45 CFR Appendix C to Part 1355, Electronic Data Transmission Format
All AFCARS data to be sent from title IV-E agencies to the Department are to be in electronic form. In order to meet this general specification, the Department will offer as much flexibility as possible. Technical assistance will be provided to negotiate a method of transmission best suited to the title IV-E agency's environment.
There will be four semi-annual electronic data transmissions from the title IV-E agency to the Administration for Children and Families (ACF).
Regardless of the electronic data transmission methodology selected, certain criteria must be met by the title IV-E agency:
(1) Records must be written using ASCII standard character format.
(2) All elements must be comprised of integer (numeric) value(s). Element character length specifications refer to the maximum number of numeric values permitted for that element. See Appendix D.
(3) All records must be a fixed length. The Foster Care Detailed Data Elements Record is 150 characters long and the Adoption Detailed Data Elements Record is 72 characters long. The Foster Care Summary Data Elements Record and the Adoption Summary Data Elements Record are each 172 characters long.
(4) All title IV-E agencies must inform the Department, in writing, of the method of transfer they intend to use.