Guardianship Assistance


The objective of the Guardianship Assistance Program (GAP) is to provide Federal financial participation (FFP) to states, Indian tribes, tribal organizations and tribal consortia (tribes) who opt to provide guardianship assistance payments to relatives who have assumed legal guardianship of eligible children that they previously cared for as foster parents. This assistance is intended to prevent inappropriately long stays in foster care and to promote the healthy development of children through increased safety, permanency, and well-being.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Administration For Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
A - Formula Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2016 It is anticipated that a total of 33 states (including the District of Columbia) and 6 tribes will receive grant awards to provide assistance to an average of 26,300 children per month. 31 states (including the District of Columba) and 2 tribes received grant awards in FY 2016.
Fiscal Year 2017 32 states (including the District of Columbia) and 2 tribes received grant awards in FY 2017.
Fiscal Year 2018 37 states (including the District of Columbia) and 8 tribes were awarded grants in FY 2018.
Fiscal Year 2019 It is anticipated that 38 states (including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands) and 11 tribes will receive grant awards in FY 2019. One state’s plan submitted by Virginia is under review and, if approved, may result in a grant award for FY 2019.
Fiscal Year 2020 Grants were awarded to 39 states and 4 tribes in FY 2020.
Fiscal Year 2021 Grants were awarded to 39 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and 4 tribes in FY 2021.
Fiscal Year 2022 Grants were awarded to 40 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and 2 tribes in FY 2022.
Fiscal Year 2023 It is anticipated that grants will be awarded to 39 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and 4 tribes in FY 2023.
Social Security Act, Title IV, Part E, Section 473
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Funds are available to states (including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa) and to tribes with approved title IV-E plans.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Beneficiaries are children who meet the following requirements: (1) the child has been eligible fortTitle IV-E foster care maintenance payments while residing for at least six consecutive months in the home of the prospective relative guardian; (2) the state or tribe has determined that the permanency options of being returned home or adoption are not appropriate for the child; (3) the child demonstrates a strong attachment to the prospective relative guardian and the prospective guardian is committed to caring permanently for the child; and (4) for children who have attained the age of 14, the child has been consulted regarding the kinship guardianship arrangement. Beneficiaries may also be siblings of eligible children placed in the same kinship guardianship arrangement. FFP is available to states and tribes for payments made to a relative guardian in accordance with a kinship guardianship agreement that is in writing, negotiated, and binding. The program was amended (through Public Law 113-183) effective September 29, 2014 to allow continuation of Title IV-E kinship guardianship assistance payments if the relative guardian dies or is incapacitated and a successor legal guardian is named in the agreement (or in any amendments to the agreement.)
No credentials or documentation required. Federal Financial Participation is available to a state or tribe operating under an approved title IV-E plan.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Consultation is available to states and tribes from ACF Regional Offices. Applications are made in the form of a title IV-E Plan, prepared in the format provided by the ACF Children's Bureau. An SF-424M and the title IV-E plans and amendments must be submitted through the Online Data Collection (OLDC) system within GrantSolutions.
Award Procedure
Quarterly awards are made on the basis of estimated expenditures, which are later revised to include only actual allowable claimed expenditures. Quarterly estimates are due on July 30, October 30, January 30 and April 30 each year. Final decisions and awards are made by the headquarters office. Post award, the Division of Payment Management will establish an account from which a recipient may draw down award funds.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) will approve/disapprove applications (Title IV-E plans or amendments to them) within 45 days of receipt by ACF.
Appeals may take place in accordance with 45 CFR Part 16, subject to the limitations of the Appendix A.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Title IV-E agencies must submit an amended title IV-E plan in accordance with program instruction ACYF-CB-PI- 18-07 and ACYF-CB-PI-23-08.
How may assistance be used?
Federal assistance may be used only in support of the care of children who meet the eligibility requirements and their siblings under certain situations as specified in the statute. All relatives assuming guardianship of such children are eligible for the nonrecurring expenses associated with obtaining legal guardianship up to $2,000. A state or tribe may receive FFP only if its title IV-E plan has been approved by ACF.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
45 CFR Part 75 Subpart F applies to this program.
States and tribes must maintain all financial and programmatic records necessary for the proper and efficient operation of the program, including records of applications, determinations of eligibility, utilization of awarded grants and other funds for the provision of financial assistance and allocated indirect and direct administrative and training costs. All records are to be maintained in accordance with 45 CFR 75.361-365.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory Formula: Title IV Chapter Section 474 Part E Subpart N/A Public Law 110-351

Matching is mandatory. The non-Federal share of program costs (difference between total cost and FFP) in each funding category constitutes the required match to be met by the Title IV-E agency. Matching funds from state agencies must be appropriated monies raised from non-Federal revenue sources. Matching funds from tribal agencies must also be appropriated monies, but may, at the option of the tribe, include Federal funds specifically authorized by Federal statutes to be used as match for other Federal programs. Additionally, in accordance with 45 CFR 1356.68, for administration and training cost only, tribal matching funds may include in-kind expenditures (or contributions) from allowable third-party sources.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
The title IV-E agency may implement and claim allowable guardianship assistance program costs beginning on the first day of the quarter in which an approvable title IV-E plan amendment is submitted to the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to implement the GAP. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: Quarterly.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Contact the Children's Bureau Regional Program Managers
Headquarters Office
Liliana Hernandez Chakrabarti
330 C Street SW, Room 3507B
Washington, DC 20201 US
Phone: (202) 205-8086
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Formula Grants) FY 22$324,573,109.00; FY 23 est $345,000,000.00; FY 24 est $330,000,000.00; FY 21$248,678,170.00; FY 20$219,124,078.00; FY 19$189,106,363.00; FY 18$154,689,581.00; FY 17$147,808,681.00; FY 16$122,631,572.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Fiscal Year 2022: Grants to states ranged from $22,134 to $98,110,702 with an average of $6,693,025. Fiscal Year 2022: Grants to tribes ranged from $1,679 to $306,879 with an average of $175,392.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
See program guidance in ACYF-CB-PI-10-01 which can be found at Additional program guidance can be found in ACYF-CB-PI-10-11 at
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.