Peeples is a long-term child abuse survivor who ended up in foster care. Her goal is to inform others about foster care and social issues.
Do Foster Parents Get Paid?
If you're thinking about fostering children for extra money, you're in it for the wrong reason. Fosters get a non-taxable subsidy from the government to help care for any kids they take in—this is not money you should be using to pay your rent, go on vacation, or buy a new car. And let me tell you, this reimbursement is rarely enough to cover all of a child's needs (I include average monthly payments in a table below to prove this point). According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, "Even if families receive adoption assistance or a subsidy, adoptive families are still responsible for everyday financial obligations such as child care and extracurricular activities."
Dr. John DeGarmo, founder and director of the Foster Care Institute and a foster parent himself, says, "[Someone] should become a foster parent if they have a desire to help children in need, a desire to protect children from abuse, a desire to give a child the unconditional love they so very much need. Every child that has come through my home has made me a better person."
This article will cover the following information:
- Approximate monthly subsidy rates
- What the basic maintenance rate is supposed to cover
- Fostering a special-needs child
- Eligibility for tax breaks
- When monthly payments start and if there are any income requirements to foster
- Adoption assistance
- State resources to find out more specifics about subsidies as well as the process for applying to foster
- My personal opinion on subsidies
How Much Do Parents Get Paid Monthly Per Child in My State?
Rhode Island: $538-$630
South Carolina: $332-$425
New Hampshire: $498-$642
South Dakota: $518-$622
New Jersey: $763-$907
New Mexico: $483-$542
Colorado: Varies greatly from county to county
New York: Each of 58 local districts is allowed to set its own rates. The state only determines the maximum amounts it will reimburse to the local districts; there is no minimum. Maximum state aid rates for Metro/Upstate are $560 (average).
North Carolina: $475-$634
North Dakota: $752-$945
Ohio: Each county sets its own minimum and maximum per diem (day) rates, which range from $10.00 to $118.00 per day.
West Virginia: $600
Pennsylvania: Varies by county
What Does a Base Rate Cover?
A base rate payment is a payment made to the foster parents for providing the basic needs of children in their home. This includes:
- personal expenses
Each foster child is covered under the state’s health insurance, their version of Medicaid. This also includes any behavioral or mental health needs.
Fostering Children With Special Needs
Children in the foster care system who are "high needs" garner a higher monthly payment. But a higher-needs foster child will need more time and attention. They require additional expenses and more medical attention. You can't just collect the monthly payment and take them to their doctor's visits. You will need to have more patience for them, play with them more, learn what they need from you, create different types of discipline, and basically do everything differently.
Some are broken mentally because of what they have been through while others have physical issues that add to the mental issues, all caused by the neglect or abuse they went through in their home before becoming a foster child.
Remember that when you are thinking of becoming a foster parent, you are dealing with a life—a little person that will depend on you for every need. This little person is not a puppy. You cannot become a foster parent just because you want to do something nice. You need to have certain skills and training. While it is an amazing thing to do, it is not for everyone!
Are You Eligible for Tax Breaks as a Foster Parent?
Unfortunately, foster children are often not eligible for many of the same credits and deductions as biological or adopted children. But there are a couple of valuable tax breaks available.
As I mentioned, any reimbursements you receive from the government are non-taxable. If the agency that placed the child can receive charitable donations, you can deduct your foster care expenses as charitable deductions. If your agency doesn't accept donations, you may be able to qualify for claiming the child as a dependent.
When Do Payments Start?
Every state has its own timeline for payments, and you'll want to find this information out once you're approved to foster. It's likely that payments won't start to arrive until near the beginning of the second month that you providing care, so you'll want to have extra money stashed away to help cover costs for that first month. Also, many states offer an extra clothing allowance, but this payment may also be delayed, so don't be surprised if you need to shell out your own cash for new clothes for your foster child.
Are There Income Requirements to Foster a Child?
Again, this may vary slightly in different states, but overall, the state just wants to make sure you make enough money to meet your family's needs. They'll require you submit proof that you can pay for basic things like your mortgage or rent, utilities, and provide basic needs such as food and clothes for the children. You may need to provide copies of tax returns, pay stubs, and utility bills as proof of adequate income. You'll want to check out your state's application process for specific requirements.
Do You Still Get Paid After You Adopt a Foster Child?
Dr. DeGarmo says many states offer a post-adoption subsidy, a small monthly rate that is granted to the adoptive parent. You can also apply for adoption assistance. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, "the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 provided the first Federal subsidies to encourage the adoption of children from the nation’s foster care system."
It's available to children that the state or county has determined cannot be adopted without adoption assistance. These children are called “special needs” for the purposes of adoption assistance eligibility. In the U.S., about 90 percent of children adopted from foster care are eligible for adoption assistance. Each state has its own definition of "special needs."
Still Think You Want to Foster?
These numbers are pathetic. In some of these states, you are lucky if the payment will be enough to cover gasoline to get back and forth to the many doctor's appointments foster children have. You should not consider getting payment from the state as getting "paid" to do your job. You are not being paid for a service. You are getting paid to help cover costs for the child, and these payments do not even cover all costs. You will not make a profit (unless you are neglecting the child). Instead, you will pay more than you are given! Is it right that the states do not fully cover the expenses? Of course not! In a perfect world, more would be paid so that more qualified people could foster, reducing the number of children in foster care. Until then, the little bit that is given will need to be used only for the foster child's most needed expenses.
It's rather simple. Are you wanting to "get paid" or to get some help in the form of payment? There is nothing wrong with needing a little help with the costs of being a foster parent. There is, however, something wrong with the idea of wanting to get paid for being a foster parent.
If you see these numbers and you still think you want to become a foster parent. please learn more, and see what you can do to help the over 400,000 children nation-wide without homes.
How I Feel About These Subsidies
I am in favor of foster parents who are in it for the right reasons, and I support payments being made to foster parents to HELP with the cost of foster parenting. The problem only comes when foster parents use the money they receive for their personal wants, instead of using the money for the child's needs. I fully support the idea that the government should cover the costs of the child's needs, but many states don't even cover half of what parents need to spend on that child. I find that sad and disappointing. The federal government should do a better job of helping parents cover the needed costs of caring for these left-behind children.
Links to States' Specific Information on Foster Care Rates
Here are resources for subsidy rates and general information on the state of foster care in your state.
