As a foster parent you are allowed to claim foster children on your taxes however here is the perimeter: The child must live with you 6 months and 1 day at least during a calendar year, or secondly if an infant is placed with you out of the hospital, it doesn't matter if its 6 months or just 1 day in a calendar year, as long as your the first placement out of hospital you may claim them. Please check with your tax advisor before doing so. Please note the next paste has some errors for contact as this is the most up to date info on the web. Replace Leo Farley with Nakeisha Conward as the contact. Also, do receive the adoption credit when you adopt on your taxes, your child must be special needs. Most of the time, children from foster care will meet this guideline: Please remember the rates and some of the contacts have changed, I working on getting updated information , but at least this will inform you of what you need to know
What Is Adoption Subsidy?
Parents who are thinking about or are in the process of adopting a child with special needs from foster care should know about adoption assistance (also known as adoption subsidy). Federal (Title IV-E) and state (often called non-IV-E) adoption assistance programs are designed to help parents meet their adopted children’s varied, and often costly, needs. Children can qualify for federal adoption assistance or state assistance, depending on the child’s history. Adoption subsidy policies and practices are, for the most part, dependent on the state in which the child was in foster care before the adoption.
Below is information related to definitions of special needs, benefits available, and procedures in Massachusetts. Answers to select questions were made available by the Association of Administrators of the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance (AAICAMA) through the Child Welfare Information Gateway (www.childwelfare.gov). Profiles for other states’ subsidy programs are available. If you have additional questions, please contact NACAC at 651-644-3036, 800-470-6665, or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have state-specific questions, please call your State Subsidy Contact Person or the NACAC Subsidy Representative (listed above) for more information.
For more information on Title IV-E eligibility, view our fact sheet Eligibility and Benefits for Federal Adoption Assistance.
Adoption resources on the web:
Massachusetts-specific medical assistance information:
Massachusetts’s adoption subsidy information:
General Laws of Massachusetts, Chapter 18B: Section 21, Adoption subsidy program.
Massachusetts’ regulations 110 CMR 7.209 Adoption Subsidy
Who is Eligible for Adoption Assistance or Subsidy?
1. How does Massachusetts define special needs to determine eligibility?
A child with special needs is defined as a child who has at least one of the following needs or circumstances that may be a barrier to adoption without financial assistance:
2. Does the state-only funded adoption assistance program differ in any way from the Title IV-E program?
To be eligible for state-funded adoption assistance a child must meet the special needs definition in question 1, must be in the custody of the Department of Children and Families (DCF), and DCF must sponsor the adoption. For state-funded adoption assistance, DCF considers the family’s resources when determining the amount of assistance.
3. Are children adopted from private agencies in Massachusetts eligible for adoption assistance?
A child adopted through a private agency is eligible for adoption assistance only if: (1) the child had been determined to be eligible for SSI by the Social Security Administration, and (2) the adoption subsidy application had been submitted to DCF and a signed Adoption Assistance Agreement was in place before legalization of the adoption.
What Supports and Services Are Available?
4. What is the maximum basic daily adoption assistance maintenance payment in Massachusetts?
AgeRate0-5$20.79/day6-12$23.40/day13+$24.79/day5. Does Massachusetts provide specialized rates (based on the extraordinary needs of the child or the additional parenting skill needed to raise the child)?
Specialized rates (called Parent and Children Together or PACT rates) may be paid for tasks or extenuating circumstances that require additional service hours beyond routine care of a child. Each request must be pre-approved by the Subsidy Administrator and must specify the frequency with which the task must be performed, and the type of intervention required. The hourly rate paid for service hours is $7.50. All PACT hours must be documented by a professional provider. After adoption finalization, parents are responsible for providing the documentation from the professional who is monitoring the child’s treatments.
Massachusetts also offers what is known as supplemental reimbursements. If parents request payments for supplemental reimbursement in addition to the standard adoption assistance payment rate, the adoption social worker provides relevant documentation describing ongoing, additional expenses that are paid above the current foster care rate and that are not expected to be absorbed by other resources, services, or third party payments following adoption. The need must be documented in the adoption assistance agreement.
