This article out of Maine has stirred up a fury.
It appears that the Department of Health and Human Services is short of money, so they will be cutting funds to foster parents. Currently foster parents receive a maximum of $70 per day and that will be cut to $52 a day. I would be thrilled to be receiving either $52 a day or $70 a day. We fall far short of that.
As usual, when it comes to paying foster parents to care for kids people fall into one camp or the other. Either foster parents are extremely over paid or should be hailed as saints. I think we fall somewhere in between.
One of the people who commented on the article is a foster parent. His description of foster parenting was wonderful. It should be featured in one of those “priceless” commercials.
Want a “job” in foster care???
Here you go:
4-6 month interview to include:
-40+ hr of classroom training
-25 page questionnaire w/ 20-25 questions/pg to be answered in paragraph form
-submit to a 40 hr interview and asked all the same questions in more detail(this includes details from birth to now and pretty explicit)
-read and sign and approve a written document of all these details (if this got into the wrong hands your identity is GONE)
-submit to a home inspection by the state fire marshal & make any/all improvements ie: replace windows, add hardwired smoke detectors, replace stair and porch railings, etc
Then if approved, maintain 24-36 credit hrs of training every 2 years
Can’t you just see that ad now? How many people do you think would sign up?
What if we did the “priceless” ad and it went something like this:
New smoke alarms in all rooms in your house: $150
Door alarms, new locks and security system: $500
Hours lost from work for home study: $750
Helping a child learn how to trust: PRICELESS
Would that generate more interest from potential foster parents?
Then there’s the other side of the coin with this comment:
If they choose not to then I think we know why they do it in the first place. If a foster parent truly loves what they’re doing to help an unfortunate child then they’ll make the $17 a day, $119 a week, $6188 a year work as best they can.
Foster parents are paid just on what it costs to physically raise the child. We are paid because essentially this is our job. Most people don’t want our job. I love my kids dearly, but every penny counts most days. Making the money work the best you can can be a big deal to many families.
Before I get on a rant and get totally off topic here, this will have an effect on adoptive parents as well. Adoption subsidies are usually paid based on the rate the foster parent was receiving while the child was in foster care. Yes, it can be negotiated, but the chances of you receiving more than a foster parent is pretty slim. If you are adopting a high needs child, you could be greatly impacted by these cuts.
Missouri tried to cut funds to adoptive parents last year, and now this cut from Maine. Is this going to become a trend in foster care and adoption? I certainly hope not. There is already a shortage of foster parents. We can’t afford to lose anymore.