Alabama: While the state's website doesn't provide much information, the Alabama Foster and Adoptive Parent Association provides basic rates as well as information on how to begin fostering.
Alaska: The Alaska Center for Resource Families has a really wonderful online handbook (published in 2015 and updated in 2017) that prospective foster parents can check out for more info on subsidy rates, other financial costs, and state-covered health insurance for foster children.
Arizona: The Arizona Department of Child Safety offers an in-depth breakdown of subsidies foster parents are eligible for based on the level of care needed for a child.
Arkansas: Unfortunately, there is little info available online in terms of exact subsidy rates, despite there being over 5,000 children in foster care in 2017.
Colorado: As mentioned in the table above, subsidies vary greatly from county to county—even by as much as hundreds of dollars. It's nearly impossible to find even a general range of rates, so your best bet is to call your county office.
Connecticut: While the Department of Children and Families has information on their website about being a foster parent, it's nearly impossible to find updated subsidy rates.
Delaware: The only subsidy rates table I could find online is from 2009, but the state does provide phone numbers for people looking for more information on fostering.
Washington D.C.: D.C.'s Child and Family Services Agency offers rates effective as of 2010, but it would be best to call the number listed on their site to confirm that these rates are still accurate. In addition, DC Families for DC Kids is a great resource and even holds information sessions for people interested in fostering.
Florida: The state raised its foster care rates at the beginning of 2018 and offers an annual cost of living increase.
Georgia: The state increased foster care per diem rates in 2017 by $10/day but did not increase adoption assistance. This is the first time in over a decade that rates were increased and was done in an effort to recruit new foster parents.
Hawaii: Hawaii last raised its rates in 2014, but as of 2018, the governor is requesting over seven million dollars to raise monthly payments for the nearly 3,000 children in the foster care system.
Illinois: The Foster and Adoptive Coalition has a great information packet for prospective foster parents. While it doesn't list specific subsidy rates, it does go into detail as to what these payments cover.
Indiana: The Department of Child Services issued a slight increase in rates in 2018 to keep up with an increased cost of living. The state offers an abundance of online information and resources for prospective parents.
Kansas: While subsidy rates aren't listed online, KVC Kansas offers resources and information for prospective parents. The organization can also connect you with an advocate to answer any questions or help walk you through the application process.
Louisiana: If you're interested in becoming a foster parent in this state, you can find a breakdown of the subsidies on the state's website. There is also a plethora of information for prospective fosters.
Maine: Unfortunately, Maine's Child and Family Services website is really hard to navigate and doesn't give much information on rates or how to apply to foster. However, Community Cares is a nonprofit that matches children with foster parents and might be worth checking out.
Mayland: Maryland's rates are some of the highest in the country, with close to 5,000 children in foster homes. Foster parents need to be at least 21, and while there is no maximum age, people over the age of 60 will be observed to determine whether their strength is adequate to meet the needs of children in care.
Massachusetts: Due to the opioid crisis, there has been an increase in the number of foster children in this state. The state's government lays out the subsidy rates on their website (one interesting thing is that fosters are given $50 to help pay for a birthday gift and $100 for holiday gifts for each foster child each year).
Michigan: The number of kids in foster homes is close to 13,000. The state offers free orientations for prospective fosters, which would be useful to attend if one is being held in your county. You can also find a breakdown of rates and how the money should be used.
Minnesota: According to the Star Tribune, Minnesota offers some of the highest rates of reimbursement for foster care parents. The Department of Human Services describes the steps to become a foster parent, but it doesn't have a table of rates.
Mississippi: The Department of Child Protection Services breaks down the foster care rates and what they are intended to cover.
Missouri: The state used to have some of the lowest rates but approved an increase in 2017 to make it more competitive with other states, but it's still on lower end. The state provides a breakdown of rates on its website.
Montana: The state does offer some information on fostering a child, but it does not provide rates.
Nebraska: Unfortunately, the state offers very little information for prospective foster care parents. I found rates from 2010, but those are outdated since there was an increase in 2014.
Nevada: The Division of Child and Family Services provides some information on fostering and has a list of rates that were effective as of 2007 (it could be highly possible that the rates haven't been raised since then!).
New Hampshire: New Hampshire's Department of Health and Human Services offers some great in-depth information on fostering, which includes rates and descriptions of the different levels of care.
New Jersey: While the state doesn't seem to offer current rates, Foster and Adoptive Family Services, a nonprofit, shares this information on their website.
New Mexico: While the state doesn't publish rates online, it does offer free info sessions throughout the state for interested foster parents. It's also easy to be connected with a recruiter who can help answer any questions.
New York: Since each local district sets its own rates, it's difficult to find this information online. The best thing to do is call 1-800-345-KIDS to obtain this info. You can also check out New York's Office of Children and Family Services for general information on fostering.
North Dakota: The North Dakota Department of Human Services published a 135-page handbook that serves as an in-depth guide for foster parents and includes really great information on what the subsidies are meant to cover. However, it doesn't provide exact rates.
Ohio: Ohio is unique in that each county is free to set its own rates. Fortunately, the state lists each county's rate online. In addition, each county must submit this information to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services every year.
Oklahoma: The Oklahoma Department of Human Services has rates published online and also offers a hotline you can call if you'd like more information.
Oregon: This state has some of the highest rates in the country and the Department of Human Services shares them online.
Pennsylvania: Since rates vary by county, it's hard to find this information online, but the Pennsylvania State Resource Family Association has a hotline number you can call for more information: 1-800-951-5151.
Rhode Island: The Department of Children, Youth & Familieslists rates on their website along with requirements to foster.
South Carolina: The Department of Social Services doesn't list specific rates, but they it does share information on the application process along with frequently asked questions.
South Dakota: The Department of Social Services has a handbook for foster care parents that covers everything from discipline to healthcare costs to visitation. However, this handbook states that rates will be given on application forms and aren't available online.
Tennessee: The Department of Family and Children Services offers a nice little cheat sheet that breaks down the monthly subsidies and clothing allowances according to age.
Texas: The Texas Adoption Resource Exchange holds informational meetings for prospective foster parents, and it's likely that rates are discussed at this meeting. However, you can learn more about the process of fostering on its website.
