Sneak Preview: N.C. Agency Urged To Seek Foster Care Funds

November 15, 2012 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

(The following was excerpted from an article in the Single Audit Information Service.) While the North Carolina Office of State Auditor encouraged the state juvenile justice agency to conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine if pursuing federal Foster Care funding would reduce state funds spent on administrative costs, the agency argued that such an analysis would require more resources than it can now handle.

In a recent audit, OSA determined that the state Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention could save state dollars by claiming Foster Care administrative costs associated with eligible children. The Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families reimburses 50 percent of the administrative costs associated with state Foster Care services.

Although a state survey determined that the Foster Care services DJJDP provides are eligible for federal reimbursement, the department does not claim Foster Care administrative costs. OSA found that the amounts reimbursed to other state juvenile justice departments claiming these costs varied significantly — between $570,000 to $4.2 million annually — based on their approach to identifying allowable activities and associated costs rather than the amount they spent per child or the number of children they served. For example, OSA found that Georgia in fiscal year 2010 claimed $1.5 million in administrative reimbursements for Foster Care services to 47,780 youth.

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