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2024

Administrative Directives

24-OCFS-ADM-10
National Training and Development Curriculum for Foster and Adoptive Parents

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to advise local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the new training curriculum that will be required for certifying and approving foster and adoptive applicants. The National Training and Development Curriculum for Foster and Adoptive Parents (NTDC) is a comprehensive training that includes intensive preparation and development components that reflect the capacities required of foster and adoptive parents.

24-OCFS-ADM-07
Revised Model Contract for Purchase of Foster Care Services

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to notify local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the most recent revisions made to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) model contract for the purchase of foster care services. The revised model contract for the purchase of foster care services outlined in this ADM replaces and cancels the model contract issued in 21-OCFS-ADM-20.

24-OCFS-ADM-06
Records Related to Persons in Need of Supervision

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) of the outline key provisions of Chapter 691 of the Laws of 2023, as amended by Chapter 94 of the Laws of 2024, that amends the Family Court Act (FCA) in relation to the expungement and sealing of records in persons in need of supervision (PINS) cases. This change goes into effect March 7, 2024.

24-OCFS-ADM-01
Revised New York State Transition Plan Form to Help Youth Plan for a Successful Discharge

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the release of the revised New York State (NYS) Transition Plan Form (OCFS-5112) for youth preparing to leave foster care. LDSSs and VAs must use the revised OCFS-5112 to document the transition plan for youth in foster care beginning 180 days before their 18th birthday or their planned discharge. This form replaces the previous transition plan forms: OCFS-4922 and OCFS-3917. This ADM provides updated guidance on engaging youth in the development and implementation of their transition plan to prepare them for successful adulthood.

Informational Letters

24-OCFS-INF-02
Brochure and Guidance to Obtaining a Driver Permit or License for Youth in Foster Care

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to advise local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of a new publication designed specifically for youth in foster care who want to obtain a learner permit or driver license. Entitled Keys to Success for Youth in Foster Care, this brochure is a how-to guide that is designed to assist and support youth in foster care through the often complicated process of obtaining a learner permit or driver license. The attached brochure (Attachment A) has been developed by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in collaboration with the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS).

Local Commissioners Memoranda

24-OCFS-LCM-04 Federal Fiscal Year 2024 John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood: Independent Living Allocations

The purpose of the John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood (CFCP) is to assist current and former youth in foster care achieve self-sufficiency. This Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) informs local departments of social services (LDSSs) of the CFCP allocations from the federal fiscal year (FFY) 2024 funds. The allocations contained in this LCM’s Attachment A may be used for independent living (IL) services expenditures made from October 1, 2023, through September 30, 2024, and claimed by March 31, 2025. Such claims will be paid up to the amount of the allocation and are subject to a 20% state/local match requirement. Unclaimed allocation amounts may be redistributed to other LDSSs that have claims in excess of the allocation or used to support the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) activities related to implementation of the Chafee Foster Care Independence Act. This will allow New York State to maximize its use of funds available under this federal funding stream.

2023

Administrative Directives

23-OCFS-ADM-22
Notification to Foster Parent of Foster Care Level of Care and Room and Board Rate Payment

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to notify local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of recent updates made to the standardized procedure to notify foster parents of a child’s level of care determination and associated board rate payment, along with their right to appeal the determination and associated payment. The standardized procedure outlined in this ADM now includes the extraordinary rate (see 23-OCFS-ADM-21) and replaces the previous procedure set forth in 08-OCFS-ADM-03, which is now canceled.

23-OCFS-ADM-21
Newly Adopted Extraordinary Level of Care and other Regulatory Changes

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of regulatory amendments that impact foster care rates, adoption subsidies, and Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (KinGAP) payments as well as respite care and services provided to families and foster parents.

23-OCFS-ADM-16
Revised Legally Exempt Child Care Enrollment Forms

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to inform local social services districts of revisions to the forms used to enroll legally exempt child care providers (LECCP) funded under the New York State Child Care Block Grant (NYSCCBG).

23-OCFS-ADM-15-R1
New York State Bill of Rights for Children and Youth in Foster Care (revised May 2, 2024)

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the release of an updated New York State Bill of Rights for Children and Youth in Foster Care (Pub. 2001) (Bill of Rights), formerly OCFS-2132, and a new document titled My Rights in Foster Care (Pub. 2002). This ADM also releases an updated desk aid to assist caseworkers with the provision of the Bill of Rights, titled Step-by-Step Guidance on Distribution and Review of the Bill of Rights for Youth Aged 14 and Older (Pub. 5181). This ADM cancels and replaces 15-OCFS-ADM-18.

23-OCFS-ADM-14
Maximum State Aid Rates for Foster Care Programs and In-State Committee on Special Education Placements – Effective July 1, 2023, Through March 31, 2024

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to issue the maximum state aid rates (MSARs) for foster care programs and in-state committee on special education (CSE) maintenance rates for State Education Department (SED)-approved residential schools, effective July 1, 2023, through March 31, 2024.

23-OCFS-ADM-11
Casework Contacts for Children in Foster Care

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to advise local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of previously established and new casework contact requirements for children and youth in foster care. This ADM replaces and clarifies the requirements set forth in the previous casework contacts ADM, 16-OCFS-ADM-16, which is now canceled.

23-OCFS-ADM-10
Maximum State Aid Rates for Foster Care Programs and In-State Committee on Special Education Placements

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to issue the maximum state aid rates (MSARs) for foster care programs and in-state committee on special education (CSE) maintenance rates for State Education Department (SED)-approved residential schools, effective April 1, 2023, through June 30, 2023.

23-OCFS-ADM-03
Long-Stayer Reviews

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to notify local departments of social services (LDSS) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the process required for any child in foster care, placed in a Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP) where the LDSS concludes that the child requires treatment at the QRTP level of care beyond the limited statutory time frames established under the federal Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA).

Informational Letters

23-OCFS-INF-10
Guidelines for Parent Advocate Programs

The purpose of this informational letter (INF) is to advise local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of guidelines for operating a Parent Advocate Program. Parent Advocate Programs operate with parent advocates who are defined as persons who have been previously recipients of child welfare services; who have successfully addressed the issues that brought the family to the attention of child welfare; who have been reunified with their children, if applicable; and who have subsequently been successfully trained as a parent advocate to work within the child welfare system. Such person is either an employee or under contract with an LDSS or VA.

23-OCFS-INF-09
Notification of Changes to the Child Care Assistance Program as a Result of the State Fiscal Year 2024 Enacted Budget

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to inform local social services districts (districts) of the impact the New York State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2023-24 budget will have on the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) and the provision of child care services funded under the New York State Child Care Block Grant (NYSCCBG).

23-OCFS-INF-05
New York State Court of Appeals Decision on Applicability of the ICPC on Parent Placements

The purpose of this informational letter (INF) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the opinion issued on October 25, 2022, by the New York State Court of Appeals (Court of Appeals) about the applicability of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) to placements of children with their parents. As will be addressed in greater detail below, it was the opinion of the Court of Appeals that the ICPC is not applicable to such placements.

Local Commissioners Memoranda

23-OCFS-LCM-16
State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2023-24 Foster Care Block Grant Allocations

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to provide local departments of social services (LDSSs) with their Foster Care Block Grant allocations for State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2023-24.

23-OCFS-LCM-07
FFY 2023 John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood: Independent Living Allocations

The purpose of the John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood (CFCP) is to assist current and former youth in foster care achieve self-sufficiency. This Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) informs local departments of social services (LDSSs) of the CFCP allocations from the federal fiscal year (FFY) 2023 funds. The allocations contained in this LCM’s Attachment A may be used for independent living (IL) services expenditures made from October 1, 2022, through September 30, 2023, and claimed by March 31, 2024. Such claims will be paid up to the amount of the allocation and are subject to a 20% state/local match requirement. Unclaimed allocation amounts may be redistributed to other LDSSs that have claims in excess of the allocation or used to support the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) activities related to implementation of the Chafee Foster Care Independence Act, allowing New York State to maximize its use of funds available under this federal funding stream.

23-OCFS-LCM-04-R2
FFY 2023 Title IV Awards

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) of the Title IV (United States Code §§601-687, Subchapter IV, Chapter 7, Title 42) awards that have been received to date for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2023. This LCM provides notification of FFY 2023 Title IV grant awards.

2022

Administrative Directives

22-OCFS-ADM-19
The Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance (ICAMA)

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of updates and revisions to current practices around securing Medicaid (MA) for children with special needs who are receiving Title IV-E eligible (Adoption Assistance) or non-Title IV-E eligible (State Adoption Subsidy) and who are moving across state lines. This includes all Title IV-E eligible children and non-Title IV-E eligible children moving into and out of New York State (NYS). The major changes to NYS’s Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance (ICAMA) practice are new ICAMA forms, less required documentation and converting to a fully electronic submission and receipt of ICAMA requests using a shared email box ocfs.sm.bpsicama@ocfs.ny.gov.

22-OCFS-ADM-16
Maximum State Aid Rates for Foster Care Programs and In-State Committee on Special Education Placements – Effective July 1, 2022, Through March 31, 2023

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to extend the Maximum State Aid Rates (MSARs) for Foster Care Programs and In-State Committee on Special Education (CSE) Maintenance Rates for State Education Department (SED)-Approved Residential Schools, for rate year 2021-22. The MSARs effective April 1, 2022 through June 30, 2022, issued in 22-OCFS-ADM-15, dated July 14, 2022, will continue to be in effect for the period of July 1, 2022, through March 31, 2023.

