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8526 County Contracts

8526.1 Definitions

CPS November 2006

County contract (non-reimbursable) — A contract with a county government to establish and maintain a child welfare board.

County contract (reimbursable) — A contract with a county government to establish and maintain a child welfare board and to reimburse that county for eligible Title IV-E expenditures for the child welfare board and foster children.

Legal expenses — Expenditures related to the preparation for and participation in judicial determinations for cases filed by DFPS to carry out applicable provisions of Title IV-E of the Social Security Act. Some of these expenses may appear in the administrative section of a county contract (reimbursable) or in a legal expenses contract.

Legal expenses contract — A contract with a county government to reimburse the county for eligible Title IV-E legal expenses.

For detailed information, contact the contract manager in DFPS's Purchased Client Services Division who handles county contracts for the region, or see:

The Contracts Handbook

8526.2 Types of Contracts

CPS November 2006

There are two types of county contracts:

  •  Reimbursable contracts; and

  •  Non-reimbursable contracts;

Both reimbursable and non-reimbursable contracts differ from other CPS contracts in that they:

  •  are contracts between DFPS and a county government,

  •  establish child welfare boards; and

  •  do not require a termination date, although they are strongly encouraged; see 8526.4 Including Termination Dates.

The county determines whether to be reimbursed for services it provides to DFPS.

Some counties choose not to be reimbursed because the county or the child welfare board believes the reimbursement does not justify the level of documentation.

If the county chooses not to be reimbursed, it must still negotiate a contract with DFPS.  (The contract is the means by which DFPS formally recognizes the creation and maintenance of a child welfare board. If there is no contract, DFPS will not recognize the child welfare board and will be restricted from sharing any type of confidential information.)

8526.3 Reviewing Contracts Annually

CPS November 2006

All contracts, budgets, and budget narratives should be reviewed annually.

It is especially important to review contracts that include staff expenses because details on salaries, fringe benefits, and so on can change frequently. When budget and/or contractual changes occur, amendments to the contract should be made.

8526.4 Including Termination Dates

CPS November 2006

Although termination dates are not required in county contracts, their inclusion is strongly encouraged. A termination date may be included at the discretion of the contract manager and may cover one or more years.

Including termination dates is encouraged because of the frequent changes that can occur in county government, county commissioner's court, county judges, county auditors, and so on. 

Note: If there are separate county contracts for the child welfare board and legal expenses, the contracts may be written to terminate at the same time.

8526.5 Registering and Paying Contracts

CPS November 2006

County contracts are registered in HHSAS. They are not paid through the IMPACT system.

8526.6 Reimbursing Counties

CPS November 2006

A county may make a claim for reimbursement when:

  •  There is a signed contract between DFPS and the county government;

  •  The county has an established child welfare board; and

  •  The county provides funding for foster care expenses.

The county may claim reimbursement for eligible expenses when the following funding sources are used:

  •  Funds budgeted by the county and allocated to and administered by a non-incorporated child welfare board created by the county;

  •  Funds budgeted and allocated for child welfare and administered by the county; and

  •  Funds raised by or donated — without restriction — to a non-incorporated child welfare board.

Note: Incorporated entities, such as an incorporated child welfare board, are not eligible for Title IV-E reimbursement. However, any money raised or received by an incorporated entity that is subsequently donated — without restriction — to the county or non-incorporated child welfare board and expended for eligible costs may be used as match funds by the county.

8526.7 Restrictions on Child Welfare Boards
8526.71 General Information

CPS November 2006

A child welfare board is part of the county government. The county commissioner's court must authorize the existence of a child welfare board as well as approve the individual board members.

The relationship between the county and the child welfare board is not specific in the statute. Generally, the county and the child welfare board determine their relationship without input from DFPS.

In some situations, the relationship between the county and the child welfare board is very formal with the county giving approval for all expenditures or actually paying for some or all of the expenditures.

In other situations, the relationship is very informal with the county leaving the decision-making authority for expenditures to the child welfare board and requiring little information from them.

For further details on child welfare boards, see:

Texas Family Code, §264.005, County Council Welfare Boards

8526.72 Restrictions on Contracts

CPS November 2006

Staff should never contract directly with a child welfare board. Direct contracts with child welfare boards are not eligible for Title IV-E reimbursement.

8526.73 Restrictions on Funding 

CPS November 2006

Funds raised or donated by child welfare board have the following restrictions:

  •  Funds raised by or donated to a non-incorporated child welfare board must be unrestricted;

  •  Funds raised by or donated to a non-incorporated child welfare board belong to the county;

  •  Funds raised by or donated to a separately incorporated child welfare board are not considered county funds, even if a separate non-incorporated child welfare board has the same members; and

  •  The county is responsible for all material findings revealed during monitoring or auditing, including exceptions taken to funds raised by or donated to the child welfare board.

Note: The county and the child welfare board are encouraged to agree in writing about the disposition of raised and donated funds and reimbursement. The county can opt to return the funds to the child welfare board.

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