Foster Care Reimbursement Rates

As you read this please bear in mind that I am highly critical of our current foster care system.

I believe far too many children are  removed from their homes too quickly or for unjustified reasons.

I further believe that that there are children left in homes where they are in imminent danger when they should have been removed and these children pay the ultimate price.

I believe youth in care are moved far too many times from home to home which causes damage to them which may haunt them for a lifetime.

I further believe necessary services are not provided to the foster parents or the children in their care.

Though I am critical of the current system I believe if the state determines they need to remove a child from their home then it becomes their responsibility to provide adequate funding to provide for that care.

The report below reflects yet another reason our current foster care system is failing those they are to care for; the children! It also gives added reasons of why our system needs refrom from top to bottom!

Yesterday October 3, 2007, the Children’s Rights Organization, the National Foster Parent Association and the University of Maryland School of Social Work released a historic, first-ever nationwide, state-by-state calculation of the real cost of supporting children in foster care. The report reveals widespread deficiencies in reimbursement rates across the nation—and major disparities among the states—and proposes a new standard rate for each state to use in fulfilling the federal requirement to provide foster parents with payments to cover the basic needs of children in foster care, including food, shelter, clothing and school supplies.

One of the requirements foster parents must meet prior to being licensed is that they have income necessary to meet their financial obligations without any reimbursement from doing foster care. Reimbursement from foster care is meant to cover only additional financial outlay due to caring for a child; the states are not meeting these costs today.

Providing foster care for a child is not meant as a way for foster parents to become rich nor should it cause financial difficulties due to low reimbursement. There is a minority of foster parents that do attempt to provide care for the money but they usually do not last long as foster parents. The majority of foster parents are meeting the needs of children in their care out of their own pockets due to the low reimbursements made by the states. 
 
Most states reimburse foster parents significantly less than the actual cost of raising a foster child, complicating the task of finding good homes for children who need them, according to this first-of-its-kind survey.

The survey analyzed regional living expenses and calculated on a state-by-state basis the minimum cost of adequately raising a foster child. Only Arizona and the District of Columbia pay foster parents more than this minimum amount, according the survey.

To adequately cover the cost of rearing a foster child, base payments would need to be increased as follows:

10 states would need to be raised at least 25%:

Alaska, Nevada, Wyoming, Texas, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Connecticut and Maryland 

10 states would need to be raised from 26-50%:

Montana, New Mexico, Minnesota, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, New York, Maine, Georgia, New Jersey and Hawaii

15 states would need to be raised from 51-75%:

California, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Iowa, Michigan, Alabama, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Vermont, Delaware and Massachusetts

9 states would need to be raised from 76-100%:

Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Rhode Island and New Hampshire

5 states would need to more than double their current base rates:
 
Idaho, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin

Of the more than 513,000 U.S. children in foster care at any given time, about 75 percent live with foster parents, while most of the others are placed in group homes and institutions.

The report expressed concern that inadequate reimbursement rates would worsen a shortfall of foster parents, “potentially increasing the likelihood that children will be placed in institutions or shuttled from one foster placement to another.”

“The bottom line is that when these rates don’t reflect the real expenses that foster parents face, it’s the children who suffer,” said Karen Jorgenson, executive director of the Foster Parent Association.

Although child welfare agencies are required by federal law to reimburse foster parents for the cost of raising foster children, there is no national minimum, leaving states and localities free to set their own rates. The result is a huge disparity. The base rates paid for raising a 2-year-old foster child range from $236 a month in Nebraska to $869 in the District of Columbia.

The “minimum adequate rates” in the report represented the cost of providing basic needs — housing, food, clothing, and school supplies — as well as a child’s participation in normal after-school sports and activities.

The monthly rates recommended by the report, averaged out on a national basis, were $629 for 2-year-olds, $721 for 9-year-olds and $790 for 16-year-olds. Currently, the average actual monthly base rates offered by states are $488 for 2-year-olds, $509 for 9-year-olds and $568 for 16-year-olds.

For details of each state click on the link below:

http://www.childrensrights.org/site/PageServer?pagename=hittingthemarc

http://www.larrya.us (my web site)

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74 Responses

  1. Depressing that my state is on the increase list.
    Is there any logical reason why they are not doing things like providing foster parents with more support and not moving children from one home to another?
    Why aren’t there well known right in the open on the front page of the paper headline news efforts to reform this system?

    (at least we have a system though, in other places there isn’t even an infilstructure to care for children, but couldn’t folks impliment some of the things you are talking about? It seems logical and common sense. I can’t understand why they are not doing this!)

  2. Because they’re ONLY kids and kids don’t matter in this country! And we are ONLY foster parents and we don’t matter either! I wonder when was the last time that any of these workers tried to raise their special needs child on $10 a day!

  3. We are in one of the states that needs to increase their rates by quite a bit. When we’ve asked for help from our county (in terms of respite, additional behavioral services for our child, or assistance in finding/paying for daycare) we’ve been told “sorry.”

    It’s no wonder that foster kids get bounced from home to home to home. Foster parents get tired of the burden and have to give up, because caring for these kids is a huge emotional and financial drain, and the state won’t do anything to make our burden any easier.

  4. I am just about to finish my Pride classes and should have my license in about 2 months because the state I live in is backed up in issuing them. I was appalled when I saw how much the payments were for my state. I know I couldn’t raise my special needs daughter I adopted from VN on that. It really is sickening that the State doesn’t do more for these children. This article ended up on the back page of the classified section in the local newspaper… guess they didn’t want to many people reading it.

  5. Any government – Any system – has always, and will always come up short in the level of financial and other support it provides in caring for these children.

    Yet there are those who continue to open their hearts and lives to the children in foster care.

    We ride the ups and downs of a system – that both heals and breaks the heart –
    A roller coaster of expectation and grief.

    We struggle to heal the trauma of abandonment and separation, of physical and emotional abuse & neglect, of sexual molestation and depravation.

    We strive to help our children overcome the difficulty of attachment disorder, the self-doubt and the misconceptions inflicted by an ignorant, self indulgent society.

    WHY?

    Because we understand that there really are monsters under the bed!

    So keep up the fight! – Continue to advocate and provide a voice for our children!

    If you cant get through the front door – go in the back or through a window!

    An ignorant soul once asked me: ‘Why would you ever want to take these kind of kids into your home’?