22-OCFS-ADM-11
Requirements for Use of the National Electronic Interstate Compact Enterprise (NEICE) 2.0

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to set forth expectations and procedures for local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) in compliance with the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) requirement for electronic submission of all requests for placements through the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC), using the National Electronic Interstate Compact Enterprise (NEICE) version 2.0.

  • OCFS-4714 – National Electronic Interstate Compact Enterprise (NEICE) Confidentiality Non-Disclosure Agreement
22-OCFS-ADM-10
Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (KinGAP) Online System Requirements

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the requirement to process all Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (KinGAP) cases, including applications, agreements, and amendments, electronically through the KinGAP Online System. This ADM introduces this new system and sets forth requirements that users must follow to gain access.

22-OCFS-ADM-07
Provision of Aftercare in Qualified Residential Treatment Programs and EMPOWER Programs

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to advise local departments of social services (LDSS) and voluntary authorized agencies (VA) of the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) requirements related to the mandatory provision of aftercare services to children discharged from qualified residential treatment programs (QRTP) or EMPOWER QRTP exception programs (EMPOWER) licensed by OCFS under the federal Family First Preventive Services Act (FFPSA) and New York State regulations.

22-OCFS-ADM-06
Utilization of Stress Passes in an EMPOWER Program

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to advise local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) – particularly those operating programs serving children and youth who are found to be, or are at risk of becoming, victims or survivors of sex trafficking – of requirements pertaining to programs designed to meet the needs of this population.

22-OCFS-ADM-04
Chapter 798 Laws of 2021: Youth Reentry Into Foster Care Ages 18-21

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to notify local departments of social services (LDSSs), voluntary authorized agencies (VAs), runaway and homeless youth programs and coordinators, and other entities of the requirements in Chapter 798 of the Laws of 2021 (Chapter 798). Chapter 798 amends various sections of the Family Court Act (FCA) related to youth between the ages of 18 and 21 who are reentering foster care.

22-OCFS-ADM-02
Supervised Setting Program (SSP) Implementation

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the newly established Supervised Setting Programs (SSPs) that allow transition aged youth to live independently in a variety of supervised settings.

22-OCFS-ADM-01
Revised Education Stability and Transportation Requirements for Children in Foster Care

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to release the revised Students in Foster Care Tool Kit for Local Education Agencies and Local Departments of Social Services, developed by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) and the New York State Education Department (SED), that must be used to meet requirements under federal and state law pertaining to the school enrollment and transportation of children in foster care. The tool kit is designed to create a standard process by which local departments of social services (LDSSs), voluntary agencies (VAs), and local education agencies (LEAs) must coordinate efforts to promote educational stability for students in foster care.

Informational Letters

22-OCFS-INF-09
CANS-NY and CALOCUS-CASII Information Sheets

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to provide local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) with additional information regarding the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS)-NY and the Child and Adolescent Level of Care/Services Intensity Instrument (CALOCUS-CASII) assessment tools.

22-OCFS-INF-07
New Supervised Setting Programs (SSPs) Maximum State Aid Rates (MSARs) and Corresponding Entry of Information Into CONNECTIONS

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to announce the publication of Maximum State Aid Rates (MSARs) for Supervised Setting Programs (SSPs). This INF also provides clarity to local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) on how to enter and maintain certification or approval in CONNECTIONS necessary to populate the correct Rate Code for the supervised setting.

Local Commissioners Memoranda

22-OCFS-LCM-21
State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2022-23 Foster Care Block Grant Allocations

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to provide local departments of social services (LDSSs) with their Foster Care Block Grant allocations for State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2022-23.

22-OCFS-LCM-15
Federal Fiscal Year 2022 John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood: Independent Living Allocations

The purpose of the John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood (CFCP) is to assist current and former youth in foster care achieve self-sufficiency. This Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) informs local departments of social services (LDSSs) of the CFCP allocations from the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2022 funds. The allocations contained in this LCM’s Attachment A may be used for independent living (IL) services expenditures made from October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2022, and claimed by March 31, 2023. Such claims will be paid up to the amount of the allocation and are subject to a 20% state/local match requirement. Unclaimed allocation amounts may be redistributed to other LDSSs that have claims in excess of the allocation or used to support the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) activities related to implementation of the Chafee Foster Care Independence Act, allowing New York State to maximize its use of funds available under this federal funding stream.

22-OCFS-LCM-13
Supporting Foster Youth Through the Pandemic Act

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum is to clarify for local departments of social services (LDSSs) the use of federal Chafee funding in 2020 to support eligible youth who aged out of foster care during the time frame listed below. The COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the potential instability of young adults who aged out of foster care in New York State. To address the challenges exacerbated by the pandemic, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) allocated $1,511,287 of the Chafee pandemic funding to LDSSs specifically for youth who aged out of care from March 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021, without a safe and stable transition plan.

22-OCFS-LCM-01
FFY 2022 Title IV Awards

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) of the Title IV (United States Code §§601-687, Subchapter IV, Chapter 7, Title 42) awards that have been received to date for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2022.

2021

Administrative Directives

21-OCFS-ADM-32
Long-Stayer Reviews

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to notify local departments of social services (LDSS) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the process required for any youth placed in a Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP) where the LDSS believes that youth may require treatment at the QRTP level of care beyond the statutory timeframes established under the federal Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA).

  • OCFS-5356 – Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP) Long-Stayer Review Form
21-OCFS-ADM-31
Referral Process for Placement in a Prenatal, Postpartum, Parenting Program

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to notify local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the process to determine whether a referral may be made for a youth to be placed in a prenatal, postpartum, parenting (PPP) program and to detail the documentation that must accompany the referral.

21-OCFS-ADM-29
Maximum State Aid Rates for Foster Care Programs and Residential Programs for In-State Committee on Special Education Placements – Effective July 1, 2021, Through March 31, 2022

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to issue Maximum State Aid Rates (MSARs) for Foster Care Programs and In-State Committee on Special Education (CSE) Maintenance Rates for State Education Department (SED)-Approved Residential Schools, effective July 1, 2021, through March 31, 2022.

  • 21-OCFS-ADM-29 Attachment A – MSARs for Foster Boarding Home Payments and Adoption Subsidies 2021-22 Rate Year (July 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022)
  • 21-OCFS-ADM-29 Attachment B – MSARs for Supervised Independent Living Programs (SILPs) 2021-22 Rate Year (July 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022)
  • 21-OCFS-ADM-29 Attachment C – Growth Factors Applied to Voluntary Foster Care AgencyMSARs and CSE Maintenance Rates 2021-22 Rate Year (July 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022)
  • 21-OCFS-ADM-29 Attachment D – MSARs for Voluntary Foster Care Agencies 2021-22 Rate Year (July 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022)
  • 21-OCFS-ADM-29 Attachment E – In-State CSE Maintenance Rates for SED-Approved Residential Programs Licensed by OCFS 2021-22 Rate Year (July 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022)
  • 21-OCFS-ADM-29 Attachment F – In-State CSE Maintenance Rates for SED-Approved Residential Programs Licensed by Other New York State Agencies 2021-22 Rate Year (July 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022)
21-OCFS-ADM-27
Referral Process for Placement in an EMPOWER Program

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to advise local departments of social services (LDSSs) and authorized voluntary agencies (VAs) of new requirements pertaining to programs designed to meet the needs of children and youth in foster care who are found to be, or are at risk of becoming, victims or survivors of sex trafficking. These new requirements are based on the federal Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), which was enacted on February 9, 2018, and became effective in New York State (NYS) on September 29, 2021.

  • OCFS-5575 – Appropriateness of Placement Assessment in a Prenatal, Postpartum or Parenting/EMPOWER Setting (Attachment 1)
  • 21-OCFS-ADM-27 Attachment 2 – Common Referral and Intake Packet for EMPOWER Programs
21-OCFS-ADM-23
Qualified Individual Report, Business Case Flow for QRTP Referrals and QI Assessment, and Local Department of Social Services Referral for Qualified Individual Assessment

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to notify local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the release of the Qualified Individual Report (OCFS-5571), the Business Case Flow for QRTP Referrals and QI Assessment, the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths-NY (CANS-NY) Assessment and Summary Sheet, and the Local Department of Social Services Referral for Qualified Individual Assessment (OCFS-5570).

21-OCFS-ADM-22
Reimbursement for up to 14 days of Absence Without Consent (AWOC) in EMPOWER Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP) Exception Programs

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to advise local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) – particularly those operating programs serving children and youth who are found to be, or are at risk of becoming, victims or survivors of sex trafficking – of the ability for EMPOWER programs to be reimbursed for up to 14 consecutive days for youth who run away or are absent without consent (AWOC).

21-OCFS-ADM-20
Revised Model Contract for Purchase of Foster Care Services

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to notify local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the most recent revisions made to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) model contract for the purchase of foster care services. The revised model contract for the purchase of foster care services outlined in this ADM replaces the model contract issued in 15-OCFS-ADM-14 and cancels that ADM.

21-OCFS-ADM-19
Requirements to Operate an EMPOWER Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP) Exception Program

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to advise local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) "particularly those operating programs serving children and youth who are found to be, or are at risk of becoming, sex trafficking victims or survivors" of new requirements pertaining to programs designed to meet the needs of this population. These new requirements are based on the federal Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), which was enacted on February 9, 2018, and becomes effective in New York State (NYS) on September 29, 2021. This ADM was revised on October 28, 2021, to allow physical restraints when necessary to prevent serious bodily harm, and again on February 10, 2022, to clarify staffing ratio requirements.

