Department of Health and Human Services

Office of Inspector General -- AUDIT

"Review of Rhode Island’s Title IV-E Adoption Assistance Costs for State Fiscal Years 2003–2005," (A-01-07-02503)

June 16, 2008

PDF File Complete Text of Report is available in PDF format (411 kb). Copies can also be obtained by contacting the Office of Public Affairs at 202-619-1343.


The State overclaimed $2.7 million in State fiscal years (SFY) 2003–2005 in high-dollar (more than $3,700) adoption assistance payments for ineligible children.  Federal adoption assistance payments are available for children who meet supplemental security income (SSI) requirements or whose family income does not exceed the ceiling for the former Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program (as in effect on July 16, 1996).  Children who meet AFDC eligibility requirements qualify for assistance if their removal from the home was based on either a voluntary placement agreement or a judicial determination demonstrating that continuation in the home would be contrary to their welfare. 

The State complied with Federal eligibility requirements in claiming high-dollar adoption assistance payments totaling $3.4 million for 740 of the 996 children whose cases we reviewed for SFY 2003.  However, the remaining 256 children with payments totaling $954,000 met neither SSI requirements nor all of the other requirements for Federal reimbursement.  The State continued to claim adoption assistance payments totaling $1.8 million in SFYs 2004 and 2005 for many of these children.

We recommend that the State (1) make a financial adjustment of $470,000 on its next Federal quarterly expenditure report for children who did not meet AFDC income eligibility requirements, (2) work with the Administration for Children and Families to resolve $2,242,000 in overpayments for children who did not meet requirements for voluntary placement agreements or judicial determinations, and (3) review adoption assistance payments claimed after our audit period to ensure compliance with Federal eligibility requirements.  The State concurred with our findings and recommendations.