FCAM: Money, Money, Money

FCAM: Money, Money, Money

{day 17} it’s not about the money, money, money. Let’s break down the $ part of foster care. Because despite our motivations, we still have to make sure that fostering is a wise decision in all the ways.

It’s impossible to give an estimate for the cost to foster; dozens of factors affect that in a given situation, including the stipends / reimbursements in your state, city, county, and agency, the ages, numbers and need level of your children, etc. But knowing something’s “impossible” just makes me smile and try a different way (hello enneagram 7), so here’s my best shot. 

I recommend starting with researching your state, city, county, and foster care agency’s reimbursement policies. I surveyed over 300 people today (thanks Facebook!) and answers varied widely: **I spend nothing out of pocket / spend $750 or more / month out of pocket
**My state pays for all childcare / NO childcare
The best place to start is YOUR specific location and agency. Ask direct questions about what is reimbursed and when and how.

The majority of parents surveyed spend either less than $250 or between $250 and $500 per month out of pocket - AFTER reimbursements. Most, not all, states pay for childcare for young children, but many don’t pay for after school care or summer care for school age children. Some parents pay for all of their child’s needs and a few wants with their stipend, and for others the stipend covers less than 10% of their child’s needs. 

None of us want the $ to prevent fostering. But it’s wise to take look at the situation in your area and figure out what it’d take. Is there a way to save some money before fostering? Or get support from your community or church or nonprofits to fill the gap? If childcare isn’t available, maybe take teenagers or school age children who don’t need a lot of extra childcare. 

PS - Anyone who believes foster parents are in it for the money is arithmetically challenged, and perhaps mean-spirited. FWIW my stipend covers 1/4 of my expenses for baby love.

FCAM: The Beauty of Foster Care

FCAM: The Beauty of Foster Care

FCAM: The Players of Foster Care

FCAM: The Players of Foster Care