21-OCFS-ADM-18
Prenatal, Postpartum, Parenting Programs: Qualified Residential Treatment Programs Exception in New York State

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to detail and describe to local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) New York State's (NYS) approach to certifying congregate care programs as prenatal, postpartum, parenting (PPP) Qualified Residential Treatment Programs (QRTP) Exceptions. It outlines the framework of a PPP program and details the requirements and process to apply for PPP program certification.

21-OCFS-ADM-17
Role and Responsibility of the Qualified Individual in New York State

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to detail and describe the role and responsibility of the Qualified Individual (QI) in New York State (NYS), to provide a format for a Local Department of Social Services (LDSS) to attest to QI qualifications if needed (Attachment A), and to distribute a QI model contract template (Attachment B) for the purchase of QI services.

21-OCFS-ADM-16
Extension of Maximum State Aid Rates for Foster Care Programs and Residential Programs for Committee on Special Education Placements for Rate Year 2019-20 – Effective April 1, 2020, Through June 30, 2020

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to extend the maximum state aid rates (MSARs) for foster care programs and in-state Committee on Special Education (CSE) maintenance rates for New York State Education Department (SED)-approved residential programs for a limited time, for rate year 2019-20. The MSARs effective July 1, 2019, through March 31, 2020, issued in 19-OCFS-ADM-20 and dated November 6, 2019, will continue to be in effect April 1, 2020, through June 30, 2020.

21-OCFS-ADM-15
Kinship Champion Training

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary agencies (VAs) of the requirement to identify a Kinship Champion to attend the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) Kinship Champion training.

21-OCFS-ADM-10
Anchoring of Furniture

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the provisions of Chapter 162 of the Laws of 2019 (Chapter 162) requiring the secure anchoring of large furniture and electronic devices in child day care centers and certain residential programs operated by VAs.

21-OCFS-ADM-07
Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to notify local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the requirements in Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act, Division X of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, Public Law (P.L.) 116-260, including a moratorium on youth aging out of foster care, reentry into foster care for youth who previously aged out of foster care during the COVID-19 health emergency period, and additional funding for the Chafee and Education Training Vouchers. The ADM also introduces the process LDSSs and VAs must follow to obtain title IV-E reimbursement for maintenance costs for youth who remain in foster care after age 21 or youth who reenter foster care at 21 years of age or older.

21-OCFS-ADM-06
Maximum State Aid Rates for Foster Care Programs and Residential Programs for In-State Committee on Special Education Placements – Effective July 1, 2020, Through March 31, 2021

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to issue Maximum State Aid Rates (MSARs) for Foster Care Programs and In-State Committee on Special Education (CSE) Maintenance Rates for State Education Department (SED)-Approved Residential Schools, effective July 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021. Please note that all published MSARs and CSE Maintenance Rates remain in effect for payment and reimbursement until modified or deleted by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS). A subsequent ADM will be published to specify rate revisions for the balance of Rate Year (RY) 2020-21, April 1, 2021, through June 30, 2021. At that time, local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary agencies will be advised regarding rate changes and payment requirements for that period.

  • 21-OCFS-ADM-06 Attachment A – Maximum State Aid Rates for Foster Boarding Home Payments and Adoption Subsidies 2020-21 Rate Year
  • 21-OCFS-ADM-06 Attachment B – MSARs for Supervised Independent Living Programs (SILPs) 2020-21 Rate Year (July 1, 2020 – March 31, 2021)
  • 21-OCFS-ADM-06 Attachment C – Growth Factors Applied to Voluntary Foster Care Agency MSARs and CSE Maintenance Rates 2020-21 Rate Year (July 1, 2020 – March 31, 2021)
  • 21-OCFS-ADM-06 Attachment D – New York State Office of Children and Family Services Standards of Payment for Foster Care of Children MSARs for Voluntary Agencies July 1, 2020 – March 31, 2021
  • 21-OCFS-ADM-06 Attachment E – New York State Office of Children and Family Services Standards of Payment for Foster Care of Children In-State CSE Maintenance Rates for SED-Approved Residential Programs Licensed by OCFS July 1, 2020 – March 31, 2021
  • 21-OCFS-ADM-06 Attachment F – New York State Office of Children and Family Services Standards of Payment for Foster Care of Children In-State CSE Maintenance Rates for SED-Approved Residential Programs Licensed by Other New York State Agencies July 1, 2020 – March 31, 2021
21-OCFS-ADM-05
Regulatory Changes and Standards of Care for Youth in Congregate Care Settings

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to provide guidance on recent regulatory changes in conjunction with the creation of policy-based standards of care that will continue to promote and maintain the health, safety and well-being of all youth placed in all congregate care settings that are licensed by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), including those operated by voluntary foster care agencies and local departments of social services (LDSS). To accompany the regulatory changes described herein, specifically the development of mandated policies, OCFS is providing sample policies that comport with the regulations. This ADM is also to inform congregate care programs of future incident reporting requirements.

21-OCFS-ADM-04
Qualified Residential Treatment Programs (QRTPs) and QRTP Exceptions in New York State

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to detail and describe New York State’s (NYS) approach to certifying congregate care programs as Qualified Residential Treatment Programs (QRTPs) in order to allow children residing in the programs to remain eligible under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act (Title IV-E). Local Departments of Social Services (LDSSs) will not be able to claim for continued (more than 14 days) Title IV-E reimbursement as of September 29, 2021, for children and youth in foster care placed in congregate care settings on or after this date, unless such setting is a QRTP or a QRTP Exception. This ADM also provides preliminary information and expectations regarding the programs that will qualify as QRTP Exceptions in NYS.

  • OCFS-4992 – Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP) Attestation Form
21-OCFS-ADM-02
Implementing Federal and Corresponding New York State Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Regulations (replaces 17-OCFS-ADM-08)

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to advise local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of requirements in federal and state regulations pertaining to the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). This ADM replaces 17-OCFS-ADM-08, to include OCFS-5500, ICWA Case Process Checklist, a new tool for LDSSs to document case processes for children known to be Indian/Native American.

21-OCFS-INF-08
Supervised Settings as Expanded Placement Options for Older Youth in Foster Care

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of expectations for the forthcoming Supervised Setting Programs (SSPs) that will allow older youth in foster care to live independently. Such settings are Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP) Exceptions (also referred to as specified settings ) under the federal Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA); therefore, eligible youth in foster care ages 18-21 residing in such settings may remain in those settings and be eligible for reimbursement under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act (Title IV-E) on and after September 29, 2021. This INF is the first Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) guidance document that will be released regarding SSPs. OCFS will release an Administrative Directive (ADM) providing further guidance and required actions for LDSSs and VAs to take to apply for and operate SSPs, and to approve or certify supervised settings.

Informational Letters

21-OCFS-INF-06
Introduction of the LGBTQ+ Community Practice Model

The purpose of this informational letter (INF) is to introduce to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) overseen and regulated community the LGBTQ+ Community Practice Model. The LGBTQ+ Community Practice Model was designed by OCFS to establish a consistent and affirming approach when engaging members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer (LGBQ) and/or transgender, gender nonconforming, nonbinary (TGNC) community (LGBTQ+) across OCFS programming, policy, and practice in New York State. Additionally, a SOGIE Terms, Concepts, and Definitions document has been developed to accompany the practice model.

Local Commissioners Memoranda

21-OCFS-LCM-32
Revised Federal Fiscal Year 2020 John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood: Independent Living Allocations

The purpose of the John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood (CFCP) is to help current and former foster care youth achieve self-sufficiency. This Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) informs local departments of social services (LDSSs) of the CFCP allocations from the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2020 funds and provides the amount of FFY 20 Chafee that was used to support youth over the age of 21 (aging out).

21-OCFS-LCM-27
FFY 2021 Title IV Awards

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) of the Title IV (United States Code §§601-687, Subchapter IV, Chapter 7, Title 42) awards that have been received for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2021. This LCM updates amounts reflected in the attachments provided in 21-OCFS-LCM-10 and provides notification of new awards received. There are no other noticeable differences.

  • 21-OCFS-LCM-27 Attachment A – Attachment for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Grants – Title IV-E FFY 2021 Adoption Assistance
  • 21-OCFS-LCM-27 Attachment B – Attachment for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Grants – Title IV-E FFY 2021 Kinship Guardianship
  • 21-OCFS-LCM-27 Attachment C – Attachment for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Grants – Title IV-E FFY 2020 Foster Care Awards
21-OCFS-LCM-25
FFY 2020 Title IV Awards

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) of the Title IV (United States Code §§601-687, Subchapter IV, Chapter 7, Title 42) awards that have been received for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2020. This LCM updates amounts reflected in the attachments provided in 21-OCFS-LCM-09 and provides notification of new awards received. There are no other noticeable differences.

21-OCFS-LCM-22
State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2021-22 Foster Care Block Grant Allocations

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to provide local departments of social services (LDSSs) with their Foster Care Block Grant allocations for State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2021-22. Notable differences from the prior year Foster Care Block Grant LCM include a revision to the allocation methodology.

