Foster Care in Liberty County and Chatham County In GA.

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Foster Care

Liberty/Chatham Counties of Georgia

According to Murray (2000) although the Department of Health and Human Services (DFCS) is the principle federal agency that funds child welfare services, eight other federal agencies also fund programs related to child welfare. Funding is then provided to states, community-based organizations, academic institutions, and other grantees. The states must then match federal funding with their own spending. It is then dispersed within the local counties of that state. The title IV-B accounts for 5 percent of all federal child welfare spending. The Title IV-E represents the largest source of child welfare funding accounting for 48 percent of all federal child welfare funding. It is estimated that the federal Foster Care expenditures to be $4.6 billion in FY 2003. The maintenance payments usually account for about half of the IV-E Foster Care expenditures, with placement, administrative, and training costs accounting for the other half.

Murray (2000) states that the Foster Care program is a capped state entitlement program permanently authorized at $140 million. The program also has a discretionary component specifically for education and training vouchers. Funding for this component is authorized at $60 million, but subject to the annual appropriations process. The program requires a 20 percent nonfederal match. States have flexibility to spend program funds on a broad array of independent living services for children who are likely to remain in foster care until age 18 or former foster youth up to age 21 (Murray, 2000).

The funding is dispersed to local counties within the state on certain percentages and criteria of need within each county. Two counties in Georgia, Chatham and Liberty were chosen to determine the differences in polices of services, funding, and the delivery of the services to the client population.

Foster care is a state program that provides...