Health Conditions, Utilization, and Expenditures of Children in Foster Care. Appendix A: Characteristics of Children Receiving Emergency Assistance

Title IV-A of the Social Security Act authorized matching funds to states that provide emergency assistance (EA) under approved state plans.(1) State plans were required to designate the types of emergencies eligible for assistance. Potential uses were wide-ranging and included providing aid to those affected by natural disasters (floods, fires, storms); those who were homeless or faced a risk of homelessness (due to eviction or foreclosure, for example); those facing financial crises due to loss of employment or strikes; and those with medical needs such as emergencies, illnesses, accidents, or injuries.

During the decade from 1985 to 1995, spending for emergency assistance grew 20-fold. More states submitted amendments and received approval for emergency assistance programs. Additionally, many states expanded eligibility so that they could use EA funds for juvenile justice, mental health, or child protection (US House of Representatives 1996).

This appendix describes the characteristics of children receiving emergency assistance in conjunction with child welfare services in 1994, and who were covered by Medicaid. The analysis includes 1,301 EA children in California, and 6,898 EA children in Florida. The EA coverage category was used much more frequently in Florida, relative to the number of children in foster care during the year. There were no children in Pennsylvania who were identified in the SMRF file as receiving emergency assistance related to child welfare during this time period.