Office of Children and Family Services

Strategic Planning and Policy Development

Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Development

Permanency Policy Listing

Adoption

17-OCFS-ADM-05
Use of the Foster and Adoptive Home Development (FAD) Stage in CONNECTIONS

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to mandate local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) to record vital information regarding the initial certification or approval, and the annual renewal or reauthorization of foster homes in specific sections of the Foster and Adoptive Home Development (FAD) stage in CONNECTIONS. This information must also be maintained in the external foster home case record. This release also reflects the requirement that LDSSs and VAs review at the time of the initial application for certification or approval information available in CONNECTIONS to determine whether prospective foster parents have previously held a certificate or letter of approval as a foster parent and whether such certificate or letter of approval was revoked, not renewed, or a foster child was removed from the foster home for health or safety reasons.

16-OCFS-LCM-02
Changes Impacting Adoption Assistance Payments

The purpose of the Local Commissioners Memorandum is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) of policy changes regarding the administration of the adoption subsidy program, in particular concerning the failure by the adoptive parent(s) to provide any support to the adopted child, annual certifications, recovery of overpayments and termination/suspension of adoption subsidy payments.

16-OCFS-ADM-02
Regulations Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment in Child Welfare and Youth Programs

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to advise local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of provisions in 9 NYCRR §§ 180.5(a)(6), 182-1.5(g)(1) and 182-2.5(g)(1), and in 18 NYCRR §§ 421.3(d), 423.4(m)(7), 441.19(d) and 441.24, several of which became effective on November 6, 2013. These regulations prohibit discrimination and harassment by LDSS and VA staff, volunteers, and certified or approved foster parents against applicants for adoption services, families receiving preventive services, prospective foster parents, foster parents and foster children, youth in runaway and homeless youth () programs, and youth in detention on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, religion, or disability, in order to promote and maintain a safe environment for children, youth, and families that the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) serves.

15-OCFS-ADM-05
Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994 as Amended by the Interethnic Adoption Provisions of 1996

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to provide local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) information on the requirements of the Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994 (MEPA), as amended by the Interethnic Adoption Provisions (IEP) of The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996.

15-OCFS-INF-01
Re-homing of Children

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to define and provide information to local departments of social services (LDSSs) and Voluntary Authorized Agencies (VAs) on the re-homing of children to non-relatives and how it intersects with child welfare. In addition, this INF makes recommendations on how to prevent re-homing and provides suggested steps when a re-homing case is identified.

14-OCFS-ADM-01
Termination of Notification of Subsequent Arrests in Closed Foster and Adoptive Homes

The purpose of this Administrative Directive is to set forth the process that must be used by social services districts and voluntary authorized agencies to notify the Criminal History Review Unit (CHRU) of the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) when:

  1. An application for certification or approval of a prospective foster parent or a prospective adoptive parent has been withdrawn or denied after a criminal history record check has been completed by OCFS;
  2. A foster home is closed and the foster parents in such foster home are no longer certified or approved; or
  3. A person who was an approved adoptive parent is no longer approved by the authorized agency.

Timely notification of OCFS by the authorized agency is necessary to prevent the unauthorized release of criminal history information and to support compliance with applicable statutory and regulatory standards relating to criminal history record checks.

14-OCFS-ADM-03
Adoption Assistance and Federal Reporting Requirements as it Pertains to Delinking

The purpose of this Administrative Directive is to notify local departments of social services of the requirement to identify children who have been determined eligible and in receipt of Title IV-E adoption assistance based on the federal expansion of Title IV-E adoption assistance, often referred to as “delinking,” and the requirement for the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) to report to the federal government on reinvestment of savings based on delinking.

13-OCFS-ADM-05
Notification to Prospective Adoptive Families of the Federal Adoption Tax Credit

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to notify local departments of social services (LDSS) and voluntary authorized agencies of the changes in the adoption tax credit enacted by the federal American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-240), which was signed into law on January 2, 2013. This Act made the adoption tax credit permanent.

12-OCFS-INF-06
Termination of Parental Rights’ Effect on Continuing Contact of Birth Parent and Child

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to provide information to local departments of social services (LDSS) and voluntary authorized agencies regarding a recent NYS Court of Appeals decision in the Matter of Hailey ZZ (official citation not yet available). The Court of Appeals ruled that the family court may not order continuing contact between a parent and a child once the parent’s rights have been involuntarily terminated pursuant to Social Services Law (SSL) §384-b.