Massachusetts may also pay a quarterly clothing allowance in addition to the adoption assistance rate. For more information, parents should contact their adoption assistance worker at 800-835-0838.
6. When do adoption assistance payments begin?
Adoption assistance benefits typically begin at adoption finalization.
7. When a child turns 18, which benefits, if any, continue?
Benefits may be continued if the child continues to have a documented special need(s) or is in a recognized full-time educational program. Adoption assistance benefits approved beyond the child’s 18th birthday will end on the child’s 22nd birthday or earlier if the child is no longer eligible for the adoption assistance program.
8. Does Massachusetts offer deferred adoption assistance agreements (agreements where initial monthly maintenance amount is $0 for children at risk of developing special needs later)?
Yes. Massachusetts requires that an adoption assistance application be submitted for every child being adopted through DCF. The Subsidy Unit may determine that a deferred adoption assistance is the appropriate benefit given the child’s circumstances. With a deferred agreement, Medicaid will be provided, but no daily rate is approved. For children who are IV-E eligible, the monthly rate of $0 is reached as part of negotiation between DSS and the adoptive parents. For state-funded adoption assistance, DSS will simply set the monthly rate at $0.
9. What Medicaid services are available in Massachusetts?
Parent should contact the Medicaid Helpline at 800-841-2900 to learn what Medicaid covers.
10. What medical benefits are available for state-funded children? (Children who have federally funded/Title IV-E adoption assistance are automatically eligible for Medicaid benefits.)
Children with state-funded subsidies receive Medicaid benefits through MassHealth.
11. What mental health services are available?
Public mental health services for children in Massachusetts are covered by MassHealth, operated by the Division of Medical Assistance. MassHealth services currently include rehabilitation and therapeutic services; behavioral health, inpatient, and outpatient hospital services; prescription drugs; pharmacy services; and physician services. Massachusetts provides mental health coverage through the MassHealth program rather than funding specific services.
For more information, parents should call the Medicaid helpline (800-841-2900) or visit http://www.cms.gov/ or http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/consumer/behavioral-health/mental-health/mental-health-services-overview.html.
Parents should contact their subsidy administrator or MassHealth for information regarding process, eligibility, availability, and duration of services. Children receiving MassHealth are eligible for services through the Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI). CBHI’s mission is to ensure that families and their children with significant behavioral, emotional, and mental health needs obtain the services necessary for success in home, school, and community. To learn more, parents can visit http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/commissions-and-initiatives/cbhi/.
12. In Massachusetts, what nonrecurring adoption expenses directly related to the finalization of an adoption may be reimbursed?
Parents may be reimbursed, up to $400 per child, for expenses directly related to the adoption of a child with special needs. Such expenes can include reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, attorneys’ fees, and other costs that are incurred legally and that have not been and will not be reimbursed by other sources. Parents must make the request for reimbursement and reach agreement with DCF before the adoption is finalized. Parents must send court documentation of the finalization, including the date, to the subsidy manager, and paymenet will be made after finalization.
13. Is child care available? If yes, who is eligible and how do families access child care?
14. Is respite care available? If yes, who is eligible and how do families access respite care?
DCF funds a post-legalization program known as Adoption Journeys that offers services including respite care to families who have adopted (see question 16). Many private organizations also offer respite options. Parents can search for Massachusetts resources in the ARCH National Respite Network Respite Locator (http://www.respitelocator.org/).
15. Is residential treatment available? If yes, who is eligible and how do families access residential treatment services?
To request voluntary residential treatment services, families should contact the DCF office that covers their city. If a child is placed out of the home, the family and the placement social workers are expected to inform the Subsidy Unit. All Title IV-E adoption subsidy agreements will be renegotiated at that time. State-funded adoption subsidy agreements are suspended until the adopted child returns home.
