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File #: 15-0708    Version: 1
Type: Agenda Item Status: Approved
File created: 5/26/2015 In control: Board of Supervisors
On agenda: 6/16/2015 Final action: 6/16/2015
Title: Health and Human Services Agency, Social Services Division (HHSA), recommending the Board approve HHSA - Child Welfare Services to opt-in to the Approved Relative Caregiver (ARC) Program. FUNDING: ARC - State General Fund, Social Services Realignment.
Title
Health and Human Services Agency, Social Services Division (HHSA), recommending the Board approve HHSA - Child Welfare Services to opt-in to the Approved Relative Caregiver (ARC) Program.

FUNDING: ARC - State General Fund, Social Services Realignment.
Body
DEPARTMENT RECOMMENDATION
Opting into ARC will provide counties with base funding (State General Fund) to cover the cost of supporting youth who are currently not eligible for federal foster care funding while placed in the home of a relative. Annual base funding is reviewed and adjusted based on County caseload, along with an annual California Necessities Index (CNI) increase, which is the same inflationary adjustment provided to existing Foster Family Home rates. The caseload established for the County of El Dorado 2015 allocation of approximately $48,500 was based on July 2014 total of ten cases. Social Services Realignment funds will be utilized for cases exceeding the base allocation, and may be eligible for reimbursement from the State, depending on the availability of funding.

The ARC Program may result in increased placement, stability and improved child outcomes. The deadline to opt-in to the ARC Program with the California Department of Social Services is June, 30 2015.

DISCUSSION / BACKGROUND
The ARC Program enacted by Senate Bill (SB) 855 (Chapter 29, Statutes of 2014), effective January 1, 2015, provides for payments to children placed in foster care with relative caregivers when the children are not eligible for federal foster care benefits.

Federal and State laws require that preferential consideration for placement be given to an approved relative caregiver when a child is removed from the physical custody of a parent. An approved relative caregiver in California must meet health and safety standards that mirror those for a licensed foster parent, such as undergoing criminal background checks and clearance from the child abuse index.

Although placement with a relative is the...

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