Assessing the Field of Post-Adoption Services: Family Needs, Program Models, and Evaluation Issues. Summary Report. 5.3.3 Amount and Direction of Payment Changes


AAP changes may occur following required biannual recertifications, reflecting routine age-related increases; or they may result from special requests for needed services. Nearly three-fourths (73 percent) of cases had one or two payment changes to recertify or change AAP amounts during the 11-year period covered by the AAP data. The vast majority of changes filed were a result of recertifications. Further, the greatest proportion of those who had any changes had only one change during this 10-year period. Clearly adoption subsidy payments in California are, on the whole, quite stable.

Subsidy changes tend to occur in conjunction with required recertifications.

Additional analyses addressed the direction and size of subsidy changes. These analyses excluded payment changes that occurred when the child aged out of the adoption subsidy program at age 18. We divided the amounts of payment changes into payment increases and payment decreases, and also looked into the total average amount of each payment change.

The first monthly payment was $404, on average. The average size of the payment changes grew from the first payment change to the fifth payment change. The average amount of each payment change was just $95 monthly. Of all payment changes, 26 percent were reductions in payments, which appear to have been made to correct increases that were too high or meant to be temporary. The average payment change increases in size as the number of payment changes grows: among all first payment changes, 68 percent were gains or losses of less than $100. This proportion dropped only slightly (to 64 percent) by the third payment change, but by the fifth payment change, only 38 percent of payment changes were of that size.

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