Authority/Reference(s) 45 CFR §1356.10; 45 CFR §1356.60; 42 US Code §675; Uniform Grant Guidance (UGG);FAR
Revision Date October 14, 2016


Title IV, one of 20 titles of the Social Security Act, addresses grants to States for aid and services to needy families with children and for child welfare services. Specifically, Title IV-E provides financial assistance to States for payments and expenses related to:

  • foster care maintenance;
  • adoption assistance (DFPS does not contract for adoption assistance with the counties);
  • administrative costs;
  • training; and
  • independent living services program (separate contract; normally part of the PAL program).

In Texas, Title IV-E of the Social Security Act is administered by DFPS.  DFPS is the single state agency responsible for the IV-E program. DFPS is responsible to both the federal and state government for ensuring that 100% of the money involved in the contract is IV-E allowable and that it is serving the purpose of carrying out the intent of the IV-E program. It is the department's responsibly to assist contracted entities in maximizing Title IV-E funding.

Contract staff must conduct an annual review of all Title IV-E contracts as required by Federal regulations.

Regulations for Title IV-E Contracts

Nationally, Title IV is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Regulations of the Secretary of HHS relating to Title IV are published in the Code of Federal Regulations. The following link will access the HHS Child Welfare Policy Manual.

Title IV-E contracts that are determined to be subrecipient contracts are subject to particular rules and regulations as defined in UGG and UGMS.  A subrecipient is a "non-federal or non-state entity that expends federal or state awards received from a pass-thru entity to carry out a federal or state program, but does not include an individual who is a beneficiary of such a program." All counties that expend $750,000 or more in federal or state funding in the aggregate are required to have a "single audit" (see UGG and UGMS Part IV).

In programs where  an  entity is considered a subrecipient, DFPS, the entity, and any subrecipient subcontractors must comply with special federal requirements in the OMB Uniform Grant Guidance and UGMS.

If other types of services are identified that appear to be related to Title IV-E and for which a contract with the entity appears to be appropriate, contract staff should contact DFPS Legal. It is likely that Title IV-E services other than those listed above would require a separately written contract. Examples include:

  • financial contributions funded by county governments for state employees (i.e., staff contribution contracts)
  • training provided by the county to DFPS employees
  • county cooperative agreements with non-profit entities

Allowable Expenditures Under Title IV-E

The fiscal requirements under Title IV-E include federal matching funds for foster care maintenance and adoption assistance payments. Federal Financial Participation (FFP) is available under Title IV-E for allowable costs in expenditures for the following:

  • Foster Care Maintenance Payments
  • Training Expenses
  • Administration and Other Expenses

County Child Welfare Services contracts are predominantly for foster care maintenance but may include administration and training expenses. 

County Legal Services contracts are predominantly for administration, however, they may include some training expenses. 

University Training contracts are predominantly for training, but they may have administration expenses as well.


The following is a non-inclusive list of foster care maintenance expenses that Title IV-E will reimburse States for and for which DFPS encourages counties to provide:

  • clothing 
  • transportation costs 
  • school supplies
  • child's personal incidentals, including but not limited to: 
    • graduation gifts
    • allowances
    • gifts
    • personal items
  • case management (not counseling)
  • child care (in limited circumstances)

Foster care maintenance payments must be tracked to the individual Title IV-E eligible child.

Training reimbursed with Title IV-E Federal funds must be focused on enhancing knowledge and building skills necessary to perform functions directly related to the benefits offered by the program to improve outcomes for children placed in out-of-home care. 

The following is an all-inclusive list of training expenses that Title IV-E will reimburse States for and for which DFPS may contract:

  • costs for short-term training for personnel employed by the state or local agency administering the plan,
  • costs of providing short-term training (including travel and per diem) to current or prospective foster and adoptive parents and the members of the state-licensed or approved child care institutions providing care to foster and adopted children receiving Title IV-E assistance, and
  • costs of long-term training at educational institutions of personnel employed by or preparing for employment by Child Protective Services (CPS)

The following are some of the administrative and other items that Title IV-E will reimburse States for:

  • a proportionate share of related agency overhead
  • preparation for and participation in judicial determination (allowable costs are limited to preparation of reports to the court and participation in court proceedings by state or local Title IV-E agency personnel)
  • placement of the child
  • development of the case plan
  • case reviews
  • case management and supervision
  • recruitment and licensing of foster homes and institutions
  • rate setting
  • referral to services
  • costs related to data collection and agency overhead