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Review of Massachusetts Title IV-E Adoption Assistance Costs for Federal Fiscal Years 2006 Through 2008

In fiscal years (FY) 2006 through 2008, the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (State agency) claimed $8.5 million ($4.2 million Federal share) in unallowable adoption assistance payments for 258 children whose eligibility the State agency could not support with adequate documentation.

The State agency claimed the unallowable payments because it did not have adequate controls in place to ensure that it maintained proper documentation. The State agency informed us that it has put in place controls to ensure that it maintains the proper financial and judicial determination documentation. The State agency complied with the Federal requirements that we reviewed in claiming adoption assistance payments for 1,242 of the 1,500 children selected for review.

We recommended that the State agency (1) make a financial adjustment of $4.2 million (Federal share) on its next quarterly expenditure report for the unallowable payments that we identified or provide the Administration for Children and Families with additional documentation to support the allowability of those claims, (2) discontinue claiming adoption assistance payments for children whose eligibility the State agency could not support, and (3) review documentation for adoption assistance claims after FY 2008 and make a financial adjustment for any unallowable payments. The State agency generally agreed with our recommendations.

Filed under: Administration for Children and Families