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Idaho State Subsidy Profile

Updated September 2008

State Subsidy Contact Person

Stephanie Miller
Idaho Department of Health & Welfare
450 West State St, 5th floor
Boise, ID 83702
Phone: 208-334-5697
Fax: 208-332-7330

NACAC Subsidy Representative (parent/volunteer)

Marjorie McNarie
10809 Hinsdale
Boise, ID 83713
Home: 208-377-5635

Adoption subsidies are available for children with special needs. Federal subsidies were created by Congress (through Public Law 96-272—the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980) to encourage the adoption of special needs children and remove the financial disincentives to adoption for the families. Children may receive a federally funded subsidy under Title IV-E or a state-funded subsidy as per state guidelines. Below we have outlined information related to definitions of special needs, benefits available, and procedures in your state. 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 ( Profiles for each state’s subsidy program are available on our web site at If you have additional questions, please call the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) at 651-644-3036 or our subsidy help line at 800-470-6665, or e-mail us at If you have state-specific questions, please call your State Subsidy Contact Person or the NACAC Subsidy Representative (listed above) for more information.

Adoption Resources on the Web:

Wednesday’s Child:

Idaho’s state-specific medical assistance links:

Idaho’s state-specific medical assistance:


(Medicaid and You: A Guide to Idaho Medicaid Services)

See also Medicaid for Disabled Children:

Idaho’s adoption assistance links:

(See the question under Frequently Asked Questions about Adoption, Is there financial assistance available for adoptive families?)

Idaho Statutes
Title 56 Public Assistance and Welfare, Chapter 8, Hard-to-Place Children 56-801 to 56-806.

Title 16 Juvenile Proceedings, Chapter 15 Adoption of Children

Idaho Administrative Code 16.06.01-900

1. What specific factors or conditions does your State consider to determine that a child cannot be placed with adoptive parents without providing financial assistance? ("What is your State definition of special needs?")

A child with special needs is defined as a child that has at least one of the following needs or circumstances that may be a barrier to placement or adoption without financial assistance:

  1. The child cannot or should not be returned to the home of the parents; and
  2. The child has a physical, mental, emotional or medical disability, or is at risk of developing such disability based on known information regarding the birth family and child’s history, or
  3. The child’s age makes it difficult to find an adoptive home; or
  4. The child is a member of a sibling group that must not be placed apart; and
  5. State must make a reasonable but unsuccessful effort to place the child with special needs without a subsidy, except in cases where it is not in the best interests of the child due to his significant emotional ties with the foster parent(s) or relative(s) who are willing to adopt the child.

2. What are the eligibility criteria for the State-funded adoption assistance program?

Children in the custody of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare who meet special needs criteria and do not meet any of the criteria for Title IV-E adoption assistance may be eligible for state-funded adoption assistance benefits.

3. The maximum basic monthly adoption assistance maintenance payment in Idaho is:

Basic Rates:









4. Specialized rates are based on the extraordinary needs of the child, and/or the additional parenting skill needed to raise the child. If Idaho offers these rates, the criteria used to define them are as follows:

Specialized rates are established while children are in foster care based upon a continuous ongoing assessment of the child’s circumstances which necessitate special rates as well as the care provider’s ability, activities, and involvement in addressing those special needs. The specialized rates provide an additional $90, $150, or $240 per month in addition to the basic rate.

5. Parents can receive payment or reimbursement for certain nonrecurring adoption expenses directly related to the finalization of an adoption. Below are the allowed expenses and the limit per child.

Nonrecurring adoption costs include: legal fees to finalize the adoption, agency fees (placement and supervision, home study costs, criminal history costs), and travel/meals/lodging expenses.

Parents must file an application and negotiate a reimbursement agreement before finalization. International adoptions are not eligible. Note: For cases where the child has not been in the custody of the Department of Health and Welfare, Idaho will not cover legal expenses to complete the termination of parental rights. Once parental rights are terminated and a child is legally free for adoption, legal expenses can be applied to the non-recurring adoption expenses reimbursement.

The reimbursement limit is $2,000 per child.

6. What Medicaid services are available in Idaho?

  • Braces and Artificial Limbs
  • Case Management Services
  • Chiropractic Services
  • Counseling Services
  • Dental Services
  • Developmental Disability Services
  • Doctor and Nurse Office Visits
  • Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) Checks
  • Family Planning and Related Services
  • Home Health Services
  • Hospice Care
  • Hospital Inpatient Services
  • Immunizations
  • Medial Equipment and Supplies
  • Mental Health Services
  • Nursing Homes
  • Personal Care Services
  • Podiatry
  • Pregnancy Related Services
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Service Coordination
  • School-Based Services
  • Substance Abuse Detoxification and Rehabilitation
  • Therapy
  • Transportation (non-emergency)
  • Traumatic Brain Injury Services
  • Vision Services Wheelchairs

There are some limits to these services, and some may require prior authorization from Medicaid first.

