Tribal Child Welfare
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is issuing this interim final rule to implement statutory provisions related to the Tribal title IV-E program. Effective October 1, 2009, section 479B(b) of the Social Security Act (the Act) authorizes direct Federal funding of Indian Tribes, Tribal organizations, and Tribal consortia that choose to operate a foster care, adoption assistance and, at Tribal option, a kinship guardianship assistance program under title IV-E of the Act. The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 requires that ACF issue interim final regulations which address procedures to ensure that a transfer of responsibility for the placement and care of a child under a State title IV-E plan to a Tribal title IV-E plan occurs in a manner that does not affect the child's eligibility for title IV-E benefits or medical assistance under title XIX of the Act (Medicaid) and such services or payments; in-kind expenditures from third-party sources for the Tribal share of administration and training expenditures under title IV-E; and other provisions to carry out the Tribal-related amendments to title IV-E. This interim final rule includes these provisions and technical amendments necessary to implement a Tribal title IV-E program.
Notice of Tribal Consultation Meetings Regarding How the Current SACWIS Regulations Affect Tribes Administering a Title IV-E Program
Title IV-E rules provide Federal Financial Participation (FFP) through a beneficial cost allocation methodology if a State or Tribe implements a comprehensive Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS) to track and manage child protection, foster care and adoption assistance activities. With the continuing implementation of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-351) we wish to analyze the impact of the State-centric SACWIS rules on Tribes and Tribal child welfare agencies, to determine if Tribes have sufficient flexibility and latitude to build information systems that will meet their business needs. The Children's Bureau's (CB) Division of State Systems (DSS) has been assigned responsibility to undertake consultation with Tribes in this area. To offer Tribes the opportunity for informed comment on the implications that the State-centric rules have on their ability to build and operate information systems that will support their title IV- E programs, we will provide an education session on the SACWIS regulations. This will be followed by a consultation to listen to the concerns and ideas from Tribal leaders and their representatives about the existing SACWIS rules and how CB can support title IV-E Tribal agencies in building information systems that will meet their business needs. We propose two such combined meetings via teleconferences to reach a broad audience of interested parties. The teleconference on February 15, 2012, is intended for consultation with Tribal leaders; the teleconference on February 16, 2012, is intended to engage in consultation with their representatives.