It costs money to raise children…regardless of how they come into your home. Food, clothing, medication, toiletries, toys, and the list goes on, depending on their age.
The cost of fostering is something that most people want to ask me about but are reluctant…so I try to do them a favor and bring up the subject so they don’t have to. I understand their reasoning for not wanting to do it…because it feels awkward and uncomfortable to do so.
So let me bring it up for you too.
For kids in foster care, there is a per diem paid out by the state to cover the cost of care. This is non-taxed money because it is NOT paying you for the care; it is covering the cost of a child’s needs.
Now, I’ll be honest…often the per diem is not going to cover the full cost, but it does a decent job; contrary to the stigma, being a foster parent is NOT a “get rich quick” scheme. And as I’ve told people: it’s more money than I get to cover costs of my biological children so I try to be thankful for what I do get.
We all know that kids have different needs and that is taken into consideration in the per diem. Children are evaluated when they come into care to determine their level of care need. The per diem ranges from about $20/day up to $70/day, depending on the age and needs of a child.
In addition to the per diem, there is a $200 voucher given only when a child is new into care; this helps the foster parents purchase some of the items the child will need initially…clothes, blankets, shoes, etc.
On top of that, DCS provides $50 each for birthday and Christmas gifts for each child. Additionally, for foster parents who are licensed through Children’s Bureau, they will receive an additional $50 for Christmas gifts (bringing that up to a $100 total for Christmas).
And lastly the topic of medical care always comes up: the majority of kids in foster care will be covered by Medicaid (this is a whole other subject which I will tackle later…but for the time being, assume that your placement will have insurance coverage from the state).
Hope that helps clarify the money situation for you…and best of all you didn’t even need to ask.