    My response was to write a song …

    Because

    Because the cry of precious children erupts like fire in my veins
    Because these children deserve more than to be labeled with your stupid names
    Because the pain and torment they endure burns inside my very soul
    Because I feel the emptiness within and wish to make them whole
    Because not one little lamb should be lost from the fold
    Because I know what it’s like to need someone to hold
    Because each child’s heartbreaking story needs to be told
    Because we all need some comfort, this world is so cold
    Because the burden is to heavy for little shoulders to bear
    Because there are monsters of evil lurking out there
    Because what is a dream unless your willing to share
    Because children need to believe that someone still cares
    Because my heart has been broken, now I can feel
    Because I have been wounded, I know how to heal
    Because I have been taken, I never will steal
    Because I have been lied to, I know what is real
    Because I understand the need for a home
    Because no child should be left alone
    Because my eyes have seen their eyes cry
    Because of this – I will not sit idly by

    Words and Music by Tony DeLorenzo and Richard Ferreira Copyright 2003 The Sword & Spirit Band

    Creating a greater awareness to the needs of foster and adoptive children and their families by educating and motivating the local community through music, art, drama and literary productions

    Developing and promoting projects through music and the arts that reach out and effect positive change in the lives of these children and those who care for them. http://www.swordspirit.net

  6. I did not read the article but in my State… we must out of our re-inbursement pay for a large portion of their dayacre so that I may continue to work and so that we may continue to be re-certified yearly…

    We have not a dime xtra to show for our taking care of these children (not that we want to profit)…

    Even though it is not intended to be this way.. we often have to come up with hard to come by money for things like Birthdays, sports and other activities… leaving our budget stretched…

    Yes we both worrk… but with 5 children to pay for extras at school and other outside activities in order to keep these children busy in “poitive” environments… well it gets difficult sometimes…

    We were once told that we could get food stamps for our FC but I’ve no idea how to do that or how it works and neither does our worker… I say this because it is very expensive these days to try and feed our growing children “healthy” meals…

    Any who, just my .02

  7. oh and by the way 3 of our children are special needs as well…

  8. I have recently taken custody of my cousins baby. My husband and I took custody of him from the hospital because his birth mother was doing drugs, had several STD’s, and would not get help to find a place to live. My husband and I allowed her to move into our home while she was pregnant and had planned on helping her after the baby was born to find a job and try to get on her feet. CPS was called by the pedatric doctor from the hospital and the baby was released to my husband and I. She left before the baby was 2 weeks old and my husband and I obtained and attorney to get full custody of him. He is now 9 months old and she is nowhere to be found. The point to all of that was that our dealings with CPS was not a great experience. At first everything was ok but when his birth mother became pregnant again it was horrible. Cps tried to convince me to take custody of the new baby as well. We get no financial help for the child we took custody of and he makes 4 for us. Now they expect me to take custody of the new one with no help. When we applied for benifits for the baby we were told my husband make to much and we were not closly enough related to the child to be eligable for help. At every turn we had trouble and all we wanted to do is give the baby a good and safe home. He is a blessing for us and I am greatful everyday that we decided to take him, but I would never consider doing the same again.

  9. Hi,

    I recently got 5 nieces & nephews who were in foster care. When I got these children I was told that I would get some type of reimburstment money to help clothe & feed these kids. I have had them for 3 1/2 weeks & I foud out by mistake that I was not able to revcieve any type of federal funding that I would need to go apply for CASH AID. I have tryied all the resourses and think that I need to return them back to the system. I was not able to get cash aid for them because I needed to get my and my brother birth certificate to prove that I was related the kids. I have really put myself in the biggest mess ever. At this current time I don’t know how I will continue to feed them and my own 2 kids.

    Any suggestion,
    Cristina Huerta
    Lancaster CA

    • Did you try applying for a special relative grant? You would just need the children’s birth certificates, ssn and a letter from their case worker. It takes time to fill out but you should be able to do it fairly simply. Also, are they still registered as foster kids? Or have you been given custody? If they are still foster (wards of the state) you can apply them for food stamps and medicaid. Granted, the system takes a while but you just have to keep hounding the case worker. We’ve had my husbands cousin for 3 months now and are just now making progress on reimbursement.

  10. I think foster parenting in America has to be revamped as a whole. There are just too many change of parents for every foster child. The system has to be more stable and more government support be given for foster parents.

    • I was a foster parent here in North Carolina, the agency I worked for paid very well. The children were not the problem, they were wonderful kids. It is the system, they want to move these kids constantly, I had a foster child for one year and the county up and moved her for no reason what so ever. Another child I had for three years and they moved her because my husband had a stroke. This child was only three months away from graduating high school and being out on her own. My husband only had a mini stroke and was far from being an invalid! It is like they don’t care about the children at all it is just what they want that counts!!

  11. I think low reimbursement is not even the major issue. The red tape is so frustrating and intrusive that for many people no reimbursement could be high enough. The training takes weeks. Your home has to meet code requirements that no other private homes are subject to. In Texas you have to be CPR and First Aid certified. Those certifications themselves take a whole day. Because I work, that is two Saturdays, in addition to the required training, that I have to devote YEARLY to become and remain certified. What other parents have to meet these requirements? I really would like to know how many of the bureaucrats and politicians that make these rules are so certified and whose homes could pass these inspections. On top of all the red tape, the government treats the foster parents like employees. Several times, after I have called them on their crap, I was threatened with removal of children from my home or that they would not place future children on my home. Each time I called their bluff, reminding them that I don’t need their money and I do not have anything to hide, unlike them.

    My dealings with child protective services is the main reason I am a firm believer in limited government.

    • I agree completely. I took in two teens I’d befriended six years ago when their parents couldn’t care for them any longer. My husband and I footed the bill to raise them through high school.and college because to open our home to monthly inspections and risk an arrogant social worker deeming our home unacceptable for our birth children just wasn’t worth the piddling compensation from the state. Now that the kids are grown, with one a college graduate and the other a college sophomore, we’d love to welcome other foster kids into our home–but no amount of money is worth it.

