Text: S.1511 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (09/17/2013)


113th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 1511


To amend part E of title IV of the Social Security Act to remove barriers to the adoption of children in foster care through reauthorization and improvement of the adoption incentives program, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

September 17, 2013

Mr. Rockefeller (for himself and Mr. Casey) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance


A BILL

To amend part E of title IV of the Social Security Act to remove barriers to the adoption of children in foster care through reauthorization and improvement of the adoption incentives program, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Removing Barriers to Adoption and Supporting Families Act of 2013”.

SEC. 2. Reauthorization of adoption incentive payments.

(a) In general.—Section 473A of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 673b) is amended—

(1) in subsection (b)(5), by striking “2008 through 2012” and inserting “2013 through 2017”; and

(2) in subsection (h)—

(A) in paragraph (1)(D), by striking “2013” and inserting “2018”; and

(B) in paragraph (2), by striking “2013” and inserting “2018”.

SEC. 3. Encouragement of interstate adoptions.

(a) Additional incentive payment for sending and receiving states of an interstate adoption.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Section 473A(d) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 673b(d)) is amended—

(A) in paragraph (1)—

(i) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking “and (3)” and inserting “(3), and (4)”;

(ii) in subparagraph (B), by striking “and” after the semicolon;

(iii) in subparagraph (C), by inserting “or” after the semicolon; and

(iv) by adding at the end the following:

“(D) subject to paragraph (4), $8,000 multiplied by the amount (if any) by which the number of interstate adoptions in the State during the fiscal year exceeds the base number of interstate adoptions for the State for the fiscal year.”; and

(B) by adding at the end the following:

“(4) SENDING AND RECEIVING STATES SHARING OF INTERSTATE ADOPTION INCENTIVE PAYMENT.—The Secretary shall pay each State that was a receiving State for an interstate adoptive placement for a fiscal year, a pro rata share of the portion of the adoption incentive payment paid to the sending State for the fiscal year under this section that is attributable to the amount determined under paragraph (1)(D).”.

(2) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.—Section 473A of such Act (42 U.S.C. 673b) is amended—

(A) in subsection (b)(2)—

(i) in subparagraph (B), by striking “or” after the semicolon;

(ii) in subparagraph (C), by inserting “or” after the semicolon; and

(iii) by adding at the end the following:

“(D) the number of interstate adoptions in the State during the fiscal year exceeds the base number of interstate adoptions for the State in the fiscal year;”; and

(B) in subsection (g), by adding at the end the following:

“(9) BASE NUMBER OF INTERSTATE ADOPTIONS.—The term ‘base number of interstate adoptions for a State’ means, with respect to any fiscal year, the number of interstate child adoptions in the State in fiscal year 2012.

“(10) INTERSTATE ADOPTIONS.—The term ‘interstate adoptions’ means the final adoption of a child who, at the time of adoptive placement out-of-State, was in foster care under the supervision of the State or for whom an adoption assistance agreement was in effect under section 473 with respect to the child.

“(11) RECEIVING STATE.—The term ‘receiving State’ means the State in which the adoptive parents reside at the time of final adoption of a child from another State.

“(12) SENDING STATE.—The term ‘sending State’ means the State in which the child resided before being placed for an adoption in another State.”.

(b) Requirement To report data on interstate adoptions.—Section 473A(c) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 673b(c)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(4) DETERMINATION OF NUMBERS OF INTERSTATE ADOPTIONS BASED ON STATE REPORTING OF DATA.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—A State is in compliance with this subsection for a fiscal year if the State has provided to the Secretary the following data with respect to the preceding fiscal year:

“(i) The total number of interstate adoptions completed by the State with respect to children in foster care under the responsibility of the State, and with respect to each such adoption the identity of the other State involved.

“(ii) The total number of adoptions completed by the State with respect to children who were in foster care under the responsibility of other States, and with respect to each such adoption, the identity of the other State involved.

“(iii) Such other information as the Secretary may require in order to determine whether the State is eligible for an adoption incentive payment under subsection (d)(1)(D) for the fiscal year.

“(B) VERIFICATION OF DATA.—The Secretary shall verify the data submitted by a State under subparagraph (A).”.

SEC. 4. National standards for State home studies.

(a) National standards for State home studies.—Section 476 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 676) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(d) National standards for State home studies.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 12 months after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Secretary shall develop national standards for home studies for use in evaluating potential foster and adoptive parents. In developing these standards, the Secretary shall consult with a working group composed of representatives of the adoption and foster care community, experts in the field of social work, State child welfare leaders and other qualified individuals.

“(2) PERIODIC REVIEW AND UPDATING.—The Secretary shall periodically review and update, as appropriate, the standards developed under this subsection.”.

(b) Enhanced matching rate for states adopting home study in compliance with national standards.—Section 474 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 674) is amended—

(1) in each of paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a), by inserting “subject to subsection (h),” before “an amount equal to the Federal”; and

(2) by adding at the end the following:

“(h) The percentage applicable under paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) for amounts expended during a quarter by a State or the District of Columbia, or, in the case of an Indian tribe, tribal organization, or tribal consortium that has elected to operate a program under this part in accordance with section 479B, the tribal FMAP, referred to in such paragraphs, shall be increased by 5 percentage points for each quarter that begins on or after the effective date of an election by the State, District of Columbia, or Indian tribe, tribal organization, or tribal consortium operating a program under this part in accordance with section 479B, to use the home study standards developed under section 476(d).”.

SEC. 5. Limiting another planned permanent living arrangement as a permanency option.

(a) Elimination of option for children under age 17.—Section 475(5)(C) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 675(5)(C)) is amended by inserting “only if the child has attained age 17” before “(in cases where the State agency has documented”.

(b) GAO report on use of another planned permanent living arrangement placements.—The Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study and submit a report to Congress regarding—

(1) the number of children in each State (as defined for purposes of parts B and E of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 621 et seq., 670 et seq.)) that are assigned a permanency goal of another planned permanent living arrangement for the most recent fiscal year for which data are available;

(2) with respect to such fiscal years and on a State-by-State basis, the ages, gender, race, and special needs of children whose permanency goal is another planned permanent living arrangement;

(3) a review and analysis of court practices for determining that another planned permanent living arrangement is the appropriate placement for a child;

(4) information with respect to foster youths’ involvement in deciding to enter into a permanency goal of another planned permanent living arrangement, including, but not limited to, how another planned permanent living arrangement is presented as an option to foster youth, how involved foster youth are in selecting the option, and what alternative options are offered instead of another planned permanent living arrangement; and

(5) a summary of the reasons that reunification, adoption, kinship care, or guardianship were not found to be in the best interests of the child.

SEC. 6. Increased funding support for post-adoption and post-permanency services.

(a) Dedicated use of portion of savings from adoption assistance de-Linkage for post-Adoption and post-Permanency services.—Section 473(a)(8) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 673(a)(8)) is amended—

(1) by inserting “(A)” after “(8)”;

(2) by striking “(including post-adoption services)”;

(3) by striking “, including on post-adoption services.” and inserting “. A State shall spend an amount equal to 20 percent of the amount of such savings to provide post-adoption and post-permanency services to children or families and shall document how such amounts are spent.”; and

(4) by adding at the end the following:

“(B) The Secretary shall establish a formula for States to use to calculate the amount of savings in State expenditures under this part resulting from the application of paragraph (2)(A)(ii) to all applicable children for a fiscal year based on the State and Federal shares of expenditures for adoption assistance payments under this section as of fiscal year 2009.”.

(b) Dedicated uses of promoting safe and stable families funds including for post-Adoption and post-Permanency services.—Section 432(a)(4) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 629b(a)(4)) is amended to read as follows:

“(4) contains assurances that not more than 10 percent of the expenditures under the plan for any fiscal year with respect to which the State is eligible for payment under section 434 for the fiscal year shall be for administrative costs, and 20 percent of remaining expenditures shall be for programs of family preservation services, 20 percent for community based family support services, 20 percent for time-limited family reunification services, 10 percent for adoption promotion, and 10 percent for post-adoption and post-permanency services;”.

(c) Post-Adoption and post-Permanency services defined.—Section 431(a) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 629a(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(10) POST-ADOPTION AND POST-PERMANENCY SERVICES.—The term ‘post-adoption and post-permanency services’ means services for children placed in adoptive, kinship, or guardianship placements and their families, and may include any or all of the following:

“(A) Individual counseling.

“(B) Group counseling.

“(C) Family counseling.

“(D) Case management.

“(E) Respite care.

“(F) Training of public adoption personnel, personnel of private child welfare and adoption agencies licensed by the State to provide adoption services, mental health services professionals, and other support personnel to provide services under this part and part E.

“(G) Assistance to adoptive parent organizations.

“(H) Assistance to support groups for adoptive parents, adopted children, and siblings of adopted children.

“(I) Rigorous evaluations of post-adoption and post-permanency services.”.

SEC. 7. Encouraging development of robust, comprehensive practice models of adoptions from foster care.

(a) State plan amendment.—Section 471(a) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 671(a)) is amended—

(1) in paragraph (32), by striking “and” after the semicolon;

(2) in paragraph (33), by striking the period at the end and inserting “; and”; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

“(34) provides that the State will engage in public-private partnerships to promote evidence-based child-focused recruitment practices that focus measurable attention on the adoption of children out of foster care with an emphasis on those children most at risk of aging out of care .”.

(b) Technical assistance.—The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall provide guidance and technical assistance to State child welfare agencies on the use of Federal funds available under section 474 (a)(3)(B) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 674(a)(3)(B)) for training for the implementation of intensive recruitment and child-focused strategies that have been shown to increase permanent placements for older youth in foster care.

SEC. 8. Encouraging placement of children with siblings.

(a) State plan amendment.—Section 471(a)(29) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 671(a)(29)) is amended by striking “all adult grandparents” and inserting “notice to the following relatives: all adult grandparents, all parents of the child’s siblings, where such parent has legal custody of such sibling,”.

(b) Definition of siblings.—Section 475 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 675) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(9) The term ‘siblings’ means individuals who satisfy at least one of the following conditions:

“(A) The individuals are considered by State law to be siblings.

“(B) The individuals would have been considered siblings under State law but for termination of parental rights or other disruption of parental rights, such as the death of a parent.”.

SEC. 9. Effective date.

(a) In general.—Except as provided in subsection (b), the amendments made this Act shall take effect on October 1, 2013.

(b) Delay permitted if state legislation required.—In the case of a State plan approved under part B or E of title IV of the Social Security Act which the Secretary of Health and Human Services determines requires State legislation (other than legislation appropriating funds) in order for the plan to meet the additional requirements imposed by this Act, the State plan shall not be regarded as failing to comply with the requirements of such part solely on the basis of the failure of the plan to meet such additional requirements before the 1st day of the 1st calendar quarter beginning after the close of the 1st regular session of the State legislature that ends after the 1-year period beginning with the date of the enactment of this Act. For purposes of the preceding sentence, in the case of a State that has a 2-year legislative session, each year of the session is deemed to be a separate regular session of the State legislature.

SEC. 10. Determination of budgetary effects.

The budgetary effects of this Act, for the purpose of complying with the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, shall be determined by reference to the latest statement titled “Budgetary Effects of PAYGO Legislation” for this Act, submitted for printing in the Congressional Record by the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, provided that such statement has been submitted prior to the vote on passage.