16. What other post-adoption services are available in Massachusetts and how do families find out more about them?
DCF funds post-adoption services through a contract with Adoption Journeys. Services are available to all adopted children in Massachusetts and include the following:
17. If the assistance listed above in questions 12 to 16 are for specific services, must these services be explicitly identified in the adoption assistance agreement?
What Should Families Know About Applying for Subsidy?
18. Who initiates the adoption assistance agreement?
The adoption worker enters the application for adoption assistance into the DCF data system, after consulting with the adopting family. The application should reflect both the family’s wishes and DCF policy. All children being adopted from DCF care must have an adoption assistance application submitted.
In the case of a private adoption, the agency working with the family is responsible for submitting an application for adoption assistance, before adoption finalization, for a child who receives SSI.
19. Who makes the final determination on an adoption assistance agreement?
The Subsidy Manager in the DCF Central Office makes the final determination.
20. How do families request adoption assistance after adoption finalization?
State and federal laws require the adoption assistance agreement to be signed before adoption finalization. DCF will only provide adoption assistance after finalization when a Fair Hearing Officer has determined that very specific extenuating circumstance have been met.
To request assistance after finalization, families should send a written request to:
Director of Adoption Support Services
Department of Children and Families
600 Washington Street 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02111
617-748-22267 or 800-835-0838
How Can a Family Adjust an Adoption Assistance Agreement?
21. Can adoptive parents ask to change an adoption assistance agreement?
Adoptive parents may request a change in the adoption assistance agreement at any time. Parents must make the requests in writing to the Subsidy Manager and must include documentation of a significant change in the child's special need. The significant change must be based on the current needs of the child and documented by a professional qualified to make the diagnosis. The Subsidy Manager will review the request and documentation, and provide the family with a written decision within a reasonable period of time.
DCF must provide written notice before any proposed change in the adoption assistance agreement, unless there is reason to believe that the family is no longer providing any support for the child.
22. What steps does a family go through to appeal an adoption assistance decision in Massachusetts?
Adoptive parents can request a fair hearing when they disagree with a DCF decision that affects their child’s adoption assistance benefits. Requests must be in writing. If adoption assistance has been denied or an existing adoption assistance benefit has been reduced or terminated, the Subsidy Administrator notifies applicants in writing of the denial or approval at a lesser rate and includes a statement of reasons for denial and notice of the right to request a fair hearing to appeal the decision.
Parents should send requests for a fair hearing to the following address:
Director of the Fair Hearing Unit
600 Washington Street 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02111
What Else do Families Need to Know?
23. How is the adoption assistance program operated and funded in Massachusetts?
The program is state supervised/state administered. This means that both policy and eligibility decisions are made by personnel at the state child welfare office. The federal contribution to Title IV-E-eligible children—the Federal Financial Participation or FFP rate—is 50% in Massachusetts. The remaining cost of the program is funded entirely with state funds.
24. Does Massachusetts operate a subsidized guardianship program?
Yes. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides both a IV-E and a state-funded guardianship subsidy for children who are placed with an approved resource, in DCF custody and sponsored by DCF. The program is administered through the Adoption Subsidy Unit. The child must be under the age of 18, and continue to reside with the guardian sponsored by DCF. Families must complete and return annual re-evaluation forms.
The amount of the assistance cannot be more than the child would have received in family-based foster care. For children with subsidized guardianship residing in Massachusetts health insurance is provided through the MassHealth program. For children funded through IV-E, the health insurance is transferrable if they move to another state. Children with a state-funded guardianship subsidy are not eligible for health care from other states., but they may keep their MassHealth with some restrictions in coverage.
25. Does Massachusetts offer a tuition waiver program?
Any child adopted through DCF since 2000 by a resident of Massachusetts or an employee of the Commonwealth will have 100% of the tuition for state-supported undergraduate courses waived until the adopted youth reaches his or her 25th birthday. This benefit applies to all state colleges and universities, as well as community colleges.