Utah: Utah Foster Care, which is in partnership with the Division of Child & Family Services, doesn't give any specifics on subsidies but does give some information on how to apply to foster.
Vermont: The Department for Children and Families shares all of the ways foster parents can receive financial support, but it doesn't give specific rates.
Virginia: NewFound Families Virginia, a non-profit, lists the basic maintenance rates according to age.
Washington: The Department of Social and Health Services lists the different rates according to age and the level of care needed.
West Virginia: The Department of Health and Human Resources doesn't give prospective fosters much information online, but it does offer a number to call with any questions: 866-225-5698.
Wisconsin: The Department of Children and Families lists basic maintenance rates for both 2018 and 2019.
Wyoming: The state doesn't list any rates online, but it does offer a little bit of information on its website along with dates/times for free informational sessions for prospective fosters.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Peeples
Forthechildren on March 28, 2018:
I was overwhelmed with sadness when people are talking about all the reason NOT to be a foster parent. I grew up in a really bad home but never experience the challenges of being a foster child. Really if you a foster parent you should be educated in what this include before even signing up. If it's for the money .... well ... you're not a very good person. Having kids is expensive in every way. I have 3 and me and my fiance want to take in a foster child. He works in law enforcement and that was my previous career. While I understand children have issues fighting, stealing, running away they are a product of their environment. They just need one person to show them love and support. Turst is earned not given. WE are in the process of getting our license and I have to admit while yes it is scary and we have 3 of our own we want to make sure a child has a chance or at least never has to experience what I did growing up. THINK OF THE CHILDREN! not your pocket books
Con on January 30, 2018:
I have absolute contempt towards being in foster care!!!!!
ruth roebuck on January 03, 2018:
We have been therapeutic foster parents for over 20 years. There must be a passion or calling to do this. The money received doesn't cover your needs. You do this to make a change in a life of these little souls.
Changedmymind on November 26, 2017:
Thanks for your honesty in this article. I was considering it to be an option since my husband and I ha e always wanted a boy. Now I realize that it is much more work than we are ready for.
Jason on November 07, 2017:
I get the highest rate allowed by NY law. It comes about to 1.50 per day. Or less than 7 cents an hour. We have had to call the police on our 7 yr old foster son because of the violence. He is diagnosed with autism, ptsd, and a developmental disorder. In 7 yrs of fostering we have had 22 children. Let me share reasons why not to foster:
1. The money. You will lose more than you make. Our last placement we lost $300 in one day. It was supposed to be long term, but ended over night. Even long term, there is no money in it unless you are illegally neglecting the child.
2. Because you want something from the relationship. It's either a love hate relationship, you love and they hate, or a hate hate relationship.
3. You can't afford to adopt on your own. Though foster to adopt is legitimate, the costs are great to straight out adopt yes, but the costs are great to foster and you can't be as choosy. Also you may not get a child free for adoption for years. We still haven't had one come up.
4. Don't foster for the services you get. Why do I say that? Because you will get a lot of services that are a pain and the ones you need you won't get.
I am not saying not to foster, what I am saying is that don't foster for what you can get from fostering, you have to do it solely on what you want to give fostering. If you can't foster that is fine, help and support those who do by watching the child(ren) for a weekend a month, asking if you can provide a meal once a week (we have had people in our home 4 days a week until 8 or 9pm before), find cheap clothes and stock up by size and when there is a placement ask the size and give it, offer to babysitting as the reimbursement rate given (in NY it is 2.20 an hour some states are none. Give a date night to foster parents. There is 100 other things you can do.
If you are in it for the money don't get into foster care. In the past 7 years, my wife and I have lost 1000s of dollars. The money helps but is not a solution.
Tonya on November 02, 2017:
To all the people that comment that most of the children have mental problems and come from broken home's, is true but to denie them care when you could be changing that child's life is pathetic, I was in foster care almost all my child hood, I was mentally ill from the horror I experienced while in my real mother's care, and my 6 siblings where adopted out. the Foster parents I was placed with which was through 5yrs-16 yrs of age changed my life, if I did not have those poster parents that loved me then I would still be severly mentally ill. To have a parent who loves a child when they have no parents to give that to them changes everything. My life changed and I thank my foster parents for loving me, they showed me right from wrong, and how to love when I never knew how to, now I have two beautiful children and they tell me they love me 100 times every day. I know how to raise my children because of what I experienced in their homes, I was loved. I had a mother and father finally, to me that's more important thing you can give a child. You may not see it now but their future reflects on the love a foster home gives. I still keep in contact with all my foster parents even now, 35 yrs old. They changed my life. They are my real parents and I give all the thanks to them.
Victoria Z on October 08, 2017:
I was a foster care child!!! The only reason why foster parents took me in was so they can get money and use it for beer. Yes i had a very hard and painful life but at least I have the best family in the world and they would never do anything to hurt me or anyone else. So if i were u i would stop think about the money and foucs more on the child!! You will have a hard time when u start but that is a part of life, so don't always need money look at life and say "it will be hard and I am willing to take a risk".
Mattie on October 02, 2017:
We are foster parents and only have one son who has medical needs but we are not getting paid for it. We have a extra bed but let them tell it it's not any kids available. I know that's not true. Mississippi
Jq sea on September 15, 2017:
To Alicia hill
I have custody of my neice and I get paid by the state but it less also I get medical coverage for her as well. You will get more if you get licensed first which they don't seem to tell you until after but it is more hassle than just getting a lawyer and getting custody. The govt. Used to pay the money no matter the income but later was revised under bush admin. to stop paying if income reaches a certain amount. I live in Seattle some of this may be different for you but overall since we are kin we dont don't get a lot of resources that foster parents get not that they get that much either we just get less. So much for a thank you
wendy on September 10, 2017:
I am a foster carer in the UK, and they class it as a job here because they want you to give up work and look after the children. You do a lot of training and go through a year of learning without all the training you carry on doing the whole time you are fostering. They say it cost 200k to bring a child up until they are 18, so why would it be any cheaper to bring a foster child up. The USA call it boarding and it isn't it is making a child apart of your family and caring and loving them. I love all the kids I have had. But if the council didn't pay a reasonable amount of money they wouldn't have any foster carers, The UK pay you an amount for the age of the child a 15 year old would get £190 a week plus some councils pay wages of £150 a week so that is £340 a WEEK which it doesn't cost to keep a child but as a job is about £2 an hour because it is a 24 hour job. Which is much lower then the average wage. You shouldn't foster for the money but why shouldn't you get paid it is the hardest job I have ever done, and I love kids and do everything I can for them, USA have it so wrong they would rather pay thousands to put the kids in a home than pay a decent amount for a foster family, which is ridiculous. Money seems to be a dirty word in fostering but why maybe they would get a lot more foster carers if they paid a salary, there will be people that do it for the money only but they should be weeded out with all the interviews and training you have to do. I love fostering but would I do it without getting paid . The answer is no because I couldn't afford it, but that doesn't make me a bad person because I am not. So the USA should look at their system and then they might get a lot more foster carers.
