DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES
Division of Social Services
Purchase of Care - Determination of Homeless
NATURE OF THE PROCEEDINGS:
Delaware Health and Social Services (“Department”) / Division of Social Services initiated proceedings to amend Division of Social Services Manual (DSSM) regarding Purchase of Care, specifically, to define homeless. The Department’s proceedings to amend its regulations were initiated pursuant to 29 Delaware Code Section 10114 and its authority as prescribed by 31 Delaware Code Section 512.
The Department published its notice of proposed regulation changes pursuant to 29 Delaware Code Section 10115 in the March 2019 Delaware Register of Regulations, requiring written materials and suggestions from the public concerning the proposed regulations to be produced by April 4, 2019 at which time the Department would receive information, factual evidence and public comment to the said proposed changes to the regulations.
SUMMARY OF PROPOSAL
Effective for services provided on and after June 11, 2019 Delaware Health and Social Services/Division of Social Services proposes to amend section 11003.7.2 of the Division of Social Service Manual regarding Purchase of Care, specifically, to define homeless.
45 CFR 98.41
42 USC 11434a (2)
42 USC 11302 (a)
The reauthorized Child Care and Development Block Grant Act requires lead agencies to adopt the homeless definition established by the McKinney-Vento Act to ensure consistency in identifying children that meet the criteria. The adoption of this policy will also be in alignment with Head Start and other education programs that are bound by the McKinney-Vento Act. The revised policy specifically details the homeless definition and the eligibility criteria for families who are determined homeless.
Delaware Health and Social Services/Division of Social Services will revise current policy regarding homeless families as required by the reauthorized Child Care and Development Block Grant Act.
To establish a homeless policy that adopts the definition from section 725 of Subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Act.
In accordance with the federal public notice requirements established at Section 1902(a)(13)(A) of the Social Security Act and 42 CFR 447.205 and the state public notice requirements of Title 29, Chapter 101 of the Delaware Code, Delaware Health and Social Services (DHSS)/Division of Social Services (DSS) gives public notice and provides an open comment period for thirty (30) days to allow all stakeholders an opportunity to provide input on the proposed regulation. Comments were to have been received by 4:30 p.m. on April 4, 2019.
Fiscal Impact Statement
The policy amendment will have no fiscal impact since the purpose is to revise the requirements of the program. The policy amendment does not require any additional staff, system changes, agency costs, etc.
Summary of Comments Received with Agency Response and Explanation of Changes
No comments were received during the public comment period.
FINDINGS OF FACT:
The Department finds that the proposed changes as set forth in the March 2019 Register of Regulations should be adopted.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED, that the proposed regulation to amend Delaware Health and Social Services (DHSS)/Division of Social Services (DSS) is proposing to amend the Division of Social Services Manual (DSSM) regarding Purchase of Care, specifically, to define homeless, is adopted and shall be final effective June 11, 2019.
Date of Signature
Kara Odom Walker, MD, MPH, MSHS, Secretary, DHSS
POLICY – AMENDMENT
Delaware Department of Health and Social Services
Division of Social Services
Policy and Program Development Unit
11003.7.2 Income Eligible/Homeless Determining Child Care for Homeless Families
Parent/caretakers who are homeless and whose incomes are at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level can receive income eligible services exclusive of meeting any other need requirement. DSS defines homeless as:
A. families living in a shelter or receiving emergency assistance to live in a temporary arrangement (an example of a temporary arrangement are those families receiving assistance to live in a local motel); or
B. families without a fixed address or not living in a permanent dwelling (examples of families without a fixed address are families living in cars or tents, excluding families who live with other families).
DSS will provide child care services to homeless families for up to three months or until the family is able to obtain suitable living arrangements. Once families have obtained suitable living arrangements, child care services can only continue if families have another need for service, such as the family needs child care in order to work.
45 CFR 98.41, 42 USC 11434a (2), 42 USC 11302 (a)
Families who apply for Purchase of Care and meet the definition of “homeless” will receive presumptive child care services for 90 days, regardless of whether documentation is provided at the time of application.
1. This policy references The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act definition of “homeless” which means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, and includes individuals who are:
2. Families who make a personal choice to reside in the housing of others are not considered homeless.
3. Families who are homeless will qualify for child care services when:
4. Child care providers are required to allow children who are determined homeless and children in foster care to begin receiving child care services once they are determined eligible for child care subsidy, regardless of whether documentation has been provided, including immunization records.