Title IV-E Administrative Claiming
Jeffrey M. Barlow
ICM Phase III Project
This is just one of the many reasons children are sold.
Since the creation of the nation’s first juvenile court over 100 years ago, the financing of our juvenile courts has grown into a major expense. In Missouri, during calendar year 1998, juvenile court costs (salaries and operating expenses) totaled over $62 million. Missouri has 45 judicial circuits with one juvenile officer in each circuit. These 45 juvenile officers and their staffs are the “gatekeepers” for Missouri’s juvenile courts, acting as intake and processing specialists, prosecutors, treatment providers, detention center supervisors and education program specialists. The types of cases they deal with range from child abuse/neglect to violent juvenile delinquency. Funding services and staff to deal with children and families in crisis is highly competitive in Missouri’s state/county funded court system.
A recent paper prepared as part of the Institute for Court Management’s Court Executive Development Program at the National Center for State Courts focuses on a potentially untapped funding stream for juvenile courts – Federal Title IV-E Administrative Claiming. Title IV-E of the Social Security Act is related to adoption and foster care services. Under this section, there are three types of federal reimbursements available to states. The most widely accepted has been adoption subsidies and foster care maintenance payments for children in foster care. Another type of reimbursement is for training expenses associated with IV-E program activities, which have been reimbursed at 75% for eligible training. Finally, the focus of this paper is the administrative claim for services to children “at risks” of removal from their homes and therefore, “candidates” for being placed in foster care.
This paper describes the IV-E administrative claiming process developed for juvenile courts in Missouri and provides insights into the initial outcomes of their pilot courts experiences over the last few years. In the findings, projections are presented to illustrate the funding potential as Missouri begins statewide application of IV-E administrative claiming using a new Hybrid model for state level IV-E claiming. There is also a model for implementation at the local court level along with attachments that include examples of claiming processes and the policy memo’s that lay the foundation for claiming your courts share of this entitlement grant funding.
There were several findings included in the work such as the fact that Title IV-E administrative reimbursements have been leveraged on behalf of juvenile probationary activities since the early 1990’s. This funding source has been very hard to understand due to the complexities associated with the entitlement nature of the grant program. Since it is an entitlement program, there is no competition for courts to obtain federal financial participation. If you serve children at-risk of placement in foster care with public funds, you most likely qualify for IV-E reimbursements. Also, since your court is already serving this population of children and their families, you are already spending the necessary matching funds to participate in the claiming process. Courts will need to develop some method of cost capturing and cost allocation to claim these federal funds. This requires some type of time study to allocate costs to Title IV-E. Title IV-E does not pay for direct services such as counseling. Nor does it pay for regular court functions such as case docketing or salaries for judges. The focus of IV-E reimbursements is related to case management activities, including case referrals and assessments.
This administrative claiming process requires close cooperation with the single state agency responsible for IV-E administration-the child welfare agency in your state. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. The IV-E agency and other states/courts have worked on these issues for some time. Consultants can be helpful but are not necessary to implement IV-E funding. It depends on your court’s particular staff abilities and time commitments.
Missouri’s juvenile courts may be able to claim up to $8.7 million annually under this entitlement program once statewide expansion is completed. Missouri’s pilot courts in the Kansas City and St. Louis metropolitan areas have already certified claims for over $5 million in federal reimbursements since the start of the program.
This research paper is available in its entirety in portable document format. To access, you must first obtain and install the Adobe Acrobat Reader.
To obtain a copy of this research paper, please contact:
Knowledge Information Services
National Center for State Courts
300 Newport Avenue
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Phone: (800) 616-6164
Visit the Institute for Court Management Web site at: