Formula Grants

Title IV-B – State Court Improvement Program (CIP)


Section 438 of the Social Security authorizes CIP funding through three grants that the highest state court of each state may apply for:

  • Basic Grant. The basic grant enables state courts to conduct assessments of the role, responsibilities and effectiveness of state courts in carrying out state laws guiding child welfare proceedings. It allows state courts to make improvements to provide for the safety, well-being, and permanence of children in foster care and engagement of families in child welfare cases. It also allows the courts to improve collaboration including in the implementation of Program Improvement Plans (PIPs) as a result of the Child and Family Services and title IV-E Foster Care Eligibility Reviews.
  • Data Grant. The data grant supports data collection and analysis and promotes data sharing between state courts, child welfare agencies and tribes.
  • Training Grant. The training grant is intended to increase child welfare expertise within the legal community and facilitate cross-training opportunities among agencies, tribes, courts and other key stakeholders.

The Children’s Bureau continually updates its What’s New in Laws & Policies page with information relevant to the IV-B programs.

Match Requirements

A non-federal share is required for each CIP grant at the rate of 25 percent of the total budget. For example, a project totaling $100,000 would require a state court contribution of $25,000 to receive federal funds totaling $75,000. There is no match requirement for the Tribal Court Improvement Program.

Potential Uses

CIP funds are expressly for courts to improve child welfare proceedings.



Administering Federal Agency

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children & Families (ACF), Children’s Bureau (CB)

Find Your State/Local Administrator

The highest state court of appeal applies to the CB for these funds. Consider contacting the Regional Liaison for the Capacity Building Center for the Courts to find your CIP.

Amount of Available Funding

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 signed into law December 27, 2020 reserved $10 million from the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program for the Court Improvement Project, with $500,000 reserved for Tribal court improvements. These funds can be used for technology investments, trainings to facilitate remote hearings, and other court programs to help families avoid delays in legal proceedings as a result of COVID-19.

More Information

To find examples of courts and/or their justice partners receiving these funds, click on the PDF.

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