In 2008, the legislature expanded the waiver to include fees as well as tuition, although the fee waiver is subject to available funding The waiver is also available to any child who was in DCF care under a Care and Protection petition for 12 consecutive months, and was neither adopted nor returned home (including children who were placed in guardianships).
Eligible youth (or a parent if the youth is under 18) can request a waiver by writing to the address below. Youth must include a copy of the their amended birth certificate.
Massachusetts Department of Children and Families
Director of Adoption Support Services
600 Washinton Street 6th floor
Boston, MA 02111
The Educational and Training Voucher Program provides up to $5,000 per academic year for post-secondary educational or vocational training programs, including colleges and trade schools and related costs of attendance (tuition, fees, room and board, books, transportation, day care). Eligibility for the program includes:
Maureen Fallon Messeder
Associate Director of Adolescent Services
Massachusetts Department of Children and Families
600 Washington Street 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02111
26. Does Massachusetts offer a state adoption tax credit?
27. Does Massachusetts have any program to support an adoptee whose adoptive parents die until the child is adopted again?
If the child does not return to DCF care, DCF will attempt to provide financial support to legal guardians on a case-by-case basis.
28. What else differentiates Massachusetts’s adoption assistance program from others around the country?
Massachusetts has had many of the provisions of the Fostering Connections Act in place for many years.
Terry Alves-Hunter, Foster Parent Advocate
Not in my womb, always in my heart
Learning & Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP) The Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP) at Massachusetts General Hospital assesses students and children ages 2 to 22 who have developmental difficulties and consults with their parents, teachers and care providers.
Our clinical professionals have devoted their training, research and clinical practice to acquiring the specialized skills needed to assess children with learning disabilities, psychological and developmental disorders. Our team loves working with children and has a natural ability to put them at ease.
The Department of Psychiatry offers a depth and breadth of resources available at few other hospitals or psychiatric centers, meaning your child receives comprehensive, state-of-the-art care without leaving our campus. Services available at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children include:
Referral forms Clinician's Referral From (PDF)
Parent Referral Form (PDF)
HIPAA Authorization Form for release of information (PDF)
Learn more about:
Our clinical assessments are designed to be a comfortable and often fascinating experience, and we find that many children enjoy the warm, one-on-one attention they receive. In addition, our professionals excel at discussing the benefits of assessments with even the most skeptical of adolescents. Our Staff
Our experienced professional staff includes Child psychologists, Licensed clinical psychologists, Neuropsychologists, Certified school psychologists, clinical psychology interns and postgraduate fellows.
Research is an ongoing companion to treatment in the LEAP program, with clinical test data collected daily. This data is used to help participants in LEAP, as well as in other programs and departments. Conditions We Evaluate
LEAP treats a variety of conditions and disorders. With the trained resources of Mass General Hospital's Dept. of Psychiatry, we are able to evaluate and treat a variety of conditions and disorders.
Contact Us LEAP (Learning and Emotional Assessment Program)
151 Merrimac St., 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02114
Boston Medical Center
Dr. Augustyn is the Director of the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center (BMC) and is a Professor at Boston University School of Medicine. She went to medical school at Loyola Stritch School of Medicine, completed her pediatric residency at UCLA and her Developmental and Behavioral Pediatric Fellowship at Boston University-Boston City Hospital. Her clinical work at BMC primarily involves the evaluation of children with various developmental delays including autism,speech and language delays, global developmental delay, learning disabilities, ADHD to mention a few.
Her research work has varied across her career and includes work on the effects of both in utero cocaine exposure and violence on early childhood and parenting and recently she has been a leader in developing the Center for Family Navigation at BU, a national leader in promoting and developing the use of navigators to support families of children with developmental disabilities.
Dr. Augustyn is co-editor of The Zuckerman Parker Handbook of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics for Primary Care and the section co-editor for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics for the online journal UpToDate. She currently sits on the sub board of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at the American Board of Pediatrics and is on the Board of Directors of the Society of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. She is also on the American Academy of Pediatrics planning committee for Practical Pediatrics, their national CME Program.