Katie on September 05, 2017:
In order to get paid for fostering a child you must be licensed!! Our two foster boys are from AZ and are place with us in NV using an ICPC placement. All payments are through AZ as
They are the sending state and state with custody!!
Albin on September 02, 2017:
Alicia, When I took the training a few years ago there were some parents who were fostering a relative's children. They did get paid, but the formula for fostering a relative child is different and the amount is lower. You will still need to go through training and get approved, but the process is simpler for a relative child. Inquire at your local DCS office.
Albin on September 02, 2017:
Kathie, It doesn't matter what state your foster child is from. You should be working with a case worker in your state and getting funds through your state.
Alicia hill on August 24, 2017:
I have a question my niece and nephew live with their mom but DCS is about to put them in foster care and so she called me to see if me or my sister would take the kids and of course we will whether we get paid or not but with both of us being single parents already and need some help with adding 2 morewould we get any kind of help from the state since they are not biologically ours and we are taking them in
Bethany on August 05, 2017:
I will be honest, I am one of those people that did ask "how much will state pay", not because I want money. But I will not have a foster child and let them go with out. So I needed to see my budget and go from there. I will not let any child be put into a loving and wonderful home over there head - and that does not cost a cent!!! I do need to make sure that they are clothed, fed, and all dr's appt. So NO - I don't care what they "help" with, I just want to be able to take care of a child the best they will ever see in there life, and one that does not stay for couple of weeks a couple that I can adopt, so they never go into system again. It's my calling to from God to take care of children, and I will!!
MaryLou on July 25, 2017:
I now see why Foster Patents in the State of North Carolina beg -yes beg for school supplies, clothing, food, money for sports, books etc.. $432.00 a month is not enough to feed a child on their teens, much less cloth them. I no longer will be critical -
Having worked for the Welfare System in the State of California and believed their was certain criteria -their own furnished bedroom etc..
Disgusting we put so little value on children.
No wonder there are so many young people becoming dope dealers.
Mike on July 21, 2017:
I've heard horror stories about people who make a living fostering kids....my situation is a little different....one of my son's friends..was living in a home with his mom who was very abusive...the 15 year old kid asked my wife and I if we would consider allowing him to live with us.....i honestly don't care bout getting paid...i beelieve I have good intentions and just wanna make a difference in this kids life...
Claire Zimstesbisk on July 14, 2017:
Ridiculous! Federal funds sends bigger amount and States keep and pays very little for foster parents! Sad!
Bambi Molyneux on June 25, 2017:
I would also hope that anyone interested in fostering has their heart in the right place. But you cannot judge someone for wanting to know how much assistance or reimbursement you would get for caring for them. No that it needs to be a money making deal, that would increase the risk of abuse and neglect. But for someone who would like to help, and no necessarily wealthy, it is important to know, if I foster a child under school age, is there help with the cost of daycare? Or really any expected out of pocket expenses. To not understand the program reimbursement before jumping in would be silly.
Isabella Goll on June 22, 2017:
Foster care is one of the most important jobs you can do for a child. Children in foster care have experienced levels of complex trauma and most maltreatment. I adopted 4 reactive attachment disorder out of the foster care system. I can say while being a foster parent the financial help from the state did not cover the cost of travel for 4 children to the various medical appt. The things needed to work on sensory issues that are not covered under medical insurance and placing them into multiple activities to help with PT and OT development. States need to support foster parents. One of the children required bi-weekly medical appointments more than 100 miles away from my home. Funds received from the state did not cover the cost.
I wish I could on June 10, 2017:
I totally hear everyone who is saying that no one should foster for the money. But some of us who would make great foster parents dont have the money to take a kid in, and that is really frustrating. I am a single mother to one child who is almost grown. I am a trained clinical therapist for high needs children, some are in foster care. If a stipend could just cover my basic living expenses ( I am low income and am not in expensive housing), I could be a great , stable, and theraputic foster care giver. I would not want to take on a high needs child and work full time. I would want to stay home. If the stipend covered my living expenses i could do that. We would be poor, but I have always been poor and know how to take care of kids with little money. So i would not be in it for the money at all, I would be in it to be as stable as possible so that my commitment to children would be effective for them. The current stipends are a barrier for people like me , and I am sure there are many.
Crystall larger on May 07, 2017:
My daughter is placement for my 3 children and I'd not getting paid by the state to take care of my 8yr 2yr. 1yr old ..please help
Vannaznative@gmail.com on April 03, 2017:
I be been taking care of nephew for 2 yrs, & only receive $100 a month which is nothing to support a kid. What can be done to receive more money for him. Like others?
Val Ham on March 19, 2017:
Hi, I was looking around to see how much foster parent make; I was thinking about taking in 2 or 3 teenager girls that need a home and some one to love them. I have 2 already and they are expensive. I feel that teen age girls needs all the attention they can get. If I was to do this I would want to be able to care for them in every way and working a job does not help the girls that have special needs and if I can start a small home business to cover my bills and they get enough to cover the things that they need would make my plan of becoming a full time foster parent for teen age girl much better.
Honey Halley on March 03, 2017:
Very informative. I have always wanted to become a foster mom but when I could afford it, I worked odd hours and now I have health issues and don't think it would be good for me or the child.
Jen Jones on December 18, 2016:
I was a foster parent and people should be concerned about the stipend unless you are making $100k already. Most of these kids are nightmares!!! In addition, to the stress they bring you are expected to take them to see the shrink once or twice a week, the doctor, the dentist, trainings, group meetings and so on and so on. On top of all that you are the one who has to pay for gas for all of these trips, tolls, breakfast, lunch, dinner and they expect you to use your PTO to make it happen. The agency and the state keeps most of the money and expect the foster parent to hold it down for pennies. No wonder all these kids are homeless.
Lisa on June 25, 2016:
They should pay double for these kind of children and their disabilities. Most of these kids suffer from mental illness at its worst and the agencies expect the foster parents to pick up the pieces while they keep the check. If this isn't all about money then why does the agency keep most of the money but then expect the foster parent to hold it down.
Peeples (author) from Florida Keys on May 10, 2016:
You are correct Anna. It does not include any of that because I don't have the room now ability to find out anywhere near accurate numbers on that since it varies even more so than regular payments.
The people that take advantage and become fosters for the sake of making money make me sick, but in all honesty the whole point of this article was to hopefully discourage those people from ever getting started.
The majority I have talked with do not get a lot of extras. They simply get the monthly payment. And really there is no way to be profitable unless they are neglecting the child, which many do. That is only one of the many problems surrounding the system.
Anna M Lambert on May 09, 2016:
Really these are just few figures, it does not detail the mileage paid to foster parents for appointments and yes they get paid mileage from logistic care, it doesn't include the snap or food stamp benefits per child, it doesn't include the miscellaneous funds provided to foster parents , you know like periderm for motel or meals , or what about foster parent being reinstated for money they say they spend, you know those receipts for funds spent on the child in their care . I have seen and heard about how many individuals that play the system and make a living of kids and infants. You know the type that gets paid $30 to $40 daily, then they get a prepaid debit card for diapers, food and formula is provided by WIC , they have friends say that they are getting help so a home health care is provided for them and their friends more money scammed by foster providers. There may be a few who do not make money but that is because the case workers are keeping the funds in their account and not distributing it which I may add there have been audits done to prove this occurrence in several states across this nation. After all there has been children whom receive social security and it gets put in an account that the state handles , all while the states distribute the funds to the foster care providers. So for the foster parents that wine oh I not making money well the joke is on you the state has the money in an account and they are just providing you the crumbs while you raise that child and the state will keep the money after the child becomes an adult, talk about a scam.
Bill Connellee on March 31, 2016:
For three years we have been ICPC kinship fostering two grandkids, one of whom has severe mental defect and both were psychologically abused. We have had one heck of a time with the older (17, almost 18) and get nothing from anybody. The state of Florida gives us $140 chokd support to be collected some day from the parents. It is not cheap raising kids.
florida caregiver on March 16, 2016:
Foster parents in Florida receive approx $200.00 to $300.00 MORE per month than relative caregivers with children placed in permanent guardianship after removal from parents. Can anyone explain this. I have an 8 yr old that was a victim of Agg child abuse 8 yrs ago (@3mos of age). His injuries were egregious and after years of Drs appts we are facing more with ADHD meds, growth issues( endocrinologists), high blood pressure (nephrology) I wont even go into historical detail regarding his brain injuries, fractured ribs etc...) and as of today a newly discovered hearing loss that will require more testing and time off of work and school. He receives $249.00 per mos. The emotional, physical and financial toll are doing their job on me. I'd just like to know why he is entitled to anything less than non-relative (foster) care givers receive who have absolutely no vested interest in the children. Would more money make the situation better? No. Would it ease the burden of financial stress so that I can enjoy this wonderful little guy and share more of the world with him? OH Yes! If anybody has an answer please let me know.
Peeples (author) from Florida Keys on February 03, 2016:
Thanks Marcia, apparently when I switched this over from Word I left that part out. It has been added. Thank you.
Marcia Lilly on February 02, 2016:
smcopywrite from all over the web on January 27, 2016:
I believe the question of the payment for fostering a child is a valid concern. For countless people there is the love and environment waiting for a child. Though, countless folks are not well off or able to invite one into their home because of economic reasons. It is a reasonable assumption there will be money offered to help feed, clothe and see to educational and health care needs. It is defeating the purpose to bring them into the same environment a child was removed from.
This certainly does not mean a low income family is presenting a less stable or loving area in which to raise a healthy child, but the reality is it does cost money to do a variety of things when doing the job right.
surprisingly there are tons of grandparents willing to do the job, but on a fixed pension or other form of income. is it wrong of them to ask if there will be enough money to foster a child? people raising kids understand it costs. The baseball games, practice for volleyball and swimming will eat up in one month what is offered as a form of payment by one state. These are only examples of allowing a kid to explore the arena of extra curricular activities. Getting to practice, the uniform and even paying to become part of a team means money.
asking how much does not mean a definite answer of no, but it is a reasonable request in my eyes.
Suzie from Carson City on December 26, 2015:
I am pleased to see this hub making the rounds again. IMHO, peeples is the perfect person to present this accurately and fairly (from both sides). This is the best article on this particular topic and corresponding information.
As for the money thing? My Grand daughter works for CPS....she is one of those (unlucky, unpopular, underpaid) case workers who does the home visits, questioning, investigating & determining for "removal" of a child/children when reports have been made and founded.....(but keep in mind that the case must still go through the courts for definite rulings)
In any event, what I wanted to mention is that she (my GD) has made it clear that New York provides very little toward monetary support. I have mixed feelings about this because, it can be supposed that if this is the case, it may be that the adults willing to take in children are in it for the humanity and help they can provide children....On the other hand, once a child is placed and the difficulties arise and seem too much for the foster family to handle, the lack of funds only adds to the frustration and unwillingness of people to keep the children.
I agree IT SHOULDN'T BE ABOUT THE MONEY, but in all fairness, it costs to care for another human being. This is just common sense.
I have a bad habit of believing in "fantasies."...like what a beautiful, wonderful world it would be if all children were treated & cared for as the precious & miraculous lives they are.....
M on December 26, 2015:
My bipolar neighbor has 7 Foster Kids, some are her sisters kids due to the Mom in jail. The Foster Mom drops the f bomb at the 2 toddlers. Always screaming at them, to the point another neighbor wants to turn them in. Looks like she is getting a load of money in AZ, and it is obvious she is in it for the money. I mention the bipolar because it is obviously not managed, and so these kids get to put up with the Rollercoaster ride of it. And if us neighbors hear the verbal abuse outside, what is going on inside the home? It is disguisting. They have enough to take the kids to Disneyland etc. What a load of garbage that AZ pays the highest rates, takes the most kids from homes, puts the kids in situations like this (but, hey, they get to go to Disney.) Senior citizens are trying to live on SSD at $750 and without all the benefits these foster parents get. Talk about a broken system. At least they are moving after a year and a half so that the rest of the neighbors don't have to hear the 4 dogs barking all hours, the psycho Mom yelling and swearing at the kids, and the kids passing on the abuse like throwing rocks at the disabled neighbor kid. And how is a person allowed 7 Foster kids in the 1st place. And why isn't the welfare worker talking to the neighbors to see how the foster kids are being treated? I know 2 neighbors who have written about the verbal assaults on these kids on their FB pages.
