SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 03-11-090.
Title of Rule: Adoption support WAC 388-27-0120 through 388-27-0270.
Purpose: Change in rules will allow compliance with federal law and compliance with ESSB 6387 (section 202, chapter 371, Laws of 2002) to control rate and reimbursement decisions with families adopting special needs children by capturing federal funds.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.13.109.
Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.13.031, 74.13.109, section 202, chapter 371, Laws of 2002.
Summary: Rules will maximize the department's ability to capture federal funds to assist families in accessing social services for difficult to place children.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: To make department rules consistent with federal law, chapter 42 U.S.C. Parts 671-675, and with ESSB  section 202, chapter 371, Laws of 2002.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Lonnie Locke, P.O. Box 45713, Olympia, WA 98504-5713, (360) 902-7932.
Name of Proponent: Department of Social and Health Services, governmental.
Rule is necessary because of federal law, chapter 42 U.S.C., Parts 671-675.
Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: Amendment and repeal of rules will allow the department to maximize use of federal funds through compliance with federal laws. Capturing federal funds will assist the department in aiding families to access social services for difficult to place children.
Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Amended WAC 388-27-0160 requires prospective adoptive parents to use a worksheet to aid in determining services and amount of cash payment for the prospective adoptive child.
Repeal of WAC 388-27-0225, 388-27-0235, 388-27-0240, and 388-27-0245, removes the requirement to provide a separate supplemental payment to families and allows a negotiated single subsidy payment for the needs of the child as long as the payment does not exceed the amount a child would receive in a family foster home, and WAC 388-27-0270 removes the requirement for payment of child care as a separate payment and combines it as a single subsidy payment paid directly to the parent for the needs of the child.
Other amendments clarify the legal basis for the adoption support program, and department procedures for determining eligibility for adoption support, the application process, and negotiation of an adoption support agreement and monthly cash payment.
No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The proposed rules do not have an economic impact on small businesses. They only affect DSHS clients.
RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. These rules do not meet the definition of significant legislative rules. Also, DSHS rules relating to client medical or financial eligibility or rules concerning liability for care of dependents are exempt under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vii).
Hearing Location: Office Building 2 Auditorium (DSHS Headquarters) (public parking at 11th and Jefferson), 1115 Washington, Olympia, WA 98504, on January 27, 2004, at 10:00 a.m.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Andy Fernando, DSHS Rules Coordinator, by January 23, 2004, phone (360) 664-6094, TTY (360) 664-6178, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submit Written Comments to: Identify WAC Numbers, DSHS Rules Coordinator, Rules and Policies Assistance Unit, mail to P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, deliver to 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA, fax (360) 664-6185, e-mail email@example.com, by 5:00 p.m., January 27, 2004.
Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than January 28, 2004.
December 10, 2003
Brian H. Lindgren, Manager
Rules and Policies Assistance Unit3234.3
(1) Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 74.13.100 through 74.13.159;
(2) Chapter 42 United States Code (U.S.C.) ((
(3) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
(DHHS) policy ((
announcement ACFY-CB-PA-01-01 (issued January
23, 2001) establishing)) guidelines for states to use in
determining a child's eligibility for Title IV-E adoption
assistance (contained in DHHS Policy Manual).
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.13.031. 01-08-045, § 388-27-0120, filed 3/30/01, effective 4/30/01.]
"Adoption" means the granting of an adoption decree consistent with chapter 26.33 RCW.
"Adoption support agreement" means a written contract
between the adoptive parent(s) and the department that
identifies the specific support available to the adoptive
parents(s))) parent(s) and other terms and conditions of the
"Adoption support cash payment" means ((
negotiated monthly cash payments paid pursuant to an agreement
between the adoptive parent(s) (( by)) and the department after
the child's adoption.
"Adoption support special rate" means monthly cash
payments in addition to the basic adoption support rate. The
department may authorize payment of these funds only to meet
documented exceptional expenses necessary to address the
special needs condition of the child.
"Adoption support supplemental cash payment" means cash payments in addition to the adoption support basic monthly cash payments and the adoption support special rate. These supplemental payments enable the special needs child to receive services not funded by the monthly cash support payment or other resources. Note: Only children adopted on or after July 1, 1996 are eligible for supplemental cash payments.))
"Applicant" means a person or couple applying for adoption support on behalf of a child the person or couple plans to adopt.
"Child placing agency" means a private nonprofit agency licensed by the department under chapter 74.15 RCW to place children for adoption or foster care.
"Department" means the department of social and health services.
"Extenuating circumstances" means a finding by an administrative law judge or a review judge that one or more certain qualifying conditions or events prevented an otherwise eligible child from being placed on the adoption support program prior to adoption.
"Medical services" means services covered by Medicaid (and administered by the medical assistance administration) unless defined differently in the adoption support agreement.
"Negotiation" means the process of working toward an agreement between the department and the adoptive parent on the terms of the adoption support agreement, including any amount of monthly cash payment.
