On Monday, July 9 the Administration for Children and Families released their first guidance on the Family First Prevention Services Act. The program instruction (PI), ACYF-CB-PI-18-07 does not deal with the services component of the new law (see below for comment request) but directs states on how they need to amend their Title IV-E and IV-B plans while beginning to fill in some of the definitional blanks around the new restrictions on intuitional and out-of-home care.
The guidance deals with some of the more general provisions in the laws such as the payments under Adoption Assistance due to the de-link delay, the start of expanded support for family-based drug treatment and the effective dates and potential delays in effective dates in the law.
Some of the specifics include the February 9, 2018 effective date to provide proof of placement in foster care for youth who age out. The documentation may assist some young people aging out of foster care to qualify for Medicaid up to age 26 under the ACA. The P.I provides instructions on the new criminal record and registry background checks for adults working in child care institutions.
Of critical importance the instruction provides some answers on the 30 day assessment of a child in a Qualified Residential Treatment Placement (QRTP), who qualifies to make that assessment as a “qualified individual,” how states can waive some of these restrictions, guidance and definition around the 60 day court review process and required documentation for states when a child is placed in a QRTP for more than 12 consecutive months or 18 non-consecutive months.
The documents also provides some confusion with page 13 of the PI indicating states must file a delay request for the QRTP provisions (and the services) by September 29, 2019 while the delay request form directs the filing by November 9, 2018. ACF also released associated documents:
• Children’s Bureau Regional Program Managers
• Certification of Required Legislation
• Request for Delay
• Title IV-E Plan Pre-Print (including Pre-Print Attachments I –XI)