For more information, contact the Idaho CareLine at 211 or (800) 926-2588

7. Children who have federally funded (Title IV-E) subsidy are automatically eligible for Medicaid benefits. However, it is the state's decision whether state-funded (non-Title IV-E) children are eligible for Medicaid benefits in Idaho. Below is information on the Medicaid benefits available for state-funded children.

Yes—non-IV-E children receive the same coverage as IV-E children.

8. What mental health services are provided by your State?

Public mental health services for children in Idaho are administered by the Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) through the Division of Behavioral Health and the Division of Medicaid. Services include the following examples: assessment and evaluation, clinical case management, family support, respite care, outpatient services, day treatment, prescription medication, therapeutic foster care, residential treatment, inpatient hospitalization, crisis/emergency intervention.

Medicaid finances the majority of children’s public mental health services, including services under the Clinic Option, the Rehabilitation Option and Inpatient Services. The Division of Behavioral Health’s children’s mental health program has ten core services (listed above) that are available for children with serious emotional disturbance (SED) and their families. Idaho uses the Least Restrictive theory of service delivery to maintain children in their homes whenever possible. Families, children and mental health clinicians work collaboratively to determine the appropriate mix of services necessary to meet the child and family’s needs.

Children’s Mental Health:

and services and Council on Children’s Mental Health:

Note: Not all services may be available in all cases. Contact your adoption assistance worker or medical assistance specialist for information regarding process, eligibility, availability, and duration of services.

9. Does your State provide additional finances or services for medical or therapeutic needs not covered under your State medical plan to children receiving adoption assistance?

Idaho does not provide additional finances or services for medical or therapeutic needs not covered under the state medical plan to children receiving adoption assistance. Medical or therapeutic needs not covered under the state medical plan must be negotiated as part of the Adoption Assistance Agreement, or as an Amendment to the Agreement. Benefits must receive prior authorization from the State Adoption Assistance office before service delivery.

DHW local offices:

Note: Not all services may be available in all cases. Contact your adoption assistance worker for information regarding process, eligibility, availability, and duration of services.

10. What types of post adoption services are available in your State and how do you find out more about them?

Post-adoption services are administered by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Division of Family and Community Services. Post adoption services are provided within available resources. Children with negotiated adoption assistance agreements (whether from Idaho or from another state) are eligible for any services available to Idaho children.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is organized into seven regions, and each region serves several counties. Post Adoption Services are arranged through contact with the regional Children and Family Services offices or at the state Adoption Assistance Office in Boise, Idaho. See Question #8 for more information on children’s mental health in Idaho.
Contact the Post Adoption Services Contact, Kathy Hammond, via e-mail: or phone: 208-334-5697 or contact the DHW office nearest you.

DHW local offices:

and foster care and adoption contacts:

See Parent Resources for Information, Development, and Education (PRIDE) for training information. PRIDE is a model for developing and supporting foster and adoptive families:

See also Idaho’s Wednesday’s Child program,

Note: Not all services may be available in all cases. Contact your adoption assistance worker or post adoption services contact for information regarding process, eligibility, availability, and duration of services.

11. If the additional assistance (listed above in questions #8 -10) is to cover specific services (e.g., counseling/mental health services, respite care, etc.), must these services be explicitly identified in the adoption assistance agreement?


12. How are residential treatment costs covered (if at all) for adoptive families? What procedures must a family follow to receive these services?

Residential treatment is not covered through the adoption assistance agreement. A child may qualify for Residential Treatment services if they meet the criteria set by Children’s Mental Health.

13. A deferred adoption assistance agreement is one in which the initial monthly maintenance amount is $0. Does Idaho offer such agreements?

Yes, Idaho offers deferred assistance. Payments and benefits are established under what is known as “Agreement Only” assistance where no benefits are paid at the adoptive family’s request. This type of agreement allows families to return to the state at a later date to open the adoption assistance case for benefits and services needed at that time. For children who are eligible for state funded adoption assistance based on the “at risk” criterion, adoption assistance benefits are not available until such time as the specific disability for which the child is known to be at risk becomes evident. Once an “at risk” factor becomes evident, the adoptive family must contact the local adoption assistance office to renegotiate/activate the child’s adoption assistance agreement.

DHW local offices:

14. Does Idaho operate a subsidized guardianship program?

Yes. Subsidized guardianship is only available to children who are currently in the guardianship of the state and whose parental rights have been terminated. Documented efforts must have been made to place the child for adoption.

Programmatic Procedures

15. Who makes the final determination of a child's subsidy eligibility in Idaho? What roles, if any, do workers and administrators at the county, district, or regional level play in eligibility determination and/or assistance negotiation?

Workers submit documentation to the Resource Development Unit who then determines a child's eligibility once the termination of parental rights is complete. Workers then directly negotiate contracts with families. Supervisory approval is required. Final signature authority is given by the Permanency Program Specialist.

