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Audit (A-04-07-03519)

Review of Title IV-E Foster Care Costs Claimed on Behalf of Delinquent Children in Georgia

Executive Summary

Our review found that Georgia’s Title IV-E foster care claims on behalf of delinquent children did not meet all Federal requirements for child eligibility and allowable costs. Title IV-E of the Social Security Act authorizes Federal funds for State foster care programs and establishes eligibility requirements, such as age, income, and specified judicial determinations. At the Federal level, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) administers the program.

Based on our sample results, we estimated that the State claimed unallowable Title IV-E costs for FYs 2005 and 2006 totaling $596,000 (Federal share), including $60,000 in maintenance payments and $536,000 in associated administrative costs. We were unable to determine the allowability of the remaining maintenance payments totaling $664,000 and associated administrative costs totaling $6 million because the State was unable to demonstrate that the daily maintenance rates for Title IV-E eligible children did not contain unallowable costs. The State’s claims met Federal requirements for childcare institution eligibility.

We recommended that the State (1) refund to the Federal Government $596,000 for unallowable costs, (2) ensure that permanency hearings are held within the specified timeframe and that appropriate documentation is maintained, (3) ensure that the daily maintenance rates for Title IV-E children include only allowable costs, and (4) work with ACF to resolve the allowability of maintenance payments totaling $664,000 and associated administrative costs totaling $6 million. The State said that it would work to settle the unallowable costs and resolve the administrative costs. The State did not specifically address our second and third recommendations.

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