Julie101165 on June 19, 2015:
Hi, In the UK fostering is considered as professional work, a lot of training and studying is involved, our children do benefit a much higher standard of care..... it makes sense as we are all trained to understand these childrens needs, and to know how to manage all kinds of behaviour, this indeed gives them a much brighter future if they choose to embrace all the things that are offered to them.
question on June 18, 2015:
Julie101165, in my state of Tennessee, you have to be able to provide for yourself so I am curious how you are a "professional carer" unless you are independently wealthy I wonder how you or anyone else here do not work and use fostering as your sole income.
PLEASE BE AWARE that I am asking with all sincerity as I believe fostering SHOULD BE CONSIDERED A STATE OR GOVERNMENT JOB AND SHOULD OFFERED THOSE IN THE POSITION OF FOSTER PARENT WITH ANY AND ALL BENEFITS ASSOCIATED WITH STATE OR GOVERNMENT EMPLOYMENT.
If foster parenting were treated as the JOB it is, the children in the system would benefit from a much higher standard of care.
Julie101165 on June 03, 2015:
I have been a foster carer for 13 years, peebles it is not about money, however it is still a job! these children have many issues, takes a lot of work time patience emphathy ect , the low allowences being paid in USA would force you to have to work plus look after these damaged children, this in effect would cause you feeling burnt-out, so indeed placement would not work, or you not being able to give as much time that the child requires! ... I am a professional foster carer and take great pride in my work, us "professional carers" have to study and work very hard to to gain diploma's nvq's alongside constant training,meetings, supervison I could go on and on, we work hard and yes if wasn't paid then would be forced to work then who loses out, yes the children! because after all everyone has bills too be paid .... there will always be people who do any profession for the money, but trust me not many will give up their privacy and homes.
ç on March 16, 2015:
You guys act as if the set amount seen is all your allowed as 34
. Forgetting free health insurance for th while gsmily. EBT ot foodstamps what ever your state gives out, mileage reimbursement for driving them to appointments, stipends for every holiday birthday. I don't ur4,t
Peeples (author) from Florida Keys on February 25, 2015:
Yes daycare is usually provided under vouchers in most states. Each state however has different rules on food stamp allowance. The best way to see if it is for you is to join a facebook group or other group that will give you some insight. Sign up to be a foster parent and they will send you to classes to prepare you for being a foster parent at least enough for you to have an idea if you will be able to handle it. The child will also be covered under medicaid which will cover their heath care costs.
CC on February 25, 2015:
I'm 26, single and looking into becoming a foster parent. I can honestly say I am not in it for the money and I know I will be paying out more than I receive. I have a good paying, full-time job however being single my concern is can I handle a child financially. I'm just curious how much help you do actually receive. I live in Michigan so if the average amount stated in the article is true, is that monthly? What kind of help do you receive? Food stamps, day care, etc.? I'm just trying to figure everything out. The way I see it is I have love to give. I know it will be hard saying goodbye but for however long I have that child, they will be MY child and I will love them as such. I just want to make sure I can provide for them. Looking for any insight I can get. Pros, cons, etc.. I just want to make a difference.
Krysten Vance on February 17, 2015:
Nebraska very recently raised their rates. It comes up to 600, 750, or 900 a month depending on age. It is still a tight budget.
Peeples (author) from Florida Keys on December 04, 2014:
"These kids have been damaged in ways that most of us will never understand" I can assure you that you are correct and that is why you should never say "if you get involved thinking you are going to make a difference in that child, you are in for heart break". A difference can be made even if that child goes back to a horrible home. You can set an example of what a family is suppose to be. You can show them how a parent is suppose to treat a child, you can make them feel loved even if it is just for a moment. It should offer financial compensation to help make up for what is spent taking care of them. Nothing in this article implies there should be NO compensation. These children are wards, which is why they should be treated like your own. If you treat them like they are your own they get a little moment in their crappy life where they are treated like they matter.
The Studio of Hope Corporation on December 03, 2014:
Honestly if you are fostering because you want children, you are not on the right track, foster parenting is a JOB; and one that you should be paid to do, I know everyone is biting there lips right now, but these kids are not "yours" they are wards of the state and as such the state holds a responsibility to you the caregiver.
These kids have been damaged in ways that most of us will never understand, they will act out in ways that make no sense to anyone but them, fostering is an emotional roller coaster that will end at some point with the child will going back to there abusive or out of control parent and there is NOTHING you can do about that!
Like I said fostering should be paid and anyone that looks at it as a way to "save the children" and just want to give your love to a child, fostering can be right for you, but it is still just a job and if you get involved thinking you are going to make a difference in that child, you are in for heart break.
Peeples (author) from Florida Keys on November 26, 2014:
Sandy, it is said again and again and again here that most of us think it is perfectly understandable to need some compensation to help make it affordable. The issue isn't some compensation, the issue is when a foster parent opens their home only to get the money, then not use any of it on the foster child.
sandy on November 26, 2014:
My concern about becoming a foster parent is that it seems to me it would cost a lot and the child needs a lot of time. I am at medium income level and I wanted to know how much financial support you get to make sure I could do it. Its like you wouldn't buy something without knowing if you can afford it. So I find the people shouldn't care about money posts above to be very irresponsible and delusional. And yeah orphanages were notorious for rampant child abuse so please don't push for those again. being wealthy doesn't make someone an ideal foster parent, sometimes its better to get someone who came from that abuse and broke the cycle. Empathy and true understanding go far in dealing with abused children.
