Agency must submit adoption assistance application prior to transfer of custody.

Topic: Public Assistance, Decided by Judge Walker-Russell 
Docket Number: 1613786 , Decision Date: 2015-11-23 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) failed to apply for adoption assistance prior to transferring custody of two children to their adoptive parent.  As a result, the prerequisite that an adoption assistance agreement be in place prior to finalization of adoption was not met, and the two children were precluded from receiving benefits to which they were otherwise entitled.  As the agency failed to follow the governing law and policies, extenuating circumstances warranted granting benefits after finalization of adoption.