HHS Issues Policy to Permit Title IV-E Funding for Legal Representation

The Children’s Bureau at the Department of Health and Human Services recently modified a section of the Child Welfare Policy Manual (see Question 30) to allow states to use federal, IV-E dollars for parent and child legal representation. The policy reverses previous prohibitions on the use of Title IV-E for legal representation.  The state may now claim 50 percent of Title IV-E administrative costs for attorneys for children and parents, including children who are candidates for foster care, to make reasonable efforts to keep families together.   This change underscores the federal government’s commitment to both advancing and investing in the importance of high-quality legal representation in the child welfare field to improve outcomes for children and families.