21-OCFS-LCM-11
Tuition Reimbursement for Children Who Have Educational Disabilities and Are Placed in Institutions

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) requires your review of student placement data for the 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21 school years for children who have educational disabilities and were reported to OCFS by local departments of social services (LDSSs) pursuant to section 4006 of the Education Law (EL). The New York State Education Department (NYSED) records student placement data in its System to Track and Account for Children (STAC). The 2020-21 school year closes June 25, 2021. Placement data is due by September 30, 2021. An LDSS's reimbursement may be forfeited if the LDSS's submission is late. Submission instructions are attached to this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM). There are no notable differences from the previous LCM, Tuition Reimbursement for Children Who Have Educational Disabilities and Are Placed in Institutions (20-OCFS-LCM-08).

21-OCFS-LCM-07
Federal Fiscal Year 2021 John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood: Independent Living Allocations

The purpose of the John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood (CFCP) is to assist current and former youth in foster care achieve self-sufficiency. This Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) informs local departments of social services (LDSSs) of the CFCP allocations from the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2021 funds.

21-OCFS-LCM-10
FFY 2021 Title IV Awards

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) of the Title IV (United States Code §§601-687, Subchapter IV, Chapter 7, Title 42) awards that have been received for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2021. This LCM updates amounts reflected in the attachments provided in 21-OCFS-LCM-03 and provides notification of new awards received. There are no other noticeable differences.

  • 21-OCFS-LCM-10 Attachment A – Attachment for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Grants –Title IV-E FFY 2021 Adoption Assistance
  • 21-OCFS-LCM-10 Attachment B – Attachment for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Grants – Title IV-E FFY 2021 Kinship Guardianship
  • 21-OCFS-LCM-10 Attachment C – Attachment for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Grants – Title IV-E FFY 2021 Foster Care Awards
21-OCFS-LCM-09
FFY 2020 Title IV Awards

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) of the Title IV (United States Code §§601-687, Subchapter IV, Chapter 7, Title 42) awards that have been received for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2020. This LCM updates amounts reflected in the attachments provided in 21-OCFS-LCM-04 and provides notification of new awards received. There are no other noticeable differences.

21-OCFS-LCM-05
Use of Foster Care Block Grant for Funding the Fostering Futures New York Program

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to advise local departments social services (LDSSs) of the authority to use their Foster Care Block Grant (FCBG) allocations to purchase the Fostering Futures New York (FFNY) program.

21-OCFS-LCM-04
FFY 2020 Title IV Awards

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) of the Title IV (United States Code §§601-687, Subchapter IV, Chapter 7, Title 42) awards that have been received for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2020. This LCM updates amounts reflected in the attachments provided in 20-OCFS-LCM-18 and provides notification of new awards received. There are no other noticeable differences.

21-OCFS-LCM-03
FFY 2021 Title IV Awards

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) of the Title IV (United States Code §§601-687, Subchapter IV, Chapter 7, Title 42) awards that have been received for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2021. This LCM provides notification of FFY 2021 grant awards.

2020

Administrative Directives

20-OCFS-ADM-23
Stafford Act Flexibility

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to notify local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the flexibility to waive certain title IV-E requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic as authorized by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act). The ADM also introduces the process LDSSs and VAs must follow for requesting such flexibility.

20-OCFS-ADM-22-R2
Persons In Need of Supervision Reform Changes (Revised 6/13/2024)

The purpose of this Administrative Directive is to outline and describe the changes made to Article 7 of the Family Court Act (FCA) to enact Person In Need of Supervision (PINS) reform effective January 1, 2020. Please note that provisions related to truancy allegations of youth, pursuant to Chapter 362 of the Laws of 2018, went into effect as of March 7, 2019.

  • 20-OCFS-ADM-22-R2 Attachment A – System Instructions for Youth Ordered to Pre-dispositional Placement in a Foster Care Setting and Post-dispositional Placement Under Article 7 (Revised 6/13/2024)
20-OCFS-ADM-21
New Purchase of Service (POS) Types for Authorizing Special Payments

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to notify local departments of social services (LDSSs) of new Welfare Management System (WMS) Purchase of Service (POS) types that must be used for authorizing special payment expenditures for children in foster care residing in foster boarding homes (FBHs). This ADM also provides direction on the authorization of the new POS types.

20-OCFS-ADM-20
Elimination of Tuberculosis Testing (TB) Requirement for Prospective Adoptive Parents, Foster Boarding Homes and Child Care Staff Applicants

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to notify local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the changes to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) regulations regarding tuberculosis (TB) testing. The changes to the regulations have eliminated the requirement for prospective foster or adoptive parent applicants and individuals seeking employment in specific OCFS-licensed congregate care settings to be tested for TB as a condition of certification/approval or employment. These regulatory changes also require that the medical professional completing the medical evaluations on these individuals include a statement regarding any mental health condition an applicant may have and if the presence of any such physical or mental condition poses a risk to the health and safety of children in foster care.

20-OCFS-ADM-18
Kin-First Firewall Practice

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary agencies (VAs) of the requirement to establish a kin-first firewall practice to increase safe and appropriate kinship placements for children. The kin-first firewall practice must address both instances of initial removal and of children being moved while in care. Kin-first firewalls are intended to make kinship placements the presumptive placement for children, thereby expanding family-based care and helping LDSSs and VAs prepare for Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) implementation.

20-OCFS-ADM-08-R1
Approval of Emergency Foster Boarding Homes and Expanded Waiver Authority (Revised March 13, 2024)

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to release the standardized forms that must be used to complete the expedited home studies to approve emergency foster boarding homes (FBHs). It also reminds local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) regulations that allow LDSSs/VAs to approve kin as emergency FBHs to provide care to a specific child(ren) who needs immediate placement in an FBH. Finally, this ADM informs LDSSs and VAs about amendments to OCFS regulations that expand the definition of "relative” for the purpose of approval of an FBH and expands regulatory non-safety, non-statutory waiver authority to include individuals who meet the requirements to become an approved FBH.

  • OCFS-5300A – Emergency Foster Home Application
  • OCFS-5300B – Prospective Emergency Foster Parent Statement
  • OCFS-5300C – Expedited Home Study Evaluation
  • OCFS-5300D – Expedited Home Study Checklist for Caseworker
20-OCFS-ADM-05
Requirement to Make Information Available to Nonparent Caregivers Relating to Available Services and Assistance Programs

As directed by 12-ADM-01, social services districts (districts) are required by Social Services Law (SSL) §392 to make information available to relative caregivers caring for children outside of the foster care system on financial assistance and services programs as well as information on how to apply for them. Chapter 399 of the Laws of 2019 (Chapter 399) amended SSL §392 to expand this requirement to nonrelative caregivers and other prospective suitable persons, to include additional information that must be provided, and to require that all information be provided in writing and available through districts’ websites.

  • Pub. 5175 – Know Your Options: Kin Caring for Children
  • Pub. 5120 – Make an Informed Choice: Kin Caring for Children
  • Pub. 5194 – Know Your Resources: Nonparent Caregiver Benefits
20-OCFS-ADM-04
Replacement Clothing for Children in Foster Care

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to advise local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of changes in the Welfare Management System (WMS) regarding the authorization and payment of replacement clothing for children in foster care residing in foster boarding homes (FBHs). This ADM does not change the WMS authorization process for initial clothing for children in foster care residing in FBHs or child care facility settings.

Informational Letters

20-OCFS-INF-11
Contemporaneous Documentation of Casework Contacts With Children in Foster Care

The purpose of this informational letter (INF) is to remind the local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the importance of adhering to the regulatory requirements of conducting face-to-face casework contacts with children in foster care and receiving preventive services contemporaneously documenting these casework contacts in the child’s CONNECTIONS (CONNX) case record.

20-OCFS-INF-10
Child Welfare League of America and Lambda Legal Toolkit: Getting Down to Basics: Tools to Support LGBTQ Youth in Care

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs), voluntary authorized agencies (VAs), detention providers, and youth bureaus of the availability of resources for improving practice and outcomes for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning (LGBTQ), transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) youth and young adults. These resources include prior guidance from the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) and the toolkit Getting Down to Basics: Tools to Support LGBTQ Youth in Care, which was developed in partnership with the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) and Lambda Legal.

20-OCFS-INF-05
Education and Training Voucher Application and Eligibility Requirements

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary agencies (VAs) of the application and eligibility requirements that must be met for youth to participate in the New York State Education and Training Voucher (ETV) program.

20-OCFS-INF-04
Office of the Ombudsman Engagement with Juvenile Delinquent-Adjudicated Youth in Voluntary Agencies

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to notify local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the right of a youth placed in VAs as a juvenile delinquent (JD), regardless of whose custody the youth is in, to access the services of the New York State Office of Children and Family Services’ (OCFS) Office of the Ombudsman (OOTO) and the protocols for such access. This INF does not change or otherwise modify OCFS’ Child Welfare and Community Services’ (CWCS) authority to oversee, monitor, inspect, and follow-up with VAs.

Local Commissioners Memoranda

20-OCFS-LCM-18
FFY 2020 Title IV Awards

(LCM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) of the Title IV (United States Code §§601-687, Subchapter IV, Chapter 7, Title 42) awards that have been received for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2020. This LCM, along with 20-OCFS-LCM-17 (FFY 2019 Title IV Awards), updates amounts reflected in the attachments provided in 20-OCFS-LCM-09. There are no other noticeable differences.

20-OCFS-LCM-17
FFY 2019 Title IV Awards

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) of the Title IV (United States Code §§601-687, Subchapter IV, Chapter 7, Title 42) awards that have been received for Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2019. This LCM, along with 20-OCFS-LCM-18 (FFY 2020 Title IV Awards), updates amounts reflected in the attachments provided in 20-OCFS-LCM-09. There are no other noticeable differences.

