Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

31.3 Required IV-E Judicial Determination

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual
Chapter 31-Standards of Practice Regarding Title IV-E, Medicaid and Other Applicable Benefits
31.3 Required IV-E Judicial Determination

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Legal Authority/Introduction


Practice Guidance

  • For title IV-E determination:
    • The court order that initially removes a child from the home, referred to as the removal order, must specify that continuation in the home is contrary to the welfare of the child, or best interest language for removal of the child. A removal order may be a temporary custody order as outlined in SOP 11.15 Temporary Removal Hearing or an emergency custody order as outlined in SOP 11.20 Emergency Custody Order (ECO).
    • The court order must explicitly state that reasonable efforts were made or were not required (aggravated circumstances) to prevent the child’s removal as described in SOP 11.8 Judicial Determination of Reasonable Efforts or Aggravated Circumstances
  • When the appropriate language is not contained in the judge’s order or court transcript within sixty (60) calendar days of removal, the child is not IV-E eligible for as long as the child remains continuously in out- of-home care (OOHC).
  • Within sixty (60) calendar days of the start of each placement in a qualified residential treatment program (QRTP), a family or juvenile court, consider the assessment, determination, and documentation made by the QRTP assessor in approving the placement (section 475A(c)(2) of the Act). .  If the court does not approve the placement timely, i.e., within the sixty (60) calendar day timeframe, the title IV-E agency may only claim title IV-E foster care maintenance payments (FCMPs) for the first sixty (60) calendar days  of the placement in the QRTP (section 472(k)(1)(B) of the Act).
  • Each time a child is returned to and removed from the home, a new court order with the required title IV-E judicial determinations must be obtained.
  • As long as a child remains placed in a QRTP, DCBS shall submit evidence at each status review and each permanency hearing held with respect to the child demonstrating the following:

    • Ongoing assessment of the strengths and needs of the child continues to support the determination that the needs of the child cannot be met through placement in a foster family home;
    • That the placement in a QRTP provides the most effective and appropriate level of care for the child in the least restrictive environment;
    • ​That the placement is consistent with the short- and long-term goals for the child, as specified in the permanency plan for the child;
    • Documenting the specific treatment or service needs that will be met for the child in the placement and the length of time the child is expected to need the treatment or services; and

    • Documenting the efforts made by the agency to prepare the child to return home or to be placed with a fit and willing relative, a legal guardian, an adoptive parent, or in a foster family home.​​​

  • Occasionally a child in OOHC is returned to the removal home for the purpose of a trial home visit.  If a crisis occurs that necessitates removal of the child during the home visit, it is not necessary to obtain a new court order authorizing the second removal if the SSW documented in the case plan’s visitation agreement that the purpose of the child’s placement in the removal home is for a trial visit. If the child’s trial visit extends beyond six (6) months, then it is necessary to obtain a new court order authorizing removal, which contains the required judicial determinations, unless the court has ordered a longer trial home visit.


The CBW:

  1. Determines whether the court orders and voluntary commitment agreement submitted by the SSW meets the title IV-E requirements;
  2. Notifies the SSW when an order or agreement is not acceptable;
  3. Provides notice to the SSW at one hundred twenty (120) calendar days into a voluntary commitment agreement to ensure the appropriate court order has been obtained prior to the required one hundred eighty (180) calendar days.


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