FCASPL 184 (Use of JFS 01453)
Family, Children and Adult Services Procedure Letter No. 184
October 27, 2009
TO: Family, Children and Adult Services Manual Holders
FROM: Douglas E. Lumpkin, Director
SUBJECT: Modification of the JFS 01453 "Adoption Assistance Agreement"

ODJFS has been made aware that one or more public children services agencies (PCSAs) may be modifying the JFS 01453 by adding a provision that the adoption assistance payments are "subject to the availability of federal and state funds. Any reduction in federal or state financial participation will automatically reduce the adoption assistance payment in an equal amount." In addition, PCSAs may be modifying the JFS 01453 "Adoption Assistance Agreement" (rev. 10/2006) to require that the adoptive parent check-off that the parent agrees "that any reduction in federal or state funds will automatically reduce this amount in an equal manner." While we do not know whether any agency has attempted to use a county-modified form, we are sending this communication to ensure that all agencies discontinue any attempts at modifying the ODJFS-prescribed form.

A modification to the JFS 01453 would be a violation of Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) 5101:2-49-01 and 5101:2-4906, which require PCSAs to use the JFS 01453, which does not include these statements. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has indicated in its Child Welfare Policy Manual that any such statements in an adoption assistance agreement violate sections 473(a)(1)(B)(ii) and 473(a)(3) of the Social Security Act. For more information, see the following:


Ohio Revised Code Section 5101.141(B) specifies that ODJFS adopt rules to implement its authority as the single state agency to administer federal payments for Title IV-E adoption assistance. "A public children services agency to which the department distributes Title IV-E funds shall administer the funds in accordance with those rules."

OAC Chapter 5101:2-49, the rule chapter that ODJFS adopted to implement the Title IV-E adoption assistance program, requires the specific use of the http://www.odjfs.state.oh.us/forms/num/JFS01453, which can be found at http://www.odjfs.state.oh.us/forms/inter.asp. Pursuant to 5101:2-49-06 paragraph (A), the JFS 01453 must be signed by both the adoptive parent(s) and the PCSA for each child receiving Title IV-E adoption assistance (AA) payments. The JFS 01453 is the prescribed form for receiving adoption assistance payments.

As required by federal law, any modification/amendment of the Title IV-E AA payment amount must be made with the concurrence of the adopting parents(s) based on changes in circumstances of the adopting parents and needs of the child. When the parties agree to a change in the AA payment amount, a modified/amended agreement shall be completed and signed by both the adoptive parent(s) and the PCSA. A copy shall be given to the adoptive parent(s), and a copy shall be retained by the PCSA.

The Office for Families and Children, Bureau of Child Welfare Monitoring, Child Protection Oversight and Evaluation (CPOE) section will be monitoring a sample of signed agreements to ensure that the prescribed JFS 01453 is being used and has not been modified. Please contact Darlene Dalton, Acting Section Chief, at 614-752-0656 if you have any questions.


The following chart depicts what materials should be inserted into the Family, Children and Adult Services Manual (FCASM).