      • What really gets me are all those investigations and intrusive questions they ask you. Especially the one about why I got a divorce from my prior husband! Here they are placing a juvenile delinquent criminal in my home, not telling me the truth about the kids psychiatric condition, and making the kid out to be an angel while they don’t give a hoot about any theft the kid might do,any damage to my furniture or other personal belongings, or even setting a fire to my home (not telling me the truth about a prior history of setting fires) which, by the way, is not covered by your homeowners insurance! In PA, the state does not cover any damages including fires set in your home. At the trainings they fail to tell you this!

  12. Our agency increased our rate by $4.50 per day but the trouble is that I figured out my monthly expenses that this increase is supposed to cover and they are running me $8.96 per day. I am ultimately using my own resources to raise someone elses child. The ultimate kick in the butt is that several of the children that I did foster care for had rich and affluent parents and grandparents and were not paying children and youth any child support! The state of PA is being bilked out of money that they can recoup from these parents with child support payments.

  13. i am not a foster parent but my cousin has been sent to jail 2 days ago and is looking at up to 25 years. her daughter has been out of her care for over a month before the arrest. her court date is in 3 days to decide to give her back to my cousin or to take her custody away. this daughter ( and i know this will sound bad and yes i live in ky) is also my oldest sons sister (there is no incest i assure you). there father commited suicide in oct of 2008 and she hasnt any qulified next of kin except one uncle to care for her now. i have her as of now and was thinking about either being a foster parent for her or adopting her. my son has asked if she could stay with us because he doest want her out on the streets. he is only 9 and is the oldest of six (3 others on his dads side and two others on my side) he doest understand that the state wouldnt leave her on the streets but this is besides the point. his sister is a year and a half and i have three kids alresdy ( 9, 6, and 4) we make enough money to support our family but money is still tight with 3 growing boys. i would really like to take in this little girl and i probably will even if the help out there isnt enough she does get a social security check of $581 just like my son due to thier fathers death but she also has cystic fibrosis which i know nothing about (i also have a son with a generalized anxiety disorder, ocd, 3 developmental delays and has to have special care at school due to it). i was just wondering how hard is it to raise someone elses child on little money and if some would give me any information that i might be able to use or any tips that may be helpful

    • Rebekah- Very difficult to raise someone elses child with little or no money. However, there is something called “kinship care” in many states. Ask your local county children and youth service agency about it.. This is where the county pays you a stipend to take care of a relatives child. The rate is negotiable with the county but it cannot be more than what they would have spent if the child were in foster care. Hope this helps.

    • Rebekah- You mentioned that the child has cystic fibrosis. To find out more about this disease look it up under google. It is a serious, life-long illness leading eventually to death. Years ago a child’s life expectancy was very short but I beleive it is much longer now with children surviving into adulthood. Make sure that if you adopt the child, that this child will have medical coverage with the state where you are not responsible to pay. She will need alot of care but if you are ready to take the challenge it is worth it rather than to let the county off her into a foster care home. Many of the foster care parents do not care about their foster children and treat them different than their own. I worked for an agency that had 25 foster parents and I was a trainer and I can tell you that out of those 25 only about 7 were caring individuals. When I moved out of my county I had to shop for a foster agency that would give me enogh of a stipend to cover expenses and be able to treat the child as I treat my own children. One of my new foster kids told me in his previous home that the foster father took him and a bio daughter to a school soccer game in 90 degree heat for 3 hours and bought his daughter a drink but none for him! He thought he would die from the heat! He was also permitted to stay in another foster home that only supplied him with a pull-out sofa bed which the agency was well aware of that it is against regulations. This should give you an idea of what foster care is like…
      Terri

  14. The foster care system should be revamped and this is the way it should be done. All foster parents should be liscensed by the state and hired by the state. No middlemen such as these agencies. They could be regulated through county child welfare offices and the state should supply them with insurance to cover property damage and medical expenses if a foster parent gets injured. It seems the agencies want us to take responsibility for these kids with the small stipends but want us to sign off that they are not responsible for property damage or injury. Unionization for foster parents might also be a good idea especially since some agencies are telling me that the stipends are to be claimed as income and that I must keep accounts of all expenses. Their so-called stipends work out to being paid less than $1 per hr. for these kids. I would like to see them try to rent a room for this rate ($22 day) The agency that I left recently has not changed the rate for 11 years!!! Everyone knows how our utility rates,groceries, and taxes have gone up in the past 11 years. Also, the counties should be required to seek child support in all foster care cases. This is not currently being done.

  15. Hello I live in somerset cty and would like to know more about being a foster parent.I always wanted to do it before but did not have enough of room well I just moved into a house and would love to do my share but just dont knw how to go about it….

    • Check to see if there is an NHS Human Services in your county and if there is , ask if they have foster care. Tell them you are interested in becomming a foster care parent. If this agency is not in your area, then google foster care agencies with a major city name in your area or check the yellow pages. You will want to stick with a private agency rather than go with your county’s Children and Youth because the stipend is considerably less and you would wind up digging into your own pocket to care for someone elses child. Nhs was the best agency I worked with. Keep in mind there are two different types of foster care- therapeutic (kids that are usually on psychotropic meds and have mental illness,are victims of severe abuse,or on probation) Regular foster care (kids are not so messed up). If you are up for a challenge and have experience with kids with mental health issues then I would try Therapeutic Foster Care. Good Luck!

  16. I am moving from the state of Georgia to Florida and wanted to ask anyone if they knew the Reimbursement Rate in Florida for therapeutic foster care.
    Thanks Ms. Nicholson

  17. There is a foster care agency in Western PA that pays the the foster parents $28 a day per child, plus they get reimbured mileage, and each child get a $1 a day allowance, and a $25 recreational amount per child, for anything they wish per month. It’s called Thomas Foster Care, I have heard great great things about them.

    • Sally- $28 is a inadaquate amount for the stipend and I will tell you why. This is probably the stipend for a Therapeutic level child. You would need to figure out your expenses to see if it covers. Many of these agencies don’t reimburse for the gas milage at the same rate that the IRS does. Alot of driving and wear and tear on your car going back and forth to meetings and psych treatment, picking up scripts, and other emergencies. I’m all for giving the child an allowance but the child,depending on their age, should have certain responsibilities to receive the allowance. A teen should be expected to keep their room clean, help out around the house, be willing to learn life skills (such as doing their laundry and some light cooking,learning how to manage their money (I had one foster child that saved half of his money that he earned and he was able to buy a car and pay for his insurance when he aged out:I still have contact with him!)The allowance should not be mandated. I had one child that manipulated me into taking him to church(agencies say you must take these kids to church if they wish to attend) only to learn that he stole money from the offering plate and still he was paid an allowance! I guess to him it was like a reward for good behavior or should I say reinforcement. When this child realized that he could no longer steal from me and the church he moved on to his next set of foster parents. It is a shame that these agencies choose to keep these children under their care instead of placing them at the next level of care just for the money. They were wll aware of what this child was doing because I had found out that he had resided in numerous homes and had done the same thing (stealing) but the agency failed to document this on record and tell me the truth.

