Utah Admin. Code R512-43-5 - Monthly Subsidy
Current through Bulletin 2022-07, April 1, 2022
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(1) Qualifying for a Monthly Subsidy.
A child qualifies for a monthly subsidy when the following requirements are met:
(a) The child meets all of the qualifying factors for adoption assistance listed in R512-43-3(2), and
(b) The child meets the definition of child in public foster care, qualifies for SSI, or the child had a previous IV-E agreement or Utah state adoption assistance agreement.
(c) The child's eligibility for SSI disability benefits is established no later than the time adoption proceedings are initiated.
(2) Guiding Principles for Monthly Subsidies.
(a) The amount of monthly subsidy to be paid for a child is based on the child's present and long-term care and treatment needs and available resources, including the family's ability to meet the needs of the child. A combination of the parents' resources and subsidy should cover the ordinary and special needs expenses of the child projected over an extended period of time.
(b) The amount of the monthly subsidy may not exceed the payment that would be made if the child was placed in a foster family home at the point in time when the agreement is being initiated or revised.
(c) The amount of monthly subsidy may increase or decrease when the child's level of need or the family's ability to meet those needs changes. The family or the Child and Family Services worker may initiate a request for a change in the amount of subsidy up to two times per fiscal year, when needs or resources change.
(i) If the adoptive family is receiving post adoption services and has an open Child and Family Services case, a change in the amount of subsidy may be initiated at any time during the open case to address service needs.
(d) For a child in public foster care, the requested amount of monthly subsidy is negotiated between the adoptive parent and the Child and Family Services worker. Prior to subsidy negotiation, the adoptive parents must have reviewed the child's case file information and discussed in depth with the Child and Family Services worker what will be needed after the child leaves state's custody.
(e) The amount of the monthly subsidy is subject to the approval of the regional adoption assistance committee. If the requested amount is not granted, the adoptive parent has a right to appeal as stated in R512-43-12.
(3) Process for Determining Monthly Subsidy Amount.
(a) Utilizing the level of need criteria specified in R512-43-5(4), the Child and Family Services worker and adoptive family identify the child's level of need.
(b) The Child and Family Services worker and adoptive family identify the applicable monthly subsidy payment range, according to the child's specified level of need, as specified in R512-43-5(5).
(c) The Child and Family Services worker and adoptive family negotiate the amount of monthly subsidy to be requested from the regional adoption assistance committee. The requested monthly subsidy amount may not exceed the maximum amount for the specific level of need identified for the child nor the maximum amount that the child would receive if placed in a foster family home.
(d) The identified need level for the child and requested amount of monthly subsidy is presented to the regional adoption assistance committee for approval. If the requested amount is not approved or is reduced by the committee, Child and Family Services must send a written notice to the adoptive parents within 30 days informing them of the process to request a fair hearing.
(4) Determining Child's Level of Need.
(a) The level of need is determined by considering the child's age, history, physical, mental, emotional, and social functioning and needs, and any other relevant factors. Frequency of occurrence, duration, severity, and number of needs or problem areas are also considered.
(b) The presence of a particular issue listed within a designated level does not mandate that the child be categorized at that level. The child's needs, taken as a whole, determine the level selected for the child.
(c) Level of need is classified into three categories.
(i) Level One applies to a child with a minimal number and severity of needs. It is expected that most of these issues will improve with time, and significant improvement may be anticipated over the course of the adoption. For children ages five and under issues may include, but are not limited to: feeding problems, aggressive or self destructive behavior, victimization from sexual abuse, victimization from physical abuse; or no more than one developmental delay in fine motor, gross motor, cognitive or social/emotional domains. For children ages 6-18, issues may include but are not limited to: social conflict, physical aggression, minor sexual reactivity, need for education resource classes or tutoring, some minor medical problems requiring ongoing monitoring, or mental health issues requiring time limited counseling.
(ii) Level Two applies to a child with a moderate number and severity of needs. It is expected that a number of these issues are long-term in nature and the adoptive family and child will be working with them over the course of the adoption, and some may intensify or worsen if not managed carefully. Outside provider support will probably continue to be needed during the course of the adoption. For children ages five and under, issues may include, but are not limited to: developmental delays in two or more areas of fine motor, gross motor, cognitive or social/emotional domains; diagnosis of failure to thrive; moderate genetic disease or physical disability condition; or physical aggression expressed several times a week, including superficial injury to self or others. For children ages 6-18, issues may include, but are not limited to: daily social conflict or serious withdrawn behavior; moderate risk of harm to self or others due to physically aggressive behavior; emotional or psychological issues with a mental health diagnosis requiring ongoing counseling sessions over an extended period of time; moderate sexual reactivity or perpetration; chronic patterns of being destructive to items or property; cruelty to animals; mild cognitive disability, autism, or fetal alcohol spectrum disorder with ongoing need for special education services; and physical disabilities requiring ongoing attendant care or other caretaker support.
