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South Dakota State Subsidy Profile

Updated draft • October 2014
(state review pending)

State Subsidy Contact Person

Patricia Reiss
Department of Social Services (DSS)
Kneip Building, 700 Governors Drive
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: 605-773-3227
Fax: 605-773-6834
E-mail: Patricia.Reiss@state.sd.us

NACAC Subsidy Representative (parent/volunteer)

Patty Hjermstad
Parents of Adopted Children (PAC)
605 Thorson Ave
Florence, SD 57235
Phone: 605-758-2490
E-mail: rookie-1@itctel.com or pacsupport@itctel.com


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 South Dakota. 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 adoption.assistance@nacac.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:

General adoption information:
http://dss.sd.gov/adoption/

South Dakota state-specific medical assistance information:
http://dss.sd.gov/medicalservices/ and
http://dss.sd.gov/medicaleligibility/

South Dakota’s adoption assistance information:
http://dss.sd.gov/adoption/subsidy/ http://dss.sd.gov/adoption/faq/subsidyfaq.asp

South Dakota Statute §28-1-64
http://legis.sd.gov/Statutes/Codified_Laws/Display
Statute.aspx?Type=Statute&Statute=28-1-64

South Dakota’s Subidized Adoption Regulations 67:14:14
http://legis.sd.gov/Rules/DisplayRule.aspx?Rule=67:14:14

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR ADOPTION ASSISTANCE?

1. How does South Dakota define special needs to determine eligibility?

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

  • Eight years of age or older
  • Race or religion
  • Member of a sibling group being placed together for adoption
  • Physical, emotional, neurological, or intellectual disability
  • Need for a prosthesis, extensive, ongoing, or anticipated medical care, or therapy for speech, physical, or psychological disability
  • Adoption by foster parents with whom the child is living is the only appropriate permanency plan

Children must be legally free for adoption to be eligible for adoption assistance.

2. Does the state-only funded adoption assistance program differ in any way from the Title IV-E program?

Only available to children in South Dakota foster care who meet the special needs definition above.

3. Are children adopted from private agencies in South Dakota eligible for subsidies?

Yes, but only children who are IV-E eligible.


WHAT SUPPORTS AND SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE?

MONTHLY PAYMENTS

4. What is the maximum basic monthly adoption assistance maintenance payment in South Dakota?

Age Rate
0-12 $518.01
13-18 $622.17

5. Does South Dakota provide specialized rates (based on the extraordinary needs of the child or the additional parenting skill needed to raise the child)?

No.

6. When do adoption assistance payments begin?

Adoption assistance payments and benefits may begin at adoption placement.

7. When a child turns 18, which benefits, if any, continue?

As long as the child is still in high school and living at home, adoption assistance may continue until age 21.

8. Does South Dakota offer deferred adoption assistance agreements (agreements where initial monthly maintenance amount is $0 for children at risk of developing special needs later)?

Yes. South Dakota will write an adoption assistance agreement and put any monthly payment on hold at the adoptive parent’s request.

MEDICAL CARE

9. What Medicaid services are available in South Dakota?

Parents can call the Medical Services line (605-773-3495) for information about Medicaid services or visit http://dss.sd.gov/medicalservices/.

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.)

Coverage is the same for both groups of children.

11. What mental health services are available?

Public mental health services for children in South Dakota are administered by the Department of Social Services, Medical Assistance. Services may include psychiatric and psychological evaluations, individual, group, or family psychotherapy for the care and treatment of mental illness or disorders, in-patient and outpatient hospitalization, and prescription medication.

In South Dakota, children are also eligible for Healthy Kids Klub checkups. These checkups help prevent health problems from occurring or help keep health problems from becoming worse. The Healthy Kids Klub covers screening and diagnostic services to determine physical or mental status and treatment to correct or eliminate defects or chronic conditions. The Klub also covers nutritional therapy, treatment for alcohol and drug chemical dependency, and inpatient psychiatric care. Several of these services require prior authorization from the Department of Social Services (DSS). Local DSS offices are listed at http://dss.sd.gov/offices/.

For more information about Medical Services, visit http://dss.sd.gov/medicalservices/recipientinfo/ or http://dss.sd.gov/medicalservices/recipientinfo/covered.asp, or call Medical Services at 605-773-3495.

Not all services may be available in all cases. Parents should contact their adoption assistance worker or medical assistance specialist for information regarding process, eligibility, availability, and duration of services.

OTHER BENEFITS

12. In South Dakota, what nonrecurring adoption expenses directly related to the finalization of an adoption may be reimbursed?

Parents who adopt a child who has been determined to have special needs may be reimbursed for up to $1,500 per child for nonrecurring costs such as attorney fees, travel expenses, home study, costs, medical/psychological testing expenses, charges related to supervision of placement, and court costs.

13. Is respite care available? If yes, who is eligible and how do families access respite care?

Respite care can range from a few hours of care provided on a one-time basis to overnight or extended care sessions. For all adoptive families, the only eligibility criteria is that a child is adopted.

