Title IV-E of the Social Security Act (42 United States Code §670 et seq.) was enacted to establish a program of adoption assistance, to strengthen foster care assistance for needy and dependent children, to improve programs for child welfare, social services and to provide assistance for needy families. To be eligible for this program, states must demonstrate that the cases of eligible children are managed in compliance with standards established by the Social Security Act. These requirements include careful management of children’s cases to ensure their safety, well-being and permanency and require a case plan and review system designed to return children to their families or other permanent living arrangement at the earliest possible date. They require a system to track the location of children in foster care at all times and provide for the protection of the rights of the children and the parent(s) or custodian. Compliance with program requirements allows the states to request and receive reimbursement for a portion of their foster care costs and allowable administrative expenses related to operating the program. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) is the agency that administers this program in Texas and by virtue of an interagency agreement, juvenile justice agencies in Texas may also be reimbursed for foster care and administrative expenses by meeting the same program requirements.
The Title IV-E Division of TJJD oversees the operation of this program for children supervised by county juvenile probation departments and those committed to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD). The Division is responsible for providing training, technical assistance and oversight of both programmatic and fiscal components of the Title IV-E program and is the conduit between juvenile justice agencies and the single state agency administering the program (DFPS) in Texas. Elements of the program include eligibility of the child, case management, and financial components. The Division is tasked with ensuring juvenile probation departments and TJJD comply with federal and state program requirements via interpretation and implementation of federal regulations and guidelines, standards and contract management, training and technical assistance and program monitoring. The division works closely and in collaboration with other state agencies and external stakeholders including private non-secure residential facilities which may be used for foster care placements. The Division also collaborates with DFPS in facilitating a formal procedure to assist residential service providers in obtaining designation as approved Title IV-E facilities to broaden the pool of Title IV-E approved residential placement options.