Foster Children

Written by Lainey Nadeau, Spectrum Enterprises

Establishing family size is an important first step to determining household eligibility. Family size determines the appropriate income limit for the household. Change 4 to the HUD 4350 Handbook made some changes to family size determination. Specifically, it removed foster children and foster adults from who to exclude when determining family size for income limits.

Change 4 was not a complete rewrite and only some pages of the handbook were changed. The bottom of each page shows the date it was last changed. Updated pages will list the 8/13 date in the lower right corner. New language added is between *asterisks.*

The change regarding foster children and adults was a removal of a statement rather than an addition of a statement.

Previously page 3-10 like this:

1

Now it looks like this:

2

As you can see “b. Foster Children or foster adults” has been removed and the bottom right shows the 8/13 date.

The HUD 4350 defines foster children and foster adults as follows:

Foster Children: Children that are in the legal guardianship or custody of a State, county, or private adoption or foster care agency, yet are cared for by foster parents in their own homes, under some kind of short-term or long-term foster care arrangement with the custodial agency. These children will generally remain in foster care until they are reunited with their parents, or until their parents voluntarily consent to their adoption by another family, or until the court involuntarily terminates or severs the parental right of their biological parents, so that they can become available to be adopted by another family. Therefore, the parental rights of the parents of these children may or may not have been terminated or severed, and the children may or may not be legally available for adoption.

 Foster Adults: A foster adult is usually an adult with a disability who is unrelated to the tenant family and who is unable to live alone.

 Example: The Miller household contains Mike, Sally and 3 minors, Ashley, Grace and Camden. Ashley and Grace are foster children.

Prior to 8/22/13 this would have been considered a 3-person household when determining income limits. Since Change 4 this is now a 5-person household when determining income limits.

Please note that even though foster children and foster adults are now considered household members when determining family size, income received for the care of foster children and foster adults is still not counted. The 4350 states, “Payments received by the family for the care of foster children or foster adults are not counted. This rule applies only to payments made through the official foster care relationships with local welfare agencies,” (p. 5-9)

In June of 2009 Change 3 of the HUD 4350 changed how earned and unearned income for foster children was counted. Figure 5-2 was added to the handbook. Change 4 did not change this. 

3

 

This chart shows:

  • That any employment income earned from a foster child who is under 18 years old is EXCLUDED from annual income.
  • That any employment income earned from a foster adult who is at least 18 years old is INCLUDED in annual income.  
  • That any unearned income received by or on behalf of a foster child or adult is INCLUDED in annual income. This would include benefits such as Social Security and any income earned from an asset owned by the foster child or foster adult.  Remember that “Other Income” does not include payments for the care of foster children or foster adults through official agencies.

It is important to make sure your staff is aware of Change 4 so that households with foster children are not turned away for being over income when a higher income limit should have been used. Since Change 4 only live-in aides and guests are excluded when determining family size for income limits. It is also important to make sure that income and assets for foster children and foster adults are counted appropriately. 


Subscribe to Our Blog

 

 Subscribe in a reader