine priorities to address tribal participation in GAP; and develop a strategy for serving tribes interested in and implementing IV-E, including GAP, to be posted on the website. GAO will close this recommendation when the agency shows that these efforts have been completed.
    Director: Kay E. Brown
    Phone: (202) 512-7215

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To help ensure vulnerable unaccompanied children receive child advocate services, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services should direct ORR to develop a monitoring process that includes: (1) regularly reviewing referrals to the program contractor, including identifying which care providers in locations with a child advocate program do not make referrals; and (2) reviewing information on the children the program contractor determines it is unable to serve.

    Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
    Status: Open

    Comments: In June 2016, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) reported that it is working with the child advocate contractor to develop standard operating procedures (SOP) to assign child advocates for children as well as address issues identified in the report and monitor the referral and selection process. ORR also reported that its field staff are working with care providers to ensure that care providers are making referrals for child advocates where a local program exists. In July 2017, ORR reported that new SOPs are under development and the program continues to deny cases when child advocates are unavailable due to the limited number of child advocates. Finalizing standard operating procedures for program referrals and developing a process to review information on the children the program contractor determines it is unable to serve would be positive steps towards addressing the recommendation.