20-OCFS-LCM-11
State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2020-21 Foster Care Block Grant Allocations

The purpose of the Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to provide local departments of social services (LDSSs) with their Foster Care Block Grant allocations for State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2020-21. Notable differences from the prior year Foster Care Block Grant LCM include: A revision to the methodology used to determine LDSS set-aside allocations and the provision of additional information concerning the impact of unclaimed Foster Care Block Grant funds on the county child welfare settlement.

20-OCFS-LCM-07
Federal Fiscal Year 2020 John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood: Independent Living Allocations

The purpose of the John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood (CFCP) is to offer assistance to help current and former foster care youths achieve self-sufficiency. This Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) informs local departments of social services (LDSSs) of the CFCP allocations from the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2020 funds. The allocations contained in this memorandum’s Attachment A may be used for Independent Living (IL) services expenditures made from October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020, and claimed by March 31, 2021.

20-OCFS-LCM-05
State Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Title IV Awards

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) of the Title IV (United States Code §§601-687, Subchapter IV, Chapter 7, Title 42) awards they have received during State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2019-2020.

2019

Administrative Directives

19-OCFS-ADM-22
Person In Need of Supervision Reform Changes

The purpose of this Administrative Directive is to outline and describe the changes made to Article 7 of the Family Court Act (FCA) to enact Person In Need of Supervision (PINS) reform effective January 1, 2020. Please note that provisions related to truancy allegations of youth, pursuant to Chapter 362 of the Laws of 2018, went into effect as of March 7, 2019.

  • 19-OCFS-ADM-22 Attachment A – System Instructions for Youth Ordered to Pre-dispositional Placement in a Foster Care Setting and Post-dispositional Placement Under Article 7
19-OCFS-ADM-21
Expansion of Background Checks for Congregate Care Staff Under the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA)

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the expanded background check requirements for persons working in congregate care programs due to the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) and Part I of Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2019 (Chapter 56). FFPSA requires: a) a state and national criminal history record check; b) a check of the in-state child abuse and maltreatment register (Statewide Central Register [SCR database check); and c) a check of the child abuse register in any other state in which the person resided within the last five years. This ADM contains updated guidance related to background check requirements. The previous ADM, Expansion of Background Checks for Congregate Care Staff (19-OCFS-ADM-04), is canceled.

19-OCFS-ADM-20
Maximum State Aid Rates for Foster Care Programs and In-State Committee on Special Education (CSE) Placements – Effective July 1, 2019, Through March 31, 2020

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to issue maximum state aid rates (MSARs) for foster care programs and in-state Committee on Special Education (CSE) maintenance rates for New York State Education Department (SED)-approved residential programs, effective July 1, 2019, through March 31, 2020.

19-OCFS-ADM-17
Placement Module Phase 3 – Searching/Matching Function

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to introduce Phase 3 of the Placement Module in CONNECTIONS (CNNX). This new searching/matching component of CNNX is designed to assist local department of social services (LDSSs) and authorized voluntary agencies (VAs) in finding appropriate foster care placements efficiently and quickly. Additionally, management staff may analyze the information gathered in this module to identify placement population trends, program strengths and weaknesses, and project foster home recruitment needs.

19-OCFS-ADM-13
Uploading Documents/Photos to CONNECTIONS

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to provide an overview of the new “Uploads” functionality in the New York State Child Welfare Information System (CONNECTIONS). The Uploads function allows users to upload photographs and documents within CONNECTIONS, and link them to a stage, person, progress note, allegation, or health record where they can then be accessed by other users assigned a role in the stage where the uploaded file is located

19-OCFS-ADM-12
Foster Boarding Home Annual Reauthorization Process and Template

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to release the Annual Reauthorization Assessment and Determination (OCFS-5183L) form that must be used to complete the annual renewal process, referred to as the “annual reauthorization” of a foster boarding home (FBH). This ADM also reminds local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the regulatory requirements regarding the annual reauthorization.

  • OCFS-5183L – Annual Reauthorization Assessment and Determination
19-OCFS-ADM-09
Extension of Maximum State Aid Rates for Foster Care Programs and Residential Programs for Committee on Special Education Placements – Effective April 1, 2019, through June 30, 2019

The purpose of the Administrative Directive (ADM) is to extend the maximum state aid rates (MSARs) for foster care programs and in-state Committee on Special Education (CSE) maintenance rates for State Education Department (SED)-approved residential programs for a limited period of time. The MSARs effective July 1, 2018, through March 31, 2019, issued in 18-OCFS-ADM-21, will continue to be in effect for the period April 1, 2019, through June 30, 2019.

19-OCFS-ADM-08
Required Forms for Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) Placement Referrals

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to notify local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the requirement to utilize revised forms when submitting a new request under the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS). The forms have been revised for ease of use. The process for submitting a request remains unchanged.

  • OCFS-5050Checklist for Caseworkers for ICPC Home Study Requests
  • OCFS-5050GResidential Placement Checklist for Caseworkers – Regulation 4
  • OCFS-5050ACover Sheet
  • OCFS-5050BCertification of Title IV-E Eligibility for Interstate Placements of New York Children
  • OCFS-5050CFinancial-Medical Plan
  • OCFS-5050DDetailed Child Summary
  • OCFS-5050ESigned Statement of Sending Agency Case Manager
  • OCFS-5050FExpedited Placement Decision Home Study Request Form – Regulation 7- Combined Form
19-OCFS-ADM-07
FFPSA Model Licensing Standards and Updated Forms for the Certification or Approval of Foster/Adoptive Homes

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to advise local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the release of the Federal Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) model licensing standards and the alignment of New York State’s process for certifying or approving foster homes with the model standards. This ADM also releases the updated forms that must be used by LDSSs and VAs when certifying or approving foster or foster/adoptive homes.

19-OCFS-ADM-01
Committee on Special Education Maintenance Rates for July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019, for Out-of-State Residential Schools Approved by the New York State Education Department

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to issue the Committee on Special Education (CSE) maintenance rates for out-of-state residential schools approved by the State Education Department (SED). These CSE maintenance rates are effective for the period July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019.

Informational Letters

19-OCFS-INF-06
Therapeutic Foster Care Guidance

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to provide guidance to local departments of social services (LDSS) and authorized voluntary agencies (VAs) on therapeutic foster care (TFC), including the guiding principles, outcomes with its use and the key components of a therapeutic foster care model.

19-OCFS-INF-05
Education and Training Voucher Application and Eligibility Requirements

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary agencies (VAs) of the application and eligibility requirements that must be met for youth to participate in the New York State Education and Training Voucher (ETV) program.

19-OCFS-INF-04
Use of Communication Technologies by Children in Foster Care

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to provide guidance to local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) on the use of communication technologies by children in foster care. LDSSs and VAs are reminded that caregivers must apply the reasonable and prudent parenting standard (RPPS) when deciding whether a child in foster care may participate in normative experiences. Communication technologies are essential components of normalcy for all children, including those in foster care.

Communication technologies include, but are not limited to, cell phones, mobile devices, computers, social media, and the internet. Caregivers must therefore apply RPPS to determine the amount of support the child needs to access communication technologies safely. For purposes of this INF, the term “child(ren)” includes youth to age 21. The term “caregiver” includes the foster parent with whom the child in foster care has been placed or a designated employee of a congregate care facility in which the child has been placed.

Local Commissioners Memoranda

19-OCFS-LCM-20
Eligibility Case File Maintenance

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to notify local departments of social services (LDSSs) of the requirement to maintain separate eligibility files related to each child for whom the LDSS is claiming federal and/or state reimbursement. Some children will be eligible for multiple programs. The eligibility files must meet all state and federal requirements and be readily accessible, in case of monitoring or auditing by state and/or federal officials.

  • OCFS-4777 – Federal Foster Care Candidacy Determination Form
  • OCFS-2125 – Title IV-E Eligibility Documentation File
  • OCFS-4401 – Adoption Subsidy Eligibility Documentation File
  • OCFS-4435a – Kinship Guardianship Assistance Eligibility Checklist
  • OCFS-4435b – Kinship Guardianship Assistance Eligibility Checklist Instructions
19-OCFS-LCM-18
State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2019-20 Foster Care Block Grant Allocations – Revised 8/7/2019

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to provide local departments of social services (LDSSs) with their Foster Care Block Grant allocations for State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2019-20. There are no notable differences from prior year Foster Care Block Grant LCMs.

19-OCFS-LCM-11
Federal Administration for Children and Families Final Report on the 2018 Title IV-E Primary Foster Care Eligibility Review

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to inform local departments of social services (local districts) that New York State was recently found to be in substantial compliance with federal Title IV-E child and provider eligibility requirements by the federal Administration for Children and Families (ACF). This determination was based on the Subsequent Primary Title IV-E Foster Care Eligibility Review (FCER), completed at the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) in Rensselaer, NY, during the week of September 17-21, 2018. This LCM transmits the attached ACF Final Report on the 2018 Subsequent Primary Review issued by ACF on January 3, 2019.

19-OCFS-LCM-09
Family First Transition Fund

This LCM advises LDSSs of the availability of $3,000,000 from the Family First Transition Fund. On April 12, 2019, Governor Cuomo signed legislation that established the Family First Transition Fund to help LDSSs support, recruit and retain current and prospective foster families, including kinship caregivers (Chapter 53 of the Laws of 2019).