PMARTIN on August 11, 2014:
Thankyou poster "Made"..I know single women who use this only as a means to make cash. The kids are not raised but simply exist. No proper upbringing. What good is it for the child to be with a worthless greedy foster parent than with the original parent??? I think the money should be reduced or at least paid directly to bills somehow to weed out these characters or at least children agencies do more surprise inspections. Maybe you can't be a foster parent if your struggling financially? Under a certain income level? What in the world is wrong with the old orphan homes? They got proper schooling, meals and a potential parent can go select a child to call their very own.
Peeples (author) from Florida Keys on June 27, 2014:
Thank you Torrs. Yes I believe it is the same in most places, and of course more pay for a child with different needs. Thanks for stopping by!
Tori Canonge from North Carolina on June 26, 2014:
I currently work in North Carolina with foster parents and foster children and I just wanted to let everyone know that there are different levels of care with different levels of pay. Also, it depends on what agency you end up going through as some agencies pay differently than others. I would always encourage parents to look into everything before becoming a foster parent because there is a lot to it. The money is used to support the child, provide transportation, and help you cover any additional payments that they bring to the table. I think there is some assumption out there that the money is going to be enough to cover a large amount of bills, but that's just not the case. Thanks for posting!
Peeples (author) from Florida Keys on May 21, 2014:
Looking at the comments on this hub I wanted to make sure everyone knows I leave the negative comments up for a reason. Looking at a mother saying that she adopted a child from foster care and following it up with she couldn't be paid enough to do it again saddens me. The tone screams that she dislikes the child. So when I leave the negative remarks up it goes to show my very point of this article.
Concern on May 10, 2014:
I think both you can want to help but shouldn't you also be concern our not spending your Money
Lola on December 26, 2013:
My husband and I are foster parents of 2 children and can tell you now.....it is not a business. If you want in for the money, don't bother. You will spend more than you get and it takes forever for reimbursements to start. You must love these children as your own and if you don't it won't last long. Be patient and do it for the kids, they are the ones suffering and displaced...not their parents.
librazen on August 20, 2013:
this article is a little off. this is big business for states and parents. states will find the tiniest thing wrong with a child and LABEL THEM so that the Feds will send the states more money. so these children are so over negatively tagged that they don't have a chance at success. all their lives while in foster care they hear they are ADHD or slow or have cerebral palsy etc etc etc only so that the states can prove more "need" and therefor more money. At the same time, no child in foster care pays those starting rates as they are all with issues. As an example in NJ a 13 year old may come to your home with a check for monthly care and clothes totaling $1100 tax free. even with the stipend, there are more children in foster care than ever before. so call it pay or not we still need parents. I myself adopted a child from the state and let me tell you "YOU COULDN'T PAY ME ENOUGH TO THAT AGAIN" -- As far as i am concerned the rate should be DOUBLE!!
CraftytotheCore on August 13, 2013:
I used to volunteer at a school. The part-time school nurse had several foster children. She had even adopted several of them. You are so right Peeples! No one should do it for the money. That nurse worked several jobs (part-time when the children were in school and at night when her husband was home) and her husband made a good salary. She fostered a baby with shaken baby syndrome.
Children that live in foster care have issues of their own when they join a family (not just medical or physical, but emotional). Raising a foster child should be about determination for that child's best interests and future. It takes a big pair of shoes to fill that need!
Peeples (author) from Florida Keys on June 01, 2013:
I found this stolen and put on two different sites! WTH!? I don't know if I should contact them and ask them to take it down or what? First time for me. Maybe I need to go check out the forum!
LongTimeMother from Australia on June 01, 2013:
Hi peeples. I think this is a really helpful hub. Having been a foster mother, I'm very conscious of the costs associated with caring for an extra child. It certainly cost me more than I received, but I have no regrets. I'm really pleased I had the chance to help. :)
May I suggest you follow this link, peeples. https://hubpages.com/forum/topic/113062#post240854 It will take to you a forum thread about stolen hubs. This hub of yours features on the list.
Further evidence of what a good hub it is. :)
Peeples (author) from Florida Keys on May 17, 2013:
"people should get an education before they openly discuss issues they clearly know nothing about."
I see it from two sides and know plenty on both sides but before I begin I need to draw attention to a line in this article that those on the defense seem to miss.
"There is nothing wrong with needing a little help with the costs of being a foster parent."
Also this one because every foster care caseworker tells this to foster parents up front. "You are not being paid for a service. You are getting payment to HELP cover costs for the child." I have never heard a caseworker tell foster parents they are being provided an income for their "career".
The negative stigma I am placing is on foster parents who only do it for the money. Those who are more concerned with getting the money than taking care of the children. I volunteer as a guardian ad litem and still see the same issues I saw when I was in foster care. I see the foster parents who dress great while the foster child is in rags that have been recycled so many times the goodwill would even trash it. I see the children who say they are limited to how much food they can eat. These children are not in foster care because they are delinquents. They are there because they were failed by a parent and now have to pay the price and be failed by the foster care system. I'm not saying some don't become delinquents after being failed by so many, because I know some do.
I had foster parents who didn't even keep running water, locked away food, and did a lot worse.
NEVER in this article did I say all foster parents were bad or that no money should be provided to those who do become foster parents.
Tamara Barabasz from Durham, Nc on May 17, 2013:
Since when has it become a negative thing to designate your career path as a way of giving back to society? My ultimate goal in life is to be able to support myself doing that which I love...helping children. Wouldn't we all be able to devote more time to it if we could support ourselves in the process?
Stop putting a negative stigma on foster parents because they get compensation for this already huge personal sacrifice.
brilliant on May 16, 2013:
I really think people should get an education before they openly discuss issues they clearly know nothing about. I am one of those career foster parent check cashers that you speak of. with over 12 years of behavior modification experience with juvenile delinquency and displays adolescents I would prefer to call myself an expert. yes here at my home my masters degree sits up on my wall and I never once stopped to think what I'm doing is not a profession. I work on a treatment team of therapist psychologist caseworkers but I am the one who deals with the child day to day so I am the one that they come to when it's time to make a recommendation. killing people who take their jobs as part of a therapeutic team to foster a loving and caring environment for an abused neglected child should hold your head up high...
people bring the juvenile delinquent in trouble you to count as a way to my home hoping that I may be able to help them and you want to say that what I do is not a profession...
please get a life...