11-OCFS-ADM-04
Religious Designation of a Foster Child and a Child Being Placed for Adoption

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to remind social services districts and voluntary authorized agencies of their legal and programmatic obligations in regard to the religious designation of a child in making foster care and adoptive placements. This directive will also address the use of an Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) form for the purpose of obtaining the religious wishes of parents when their child is being placed in foster care or for adoption.

11-OCFS-INF-05
Clarification of Adoption Study Criteria Related to Length of Marriage and Sexual Orientation

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to provide clarification to local departments of social services (LDSS) and voluntary authorized agencies regarding 18 NYCRR 421.16 (e) and (h) in relation to length of marriage and sexual orientation as adoption study criteria.

11-OCFS-INF-02
Restoration of Parental Rights

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to provide information to local departments of social services (LDSS) and voluntary authorized agencies regarding Chapter 343 of the Laws of 2010, which amends the Family Court Act (FCA) and Social Services Law (SSL) in relation to restoration of parental rights. This law, which went into effect on November 11, 2010, authorizes the Family Court, in narrowly defined circumstances, to restore a birth parent’s parental rights after they have been terminated.

11-OCFS-INF-01
Adoption by Two Unmarried Adult Intimate Partners

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to provide information to local departments of social services (LDSS) and voluntary authorized agencies regarding Chapter 509 of the Laws of 2010, which, consistent with current case law, amended section 110 of the Domestic Relations Law (DRL) in relation to expressly authorizing two unmarried adult intimate partners to adopt a child together.

Kinship/Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (KinGAP)

16-OCFS-ADM-10
Continuation of the Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (KinGAP) to a Successor Guardian

The purpose of this New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) Administrative Directive (ADM) is to provide an update to the information that was provided in 15-OCFS-ADM-15 to address the implementation of a provision enacted by the federal Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (the Act) [P.L.113-183]. This provision relates to the continuation of Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (KinGAP) payments to a successor guardian if the original KinGAP relative guardian receiving KinGAP payments dies or is incapacitated. Implementation of this provision is necessary for New York State to continue to maintain a compliant Title IV-E State Plan, which is a condition for New York State and a local department of social services (LDSS) to receive federal funding for foster care, adoption assistance and KinGAP payments.

With the issuance of this policy, the previous policy 15-OCFS-ADM-15 is canceled and this ADM replaces it. This revised policy directive reflects recent New York statutory changes (Part M of Chapter 54 of the Laws of 2016) regarding the eligibility of successor guardians to receive reimbursement for non-recurring guardianship expenses.

This release only addresses the KinGAP continuation to a successor guardian provision of the Act. Other policy releases will address other requirements of the Act.

15-OCFS-ADM-15
Continuation of the Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (KinGAP) to a Successor Guardian

The purpose of this New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) Administrative Directive (ADM) is to provide an update to the information that was provided in 15-OCFS-ADM-02 to address the implementation of a provision recently enacted by the federal Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (the Act) [P.L.113-183].

14-OCFS-LCM-15
Accurate Reporting of Kinship Foster Care Placements

The purpose of the Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to provide information to local departments of social services (LDSS) on a new field that must be entered to report kinship (relative) foster care placements in the child welfare reporting system, Child Care Review Service (CCRS).

12-OCFS-LCM-03
Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program Payments - Excludable Income for Child Care Subsidy Program Eligibility

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to establish a formal policy regarding the calculation of countable income for families in receipt of Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (KinGAP) payments and to notify social services districts of this policy.

11-OCFS-ADM-12
New Reporting Requirement for Direct Custodial Placements of Children With Relatives Through Article 10 of the Family Court Act

The Purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to provide a new reporting requirement to Local Departments of Social Services (LDSSs) regarding children placed directly in the legal custody of a relative through Article 10 of the Family Court Act (FCA). This new information is required as part of the reporting requirements that were added by Part F of Chapter 58 of the Laws of 2010 (Chapter 58), which implemented the Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (KinGAP).

11-OCFS-ADM-03
Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (KinGAP)

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to provide comprehensive information and guidance to social services districts and voluntary authorized agencies about the Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (KinGAP). KinGAP is a new program in New York State which goes into effect on April 1, 2011. It is designed to provide a monthly payment and other benefits to qualified relative guardians of foster children who have been discharged from foster care.

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