16. Will Idaho consider my family income to determine my child's eligibility for an adoption subsidy?

No, the income of the adoptive parent(s) cannot be considered when determining a child’s eligibility for adoptive assistance; however, the circumstances of the family, including their monthly income, with the needs of the child may both be taken into consideration when determining the amount of assistance.

17. When do subsidy payments begin?

Adoption assistance payments and benefits may begin once the Adoption Assistance Agreement is fully executed between the adopting family and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. The adoption assistance agreement must be fully executed prior to adoption finalization. In most cases, for children adopted in Idaho, adoption assistance payments and benefits begin at adoption finalization. For those children who are placed outside of Idaho through an interstate adoption, Idaho may negotiate and sign the adoption assistance agreement at the time of placement so that adoption assistance benefits, specifically Medicaid, are immediately available to the child in the new state of residence.

18. Do children adopted from private agencies in Idaho receive the same subsidies as those children adopted from public agencies?

Title IV-E adoption assistance is available in certain circumstances for eligible special needs children who are placed in the custody of a private, nonprofit agency.

19. When my child turns 18, which benefits, if any, are available to our family?

No benefits are available to children over age 18.

20. A child's adoption assistance agreement may be periodically reviewed by the state. What is the typical process used in Idaho?

Assistance agreements are reviewed annually. Forms are mailed to the family early in the calendar year.

21. Can adoption assistance agreements be modified if requested by adoptive parents?

Adoptive parents can request a change in the adoption assistance agreement whenever there is a change in the circumstances of the family or the needs of the child. Adoption assistance benefits can be modified at any time prior to the child’s eighteenth birthday. Requests must be made in writing and submitted to the regional Children and Family Services office if the family resides in Idaho. If the family resides outside of the state, requests must be made to the state adoption assistance office. Information detailing the change in the child’s needs must accompany the request in addition to supporting documentation from professional service providers. If the change is due to a change in family circumstance, families must provide written documentation of changes in family income or circumstances. Adoption assistance agreements are reviewed annually in March to provide a yearly opportunity for adoptive families to determine if they need to request changes to the child’s benefits. Families are able to request a fair hearing if they disagree with the response to a requested change.

DHW local offices:

22. What are the exact steps a family must go through to access the fair hearing/appeal process in Idaho?

Adoptive parents can request a fair hearing when a family receives a written decision denying eligibility or requests for benefits or whenever there is disagreement with a DHW decision that affects their child’s adoption assistance benefits. A written letter detailing the fair hearing process is included with every adverse decision notice sent to the adoptive family and includes an application for fair hearing.

The written request for fair hearing must be filed with the Administrative Hearings Office within thirty (30) days of the mailing of the denial of benefits or services. All information on how to file and request the hearing is included with the fair hearing request form sent with the adverse decision notice. The hearing process itself can be conducted in the local Children and Family Services office or by telephone. The family does not have to appear in person at the hearing if they choose a telephone hearing. Families may represent themselves or may bring an advocate(s) to the hearing if they choose. The hearing officer receives written and verbal testimony from all parties and then renders a decision in writing that is sent to the adoptive family. Requests for fair hearing are made by written request to the following address:

Department of Health and Welfare
Administrative Hearings Section
450 W. State Street, 10th Floor
Boise, Idaho 83720-0036

23. Families may request a subsidy after the finalization of an adoption under certain circumstances. Below is the process by which families access a subsidy after finalization.

Families submit an application for post-legal adoption assistance consideration. An eligibility determination is requested to document if the child was eligible for either a IV-E or state-funded adoption subsidy. For children who are determined to have been IV-E eligible at the time of adoption (with no adoption assistance agreement negotiated at time of adoption) a denial of benefit is issued along with the notice of fair hearing and an explanation of the process.

Families should contact the regional adoption staff in the region where the family lives.

System Operation and Program Funding

24. How is the subsidy program operated and funded in Idaho?

The Idaho adoption system (seven regions) is supervised and administered by the state office. This means that both policy and eligibility decisions are made by personnel at the state office. The cost of the adoption assistance program is funded with state and federal IV-E dollars.

The federal contribution to Title IV-E-eligible children is 71.64% in Idaho. This is known as the Federal Financial Participation (FFP) rate. The remaining cost of the program is funded entirely with state dollars from general funds.

25. Below are other programs that may delineate Idaho's adoption assistance program from others around the country.

Idaho foster youth who were adopted at age 16 or older may qualify for
the Education and Training Voucher Program (ETV) which offers financial assistance for post-secondary education and training.

For more information, contact the Idaho CareLine at 211 or 800-926-2588


North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC)
970 Raymond Avenue, Suite 106
St. Paul, MN 55114
phone: 651-644-3036
fax: 651-644-9848