19-OCFS-LCM-08
Federal Fiscal Year 2019 Independent Living Allocations

The purpose of the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) is to offer assistance to help current and former foster care youths achieve self-sufficiency. This Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) informs local departments of social services (LDSSs) of the CFCIP allocations from the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2019 funds. The allocations contained in this memorandum’s Attachment A may be used for Independent Living (IL) services expenditures made from October 1, 2018, through September 30, 2019, and claimed by March 31, 2020. Such claims will be paid up to the amount of the allocation and subject to a 20 percent state/local match requirement. Unclaimed allocation amounts will be redistributed to other LDSSs that have claims in excess of the allocation, or used to support the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) activities related to implementation of the Chafee Foster Care Independence Act, allowing New York State to maximize its use of funds available under this federal funding stream.

2018

Administrative Directives

18-OCFS-ADM-19
Responsibility of Runaway and Homeless Youth Crisis Services Programs Regarding Destitute Children and Youth Formerly in Foster Care

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to direct runaway and homeless youth (RHY) programs to take specific actions when youth who are former foster care recipients or who may meet the definition of destitute child, as this term is defined in section 1092 of the Family Court Act (FCA), present at RHY programs.

18-OCFS-ADM-18
Educational Stability and Transportation Requirements for Children in Foster Care

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to release and outline the Students in Foster Care Tool Kit for Local Education Agencies and Local Social Services Agencies, developed by the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) and the State Education Department (SED), that must be used to meet requirements under federal and state law pertaining to the school enrollment and transportation of children in foster care. The tool kit is designed to create a standard process by which local social services districts (LDSSs), voluntary agencies (VAs), and local education agencies (LEAs) must coordinate efforts to promote educational stability for students in foster care.

18-OCFS-ADM-17
Requirements for Use of the National Electronic Interstate Compact Enterprise (NEICE)

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to set forth expectations and procedures for local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) in compliance with the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) requirement for electronic submission of all requests for placements through the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC), using the National Electronic Interstate Compact Enterprise (NEICE).

18-OCFS-ADM-16
Providing Foster Care Placement Verification to Youth 18 Years of Age or Older Exiting Foster Care

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to notify local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the new requirement contained in the federal Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), that a child who is leaving foster care by reason of attaining the age of 18 years of age or older and who has been in foster care for more than six (6) months may not be discharged from foster care without being provided with official documentation necessary to prove that the youth was previously in foster care. This ADM also introduces the Foster Care Placement Verification Form (OCFS-5184) for the purpose of providing such documentation, and provides instructions on when and how it must be completed.

18-OCFS-ADM-14
Health Home Referral Requirements for Children in Foster Care

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSS) of the Health Home Serving Children Program and minimum eligibility and appropriateness criteria for referring potentially eligible children in foster care to this program. This ADM encourages LDSSs to refer children in foster care to the Health Home Serving Children Program at any point during their time in foster care and specifically requires the LDSS to refer eligible children to this program in preparation for their discharge from foster care. This ADM further describes the procedures and steps for LDSS staff to take to refer children in foster care to the Health Home Serving Children Program so that they may receive the service of Health Home Care Management. Finally, this ADM describes the New York State Department of Health’s (DOH) authority to permit LDSSs to delegate to voluntary foster care agencies (VFCAs), which are also Health Home Care Management Agencies (CMAs), the authority to make referrals to Health Homes Serving Children for children in foster care.

Please note: for purposes of this ADM, the terms child, children, youth include individuals in foster care who are between the ages of 0-21 years.

18-OCFS-ADM-13
Placement Module in CONNECTIONS

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to introduce the new Placement module in CONNECTIONS (CNNX). This component of CNNX is designed to assist local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) in matching children to the best available foster care placement. This provides for more stability for children in foster care and positively impacts the safety, permanency, and wellbeing of children in foster care.

18-OCFS-ADM-11
Revised Payment Rates for Bridges to Health (B2H) Home and Community-Based Waiver Services, Effective November 1, 2017

The purpose of this New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) Administrative Directive (ADM) is to publish provider rates for the Bridges to Health (B2H) Home and Community-Based Medicaid Waiver Program, which became effective November 1, 2017. Specifically, this ADM is to update B2H rates to align with rates of other Medicaid Waiver programs. All B2H rates continue to be billable to the Medicaid program by enrolled B2H providers.

18-OCFS-ADM-07
Foster/Adoptive Home Certification or Approval Process (Revised 6/10/24)

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to release and outline the new tools that must be used to support the foster/adoptive home certification and approval process. In New York State, an applicant(s) can be certified or approved as a foster parent. An applicant(s) may also be a concurrently certified or approved foster parent and an approved adoptive parent. For purposes of this ADM the term “foster home” and “foster parent” refers to both options. This ADM also reminds local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the regulatory requirements regarding certifying and approving foster homes.

Informational Letters

18-OCFS-INF-06
Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) (P.L. 115-123)

This Informational Letter (INF) serves as an introduction to the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) for local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs), and to outline key provisions that impact child welfare.

18-OCFS-INF-04
Education and Training Voucher Eligibility Requirements

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary agencies (VAs) of the application and eligibility requirements that must be met for youth to participate in the New York State Education and Training Voucher (ETV) program.

18-OCFS-INF-02
Dual Certification of Foster Boarding Homes and Family-Type Homes for Adults

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to make local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) aware of the potential for certified or approved foster boarding homes to obtain certification as Family-Type Homes for Adults (FTHAs) to provide continuity of care for a youth in foster care residing in the foster home who is approaching age 21 who lacks the skills or ability to live independently.

As used in this INF, the term “dual certification” means the ability of an individual to be both

  1. a certified or approved foster parent for youth in foster care through age 21, and
  2. a certified FTHA operator for a youth formerly in foster care who is age 21 or older.

Attachment B, Dual Certification: Guidance for Caseworkers and Foster Parents on Foster Care and Family-Type Homes for Adults, provides information about FTHAs, including how such homes are approved, operated, and supervised. Information is also attached explaining how foster parents who meet the FTHA certification standards can continue to serve former foster youth in their care.

Local Commissioners Memoranda

18-OCFS-LCM-09
State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2018-19 Foster Care Block Grant Allocations

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to provide local departments of social services (LDSSs) with their Foster Care Block Grant allocations for State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2018-19.

18-OCFS-LCM-07
Federal Fiscal Year 2018 Independent Living Allocations

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) of the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) allocations from the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2018 funds and unspent FFY 17 funds. The allocations contained in this memorandum’s Attachment A may be used for Independent Living (IL) services expenditures made October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018, and claimed by March 31, 2019. Such claims will be paid up to the amount of the allocation and subject to a 20 percent state/local match requirement. Unclaimed allocation amounts will be redistributed to other LDSSs that have claims in excess of the allocation or used to support the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) activities related to implementation of the Chafee Foster Care Independence Act, allowing New York State to maximize its use of funds available under this federal funding stream.

LDSSs are advised that they must be in compliance with all provisions set forth in 02- OCFS-LCM-05, issued on February 28, 2002. Furthermore, LDSSs must be in compliance with the assurances made to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) listed in Attachment B of that memorandum, to be eligible for reimbursement from CFCIP funds.

18-OCFS-LCM-04
Federal Foster Care Candidacy Requirements

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to address the steps that must be taken to make timely and accurate determinations of candidacy for foster care enabling the state and local departments of social services (LDSSs) to receive federal reimbursement for allowable pre-placement administrative expenses associated with candidates for foster care. A Title IV-E candidate for foster care is a child who is at serious or imminent risk of removal from his or her home and placement into foster care as evidenced by the LDSS pursuing the child’s removal from the home or making reasonable efforts to prevent such removal.1 This release is necessitated by the results of the targeted technical assistance provided by the Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF) Children’s Bureau (CB) and Office of Grants Management (OGM) to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) during the week of November 13-16, 2017. The purpose of the targeted technical assistance was to understand how OCFS determined and documented the eligibility of candidates for the Title IV-E foster care program; discuss the claiming process used by OCFS to claim the Title IV-E foster care maintenance payments, administrative cost, federal financial participation rates, and supportive documentation; and discuss the Title IV-E claims for training.

2017

Administrative Directives

17-OCFS-ADM-14
Family Visiting Policy for Children in Foster Care

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to advise local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the need to develop a written policy, consistent with the safety and best interests of the child, related to regular parenting time (visitation by the parent of the child in foster care) and family visitation for children in foster care. This ADM notes that contact between the child and his or her parent(s) is aimed at parenting the child, thus throughout it is called parenting time. For other family members, it is called visitation. This ADM provides guidance to LDSSs and VAs on developing a written policy, which should also be developed in consultation with relevant stakeholders and made available to families and stakeholders no later than 90 days from the release of this ADM.

17-OCFS-ADM-12
Provision of Dental Services for Children and Youth in Foster Care

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the regulatory requirements regarding the provision of regular oral and/or dental care screenings and referral for necessary dental care.

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.

17-OCFS-ADM-01
Immunity from Liability When Applying the Reasonable and Prudent Parenting Standard

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to advise local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of provisions of Part M of Chapter 54 of the Laws of 2016 (Chapter 54), which provide immunity from liability to foster parents, designated congregate care staff, VAs and LDSSs in regard to the application of the reasonable and prudent parent standard (the standard).

