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P.L. 110–351, Approved October 7, 2008 (122 Stat. 3949)

Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008

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SECTION 1. [42 U.S.C. 1305 note]  SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008”.

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SEC. 104.  LICENSING STANDARDS FOR RELATIVES.

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(b) [None Assigned]  Report.—Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall submit to the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Finance of the Senate a report that includes the following:

(1)  Nationally and for each State, the number and percentage of children in foster care placed in licensed relative foster family homes and the number and percentage of such childrenplaced in unlicensed relative foster family homes.

(2)  The frequency with which States grant case-by-case waivers of non-safety licensing standards for relative foster family homes.

(3)  The types of non-safety licensing standards waived.

(4)  An assessment of how such case-by-case waivers of non-safety licensing standards have affected children in foster care, including their safety, permanency, and well-being.

(5)  A review of any reasons why relative foster family homes may not be able to be licensed, despite State authority to grant such case-by-case waivers of non-safety licensing standards.

(6)  Recommendations for administrative or legislative actions that may increase the percentage of relative foster family homes that are licensed while ensuring the safety of children in foster care and improving their permanence and well-being.

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SEC. 203.  SHORT-TERM TRAINING FOR CHILD WELFARE AGENCIES, RELATIVE GUARDIANS, AND COURT PERSONNEL.

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(b) [42 U.S.C. 674 note]  Phase-in.—With respect to an expenditure described in section 474(a)(3)(B) of the Social Security Act by reason of an amendment made by subsection (a) of this section, in lieu of the percentage set forth in such section 474(a)(3)(B), the percentage that shall apply is—

(1)  55 percent, if the expenditure is made in fiscal year 2009;

(2)  60 percent, if the expenditure is made in fiscal year 2010;

(3)  65 percent, if the expenditure is made in fiscal year 2011; or

(4)  70 percent, if the expenditure is made in fiscal year 2012.

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SEC. 301.  EQUITABLE ACCESS FOR FOSTER CARE AND ADOPTION SERVICES FOR INDIAN CHILDREN IN TRIBAL AREAS.

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(d) [42 U.S.C. 671 note]  Rules of Construction.—Nothing in the amendments made by this section shall be construed as—

(1)  authorization to terminate funding on behalf of anyIndian child receiving foster care maintenance payments or adoption assistance payments on the date of enactment of this Act and for which the State receives Federal matching payments under paragraph (1) or (2) of section 474(a) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 674(a)), regardless of whether a cooperative agreement or contract between the State and an Indian tribe, tribal organization, or tribal consortium is in effect on such date or an Indian tribe, tribal organization, or tribal consortium elects subsequent to such date to operate a program under section 479B of such Act (as added by subsection (a) of this section); or

(2)  affecting the responsibility of a State—

(A)  as part of the plan approved under section 471 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 671), to provide foster care maintenance payments, adoption assistance payments, and if the State elects, kinship guardianship assistance payments, for Indian children who are eligible for such payments and who are not otherwise being served by an Indian tribe, tribal organization, or tribal consortium pursuant to a program under such section 479B of such Act or a cooperative agreement or contract entered into between an Indian tribe, a tribal organization, or a tribal consortium and a State for the administration or payment of funds under part E of title IV of such Act; or

(B)  as part of the plan approved under section 477 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 677) to administer, supervise, or oversee programs carried out under that plan on behalf of Indian children who are eligible for such programs if such children are not otherwise being served by an Indian tribe, tribal organization, or tribal consortium pursuant to an approved plan under section 477(j) of such Act or a cooperative agreement or contract entered into under section 477(b)(3)(G) of such Act.

(e) [42 U.S.C. 671 note]  Regulations.—

(1)  In general.—Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with Indian tribes, tribal organizations, tribal consortia, and affected States, shall promulgate interim final regulations to carry out this section and the amendments made by this section. Such regulations shall include procedures to ensure that a transfer of responsibility for the placement and care of a child under a State plan approved under section 471 of the Social Security Act to a tribal plan approved under section 471 of such Act in accordance with section 479B of such Act (as added by subsection (a)(1) of this section) or to an Indian tribe, a tribal organization, or a tribal consortium that has entered into a cooperative agreement or contract with a State for the administration or payment of funds under part E of title IV of such Act does not affect the eligibility of, provision of services for, or the making of payments on behalf of, such children under part E of title IV of such Act, or the eligibility of such children for medical assistance undertitle XIX of such Act.

(2)  In-kind expenditures from third-party sources for purposes of determining non-federal share of administrative and training expenditures.—

(A)  In general.—Subject to subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, not later than September 30, 2011, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and tribal consortia, shall promulgate interim final regulations specifying the types of in-kind expenditures, including plants, equipment, administration, and services, and the third-party sources for such in-kind expenditures which may be claimed by tribes, organizations, and consortia with plans approved under section 471 of the Social Security Act in accordance with section 479B of such Act, up to such percentages as the Secretary, in such consultation shall specify in such regulations, for purposes of determining the non-Federal share of administrative and training expenditures for which the tribes, organizations, and consortia may receive payments for under any subparagraph of section 474(a)(3) of such Act.

(B)  Effective date.—In no event shall the regulations required to be promulgated under subparagraph (A) take effect prior to October 1, 2011.

(C)  Sense of congress.—It is the sense of the Congress that if the Secretary of Health and Human Services fails to publish in the Federal Register the regulations required under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the Congress should enact legislation specifying the types of in-kind expenditures and the third-party sources for such in-kind expenditures which may be claimed by tribes, organizations, and consortia with plans approved under section 471 of the Social Security Act in accordance with section 479B of such Act, up to specific percentages, for purposes of determining the non-Federal share of administrative and training expenditures for which the tribes, organizations, and consortia may receive payments for under any subparagraph of section 474(a)(3) of such Act.

(f) [42 U.S.C. 671 note]  Effective Date.—The amendments made by subsections (a), (b), and (c) shall take effect on October 1, 2009, without regard to whether the regulations required under subsection (e)(1) have been promulgated by such date.

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SEC. 503. [42 U.S.C. 671 note]  NO FEDERAL FUNDING TO UNLAWFULLY PRESENT INDIVIDUALS.

Nothing in this Act shall be construed to alter prohibitions on Federal payments to individuals who are unlawfully present in the United States.

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SEC. 601. [42 U.S.C. 671 note]  EFFECTIVE DATE.

(a)  In General.—Except as otherwise provided in this Act, each amendment made by this Act to part B or E of title IV of the Social Security Act shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act, and shall apply to payments under the part amended for quarters beginning on or after the effective date of the amendment.

(b)  Delay Permitted if State Legislation Required.—In the case of a State plan approved under part B or E of title IV of the Social Security Act which the Secretary of Health and Human Services determines requires State legislation (other than legislation appropriating funds) in order for the plan to meet the additional requirements imposed by this Act, the State plan shall not be regarded as failing to comply with the requirements of such part solely on the basis of the failure of the plan to meet such additional requirements before the 1st day of the 1st calendar quarter beginning after the close of the 1st regular session of the State legislature that ends after the 1-year period beginning with the date of the enactment of this Act. For purposes of the preceding sentence, in the case of a State that has a 2-year legislative session, each year of the session is deemed to be a separate regular session of the State legislature.

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[Internal References.—SSAct §§427, 471, and 473 headings and §§422(b), 425, 471(a), 473(a), (b), and (d), 473A(a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (g), and (h), 474(a) and (g), 475(1), (4) and (5), 476(c), 477(b), (i) and (j) and 479B have footnotes referring to P.L. 110-351.]


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Last reviewed or modified Tuesday Apr 22, 2014

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