      • Terri,

        I 100% agree with you that the allowance should be earned, and the foster parents have that option. They recommend that the children earn that money by doing chores and being responsible, allowing them to earn the meaning of a dollar. This dollar amount is the dollar amount given for a healthy child with no counseling involved, just the normal well child visits and school if age appropriate. Regarding the mileage it is get .50 per mile.

        I know I have heard from many people that $28 a day is not enough and in some cases it is not, but the joy that you get to see in the children’s faces is the greatest gift possible. I have done a lot of research and they are the highest paying foster care agency in western PA.

  18. I’ve been a therapeutic foster mom for a year. I love working with children. I have 6 kids of my own, which are all grown. However, this has been one of the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. As a foster mom, we are always told by the agent that it’s not about the money, and how they understand how difficult it must be, being a foster parent. Yet, if you ask them if they’ll take some of the thing that we as foster parents have to encounter, they will quickly say No!! Plus, they would not dare work with foster care and not expect to get paid. It is truly a joy helping those kids, but I still feel that we should get paid. It took money to raise my children and it is going to take money to raise other people children. Twenty eight or forty three dollars a day is not enough. One must remember: transportation to and from doctor appointments, therapy sessions, dentist, clothes, brand name snickers, food, school supplies and etc. Being a therapeutic foster parent is wonderful, but also dangerous, so yes, I feel that we should get PAID just as the agents get paid.

    • I just got cut by 30 o/o And I was therpedutic foster care until when Indiana inposed that cut I gave it up . Becouse I will not raise nor cant not raise the childern on this low amount of pay.

      • These agencies always tell the foster parents that it is not about the money but to them it is all about the money. I find that many of these agencies will do anything to keep these kids under their care even if it means to keep moving these kids to different homes within their agency to avoid placing them under the next level of care. That next level is often a group home which would mean that they would lose their money because, very often, the group home is run by a larger agency. You are right in giving up foster care. When one finds that they are supporting another person’s child with their own funds, it is time to call it a day.I got tired of being nickeled and dimed and so I ,too, decided to give up foster care. It is a shame because I loved being a foster parent. Some of my former foster kids still come and visit me. They even come over to help me around my home shoveling snow, mowing my grass, or helping me renovate my home. I take them out for a breakfst at a local diner, too, sometimes. Many times, I am connected to them on Facebook and so they come to me when they are having problems or need advice.The system is broken and needs to be fixed. Foster parents need a union, they need insurance supplied by the state to cover damages resulting from froster cae, higher stipends to cover the true costs of caring for these kids, and mileage reimbursements.

      • You sound so selfish. How can you say people shouldn’t do it if some of the money comes out of their own pocket? If that’s what is necessary to help a child, and it doesn’t matter whose child, then it’s a sacrifice worth making if you can. And your list of how your relationship goes on with those kids should be about how you’re helping them not about how they’re helping you.

        I know that reimbursement enables more foster parents to exist and like everything about foster care there are problems with it but here you are complaining about the money and saying others shouldn’t help children?!? Because of money? Are you really so stingy? I don’t understand how people have such poor empathy…

      • My former foster children often help me because i had helped them through their education beyond high school. I helped one of them obtain a scholarship for a prestigous vocational school (that was $30,000 a year). Another one I bought him a pick up truck and taught him how to drive! I also failed to mention that I actually have paid them for most fo their work along with giving them groceries. So I have done my share and I don’t feel I’m being stingy here. Of course there are the ones who left my home and chose to commit felonies rather than take my offer to help them. There was one that I tried to convince him to go to a transitional home after he turned 18. They would have kept him there, rent free, until age 21, helped him with either getting a job or going further in his education but he did not chhose to do this because he said he didn’t like the “rules”. Like the one that said he had to be in the house by 1AM! He ended up back on the strreet and committed a felony and did jail time. In the eyes of most foster children they consider foster parents to be “stingy”. Until you have fostered your own children on the little resources that you are given you will not know the true definition of the word.Just because I don’t wish to burn through all of my own resources to raise someone elses’s child does not make me stingy. What I am simply saying here is that I have done more than what was expected of me, going way beyond what I know other foster parents have done. All of my foster children were treated as my own, they were bought clothes at a regular store and NOT from the Salvation Army, ate the same foods as me and my husband did, were given the same amount of gifts for the holidays and their birthdays as my own children were, and received other gifts throughout the yr for good behavior. Several of them come to my home to celebrate the holidays with me and my own adult children every yr.

      • A lot of people look to blogs like these when deciding to foster parent or not and I’m glad that they can hear that story now and not just hear it isn’t worth it. It’s invaluable to all of the children, even for the ones who still struggle, they can at least find hope someday knowing there is something better.

      • I understand the frustration of Foster Parents, as I am one as well. The payments come nowhere close to covering actual expense. The agency has also reduced mileage reimbursements by not paying the first 10 miles. Talk about cheap.

        I have no problem treating them as my own, but see how poorly the birth parents are responding to changes and seeing how poorly the SWs are taking care of things, it is ridiculous.

        I understand the politics. The press would never have a report which holds the individual parents responsible. Instead, the press sells more “papers” by making the state the bad guy. That’s why judges take so long terminating rights.

        As for payment, the SWs are protecting future income by moving kids often, even after having us read training materials saying that is the worst thing for the kids.

        I also see many, many foster parents that can’t make ends meet unless they are get the foster payments. This is not fair to the kids. They are seen as paychecks.

        The whole system is messed up and there is no way a politician will even try to fix it with the press or threat of CPS investigation.

        The solution will never get implemented, unfortunately. Too many people being payed.

