FCASPL 402 (Tiered Foster Care Pilot Guidance for ODJFS Authorized Agencies)
Family, Children and Adult Services Procedure Letter No. 402
March 3, 2023
TO: Family, Children, and Adult Services Manual Holders
FROM: Matt Damschroder, Director
SUBJECT: Tiered Foster Care Pilot Guidance for ODJFS Authorized Agencies


The purpose of this Procedure Letter is to provide information regarding the pilot program for Tiered Foster Care (TFC).  The information and resources were developed with external stakeholders and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) staff. It is important for an initiative of this scope to pilot the policies, tools, and rates prior to full implementation. Identifying and piloting with agencies will allow a rapid review of the policies while creating a cohort of children to follow.  The pilot will evaluate and monitor the Ohio Brief Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths Assessment Decision Support Model (CANS DSM), payment rates, tools, and draft policies. This will ensure the new procedures, support and training systems are meeting the needs of the children and youth.


Expand the foster care structure to better align children’s characteristics and unique needs with caregiver’s skills and abilities; to provide youth with high-quality care, as well as resources for caregivers, and supports for agencies.

Goals of TFC

  • Create consistent tools for use across Ohio to identify the level of need (LON) for foster youth.
  • Reduce the number of children and youth in congregate care.
  • Enhance and expand training and supports for Resource Families and Caregivers, to better serve today’s children and youth in foster care.
  • Establish consistent foster care payment rates to support families and incentivize them to take higher needs children and youth.


This Family, Children and Adult Services procedure letter and associated TFC documents should only be used by those agencies who have written authorization from ODJFS Deputy Director, or designee, and are actively participating in the TFC Pilot. 

The following processes are outlined in the Tiered Foster Care Manual

  • Child Assessment Process
  • Caregiver Assessment Process
  • Per Diem Rate Setting Process


Provided to the authorized pilot agencies in the Tier Foster Care Pilot Manual are the following:

  • Draft Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) rules to be used during the TFC pilot
  • 5101:2-5-36 Additional Requirements for an Agency that Acts as a Representative of ODJFS in Recommending Treatment Foster Homes for Certification
  • 5101:2-7-16 Additional Requirements for a Treatment Foster Caregiver and a Treatment Foster Home
  • 5101:2-42-11 Assessment for a Child’s Placement into Foster Care (new rule)
  • 5101:2-47-18 Title IV-E Foster Care Maintenance (FCM) Program Reimbursability: Reimbursements Related to the Difficulty of Care Needs of a Child Placed in a Foster Home, Relative Home, or Pre-Finalized Adoptive Home.
  • 5101:2-47-18.1 Title IV-E Foster Care Maintenance (FCM) Reimbursement for a Medically Fragile Child
  • Child characteristics document
  • Caregiver assessment
  • Caregiver Support and Services Guide
  • Rate worksheet
  • CANS Decision Support Model

If you have any questions, please contact OFC-Tiered-Foster-Care@jfs.ohio.gov.

INSTRUCTIONS:  The following chart identifies what materials should be removed from the Family, Children and Adult Services Manual (FCASM) and what materials are to be added to the FCASM.

Procedure Letters   FCASPL No. 402