4538. Transportation

Service Definition

Transportation activity related to making a placement, necessary during and to support the placement, preventing a placement, or returning a child/runaway that is a dependent in this state.


  1. A child/client of DCFS may be eligible for this service if a transportation need falls within the service definition.
  2. CA may reimburse the expenses upon social worker authorization when the service is consistent with the ISSP, supports a permanent plan, or directly prevents a foster/group care placement, and is not payable from another source.
  3. The Regional Administrator must establish a dollar limit for the total cost of the transportation episode for a child/client, with documented supervisory approval required for amounts above that level.
  4. Within the service definition, the social worker may authorize related travel for the child, parents, relatives, permanent planning resources, and care providers.

Procedures for Access

  1. The Regional Administrator must issue procedures to enable social workers to authorize transportation services in accordance with this section.
  2. The social worker must receive written approval in accordance with regional procedures before authorizing transportation services exceeding regional limits.
  3. The regional procedures must, at minimum, include the following provisions:
    1. The social worker completes a Social Service Authorization, DSHS 14-154A(X), for each anticipated vendor, leaving the exact cost of services blank unless it is known. If a foster parent or group/rehabilitative service provider chooses to purchase the transportation service and be reimbursed by the department, the care provider may be the vendor.
    2. At the bottom of the authorization, the social worker writes:
      1. The maximum amount authorized; e.g., "NOT TO EXCEED $200." If the travel has already occurred, the social worker opens and closes the DSHS 14-154A/159 in the same action, showing actual amount of payment.
      2. The name of the purchaser. If the purchaser is the social worker, the worker's supervisor must initial the authorization form.
      3. The transportation service to be purchased and from whom; for example, "a bus ticket in the amount of $45.00 dollars to travel from Yakima to Seattle and return using Regional Bus Co."
    3. The social worker routes the client and vendor copy of the authorization to the care provider or user of the transportation.
  4. The purchaser and vendor must follow these steps for payment to the vendor:
    1. The purchaser gives the vendor the Vendor copy of the social service authorization.
    2. The vendor gives the purchaser an itemized receipt for the purchase. The vendor may attach their copy of the receipt to their copy of the DSHS 14-154A(X) so they can be matched with to the remittance advice accompanying the warrant.
    3. The purchaser signs the receipt and routes it to the local DCFS office.
  5. For reimbursement to a foster parent who has provided the transportation, the foster parent submits a signed A-20, Travel Expense Voucher, to the local DCFS office.
  6. After the purchase, the following steps shall be taken:
    1. The social worker compares the DSHS 14-154A(X) to the receipt and resolves any discrepancies with the purchaser.
    2. The worker enters the exact amount of the purchase on the DSHS 14-154A(X) and terminate the service. The termination code must verify that the service was provided.
    3. The local office transmits the DSHS 14-154(X) to Olympia in accordance with local procedures.
    4. SSPS then issues a warrant to the vendor in the amount authorized.
  7. The vendor receives the warrant, accompanied by form A-2, Vendor Remittance Advice, showing the clients and warrant amount. The vendor may match the amount and names on the A-2 with the vendor copy of the DSHS 14-154A(X) and resolve discrepancies with the social worker.
  8. For Medicaid travel reimbursements to private individuals, the social worker must obtain prior approval from the Medical Assistance Administration's Central Authorization Unit at 1-800-228-6641. If approval is given, the social worker obtains billing instructions from the Central Authorization Unit.

Other Resources

  1. The social worker attempts to obtain the following resources before committing DCFS to pay transportation costs or authorize payments:
    1. Parents/guardian/family.
    2. Volunteers (individual or organization).
    3. Other states for children who may be the responsibility of the other state.
    4. Schools, especially for education-related transportation needs.
    5. Reimbursement by Medicaid for transportation provided by foster parents, guardian, other family members, or volunteers to/from medical services. If the transportation is for a service covered by a medical coupon, the service should be Medicaid-eligible.
    6. Medicaid using a medical coupon for services from ambulances, cabulances, and taxi providers for medical transportation, requiring prior approval by the Area Medical Unit except in emergency situations.
    7. Foster care transportation funds.