6650. Trust Funds for Children in Out-of-Home Placement

Original Date: September 27, 1995

Revised Date: October 31, 2019

Sunset Review Date: October 31, 2023

Approval by: Nicole Rose, Director of Eligibility and Provider Supports


Provide guidance to the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) employees for managing trust fund accounts for children who are in the placement and care authority of DCYF.


This policy applies to DCYF child welfare and Eligibility and Provider Supports Division Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and federal funding employees.


RCW 74.13.060 Secretary as Custodian of Funds of Person Placed with Department or it’s Agent – Authority –Limitations – Termination

CFR 404.2040 Use of Benefit Payments

CFR 416.640 Use of Benefit Payments

SI 02101.010 Past-Due Benefits Payable – Individual Alive Under Age 18 with Representative Payee – Dedicated Account Required


  1. Caseworkers must:
    1. Refer all children to local SSI facilitators, when:
      1. It is known they receive or may be eligible to receive benefits from any of the following:
        1. SSI or Social Security Administration (SSA)
        2. Labor and Industries (L&I)
        3. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB)
        4. Veterans Benefits (VA)
        5. Crime Victims Compensation
        6. Legal Settlement
        7. Other private contributions
      2. Their parents, step parents, or adoptive parents are one of the following:
        1. Deceased
        2. Retired
        3. Disabled
      3. They are potentially eligible and have a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-5 (DSM-V) diagnosis or are receiving an Individualized Education Program (IEP) through the school district.
    2. Inform the SSI facilitators of the child’s placement, resources, or income when the child meets one of the following:
      1. Emancipation
      2. Returns home
      3. Transfers to Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA)
      4. Is adopted
  2. SSI facilitators must:
    1. Verify through system checks children are receiving eligible benefits.
    2. Request to change representative payees to DCYF for all clients currently entitled or receiving SSI or SSA benefits.
    3. Report changes in circumstances regarding placement resources or income to the payer. This would include SSA, Veterans Affairs (VA), L&I, Crime Victims Compensation, Railroad Retirement and other private contributions.
    4. Coordinate all relevant financial, education, medical, and other information with the Trust Funds Unit.
  3. The Trust Fund Unit must:
    1. Maintain all accounting and disbursement documentation for children in out-of-home licensed placements receiving SSI, SSA, VA, or other benefits.
    2. Serve as the representative payee for the client’s funds.
    3. Close the account when a child exits foster care.
  4. Regional federal funding coordinators must:
    1. Coordinate work with caseworkers and SSI facilitators to approve expenditures or plans for conserving a child’s trust fund resources.
    2. Approve plans to protect the child’s assets or forego reimbursement on foster care expenditures. Examples of potential assets include, but are not limited to:
      1. SSI lump sum benefits
      2. Dedicated Accounts
      3. Gifts from relatives
      4. Inheritances
      5. Life insurance payments
      6. Tort claim settlements
      7. SSA benefits
      8. Victims compensation funds
  5.  SSI program managers must:
    1. Complete appeals on SSI and SSA cases.
    2. Review SSI facilitator’s applications and verify medical, school, and additional evidence documentation is complete.
    3. Determine if an attorney needs to be involved in assisting with setting up and managing a Special Needs Trust Account or other accounts. If one is needed:
      1. Provide documentation to set up the trust account.
      2. Upload trust documentation to the case record.
      3. Notify the primary caseworker the trust account is established.
    4. Determine when a Special Needs, Achieving Better Life Experience (ABLE), or other account needs to be established for children receiving SSI and SSA. If needed:
      1. Coordinate with the Trust Fund Unit or an attorney to manage the accounts.
      2. Upload trust documentation to the case record.
      3. Notify the primary caseworker the trust account is established.


Trust Funds Handbook (located on the DCYF CA Intranet)

SSI On-Line Guide (located on the DCYF CA Intranet)