HHS through the Office of The Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) has just release a review of the Title IV-E Kinship (Kin-GAP) program labeling it as “work in progress.”

Since the enactment of the 2008 Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoption Act, states have had the option to provide subsidized guardian assistance through Title IV-E to relatives. The evaluation notes that as of the end of the last fiscal year (FY 2017) 36 states had taken the option. The ASPE paper notes that the roll out of these guardianships is a pattern like the expansion of Adoption Assistance that became law in 1980:

“In the 7th year of the Guardianship Assistance Program (FY 2016) states were paying subsidies on behalf of an average monthly caseload of 24, 689 children per month as compared to 27,588 children per month receiving Adoption Assistance in FY 1987, the 7th year in which that program operated.

The analysis notes that of the 36 states that have taken the option, 6 states reported no caseload in 2016: Arkansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Nevada, New Mexico and North Carolina with the first three states having the programs since 2013 and the last there more recent.

The ASPE report also notes that the states of California (34%), Missouri (13%), Pennsylvania (8%), Texas (8%), Illinois (6%) and Oregon (6%) covering 75 percent of all cases.

The report will be available online on Tuesday