"Nonrecurring costs" means reasonable, necessary, and directly related adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees, and other expenses the adoptive parent incurs when finalizing the adoption of a special needs child. Total reimbursement from the department may not exceed one thousand five hundred dollars.
"Placing agency" means the agency that has the legal authority to place the child for adoption. This may be the department or a private nonprofit child placing agency.
"Program" means the department's adoption support program.
"Reconsideration" means the limited state-funded support available to an eligible child whose adoption was finalized without a valid adoption support agreement in place.
"Resident state" (for purposes of the child's Medicaid eligibility) means the state in which the child physically resides. In some cases this may be different from the state of the parent's legal residence.
"Special needs" means the specific factors or conditions that apply to the child and that may prevent the child from being adopted unless the department provides adoption support services. See WAC 388-27-0140 for a detailed description of the factors or conditions.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.13.031. 01-08-045, § 388-27-0130, filed 3/30/01, effective 4/30/01.]
(1) Be less than eighteen years old when the department and the adoptive parents sign the adoption support agreement;
(2) Be legally free for adoption;
(3) Have a "special needs" factor or condition according to the definition in this rule (see WAC 388-27-0140); and
(4) Meet at least one of the following criteria:
(a) Is in state-funded foster care or child caring institution or was determined by the department to be eligible for and likely to be so placed (For a child to be considered "eligible for and likely to be placed in foster care" the department must have opened a case and determined that removal from the home was in the child's best interest.); or
(b) Is eligible for federally funded adoption assistance
as defined in Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, the Code
of Federal Regulations, the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services ((
policy announcement, ACFY-CB-PA-01-01 (issued
January 23, 2001))) establishing guidelines for states to use
in determining a child's eligibility for Title IV-E adoption
assistance(( , and any policy issuances of the Department of
Health and Human Services)).
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.13.031. 01-08-045, § 388-27-0135, filed 3/30/01, effective 4/30/01.]
(2) The department must not use the adoptive parents'
income as a basis for determining the child's eligibility for
the adoption support program((
(3))), however, the department must consider income and
other financial circumstances of the adopting family as one
factor in determining the amount of any adoption support cash
payments to be made. (See WAC 388-27-0230((
, 388-27-0235, and
388-27-0240 for details)).)
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.13.031. 01-08-045, § 388-27-0155, filed 3/30/01, effective 4/30/01.]
(1) An applicant may apply through the social worker of the child to be adopted. The social worker must:
(a) Register the child with the adoption support program; and
(b) Submit the applicant's completed program application along with a completed worksheet used to assist the family and the department in determining services and amount of monthly cash payment, if needed, based on the needs of the child and family circumstances.
(2) An applicant may also apply directly to the adoption support program for adoption support services if:
(a) The child does not have an assigned social worker; or
(b) The applicant and the social worker have a dispute regarding the content of the program application.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.13.031. 01-08-045, § 388-27-0160, filed 3/30/01, effective 4/30/01.]
(2) If the applicant is requesting a cash payment, the
applicant and the department must mutually determine both the
type and amount according to the requirements of WAC 388-27-0230 ((
If the applicant is requesting a supplemental cash
payment, the applicant and the department must mutually
determine the services for which the payment will be used and
the expected duration of those services according to the
requirements of WAC 388-27-820.
(4))) If the applicant is requesting reimbursement of nonrecurring costs, the applicant must include this request in the application. (See WAC 388-27-0380 and 388-27-0385 for the type and amount of expenses the department may reimburse.)
(5))) (4) The applicant must furnish a copy of the
applicant's most recently filed federal income tax return. If
the applicant is not required to file a federal income tax
return, the applicant must submit a financial statement with
the applicant's adoption support application.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.13.031. 01-08-045, § 388-27-0165, filed 3/30/01, effective 4/30/01.]
(1) State the amount of cash payments (if any) the department must make to the adoptive parent(s) on behalf of the child;
(2) Include an itemized list of the additional services (including Title XIX Medicaid and Title XX social services) for which the child is eligible;
(3) Contain statements that:
(a) Assure that participation in the adoption support program must continue, as long as the child is eligible, regardless of where the adoptive family resides;
(b) Inform the adoptive parent(s) ((
that the agreement
must be reviewed (and may be revised) at least once every five
years; and)) of specific circumstances that may warrant
further renegotiation and adjustment of the payment as agreed
to by the adoptive parents and the department;
(c) Inform the adoptive parent(s) that the agreement must be reviewed every five years. Terms of the agreement may be modified according to WAC 388-27-0200;
(d) Inform the adoptive ((
parents(s))) parent(s) that the
department may suspend a child from the program within thirty
days of any changes in circumstances (of the child or family)
that affect the child's eligibility for program payments if
the adoptive parent has failed to notify the department of the
(e) Define the circumstances under which the agreement may be terminated.