Informational Letters

17-OCFS-INF-05
Changes to the OCFS-4930ASFA Request for NYS Fingerprinting Services Form for Foster Care and Adoption

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of changes to the OCFS-4930ASFA Request for NYS Fingerprinting Services form. The form changes are necessary because the fingerprint vendor, IdentoGO, is updating its scheduling website to offer a more user friendly experience; and a service code will replace the current Originating Agency Identification Number (ORI) and job or license type combination that applicants have used when scheduling. The new service code must be used when scheduling an appointment to ensure that the foster care and adoption fingerprint applicants are scheduling for the correct program area. The new service code and form can be used immediately

17-OCFS-INF-04
Release of Social Security Number of a Child in Foster Care for Section 8 Rental Assistance

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to provide information to local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) on the release of the Social Security number (SSN) of a child in foster care to his or her foster parent(s) for the purpose of recertifying or applying for Section 8 rental assistance.

17-OCFS-INF-01
Free Certified Copy of a U.S. Birth Certificate for Youth in Foster Care
  • DOH-4380 Mail-In Application for Copy of Birth Certificate
  • ACS's Request for Copies of Birth Certificate

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to provide guidance to local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary agencies (VAs) on how to request a free certified copy of a United States (U.S.) birth certificate for a youth in foster care in preparation for the youth’s discharge from foster care.

Local Commissioners Memoranda

17-OCFS-LCM-09
Federal Fiscal Year 2017 Education and Training Voucher Program

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to provide guidance to local departments of social services (LDSSs) on the federal fiscal year (FFY) 2017 Education and Training Voucher (ETV) program. The ETV program is intended to help youth aging out of foster care to make the transition to self-sufficiency by receiving the education, training, and services necessary to obtain employment. This LCM also describes the application and appeal processes, eligibility criteria for awarding FFY 2017 ETV program funds, and the funding requirements for the program.

17-OCFS-LCM-08
Federal Fiscal Year 2017 Independent Living Allocations

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) of the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) allocations from the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2017 funds. The allocations contained in this memorandum’s Attachment A may be used for Independent Living (IL) services expenditures made October 1, 2016, through September 30, 2017, and claimed by March 31, 2018. Such claims will be paid up to the amount of the allocation and subject to a 20 percent state/local match requirement. Unclaimed allocation amounts will be redistributed to other LDSSs that have claims in excess of the allocation, or used to support the New York State Office of Children and Family Services' (OCFS) activities related to implementation of the Chafee Foster Care Independence Act, allowing New York State to maximize its use of funds available under this federal funding stream.

17-OCFS-LCM-06
State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2017-18 Foster Care Block Grant Allocations

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to provide local departments of social services (LDSSs) with their Foster Care Block Grant allocations for State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2017-18 and the corresponding program implications, as authorized by Chapter 53 of the Laws of 2017.

2016

Administrative Directives

16-OCFS-ADM-20
Fingerprinting and Criminal History Record Checks for Foster and Adoptive Parents

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM is to provide updated and comprehensive instructions and guidance to local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) regarding the completion of state and national criminal history record checks in accordance with section 378-a (2) of the Social Services Law (SSL). This ADM also includes guidance on Part M of Chapter 54 of the Laws of 2016 (Chapter 54), which prohibits release of the results of criminal history record checks conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to VAs, consistent with federal standards that prohibit such dissemination directly to non-government entities. Please refer to the required action section and the attachment titled “What is New?” for specific information on the Chapter 54 provisions.

16-OCFS-ADM-18
Placement, Visitation, and Contact for Siblings in Foster Care

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to advise local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary agencies (VAs) of the provisions of Chapter 242 of the Laws of 2016 (the Chapter). The Chapter amends various provisions of the Family Court Act (FCA) and the Social Services Law (SSL) that pertain to contact and visitation between siblings (including half-siblings) when one or more of the siblings have been removed from their home.

16-OCFS-ADM-16
Casework Contacts for Children in Foster Care (Canceled by 23-OCFS-ADM-11, June 2023)

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to advise local departments of social services (LDSSs) and Voluntary Agencies (VAs) of recent amendments to 18 NYCRR §§ 428.3, 430.11, 430.12 and 441.21. The amendments relate to casework contacts1 with children in foster care placed in foster boarding homes or facilities located outside of New York State (NYS) and those in foster care who are 18 years of age or older and attend educational or vocational programs within NYS.

16-OCFS-ADM-13
Requirements Relating to CPS Reports Involving Foster Parents

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to remind local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of existing regulatory and policy requirements relating to reports of suspected child abuse or maltreatment involving certified or approved foster parents. The ADM also addresses other current regulatory and policy requirements that assist in the prevention of abuse or maltreatment of foster children in such placements. The requirements reflected in this ADM are intended to support coordination and cooperation among the LDSSs and VAs administering foster care and child protective services (CPS) programs with the goal of enhancing the safety and well-being of foster children placed in certified or approved foster homes.

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.

16-OCFS-ADM-09-R1
Protocols and Procedures for Locating and Responding to Children and Youth Missing From Foster Care and Non-Foster Care – Revised 5/26/2023

The purpose of this New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) Administrative Directive (ADM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the requirements regarding the response to youth who are absent without consent, missing or abducted from care or home as set forth in the federal Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (the Act) [P.L. 113-183] and regulation at 18 NYCRR 431.8, and who are

  • in foster care (care and custody or guardianship and custody of LDSS or OCFS);
  • in an open child protective services or preventive services case;
  • receiving federally funded independent living services;
  • under the supervision of the social services district pursuant to a court order; or
  • under 21 years of age, discharged to another planned living arrangement with a permanency resource (APPLA), or deemed to have been discharged to APPLA, and under the supervision of the social services district.

This ADM provides guidance on locating a child/youth who is absent without consent, missing, or abducted from either foster care or their home, as well as direction to caseworkers for responding once the youth returns to care.

16-OCFS-ADM-08
Permanency Hearing Notification and Participation Requirements

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to advise local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) regarding the provisions of Chapter 573 of the Laws of 2015 as amended by Chapter 14 of the Laws of 2016. These chapters amend Article 10-A of the Family Court Act (FCA) in relation to the notification and participation of children in foster care 10 years of age or older in their permanency hearings.

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 (RHY) 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.

16-OCFS-ADM-01
New York State Education Department Historical Data for Children in Foster Care

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to advise local department of social services (LDSS) and voluntary authorized agencies of an update to CONNECTIONS that provides historical education records and data from the New York State Education Department (SED), which can be used for the purpose of addressing educational stability of children in foster care.

Informational Letters

16-OCFS-INF-02
Release of Foster Children's Social Security Numbers by Local Departments of Social Services for Income Tax Purposes

The purpose of this release is to provide information to local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) on the release of the social security number (SSN) of a child in foster care to his or her foster parent(s) for the purpose of filing income tax returns.

Local Commissioners Memoranda

16-OCFS-LCM-16
Federal Fiscal Year 2016 Independent Living Allocations

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to transmit to local departments of social services (LDSSs) the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) allocations from the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2016 funds. The allocations contained in this memorandum’s Attachment A may be used for Independent Living (IL) services expenditures made October 1, 2015, through September 30, 2016, and claimed by March 31, 2017, and will be paid up to the amount of the allocation and subject to a 20 percent state/local match requirement. Unclaimed allocation amounts will be redistributed to other LDSSs that have claims in excess of the allocation, or used to support the New York State Office of Children and Family Services' (OCFS) activities related to implementation of the Chafee Foster Care Independence Act, allowing New York State to maximize its use of funds available under this federal funding stream.

This LCM advises LDSSs that they must be in compliance with all provisions set forth in 02-OCFS-LCM-05, issued on February 28, 2002, including the assurances made to the U.S. Department of Health and Human (DHHS) Services listed in Attachment B of that memorandum, to be eligible for reimbursement from CFCIP funds.

16-OCFS-LCM-14
State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2016-17 Foster Care Block Grant Allocations

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to provide local departments of social services (LDSSs) with their Foster Care Block Grant allocations for State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2016-17 and the corresponding program implications, as authorized by Chapter 53 of the Laws of 2016.

16-OCFS-LCM-13
Federal Fiscal Year 2016 Education and Training Voucher Program

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to provide guidance to local departments of social services (LDSSs) on the federal fiscal year (FFY) 2016 Education and Training Voucher (ETV) program. The ETV program is intended to help youth aging out of foster care to make the transition to self-sufficiency and receive the education, training, and services necessary to obtain employment. This LCM also describes the application process, eligibility criteria for awarding FFY 2016 ETV program funds, and the funding requirements.

16-OCFS-LCM-04
Federal Administration for Children and Families Final Report on the 2015 Subsequent Primary Title IV-E Foster Care Eligibility Review

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) that New York State (NYS) was recently found to be in substantial compliance with federal Title IV-E child and provider eligibility requirements by the federal Administration for Children and Families (ACF). This determination was based on the subsequent primary Title IV-E Foster Care Eligibility Review (FCER), completed at the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) in Rensselaer during the week of September 14 – September 18, 2015. NYS passed the 2015 FCER with two error cases. This LCM transmits the attached ACF Final Report on the 2015 FCER issued by ACF on January 29, 016.

2015

Administrative Directives

15-OCFS-ADM-22
Case Planning for Youth in Foster Care 14 Years of Age or Older

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to address the implementation of provisions of the federal Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (the Act) [P.L. 113-183] that focus on case and transition planning for youth in foster care 14 years of age or older.

15-OCFS-ADM-21
Supporting Normative Experiences for Children, Youth, and Young Adults in Foster Care: Applying a Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to provide information to local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) regarding the requirement to implement the reasonable and prudent parent standard (the standard) set forth in the federal Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (the Act) [P.L. 113-183].

