Act 91 FAQs: Title IV-E Eligibility For Youth Who Re-Enter Care
This FAQ represents the interpretation of Juvenile Law Center. We will update this FAQ as we learn new information, so please check back frequently for updates. For more information, please contact Jenny Pokempner at Juvenile Law Center at (215) 625-0551, ext. 111., or firstname.lastname@example.org.
How is IV-E financial (income) eligibility handled for youth who re-enter care under Act 91?
The child welfare agency has two options for determining a youth’s IV-E eligibility based on their income—or AFDC—eligibility.
Eligibility Based on the “Trial Home Visit” Model
If the youth requests resumption of jurisdiction within 6 months of termination of jurisdiction or within a time prescribed by the court, there is no new foster care episode and the determination made prior to discharge can still be used if the county elects.
Eligibility Based on a New IV-E Foster Care Episode
Re-entry into care can be considered a new foster care episode. The child welfare agency may then consider only the youth’s income (not the income of the youth’s parent) in determining financial eligibility under the AFDC criteria. Under this option, the majority of youth who re-enter care should be IV-E eligible even if they were not when they were formerly in care.
See Guidance on Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, Program Instruction, ACYF-CB-PI-10-11, at p. 6-7; Administration for Children and Families, Child Welfare Manual, 8.3A.2 TITLE IV-E, Foster Care Maintenance Payments Program, Eligibility, Age, Question 2.