Foster Care to benefit from Reinvestment Act - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Foster Care to benefit from Reinvestment Act

(Washington, DC-KWWL) Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today announced the release of $2.1 million authorized by the Economic Recovery Package, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to support foster care and adoption assistance programs in Iowa. $1.6 million will support adoption assistance programs, while nearly $540,000 will go to foster care programs.

"The well-being of Iowa's children is paramount and keeping kids safe and healthy means ensuring they have homes that are secure," said Harkin.  "These critical funds will improve state services and help ensure children in need are placed in safe, loving adoptive and foster homes."

The Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Administration for Children and Families will distribute nearly $187 million nationwide for the first and second quarters of FY 2009 as part of the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) funding increase to support states' adoption, foster care and guardianship assistance programs. This funding represents a 6.2 percentage point increase for states, under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act.

Increasing the federal matching rate for federal foster care and adoption assistance programs helps provide much-needed fiscal relief to states across the country so they may maintain core operations and undertake projects that will put Americans to work during the worst economic crisis in decades. 

About 496,000 children nationally were in foster care in 2007 (the most recent year for which complete data are available), of which approximately 198,000 children receive Federal IV-E foster care assistance per month, and the average monthly number of children receiving Federal adoption assistance was over 398,000 in 2008. 

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