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Claiming Title IV-E Funds to Pay for Parents’ and Children’s Attorneys: A Brief Technical Overview

For the first time, states can now claim federal matching funds through Title IV-E of the Social Security Act to help pay the costs of attorneys representing certain children and their parents in child welfare legal proceedings.[1] Before this change, federal matching funds were available to help pay for attorneys representing child welfare agencies, but not for children’s or parents’ attorneys. The following brief overview explains federal foster care matching funds as they relate to payments for parents’ and children’s attorneys. This article is intended for people not familiar with rules of Title IV-E eligibility or the processes for claiming Title IV-E funds. It provides general backgrou

Shouldn’t adult foster youth have a right to be married like everyone else? We think so!

When H.C. was 18 years old, while living in a foster home, she opted to be declared a non-minor dependent and participate in the Extended Foster Care program (“EFC”). She qualified for EFC status because she was in school full-time. Thereafter, H.C. received monthly payments that she relied on to support her basic living needs. At age 19, H.C. got pregnant, then married, and began living with her husband. Because H.C. chose to marry the father of her child, Child Welfare Services (“CWS”) recommended to the court that H.C.’s status as a non-minor dependent be terminated. CWS based that position on an All-County Letter published by the California Department of Social Services which exclud

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