  19. im a foster kid and i get none of the money they so called use to support us but i see cars in the driveway brand new every year my foster parents work in the county road and manor they are not that well of to be buying new cars. They keep telling me they are broke but they just recently bought a new house then another van. Im being lied to and tired of it. I have my own child and they dont help out at all execpt for about two weeks they gave me gas money to go somewhere and thats it. Well i thik that you should all be happy if you do get paid but if i have my own child and my so called foster parents wont help me raise my own all i see is them using me for money. specailly when i see no new clothes shirts or anything were is all the money they make from me then?

    • These foster parents are probably not the “parents of the year”. As a former foster parent for 5 yrs, I spent some of the money on haircuts, vitamins, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, other personal care items, and clothing. All of my foster children were dressed to the nine’s, if you pardon my expression. Some of these children did not realize the expenses that were incurred by their foster parents-like extra costs for food, diapers, utilities (most of my kids took showers lasting at least 25 min or more where I had to put a timer on it because my hot water heater broke even though it was only a few years old),gas and wear and tear on the car (most agencies pay an inadaquate amount for mileage),prom gowns, bithday parties,class trips, sport activities, etc. Either this foster child is leaving out alot of stuff or she got stuck with a bad one. Most agencies will move the child to a new home if requested…

      • I was in foster care from 15 to 18 1/2 in CA, and I had 6 or so foster parents (plus 2 kinships) and none of the actual foster parents fed me, transported me, paid attention to me, took me shopping, etc. I didn’t need attention, I’m fairly well adjusted compared to most foster kids and I worked full time as well as going to high school, plus commuting back and forth hours a day on buses into the bad neighbors my foster homes were in. But they would give me like $8 a week or something and reimberse me for $40-50 on a clothing reciept that i kept from clothes i bought myself with my work money. They only did this to be compliant with their agency but some parents just didn’t keep food around, others would give me a hard time if i asked for it, i never even got into many of thier cars, I got myself everywhere i needed to go, including court ordered family and individual therapy sessions (so therapy twice a week). Being in my age range and in the densest foster child area really didn’t help me but her experience sounds like what it seems all foster homes are to me… Oh and the first day I went into foster care I signed all the paperwork for my transition services, I continued to resign them at least 4 times during my stay in foster care and at no point was i ever given any services, and now I’m 21 so I don’t even qualify anymore and I’ve had no support.

        With that said I’m 21 now and I’m working on starting a charity to help foster care go more smoothly. The charities that exist are for transition services and for adoption support but none of them just help maintain the good foster parents. My goal is to make it so the good foster parents can stay foster parents and give the maximum amount of love and support to as many children as possible.

        (If anyone gets curious, I have not finished my website but it should be up soon *crosses fingers* I put the link with my info for the post.)

      • http://www.fosterhomefund.org it’s not showing to the chat i guess so that’s it.

      • Oh and the main foster parent who would give me lectures which lasted up to 3 hours if i asked for food, lectures about how i should be buying her toiletries, had a brand new mercedes.

      • Well, I can truly say that I never got my brand new Mercedes!LOL! As far as those 3 hr lectures go, I would have run away from that, too!

      • oh and last thing, my case worker acted like a was a being a brat when i would explain about the numerous things occuring around me which were clearly identified by my foster child rights as not allowed and would ask to switch, i had to ‘run away’ for a night to get moved so that then they could at least self righteously label me a ‘bad kid’ on the switch.

      • My heart goes out to you that you had to resort to drastic measures in order to get moved! Many of these caseworkers are a bunch of young snots, right out of college, with little or no experience with children and most not having any children of their own. They have a condescending attitude towards the foster parents and don’t take anything they have to say seriously.Many of these agencies FAIL to adaquately plan for the aging out of the foster child. They don’t encourage or look into additional schooling such as a trade school, college where applicable, or other courses that a teen can take to prepare him to support himself! These kids are literally being DUMPED out on the street! I suceeded on getting two teens into an automotive training school on a full schlarship that would have normally cost nearly $30,000 per yr.!

    • Hey Josh,

      I have to agree with Terri. Just as with every group of people, there are good and there are bad.

      I know that we consistently spend more money supporting the foster kids we have going through our home by easily 20% or more, depending if we have had someone around the same age come through before.

      Clothes that fit. Extra food. Extra outings not reimbursed by the state (but the kids love these). All of the effort to act as “real” parents so they can have a stable, loving, and caring home while they are with us.

      As for your experience, I am sorry. Maybe it might be worth a try to ask for a new foster home. Not every home is a good fit for every child. We have learned that the hard way.

      As for cars, our newest is 11 years old, and I do all of the work myself to save money.

      I wish I could help you have a better life, but, as experienced foster parents will tell you, we are often kept in the dark and even the best laid plans get messed up through no fault of the foster parents or the children.

      I can only offer my prayers that your situation improves and that you become a better parent than some of those you have had to live with.

      I wish I could help more, even by being an ear, but I would not know how to contact you. So good luck and be strong. This too shall pass.

  20. well here in GA we get $14.60 a day for a 1 1/2 year old. That should be $438. a month. I will admit it is hard. It comes out to roughly 109.50 a week. I know I spend at least $20-30. in diapers and wipes, prob $50-60 a week in milk, juice, snacks. $10-20 in gas for transportation to visitations and appointments, and there is always $10-20 in misc expenses. Not to mention my work hours are no longer as flexiable. But I love the little girl like she was my own and makes sure she is happy. We may have to struggle but I don’t think I could change my mind. I do not believe we could do it again just because of the financial burden.

  21. It is a real shame that foster care has come down to not only the states nickel and diming you for the stipend but their agencies that work under them as well. If they truly have the children’s best interests at heart,like they claim, then they would surely pay enough of a stipend to cover the true costs of raising someone elses child.I have come accross some cases where the parents of children still receive social security disability on their child due to a physical or mental disability in that child while their child is in foster care. When you try to complain about it, you are given the run around and the social services agency claims that one may have “slipped through” or that it is legal for a parent to continue to receive social security disability payments while their child is in foster care if that child is only going to be in foster care for a few months!!!!Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration says it is illegal and fraud to be collecting the disability while the child is in foster care! These agencies simply are not doing their jobs and are turning a blind eye to this. The State Representatives aren’t even aware how the system should be run and I beleive that they, too are turning a blind eye. So tell me again why Social Security is going broke? It is all one huge scam!