(iii) Level Three applies to a child with a significant number or high severity of needs. It is expected that these issues will not moderate and may become more severe over time. The child's level of need may at some time require personal attendant care or specialized care outside of the home, when prescribed by a professional. For children ages five and under issues may include, but are not limited to: severe life threatening medical issues; moderate or severe cognitive disability, autism, or fetal alcohol spectrum disorder; serious developmental delays in three or more areas of fine or gross motor, cognitive or social/emotional domains; anticipated need for ongoing support for activities of daily living, such as feeding, dressing and self care; or high levels of threat for harm to self or others due to aggressive behaviors. For children ages 6-18 issues may include, but are not limited to: moderate or severe retardation or autism; life threatening medical issues; severe physical disabilities not expected to improve over time; predatory sexual perpetration; high risk of serious injury to self or others due to aggressive behavior; serious attempts or threats of suicide; severely inhibiting diagnosed mental health disorders diagnosed within the past year that limit normal social and emotional development, such as a need for ongoing self contained or special education services.
(d) The regional adoption assistance committee must approve the level of need identified for the child.
(e) A child's need level may be increased in severity by one level if the adoption assistance committee determines that the child's permanency may be compromised due to financial barriers to the child's adoption and if at least one of the following circumstances apply:
(i) The child has been in state custody for longer than 24 months.
(ii) The child is nine years of age or older.
(iii) The child is part of a sibling group of three or more children being placed together for the purposes of adoption.
(5) Identifying Amount for Monthly Subsidy Based Upon the Child's Level of Need.
(a) Each level of need corresponds to a dollar range in the amount of monthly subsidy that may be paid for a child, with the specific amount based upon the individual child's needs and the family's ability to meet those needs.
(b) The monthly subsidy amount for an individual child may not exceed the maximum amount for the payment range applicable to the child's level of need.
(c) A family may choose to defer receipt of a monthly subsidy for which a child qualifies, with the option to initiate a monthly subsidy at a later date.
(d) A family may choose to receive a lesser amount than would be allowable for the level of need at a given point in time.
(e) Monthly subsidy payments for a child's needs categorized as Level One range from zero to 40 percent of the maximum maintenance payment that may be paid for a child in a foster family home.
(f) A family may choose to receive a lesser amount than would be allowable for the child's level of need at a given point in time.
(g) Monthly subsidy payments for a child's needs categorized as Level Two range from 20 to 70 percent of the maximum maintenance payment that may be paid for a child in a foster family home.
(h) Monthly subsidy payments for a child's needs categorized as Level Three range from 50 to 100 percent of the maximum maintenance payment that may be paid for a child in a foster family home.
(i) For extraordinary, infrequent, or uncommon documented needs that cannot be covered by a monthly subsidy or state medical assistance, refer to supplemental adoption assistance in R512-43-7.
(6) Funding Sources and Eligibility for Monthly Subsidy.
(a) The two funding sources for the monthly subsidy are Title IV-E Adoption Assistance and state adoption assistance funds. The child's eligibility determines which funding source is used for payment.
(b) Title IV-E Adoption Assistance shall be considered first for the monthly subsidy. To receive Title IV-E Adoption Assistance, a child with special needs shall meet at least one of the following Federal requirements:
(i) A child is determined eligible for SSI for a disability by the Social Security Administration prior to the initiation of adoption proceedings.
(ii) A child in foster care who meets the age criteria defined by the federal fiscal year qualifies for Title IV-E adoption assistance if other enhanced eligibility criteria is met.
(iii) A child in foster care who has been in foster care for any previous 60 consecutive months may qualify for Title IV-E adoption assistance if other enhanced eligibility criteria is met.
(iv) A child in foster care who is a sibling of another child in foster care who qualifies under the enhanced age criteria and is being adopted into the same family may qualify for Title IV-E adoption assistance if other enhanced eligibility criteria is met.
(v) The removal home for the child in public foster care received, or would have been eligible to receive, AFDC prior to removal, and the child was removed from the home as a result of a judicial determination that remaining in the home would be contrary to the child's welfare.
(vi) The child was voluntarily placed for foster care with the state and:
(A) Was or would have been AFDC eligible at the time of removal if application had been made,
(B) The child lived with a specified relative within the six months prior to the voluntary placement, and
(C) Title IV-E foster care maintenance payments were made on behalf of the child.
(vii) The child's needs were met through foster care maintenance payments made to and for the child's minor parents as provided by Subsection 475(4)(B) of the Social Security Act.
(viii) The child had a previous IV-E adoption assistance agreement.
(c) State adoption assistance funds may be used for the monthly subsidy if the qualified child is not eligible for Title IV-E Adoption Assistance.
(7) Use of the monthly subsidy. The monthly subsidy may be used according to the parents' discretion. Some examples of the uses of the monthly subsidy payment are medical, dental, or mental health services not paid for by the state medical assistance or family insurance, special equipment for physically or mentally challenged children, respite care, child care, therapeutic equipment, minor renovation of the home to meet special needs of the child, damage and repairs, speech therapy, tutoring, specialized preschool based on needs of the child, private school, exceptional basic needs such as special food, clothing, and/or shelter, visitations with biological relatives, cultural and heritage activities and information.