15-OCFS-ADM-20
Transition Planning with Youth for a Successful Discharge

The purpose of this New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) Administrative Directive (ADM) is to provide local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) with guidance on how to develop and implement a transition plan with all youth to prepare them for a successful adulthood and to discuss the specific transition plan requirements that are required for youth age 18 and older who are exiting foster care.

15-OCFS-ADM-19
Planning for a Successful Adulthood: Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement with a Permanency Resource (APPLA) for Youth 16 Years of Age and Older

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to address the implementation of several provisions of the federal Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (the Act) [P.L. 113-183].

15-OCFS-ADM-18
New York State Bill of Rights for Children and Youth in Foster Care

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to notify local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of important changes in federal law and corresponding amendments to state regulations that impact the New York State Bill of Rights for Children and Youth in Foster Care (Bill of Rights) form and the required distribution of the form to youth in foster care who are 14 years of age and older due to enactment of the federal Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act [the Act] (P.L. 113-183).

15-OCFS-ADM-17
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Medicaid to Age 26

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs), including the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of changes pertaining to requirements for Medical Assistance (Medicaid) eligibility under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) [P.L. 111-148] for youth and young adults formerly in foster care who are under the age of 26 years and the continuing option to provide Medicaid to age 21, under the Foster Care Independence Act (FCIA) of 1999 [P.L. 106-169], for those youth and young adults who are at least 18 years of age or older at the time of discharge from care and who were not in receipt of Medicaid at that time.

15-OCFS-ADM-14
Revised Model Contract for Purchase of Foster Care Services

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to notify local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the most recent revisions made to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) model contract for the purchase of foster care services. The revised model contract for the purchase of foster care services outlined in this ADM replaces the model contract issued in 13-OCFS-ADM-08 and cancels that ADM.

15-OCFS-ADM-13
Required Annual Credit Checks for Youth and Young Adults in Foster Care 14 Years of Age and Older

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to advise local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of a change in the federal law that requires states to request consumer reports for youth in foster care who have attained 14 years of age. Prior to the law changing, the age was 16 years.

15-OCFS-ADM-11
Maximum State Aid Rates for Foster Care Programs and Residential Programs for Committee on Special Education Placements – Effective July 1, 2015, through March 31, 2016

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to issue Maximum State Aid Rates (MSARs) for Foster Care Programs and In-State Committee on Special Education (CSE) Maintenance Rates for State Education Department (SED)-Approved Residential Schools, effective July 1, 2015, through March 31, 2016.

15-OCFS-ADM-07
Maximum State Aid Rates (MSARs) for Foster Care Programs and Residential Programs for Committee on Special Education Placements – Effective April 1, 2015, through June 30, 2015

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to implement the second statutory trend factor (STF) for direct care staff, direct support professionals and clinical staff included in the enacted budget for State Fiscal Year 2014-15, as authorized by Part I of Chapter 60 of the Laws of 2014.

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-ADM-04
Per Diem Chargeback Rates for OCFS-Operated Facilities and Programs – Final for CY 2011

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to publish Final Per Diem Chargeback Rates for Calendar Year (CY) 2011 for care provided to youth placed in facilities and programs operated by the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS).

15-OCFS-ADM-03
Per Diem Chargeback Rates for OCFS-Operated Facilities and Programs – Interim Calendar Year (CY) 2012 Rates for January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2012

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to publish Interim Chargeback Rates in effect for Calendar Year (CY) 2012 for care provided to youth placed in facilities and programs operated by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS).

15-OCFS-ADM-01
Definition of Siblings and Expansion of the Relative Notification Requirements

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to address implementation of provisions of the recently enacted federal Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (P.L.113-183) regarding the appropriate notification of relatives when a child is removed from his or her home. The policy also addresses an associated clarification of the definition of a sibling.

Informational Letters

15-OCFS-INF-05
Revised SSL Judicial and Extra-Judicial Surrender Forms and Attachments (rev. 7/17/15)

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of the issuance by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) of revised prescribed surrender and attachment forms associated with surrenders executed in accordance with section 383-c of the Social Services Law (SSL). The revised forms include:

  • Judicial Surrender (OCFS 4315)
  • Attachment A to the Judicial Conditional Surrender (OCFS 4315A)
  • Extra Judicial Surrender (OCFS 4316)
  • Attachment A to the Extra Judicial Surrender Form (OCFS 4316A)
15-OCFS-INF-04
NYS 2015-16 Enacted Budget – OCFS Care and Maintenance Cost for OCFS Operated Facilities

The 2015-16 Enacted Budget caps the amount that can be billed to local departments of social services (LDSS), including New York City (NYC), for the cost of care of youth placed in the New York State (NYS) Office of Children and Family Services’ (OCFS) juvenile facilities.

15-OCFS-INF-03
Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (P.L. 113-183)

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to notify Local Departments of Social Services (LDSSs) and Voluntary Authorized Agencies (VAs) of the federal Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (the Act) [P.L. 113-183], and to outline the key provisions that impact child welfare.

Local Commissioners Memoranda

15-OCFS-LCM-13
FY 2016 Foster Care Block Grant Allocations

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) of the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) is to provide local departments of social services (LDSSs) with their Foster Care Block Grant allocations for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 and the corresponding program implications, as authorized by Chapter 53 of the Laws of 2015.

15-OCFS-LCM-09
Federal Fiscal Year 2015 Independent Living Allocations

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to transmit to Local Departments of Social Services (LDSSs) the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) allocations from the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2015 funds.

15-OCFS-LCM-07
Federal Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Education and Training Voucher Programs

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to provide guidance to local departments of social services (LDSSs) on the federal fiscal year (FFY) 2015-2016 Education and Training Voucher (ETV) program.

15-OCFS-LCM-04
District Tuition Reimbursement for Educationally Handicapped Children Placed in Child Care Institutions or Residential Treatment Facilities for Children and Youth by Local Social Services Districts, OCFS or Family Court, or Who Are Admitted to Blythedale Children’s Hospital for the 2014-2015 School Year

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) is requesting your review of student placement data for the 2014-2015 school year for educationally handicapped children who were reported to OCFS by local districts of social services (LDSSs) pursuant to Section 4006 of the Education Law.

2014

Administrative Directives

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.

Local Commissioners Memoranda

14-OCFS-LCM-16
Medical Consents for Destitute Children

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSS) of the provisions of Chapter 279 of the Laws of 2014 that went into effect on August 11, 2014.

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). This new requirement is not a change in practice in regards to best interests’ decisions for placements and relative placements (09-OCFS-ADM-04); rather, it is intended to be used to more accurately reflect the data on foster care placements.

2013

Local Commissioners Memoranda

13-OCFS-LCM-02
Federal Administration for Children and Families Final Report on the 2012 Title IV-E Primary Foster Care Eligibility Review

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to inform Local Departments of Social Services (local districts) that New York State was recently found to be in substantial compliance with federal Title IV-E child and provider eligibility requirements by the federal Administration for Children and Families (ACF).

2012

Administrative Directives

12-OCFS-ADM-03
New Requirement Regarding Educational Stability of Foster Children

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to advise local departments of social services (LDSS) and voluntary authorized agencies of an important new provision of federal law, the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act (P.L.112-34), which went into effect on October 1, 2011.

Informational Letters

12-OCFS-INF-04
Educational Stability of Foster Children: OCFS, State Education Department and NYS Uniform Court System Field Guidance

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to provide information to child welfare staff of local departments of social services (LDSS) and voluntary agencies (VA), local educational agencies (school districts, charter schools, and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services – BOCES) and the judiciary about requirements related to the educational stability of foster children.

2011

Administrative Directives

11-OCFS-ADM-09
Reproductive Health and Services for Youth in Foster Care

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to advise local departments of social services (LDSS) and voluntary authorized agencies of the requirements pertaining to reproductive health services for youth in foster care.

11-OCFS-ADM-07
Incarcerated Parents and Parents in Residential Substance Abuse Treatment with Children in Foster Care: Termination of Parental Rights and Other Issues

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to inform social services districts (districts) and voluntary authorized agencies (agencies) of Chapter 113 of the Laws of 2010 (Chapter 113) which was signed into law on June 15th, 2010.

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.

11-OCFS-ADM-02
Re-entry into Foster Care by Former Foster Care Youth between the Ages of 18 and 21

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to advise local departments of social services (LDSS) and voluntary authorized agencies of the provisions of Chapter 342 of the Laws of 2010 and related amendments to federal and state law.

Informational Letters

11-OCFS-INF-07
Eligibility for Free School Meals – Foster Children & Children Placed by Court with Caretaker Households

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to advise local departments of social services (LDSS) and voluntary authorized agencies (VA) of the new provisions enacted in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

11-OCFS-INF-03
Parent Notification of a Child’s Foster Care Placement Change

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to provide local social services districts (districts) and voluntary authorized agencies (agencies) with information on a recognized best practice when there is a change of foster care placement of a child.

2008

Local Commissioners Memoranda

08-OCFS-LCM-01
Ineligibility for Title IV-E Foster Care for Placement in Certain Non OCFS License Programs

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to provide information to social services districts (local districts) to prevent local districts from claiming Title IV-E foster care maintenance funds for children in their care who are in specialized placements in certain facilities licensed by agencies other than the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) that are not Title IV-E eligible placements. This LCM addresses only those factors regarding the eligibility of the facility in which an otherwise Title IV-E eligible foster child is being placed