Deborah Frank, MD
Dr. Frank is the Director of the Grow Clinic for Children and a board-certified Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician at Boston Medical Center (BMC). She is also a Professor of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Frank attended Harvard Medical School and completed her residency at Children's Hospital Seattle. After her residency, she went on to complete a fellowship in Child Development at Children's Hospital Boston. Dr. Frank specializes in issues of growth and nutrition and the impact of hunger on child development.
Dr. Frank has written numerous scientific articles and papers. Her work has focused on breastfeeding promotion, women and children affected by substance use, nutrition among homeless pregnant women and children, Failure to Thrive, food insecurity, and the “heat or eat” phenomenon, the dilemma that many low-income families face in the winter when they have to make the critical choice between heating their homes and feeding their children. She is especially proud of successfully mentoring many pre-professional and professional colleagues.
Cited as a respected authority in her fields, Dr. Frank has frequently given testimony to state and federal legislative committees on the growing problem of hunger and associated hardships in the United States and its effects on our youngest children. She has recently been nominated by Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi to the newly established National Commission on Hunger. She is also an invited member of the Aspen’s Dialogue on Food Insecurity and Health Care Costs.
L. Kari Hironaka MD, MPH
Dr. Hironaka is a board-certified Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician at Boston Medical Center. She completed her fellowship at Boston Medical Center. Dr. Hironaka specializes in health services research, health literacy and ADHD, as well as residency training.
John Maypole, MD
Dr. Maypole completed Pediatric Residency in 1999, and Pediatric Chief Residency in 2000 following his training at Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Maypole has consistently included primary care, medical education, and in participating in and developing innovative clinical programs for complex children and their families. Dr. Maypole served as Associate Director of the Pediatric Integrative Medicine Education Project and performing Holistic Medicine consults and medical education at Children’s Hospital from 2003-2005. In 2005, Dr. Maypole became Director of the Department of Pediatrics at the South End Community Health Center while serving as an attending physician for the Comprehensive Care Program (CCP) in the Department of Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center. CCP is a multi-disciplinary team of providers who provide enhanced and coordinated primary care to the most medically complex patients and higher risk families in the Pediatric Department, including ex-premature infants, children with special health needs and neurodevelopmental disabilities. In February of 2013, Dr. Maypole came to Boston University/Boston Medical Center to work full time to develop approaches and programs to address this fast-growing segment of the pediatric population. In September of 2014, Dr. Maypole received an award from the Center for Medicare Medicaid Innovation, supporting a 3 year effort for the Massachusetts Alliance for Complex Care/4C program--a consultative, multidisciplinary care support model of care for PCPs and families of medically complex children, of which he is co-principal investigator. He is an associate professor of Pediatrics at BUSM. Dr. Maypole writes child health-related articles for a lay audience, for mainstream media and online publications.
Jenny Radesky, MD
Dr. Radesky is a board-eligible Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician and a board-certified general pediatrician who recently joined the faculty at Boston Medical Center after completing her fellowship training here. She attended Harvard Medical School and completed her pediatrics training at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Dr. Radesky is a clinician-investigator whose clinical interests include early childhood adversity, attachment relationships, and child self-regulation, as well as teaching trainees methods of observing parent-child interaction. Her research examines mobile/interactive media use by parents and young children and how this effects parent-child interaction and child social-emotional development. She is an active member of the AAP Council on Communications and Media.
Arathi Reddy, DO
Dr. Reddy is a board-certified Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician at Boston Medical Center. She attended medical school at Western University of Allied Health Sciences in Pomona, CA and completed her residency at Morristown Memorial Hospital/ University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Morristown, NJ. She completed her fellowship at Einstein Montefiore and worked in NYC prior to joining the faculty in March 2011.
Jodi Santosuosso, NP, MSN
Jodi is a certified nurse practitioner in the Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Division at Boston Medical Center. She attended University of Massachusetts College of Nursing and Health Sciences and completed her residency at University of Massachusetts, Boston. She joined the Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine faculty in April 2007. Jodi has had extensive training in developmental and behavioral pediatrics, gastrointestinal (GI) diseases and ear, nose and throat (ENT) disorders.