  22. I can not believe these posts!! Are you in the foster care system for a business or do you want to do something charitable for a child who needs a good stable environment! Why does the state have to pay anything! If you want to help a child then help a child, but don’t do it for the money. If you can’t afford to take in a child then don’t!! Maybe we should go back to having orphanages for children. Our country is struggling financially and fosters want more money!! That is just sad.

    • The stipend that one receives for foster care is supposed to cover the costs for raising someone elses child. If we were to stop paying that stipend to foster a child then these children would all end up in group homes since there are not enough of the rich and affluent available who are willing to take on the responsibility of caring for someone elses child, many of them having severe psychiatric problems as well as physical and developemental delays. Many of these children have severe anger management issues, steal, lie, hoard food and other items, have socialization problems, etc. The only reason why foster parents want more money is not to reap profits as you claim but to be able to treat that child like their own and to cover costs to do other activities with them. They also need the extra money to help them pay for damages when a child destroys items in the home since homeowners insurance does not cover this! We had one foster child burn down a foster parents home and of course their insurance refused to cover this! Not many people know about this…How about getting on those women who can’t afford to have children but continue to do so? Especially the mothers who are either drug addicted or alcoholics who end up dumping their children into the system in the first place!

      • My blame is absolutely with the parents. Too many women too high to use protection, too young and too lonely so they want a baby, trying to keep their high school boyfriend so they get knocked up. And understandably the losers they breed with arent sticking around and they have no means to support a child… People should really just use their brains more :(

        Plus, I support a little girl in a third world country but in areas where NOBODY can support themselves like where I’m donating shouldn’t someone just get the message that breeding in that environment is basically willfully subjecting a child to torture…

      • I worked with alot of high school girls (I was a former case manager) and I noticed that they were proud to get pregnant and bragged about it like it was a badge of honor! In the old days, when a teen became pregnant,her parents would have taken her out of school and sent her elseware to have the baby and then put the baby up for adoption! There is also a scam going on by me where a guy (the babydaddy) gets as many girls pregnant as possible and the girls don’t identify the guy as the father (no child support payments) The mommy gets welfare and some of the money goes to the babbydaddy and they also sell the foodstamp card.It is nice that you support a child in a third world country but you should check out the charity to see how much of your donation actually goes for the care of the child. Keep in mind that there are many children here , many who are homeless who need help. My parents live in Las Vegas and came across many homeless teens that live on the streets,many of them are former foster kids.

      • Well I’m from Los Angeles and I want to foster here but it’s just too expensive for me at present. I’m working as a nanny to build my experience with children and intend to move to Vegas (where I can afford much more space for much less) and start seeing if I can find approval as a foster parent, the only real hurdle I will face besides typical red tape will be the fact that I’m so young…

        I have every intention of devoting my life to children and animals, I’m working towards law and veterinary school and working on this charity so that I can help to my fullest potential at all times. I just think in the big picture unless I do my best to lead the way to a brighter future for generations to come my measly amount of time spent on this earth is of no importance… I just mean to say by all this that you’re preaching to the choir…

      • You are one of the few foster kids that are planning on furthering their education and I congratulate you for that!I have a 22 yr old daughter that sounds just like you. She wants to straighten out the world and I guess she picked that up from me because I’m always writing letters to the editor of my local newspaper which always get printed along with letters to the White House! I’m planning on picketing pretty soon downtown over a problem that we are having here with trash that the city refuses to correct even though they are violating their own ordinances!I want to embarrass them until they do something about it! Everybody knows me around here including the UPS man! He actually rang my doorbell to tell me that he saw my article in the newspaper and that I had every right to complain! Wven though I no longer do foster care, I remain in close contact as a mentor for my former foster son. Seems like my husband and I made a good impression on him. He has been working full time and has kept his job and is able to support himself. He’s coming to my house for Thanksgiving dinner along with my two adult daughters who love him dearly as a brother!

      • That’s really great for me to hear, that’s exactly the kind of on-going sense of family I hope to enable through the charity. Since the fact is, most will just stay in fostercare and age out… Many of us aren’t even up for adoption.

      • I sincerely hope that your charity does well. At the agency where I worked, I had suggested a mentoring program for the foster kids that had aged out and they started the plan. Last I heard, it was doing well but I thought that there should have been more for them to do to prevent the those that aged out from becoming homeless. In PA, they toss these kids out at age 18! I was a trainer for many of the classes that foster parents were required to take and many did not even realize the statistics of how many foster children end up homeless, on drugs, pregnant, or incarcerated. Anyway, I hope you have a good Thanksgiving and are having a nice dinner with someone. I will be having a dinner at my home with my daughter (age 22),her boyfriend, my other daughter (age 24), and my former foster son (age 23). I asked him to come because I knew he had nowhere to go and he said he will come!

      • Yeah the idea will be to help good existing foster parents get larger places or live in better areas so they can help more and more while also giving care packages to the kids/teens that will help them feel more at home.

      • Yes, that is exactly what I did for my foster son when he went away to attend automotive school. I sent many care packages and I visited him, too!IYou have the right idea. My husband and I always wanted to run a tax exempt organization like the one you are talking about but currently we are in the process of moving to Virginia after we complete renovations on out home. We were thinking about housing foster kids that have aged out but have been accepted to attend college or vocational school. I would like to solicit companies to obtain funding to pay for expenses, maybe have a recreation room with a pool table, juke box, pool,pinball machines, mini theatre, and a coffee bar!

      • Well if you know of any ways you can help me get started or get involved please do! Even though I know you’re far away…

      • There’s a book called” non profits for Dummies”. It has a yellow and black cover and they have a whole series of books with different topics “for Dummies” Not that your a dummy, it’s just the title on those darn books! LOL! But it tells you how to get started and even write a grant letter.There were other books at the book store-Barnes and Noble that had DVD’s included with the book which had forms that could be used but you also might have to see an accountant to get started.There are sometimes some clubs for women in business that you might be able to join in your area and they may help you get started.

      • Both of those are great suggestions and I’ve read a LOT online but yeah I think I need to just get my hands on a reliable accountant and/or lawyer now to actually make it happen. I think I’ll have to pay them, I know there are pro bono lawyers but idk how to get my hands on one… I tried to look it up but idk.

        Speaking of which, at least in CA our health care will not be extended until 26 if we stay in school in congruence with the health care reform and I feel very much like I’m being discriminated against and I want to sue the state of CA about it as well :( I could possibly find a pro bono lawyer for that if they think it has a possibility of winning.

