FISCAL NOTE

Date Requested: January 23, 2020
Time Requested: 01:01 PM
Agency: Health and Human Resources, WV Department of
CBD Number: Version: Bill Number: Resolution Number:
2087 Introduced HB4092
CBD Subject: Juveniles


FUND(S):

0403 - DIV OF HUMAN SERVICES GENERAL ADMINISTRATION FUND, 8722 - CONS FEDERAL FUNDS DIV HUMAN SERVICES GEN ADMN FD

Sources of Revenue:

General Fund Federal

Legislation creates:

Increases Existing Expenses



Fiscal Note Summary


Effect this measure will have on costs and revenues of state government.


    The purpose of this bill is to update the laws on foster care. Creating a foster child and foster parent bill of rights and further defining the reasonable and prudent parent standard.
    The Department estimates the fiscal impact of this legislation to be $30,266,960 ($16,904,054 state share). This estimate is based on the H HHR AM #1 version of the bill.
    Due to the proposed increase in foster care rates to both child placing agencies and certified foster care homes, there is a potential impact to Legal Guardianship Subsidies. Currently Legal Guardianship Subsidies are equal to the monthly amount families receive for foster care. Therefore an increase of the monthly rate to $900 per month per child could cause an increase to the amount of funds expended to Legal Guardianship Subsidy providers, as well. Such an increase is not factored into the estimate.



Fiscal Note Detail


Effect of Proposal Fiscal Year
2020
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
2021
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
Fiscal Year
(Upon Full
Implementation)
1. Estmated Total Cost 0 30,266,960 30,266,960
Personal Services 0 0 0
Current Expenses 0 30,266,960 30,266,960
Repairs and Alterations 0 0 0
Assets 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0
2. Estimated Total Revenues 0 0 0


Explanation of above estimates (including long-range effect):


    The Department shall pay Child Placing Agencies a minimum daily rate of at least $75 per child." The current rates are $55 for Tier 1, $75 for Tier 2, and $110 for Tier 3 therapeutic foster care. Increasing Tier 1 by $20 would require the other tiers to increase as well. As of December 2019 there were 1896 children in foster care placement agencies (1361 in tier 1, 476 in tier 2, 59 in tier 3). The total increase for those agencies per month to add an additional $20 would be $1,153,400 (tier 1 - increase of $827,941, tier 2 - increase of 289,567, tier 3 - increase of $35,892). The total yearly increase for Child Placing Agencies would be $13,840,800 ($7,562,450 state share).
    Families fostering directly through the department, including certified kinship providers, shall be provided at least $900 per month for each child placed in their home." As of December 2019 there were 2502 children in these foster care placements. Increasing the current rate of $600 per month to $900 per month would increase costs by $750,600 per month ($300/mo x 2502 children). The annual increase would total $9,007,200 ($3,640,278 state share).
    A proposed increase to $900 per child per month for foster care could have a direct impact on the adoption rate as well, although not specifically addressed in the legislation. As of December 2019 there were 1398 children to be adopted based on an average of three Federal Fiscal Years. The new adoption rate of $900 per child per month compared to the current rate of $600 per month would increase costs by $419,400 per month ($300/mo x 1398 children). The annual increase would total $5,032,800 ($2,034,017).
    The cost to provide a minimum of $1,000 to Child Placing Agencies for each finalized adoption would cost the department an additional $539,000 (average 539 adoptions x $1,000). This cost is estimated to be all state funding as the current Adoption Incentive funds are being fully utilized.
    As a result of the proposed bill, the Department would be required to pay for up to 14 days of Respite. 14 days times $30 per day per child x 4398 children in Foster Care during December 2019. This would cost the Department $1,847,160 annually. Payments for Respite Care of foster children are not allowable under Title IV-E reimbursement, therefore respite care costs would be 100% state funding.



Memorandum


    This federal incentive money addressed in this legislation is currently being used to fund other sources and programs. Funds are provided to Mission West Virginia in the form of a sub-recipient grant. Additional funds are used to fund IV-B related adoption services in excess of the available IV-B funding levels. Use of the Adoption Incentive funds as addressed in this bill would result in elimination of those services or need for additional state funds.
    Section 49-2-127 (5) addresses providing childcare services to families under certain circumstances. This would result in additional costs to the state which cannot be quantified at this time. The costs of this service would be dependent on the number of children, the ages of the children, length of time, time of day, type of service etc. There could also be a challenge finding spaces in licensed childcare facilities who are more dependent on longer term services which are purchased as a slot rather than payment for services rendered.
    This legislation also would require payment for respite services up to 14 days per each child. This cannot be quantified for many of the same reasons stated for the childcare. But as an example, if the standard respite fee was the same as the standard foster care payment of $30, the cost would be $1, 847,160. (4,398*14*30). The language in this bill also states the respite is in addition to respite for medical events of the parent, child or another child in the other household. Respite care for these events would also be compensated in addition to the 14 days. The latter amount cannot be quantified without knowledge of those events.
    The bill indicates a change from payment in arrears to current pay, which would add one extra pay in the first year only. This would be a one-time increase of 8.3 percent. This would only affect the population covered by this bill. Additional costs would accrue if there were payments to be made for Emergency Shelters and Group Residential Homes. Currently, we do have agencies which act both as Group Residential Homes and Child Placing agencies. Finally, this would result in system changes for both the current system (Family and Children Tracking System) and the new system under development People's Access to Help (PATH) with associated costs to design and implement these changes.
    The bill requires payments to department foster home families, including certified kinship providers, to be paid $900 per month. It does not specify payments for placements less than a month or a partial month.



    Person submitting Fiscal Note: Bill J. Crouch
    Email Address: dhhrbudgetoffice@wv.gov