(4) Be signed by all relevant parties before the final adoption decree is issued (45 C.F.R. Sec. 1356.40).
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.13.031. 01-08-045, § 388-27-0175, filed 3/30/01, effective 4/30/01.]
(2) If the adoptive parent(s) receives department-funded foster care for the child to be adopted, the department's social worker assigned to the child must terminate that coverage on the last day of the month preceding the month in which the adoption support becomes effective.
(3) Foster care payments are paid after the month of
service. Adoption Support payments are paid prior to the
(4) The adoptive parent(s) may not receive foster care
payments and adoption support cash ((
payments for the same child for the same month (( of service)).
(5) If the adoptive parent is adopting a relative child and has been receiving a nonneedy relative grant the adoptive parent must notify the community services office financial services specialist that the adoption has been finalized. The adoptive parent may not receive both the grant and adoption support payments for the same month for the same child.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.13.031. 01-08-045, § 388-27-0190, filed 3/30/01, effective 4/30/01.]
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.13.031. 01-08-045, § 388-27-0195, filed 3/30/01, effective 4/30/01.]
(1) At the request of the adoptive parent(s);
(2) When specific circumstances warrant renegotiation and adjustment of monthly cash payment as agreed to by the adoptive parents and the department;
(3) When the department loses contact with the adoptive parent(s);
(3))) (4) When the child is placed outside of the
adoptive parents' home at department expense;
(4))) (5) If the adoptive parent is no longer providing
for the child's daily care and living expenses; or
(5))) (6) If the adoptive parent fails to notify the
department's adoption support program within thirty days of a
change of circumstance which affects the adopted child's
continuing eligibility for adoption support program cash
payments or services.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.13.031. 01-08-045, § 388-27-0200, filed 3/30/01, effective 4/30/01.]
(1) The child reaches eighteen years of age; (If a child is at least eighteen but less than twenty-one years old and is a full-time high school student or working full time toward the completion of a GED (high school equivalency) certificate and continues to receive financial support from the adoptive parent(s), the department may extend the terms of the adoption support agreement until the child completes high school or achieves a GED. Under no circumstances may the department extend the agreement beyond the child's twenty first birthday.) Adoption support benefits will automatically stop on the child's eighteenth birthday unless the parent(s) requests continuation per this rule and have provided documentation of the child's continuation in school. To prevent disruption in services the parent should contact the adoption support program at least ninety days prior to the child's eighteenth birthday if continued services are to be requested.
The adoptive parents request termination of the
(3))) The adoptive parents no longer have legal responsibility for the child;
(4))) (3) The adoptive parents are no longer providing
financial support for the child;
(5))) (4) The child dies; or
(6))) (5) The adoptive parents die. (A child who met
federal Title IV-E eligibility criteria for adoption
assistance will be eligible for adoption assistance in a
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.13.031. 01-08-045, § 388-27-0210, filed 3/30/01, effective 4/30/01.]
(1) Reimbursement for nonrecurring adoption finalization costs;
(2) Cash payments;
Supplemental cash payments (only for adoptions
finalized on or after July 1, 1996);
(4))) Payment for counseling services as pre-authorized
(see WAC 388-27-0255 for conditions and terms)((
(4) Medical services through the department's Medicaid
(6) Child care as pre-authorized per WAC 388-27-0270 (for children adopted on or after July 1, 1996))).
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.13.031. 01-08-045, § 388-27-0215, filed 3/30/01, effective 4/30/01.]
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.13.031. 01-08-045, § 388-27-0220, filed 3/30/01, effective 4/30/01.]
(2) Family circumstances to be considered include:
(a) Size, including the adopted child;
(b) Normal living expenses, including education and childcare expenses;
(c) Exceptional circumstances of any family member;
(e) Resources and savings plans;
(f) Medical care and hospitalization needs;
(g) Ability to purchase or otherwise obtain medical care; and
(h) Additional miscellaneous expenses related to the adopted child.
(2))) (3) The department and the adoptive parents will
jointly determine the level of adoption support cash payments
needed to meet the basic needs of the child without creating a
hardship on the family.
(3))) (4) Under no circumstances may the amount of the
(( basic)) adoption support monthly (( rate)) cash payment the
department pays for the child exceed the (( adoption support
rate established by the legislature for a child of that age))
amount of foster care maintenance payment that would be paid
if the child were in a foster family home.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.13.031. 01-08-045, § 388-27-0230, filed 3/30/01, effective 4/30/01.]
The following sections of the Washington Administrative Code are repealed:
|WAC 388-27-0225||What are the current maximum rates available for basic adoption support monthly cash payments and special rate?|
|WAC 388-27-0235||How does the department evaluate a request for adoption support special rate cash payments?|
|WAC 388-27-0240||How does the department evaluate a request for adoption support supplemental cash payments?|
|WAC 388-27-0245||What specific department requirements apply to supplemental cash payments?|
|WAC 388-27-0270||What department requirements apply to child care services?|