      • Check your state to see if you would be eleigible for Medicaid. Most of the states are funded by the feds for this. You might have to apply at you local county assistance office (welfare office) Also, some colleges offer a medical plan for students.If you need food you can sign up for food stamps,too. Many churches also have a food pantry and will supply you monthly with a few days worth of food. These are all income qualification programs but many people qualify. Are you in your own apartment ,yet or still under foster care?

      • Yea I probably can, it will be income based though and it will be a lot more headache than just having it applied automatically because of fostercare. I’ll probably have to meet with people about it often and stuff :(

      • Well I wish you good luck in your endeavors! Keep me posted! I’d like to keep hearing from you about how you are doing. Many times former foster kid have no one to talk to on a regular basis and that’s where the system fails.

    • Angelena, I’m curious. What are YOU doing to make the lives of children in foster care better as you sit in your glass house throwing stones at foster parents who are trying to figure out how to give their kids that advantages they deserve which includes their financial needs? Kids cost money to raise and lots of it. We who foster and adopt other people’s children don’t do so to make money Anyone who thinks that taking in foster children or adopting foster children as a financial gain, has no idea how much is involved. Yes, there are a few misguided and greedy people who will “rob” these children of the benefits they should be getting for the monthly stipends and keeping it for their own use sad to say, but for most of us, our hearts are genuinely motivated to help children who are unwanted, unloved, abused, neglected, abandoned, and more because we really do care. For some of us, like me, I chose not to have birth children for several reasons, one being that with all the kids out there who already need a parent (in my case a mom), I see no reason why I should bring another child into this world, when there were already children here who could benefit from my love and commitment to parent them. I am single by choice and had a low-middle income, but with today’s expenses and in this day and age of corporate layoffs, even our jobs are not that secure. So having the stipend helps out some for us to give our adopted and foster children the best we can. If we do our jobs right, we are usually on the red side of the “business” as you put it. I adopted my foster child a few years ago. He was 9 when I got him. He has not wanted for much. I make sure he gets to play sports, go to camp, take music lessons, get video games, I buy many of his favorite foods, nice clothes and sneakers, etc. I’ve even taken him to Disney World (on a budget). I’ve advocated for him when no one else did or more than anyone in his whole life. He says I am the best thing that ever happened to him and he does not let a day go by without telling me how much he loves me. But I could not afford to do all these things without the help of the stipend. Most of the rich don’t really want to spend their money raising the children of those who are impoverished or make bad choices that result in them having children they can’t care for or won’t care for. Income is no proof of who makes a better parent or who is sincere in caring for a child. You suggest having orphanages for these kids? Are you kidding! That would be the worse thing. Maybe you should spend some time living in one yourself for a few months to see what it is like. I know people who have lived in them or adopted children who spent their early lives “existing” in them. Maybe take in a child yourself who lived in one and see what delays and problems they end up having as a result–and do that on your income with no financial help. You ask why the “State has to pay anything?” Who do you think is already paying for these children whose parents aren’t taking care of them? The state can’t afford to house all these children, provide their meals for them everyday, take them to school or daycare, or doctor’s appointments. The State isn’t going to hold them, hug them, love them. THAT is why the State gives money to foster and adoptive parents to help them do the job they can’t or won’t do because guess what? It’s too expensive for them to do it. Statistically, the government saves millions of dollars by paying modest stipends to help foster parents and adoptive parents raise these kids because in most cases, the ones who are adopted end up becoming more successful, productive adults in society. Many foster kids, or kids who grow up in orphanages end up leaving the system and living on the streets, ending up in prison, repeating the cycles of their parents and ALL that costs the State even more in the long run. You need to get educated about what happens to kids in the “system” and learning more about finances before making such ignorant assumptions and comments. My son’s birth mother took the welfare checks she got and blew it on drugs. She took her many children’s clothes, toys, food to sell for drug money. She didn’t raise any of them. She pawned them off on other family members to raise or the system! She used the money the government gave her to buy drugs. I use the modest subsidy the State gives me to raise “our” son and give him a better life. She gave him life, but I am teaching him how to live life. So who are you to begrudge any of us trying to love and make these kids lives better and give them the family and love they deserve. If you are so worried about the financial hardships of our country, why don’t you be more concerned about the paychecks of the politicians. There is a lot of fat to be trimmed from our government’s spending practices, but cheating underprivileged kids and the good people trying to raise them is not one. I am curious if you have any children you are raising. Any kids from foster care that you are willing to take in or adopt on your own income with no financial help? Why not come down off your high horse and get in the trenches with the majority who want to make this world a better place by loving these kids and wanting to provide for them–with or without a LITTLE financial help. Adoption isn’t just for the Madonna’s and BrAngelina’s. It’s not just for the rich, but the rich in heart.

  23. Jessica M.
    Your charity,fosterhomefund.org sounds like it has potential. One way to get funding from other sources would be to endorse additional education for these foster children that will be aging out. There is a problem with paying for the costs of housing if the child attends a trade school that doesn’t have dorms for that teen to live in. There is no funding for off campus housing and that is where you could probably solicit for donations to provide housing of some sort either monetary or the actual housing itself. You would probably need someone to asess these teens vocationally,too. In many areas there is Career Link or other free employment places that will test that teen to see what they are best suited for. OVR-Office of Vocational Rehab for adults with problems such as learning disabilities or physical limitations.

  24. The hardest part of Jessica’s and mammysays comments is that we do go the extra mile for the foster kids we care for. Including searching for scholarships and helping them get to their goals like a veterinarian. We definitely lose money on the deal but we still put some away to help them pay for college.

    We know very well about the homes where the kids are just a paycheck. And now with budget cuts, the reimbursement is even lower. Then the SWs are so overloaded and the courts are so against the children, it is very maddening when we try to do what’s best.

    I hope you get your website going so we can help add to it.

    Don’t give up. You will only lose if you chose to lose.

  25. Too much whining. Make the dang parents (both biological mother and father) pay child support and then there will be more money available. If I get someone pregnant and they have a child, I sure as heck will have to pay child support regardless of whether or not I even have a job. Fortunately, I’ve never had to encounter paying support, but the laws are there. And fathers aren’t given the choice of custody unless there are serious problems with the mother. But when a child is taken away from the parents and put in foster care, child support isn’t required. So I don’t want to hear about the lack of money for foster care. Change the laws, charge the biological parents, and then increase payments. Otherwise, as a taxpayer I don’t want to pay more taxes to pay for someone else’s child.