Tamara Barabasz from Durham, Nc on May 08, 2013:
I didn't see a mention of therapeutic foster parenting. When I did traditional foster care, it was barely enough to compensate the costs for my pregnant foster daughter's needs. When I found out about therapeutic foster care, then I realized there could be a way to both help the children coming into my home and sustain our household well.
Peeples (author) from Florida Keys on April 23, 2013:
Travis, no one is talking bad about those who actually just want to have an idea of what they are getting in and be able to be compensated for some of what they put out. There is a different group of people out there that DO get foster children for the sake of trying to make a profit for themselves. Maybe I should edit this article with that at the bottom, though I thought I made it clear in my last couple of paragraphs.
Travis on April 23, 2013:
I googled this not because I am looking for easy money. My wife and I are both nurses we make a decent living. That said we still have a daughter at home. We haven taken in over 5 kids that were friends of our children, in the last 15 years. We never asked for money and never received any. If one of our girls asked they knew they had to make sacrifices to accommodate their friends. I would feel guilty making them give up certain things for us to be able to financially take on another child. We have the room the knowledge the love and understanding to share with another child, but in today's economy I'm not sure we have the money. So for all those talking crap because some of us ask how much reimbursement a state offers maybe you should call your state representative and ask why the state keeps so much of that federal paycheck that is supposed to be to care for the children!!!!
Peeples (author) from Florida Keys on February 01, 2013:
And this is what's wrong with foster parents! It's not supposed to be a career. It's a good deed. I met plenty of those "professional" foster parents. They collected their checks and did as little as possible to actually get by and still collect the check.
This also goes to show a big fault with society when helping children who have no homes becomes a "career" instead of something you do just because there is a need.
With that said, there are plenty of great foster parents out there. Those are the ones who have a heart and care more about the child than getting their check for dealing with " the pile of disorders that comes from being a kid of a parent who loses their kid."
just sayin on February 01, 2013:
Been foster parents for a while and the stigma of expecting to be paid is a bit of a wide net. I do expect to be paid, and I'm not ashamed to say so. 24 hours a day x 31 days a month taking care of someone else's kid along with the pile of disorders that comes from being a kid of a parent who loses their kid. Get off your high horse, being a professional foster parent is as honorable a career choice as any other, if not more since it pays less than almost any other.
Sarra Garrett on October 07, 2012:
I would hope that someone becomes a foster parent because they are genuine in wanting to help children in crisis. Giving and teaching a child love and seeing the child respond is the best pay in the world. That is what is wrong in this world of ours......greed. Fostering a child is about the child, not the money. Many foster parents are almost as bad as the birth parents the child was taken from and this is infuriating. Pay is not the importance, it's the love of a child.
Kat from USA on September 30, 2012:
I never knew the actual breakdown of what the state would pay, I've always just known that I AM going to be a foster parent when my own kids have grown & moved out. It isn't about the money. These kids NEED people who will love, nurture, and understand them.
Foster parenting has never been about the wealth of the pocket but the wealth of the heart ~ at least to me anyway.
Great job on the hub!
Nancy Yager from Hamburg, New York on September 24, 2012:
A member in the family had foster children for 30 years and she shared that while the food and clothing stipends were helpful, there was always a child having a birthday (presents and cake) or needing a new wardrobe (winter clothes) that had to be taking care of immediately.
Nan Mynatt from Illinois on September 23, 2012:
Thanks for the insight on the fees paid out by the States. It is a basic food and school supplies fee to help out. I have been a foster parent for over 12 years. There is a lot involved with being a foster parent. My kids were all specialized. I have to get so many hours in a year, 18 hrs., here in Illinois, for updated training. The hours are classes designed to help the parent cope and what to do when they have mental illness.
You have more problems with specialized kids. They are usually on medication, Bipolar, ADHD, Attachment disorder, etc. Some have gone back home and other end up in the psychiatrist office most of the time. Some have been sexually abused, as well as physically abused.
It is not easy to accept someone into your home that you have never met before, and try to help them. Every time I think that I'm going to retire, there is always another child that they need you to take into your home. Parents need to put their kids first and not last in their lives. Foster Parents have to learn how to bring up a morally fit child! I marked you up, good research.
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on September 22, 2012:
For sure the money should not be the reason someone would choose to be a foster parent. Someone who does this should be someone who will have the money to meet the extra needs that the child will incur. I had a friend who had two foster children. And it was not a good experience. The children were middle school age and had been shuttled between foster homes for years. they were in need of so much counseling and tlc that it caused great issues in her personal life. She and her husband also had a number of classes they had to attend as well.
to any one consdering becoming a foster parent, do your homework.
On the positive side, I know two individuals who have fostered 6 children between them. The one has now adopted her little girl that stayed with her for one year. The other one adopted a brother and sister; the other four children eventually went back to their natural parents. These families that adopted were loving patient and caring. So it can work. Just check it out carefully.
mecheshier on September 22, 2012:
Great Hub... I had no idea on the drastic pay-scale difference between states. An interesting note: foster care money for the state comes from a federal funds program. So each foster child is worth a lot of money to the state (who keeps the $ and decides how to distribute the funds).
In Fiscal Year 2008, federal funding for these programs was over $6.5 billion. It has significantly increased since then.
Voted up for useful and awesome. Thanks
Suzie from Carson City on September 22, 2012:
peeples......I have considered being a foster parent, more than once and even gone so far as to look into it. For several reasons, i"ve not been able to take it any further......but maybe I was being "protected" by a Guardian Angel. I recently became friends with a woman who lives nearby, who had fostered 2 young brothers for well over a year.
She is a very wonderful and loving person and what anyone would consider the perfect candidate for a foster parent position.
Without going into details, after she shared her experience with me....both the positive and negative, I know I would not opt to foster children. Further, I would forewarn others to do extensive research into the particular scenarios of their State and local areas on Foster Parenting. People need to be as clear and definite as possible as to what they may be taking on......It truly is NOT what it may appear to be. Extreme Caution is a must.......UP+++
Peeples (author) from Florida Keys on September 22, 2012:
While googling for the cost of raising foster children I ran acroos tons of "how much will I get paid" quesstions. A few had good intentions, many didn't. It's ignorance by people who are looking for quick money. Sad but true. Thanks for your comment.
Madeleine Salin from Finland on September 22, 2012:
I hope people don't want to be a foster parents just because they get paid. The costs for a child are high. I would never even think about the money if I was thinking of becoming a foster parent.