Laura Sices, MD, MSDr. Sices is a board-certified Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician at Boston Medical Center (BMC). She attended medical school at University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, completed her residency at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and completed her fellowship at University of Washington in Seattle, WA. Dr. Sices was on the faculty at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, OH before joining BMC in 2007. Dr. Sices’ clinical work focuses on assessment and management of children with a variety of different concerns, including developmental delays, speech and language delays and conditions, ADHD, learning disabilities and differences, and autism spectrum conditions. Her academic focus is on developmental screening and the early identification of developmental delays.
Naomi Steiner, MD
Dr. Steiner is the Director of Training at the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. Dr. Steiner studies how computers train the brain, which is an area of great interest in overlapping fields of ADHD, psychology, neuroscience and education, and closely followed by many as a complimentary or alternative approach to the traditional psychopharmacological treatment of ADHD. She is specifically interested in implementing neurofeedback attention training in schools. She is also interested in teaching self-regulation skills and relaxation breathing in schools. Dr. Steiner is multicultural and multilingual. In 2030 more than 50% of children will be raised bilingual in the United States! Dr. Steiner has written a book on how to successfully raise children bilingual (7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child), and instructs medical professional, teachers and parents on how children learn two languages, and how English Language Learners can be successful at school.
Mary Ellen Stolecki, NP, MSN
Mary Ellen is a board certified pediatric nurse practitioner in the Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Division at Boston Medical Center and an Instructor of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine.
She specializes in primary care of the Child with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) in the Comprehensive Care Program. She also practices in the Pediatric Gastroenterology Division providing specialty care for gastrointestinal (GI) conditions.
Her clinical interests are primary care for medically complex children (as well as GI issues) of CSHCN including: care of the premature infant, autism, cerebral palsy, seizures, Down syndrome, Williams syndrome, Turner syndrome,achrondroplasia,and multiple congenital anomalies.
Jodi Wenger, MD
Jodi Wenger, MD is a graduate of Dartmouth Medical School who completed her pediatric residency at Boston Medical Center. She spent several years on the Navajo Reservation in northeastern Arizona before transitioning back to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH. She served as a pediatric hospitalist, outpatient provider and educator at Dartmouth Medical School.
She has always had an interest in children with special health care needs. She worked in the Comprehensive Care Program at BMC as a resident and is thrilled to return. She was the general pediatrician at the multidisciplinary spina bifida clinic at Dartmouth Hitchcock and cared for children with neurologic challenges while on the Navajo Reservation.
Dr. Wenger has also had an interest in resident work hour reform and continues to support the software she and her husband created during her chief resident year. Amion, continues to allow one to make fair physician call schedules that can be easily accessed online.
Barry Zuckerman, MD
Dr. Zuckerman is Professor and Chair Emeritus of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine/Boston Medical Center. He is a national and international leader in child health and development. His research focuses on the interplay among biological, social and psychological factors as they contribute to children's health and development. Dr. Zuckerman and colleagues have developed four programs that transformed health care to better meet the needs of low income and minority children. The success of these efforts is that they are now all national programs; Reach Out and Read, Medical-Legal Partnership, Health Leads and Healthy Steps. In addition to more than 250 scientific publications, he has edited nine books, including three editions of Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrics: Handbook for Primary Care. He has served on prestigious national committees; National Commission on Children, Carnegie Commission on Young Children, Bright Futures, and has received numerous national and international awards including the C. Anderson Aldrich for Child Development and the Joseph St Geme Award for Leadership from AAP, and the Policy and Advocacy award and Health Care Delivery Award from the APA. He has consulted in Turkey, Bangladesh, and Thailand regarding child development.
- See more at: http://www.bmc.org/pediatrics-developmentalbehavioral/team.htm#sthash.UrLgPWRv.dpuf
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