    • Here in PA the biological parents are suppose to be paying child support but it is not enforced! Payments for foster care here are as low as $15 per day and you end up paying to support someone else’s mistake.I’ve even seen cases where a parent,after placing their child in foster care, continues to collect social security disability payments under their child. These agencies know about this and also turn a blind eye to it! What I beleive the government should do is to cut out the middleman (the foster care agencies) and license adults as private contractors to do the foster care at $75-100 per day tax free .

  26. I live in Indiana and I have custody of family members that were placed in foster care in Florida. Florida did not give us one cent becasuse I am related to the children. The problem I have is Florida paid strangers to take care of these children but they will not give relatives any funds unless you live in Florida. They asked me to take 7 children without any asistance. This is not fair to relatives who are willing to take care of their love ones. A little help would be appreciated.

  27. >as well as a child’s participation in normal after-school sports and activities.

    Whoa…. Since when are dance and gymnastics a right? Sure, they’re nice, but that’s something the parents of MANY children can’t afford, and it is not at all a right. Lower the monthly costs by $100-150 a month starting and school age (which is likely the “normal after-school sports and allowance” rate) and you’d get close. Where I grew up, I was the ONLY kid on the block whose parents paid for those sorts of things.

    I keep very close tabs on our expenditures, and even with our relatively high income, I spend about $7000 a year per kid on my own children. But that includes college (to the tune of $2600 a year) and activities and the gas to get them there and back (to the tune of $2500). Housing, which I don’t include, would raise this number, but it already includes food (including restaurants), clothing, medical expenses (including insurance), gifts, and incidentals. So that’s $56 a week for the normal things a foster parent would pay for. Add in housing, and it still wouldn’t be more than $100 a week. While I understand that most people aren’t as careful a shopper as I am (and I DO live in one of the most expensive areas of the country), I don’t think the monthly allowances are THAT far off as they are now.

    If we want to lower the number of foster kids, the first step is to lower the number of babies whose parents are unable or unwilling to care for them. There was a time in history in which the bastard rate was below 2%. This wasn’t because people had good birth control–they didn’t, and what birth control they had, they mostly didn’t use. This wasn’t because the morals of the time were higher or there was shame in being an unwed mother–shame for this has only EVER existed among the middle and upper classes. There were two things that kept the bastardy rate low. First, a legal marriage consisted of the exchange of vows. Witnesses, a priest, a legal document–all were unnecessary. So if a girl turned up pregnant and said, “We were married,” then they were married, and her pregnancy was taken as confirmation of this. Second, even after legal marriage required documents and witnesses, there was still a legal burden on a pregnant woman to name the father of the baby because he was economically responsible for the child, and he was expected to either marry her, or if he would not or could not, he was legally obligated to pay the local government for the maintenance of the child, it being understood that a woman with a small child had a low earning potential due to her care giving obligations. Women who would not name the father were faced with legal sanctions.

    Needless to say, there were few bastards (if you were stuck paying the entire support for a child you fathered, you’d have to be pretty sure you care enough to risk fathering the child), and even fewer were on any type of public support. Taken today, if boys were told from the time they were in 6th grade that any child they fathered would require at least $150 a week ($100 to the mother and $50 to the state for medicaid coverage) and would go up from there, and any payments not made due to youth, unemployment, or jail would simply be delayed to be extracted at a later date, and you’d be amazed at how many more condoms were used. Make it a crime for failing to identify a father on a birth certificate would aid this greatly, and treating every pregnancy of a minor mother as a potential statutory rape or incest would also assist. (Fathers would also have to be identified for abortions, though that would ideally be legal, and a DNA test of the aborted child would have to confirm paternity. There are MANY abortions being performed today to hide rape and incest.) If the minor mother refused to ID the father, then her immediate relatives would be tested under suspicion of rape/incest. And if they were cleared, then boys she was known to have romantic relationships would be investigated. With the father held responsible, many fewer children would be in poverty, and boys and men would have a very, very strong motivation to avoid pregnancy rather than, as now, to pressure girls and women not only for sex but for unprotected sex, and would instead insist on condoms. Male behavior actually has a great deal more impact on births to unwed mothers than female behavior. All payments would be garnished from wages. And I bet the responsibility of the state for children who are abused, neglected, or just poor would plummet dramatically.

  28. We live in Florida ,we are therapeutic foster parent, the rate ia around $39 per day. There are some extra stipends like for clothing and sport grants ase well. we are just starting this new jurney ,so far is being ok.

  29. I’ve been surfing on-line greater than 3 hours lately, yet I by no means found any fascinating article like yours. It is pretty price enough for me. In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made just right content as you did, the web can be much more helpful than ever before.

  30. I’m really excited that in the next 6 months I’ll be foster parenting. I moved to Austin, TX since I can afford my OWN life well enough here that I’ll be able to help kids here :)

  31. For the creator of this blog and anyone else:

    “Annie Was A Liar! The Truth About Being in Foster Care” IS CALLING FOR SUBMISSIONS!

    the.REAL.AMARU Comedy Productions is now seeking submissions for TRUE and VERIFIABLE COMPELLING stories on:
    1. Being in foster care as a child (good or bad)
    2. Being a foster parent (good or bad)
    3. Working in the foster care industry (good or bad)
    4. Success stories of being in foster care
    5. Tragedies from being in foster care
    6. What YOU think, FEEL, or SUGGESTIONS, you may have for reforming the foster care system.

    Please send a WRITTEN LETTER in the form of an email and/or VIDEO with any of the above requested to: therealamaru@therealamaru.com IF your submission is selected you will be sent a follow up email with a release form to sign and further info on the next step in the process. Your info nor stories WILL NOT BE SHARED WHETHER WE CONTACT YOU OR NOT!

    Please feel free to pass this on to other interested parties you feel may be a great fit for this project. Thank you and have a great day!

    Amaru
    the.REAL.AMARU Comedy Productions
    ‪#‎AnnieWasALiar‬
    http://www.therealamaru.com
    Annie Was A Liar – The Truth About Being in Foster Care

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