This service is provided through the South Dakota Department of Human Services. For more information, contact the Department of Human Services at 1-800-265-9684.

14. Is residential treatment available? If yes, who is eligible and how do families access residential treatment services?

Families must request residential care in writing. Funding is generally time-limited (initially 3 to 6 months, followed by a case review). Decisions are based upon severity of need. Parents should send requests with documentation of need, duration, and cost to:
Patricia Reiss
Child Protective Services
700 Governor's Drive
Pierre, SD 57501

15. What other post-adoption services are available in South Dakota and how do families find out more about them?

Post-adoption services in South Dakota are administered by the Department of Social Services (DSS), Office of Child Protection Services (CPS) through DSS, contracted agencies, and parent groups. Post-adoption services are provided on a case-by case basis and may include:

  • Information and referral
  • Educational programs (funding to attend)
  • Support groups
  • Therapeutic intervention
  • Advocacy
  • Respite Care
  • Residential treatment
  • Mediation/search services (passive registry available)

Services include extensive psychological supports, such as psychiatric evaluation, psychological evaluation, social assessment (child and family), and Marschack Interaction Methods In Home Family Dynamics Assessment. Therapy provided includes individual therapy, family therapy, multi-family therapy, and group therapy for the adopted child. In addition, training therapy materials and school consultation may be covered as are adoptive families’ travel expenses to secure services are covered, including lodging, meals, and mileage.

South Dakota has contracted with the Children’s Home Society to provide evaluations and therapy for adopted children and their families. To apply for post-adoption services, parents should visit http://www.chssd.org or http://www.chssd.org/help/FosterParentingOps.asp, or call the Children’s Home Society in Black Hills at 605-343-2811 or in Sioux Falls at 605-334-6004.

Parent groups also provide post-adoption support. The Family Support Online in Sioux Falls offers online support and serves a significant number of Native American families. For more information, parents can visit http://www.chssd.org or call 605-335-2776.

Parents of Adopted Children (PAC) offers a mentoring program and workshops., and located in Parkston, South Dakota. For more information, parents can visit: http://www.pacsd.org or call 605-782-0782.

For search/mediation information, parents can visit the Voluntary Adoption Registry at http://dss.sd.gov/adoption/adoptionregistry/ or the Opening Adoption Records link: http://dss.sd.gov/adoption/adoptionrecords/.

Not all services may be available in all cases. Parents should contact their adoption assistance worker or post-adoption services contact for information regarding process, eligibility, availability, and duration of services.

16. If the assistance listed above in questions 13 to 15 are for specific services, must these services be explicitly identified in the adoption assistance agreement?

No.

WHAT SHOULD FAMILIES KNOW ABOUT APPLYING FOR ADOPTION ASSISTANCE?

17. Who makes the final determination on an adoption assistance agreement?

The family services specialist negotiates the assistance amount with the adoptive family, not to exceed the basic foster care rate. The agreement is reviewed by the adoption supervisor and the Division Director of Child Protection Services must approve all adoption assistance agreements.

18. How do families request adoption assistance after finalization of an adoption?

For children who are Title IV-E eligible, the family must request adoption assistance in writing from the department. By federal guidelines, the department denies the request and informs the family that they may then request a fair hearing. A fair hearing is scheduled and is often a non-adversarial process. If the fair hearing examiner finds that the child is in fact eligible for Title IV-E adoption assistance, a subsidy is negotiated with the family.
In order to start the process, families can contact Patricia Reiss at 605-773-3227.

HOW CAN A FAMILY ADJUST AN ADOPTION ASSISTANCE AGREEMENT?

19. Can adoptive parents ask to change an adoption assistance agreement?

Adoptive parents can request a change in the adoption assistance agreement whenever there is a change in the family’s circumstances or the child’s needs. Decision are made on a case-by-case basis. To request an amendment to the adoption assistance agreement, the adoptive family must submit a written request to their adoption assistance worker. The administrator and the adoption program specialist consider the request for change. Local DSS offices are listed at http://dss.sd.gov/offices/.

20. What steps does a family go through to appeal an adoption assistance decision in South Dakota?

Adoptive parents can request a fair hearing whenever they disagree with a Department of Social Services decision that affects their child’s adoption assistance benefits. To request a fair hearing, parents submit a written request to

Administrative Hearings
700 Governors Drive
Pierre, South Dakota 57501

For information on Administrative Hearing procedures visit this web page, http://dss.sd.gov/adminhearings/GuideToAdministrativeHearings.pdf

WHAT ELSE DO FAMILIES NEED TO KNOW?

21. How is the adoption assistance program operated and funded in South Dakota?

The program is state supervised/state administered. This means that both policy and eligibility decisions are made by personnel at the state office. Seven districts carry out the directives.

The federal contribution to Title IV-E-eligible children—known as the Federal Financial Participation or FFP rate—is 51.64 percent in South Dakota. Remaining program costs are paid for with state funds.

22. Does South Dakota operate a subsidized guardianship program?

Yes.

 

 

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