425 U.S. 231 (1976), 73-6935, Youakim v. Miller

Docket Nº:No. 73-6935
Citation:425 U.S. 231, 96 S.Ct. 1399, 47 L.Ed.2d 701
Party Name:Youakim v. Miller
Case Date:March 31, 1976
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 231

425 U.S. 231 (1976)

96 S.Ct. 1399, 47 L.Ed.2d 701




No. 73-6935

United States Supreme Court

March 31, 1976

        Argued December 8, 1975




        Although appellants' complaint described their action challenging the foster care payment scheme provided by Illinois as part of the federal Aid to Families with Dependent Children program as an action seeking an injunction on equal protection grounds, and it does not appear that appellants separately relied on the Supremacy Clause or that the District Court, in holding that the scheme did not deny appellants equal protection, addressed the relationship between the scheme and the Social Security Act independently of the equal protection issue, nevertheless this Court is justified in dealing with the question of the conflict between the state scheme and the federal Act presented in the jurisdictional statement to the extent of vacating the judgment below and remanding the case for consideration of that question, where it appears that the question could have been pursued under certain allegations in the complaint and that the District Court, based on certain language in its opinion, would have rejected the Supremacy Clause claim, if made, as a separate ground for decision. Moreover, after the jurisdictional statement was filed, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare issued a "Program Instruction" indicating, and the Solicitor General filed a statement in this Court urging, that the state scheme was inconsistent with the federal Act, neither of which developments was available to the appellants or the District Court when the case was there.

        374 F.Supp. 1204, vacated and remanded.

Page 232

        Per curiam opinion.

        PER CURIAM.

        As part of the federal Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, 42 U.S.C. § 601 et seq., the State of Illinois provides federally subsidized foster care (AFDC-FC) payments of $105 per month for a dependent child placed with unrelated foster parents. Under Illinois' administration of the program, no foster care payments are made to foster parents who are related to the foster child. Related foster parents are eligible, however, to receive payments under the State's regular AFDC program for the support of dependent children in the amount of $63 per month. These payments are made without regard to the financial circumstances of the family caring for the child. In addition, as an exception to the State's regular policy, related foster parents, upon an adequate showing of financial need, may receive supplemental payments for child care which bring the payments in connection with the related foster child to approximately $105 per month.

       Appellants are Linda Youakim and her husband, Marcel, and Linda's four minor brothers and sisters, Timothy, Mary Lou, Larry, and Sherry Robertson. Since 1972, the Youakims have been foster parents of Timothy and Mary Lou. Larry and Sherry have been living in separate, unrelated foster care facilities since 1969. Because Linda is related to Timothy and Mary Lou, the Youakims were ineligible for AFDC-FC foster care payments. They did apply for and receive the smaller AFDC payments for both children. Alleging injury resulting from financial inability to provide adequate care for Timothy and Mary Lou and to [96 S.Ct. 1401] bring Larry and Sherry into their foster family, appellants filed suit in the District Court against the state officials on behalf of themselves and all other persons similarly situated. Their complaint described the suit as an action to enjoin...

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