Foster parents have a big responsibility to take care of when they opt to take care of a foster child. When foster parents adopt a child, they enjoy the happiness the child brings along in their lives. Along with happiness, there is a great sense of responsibility which a foster parent feels towards their adopted child.
In this article, we will understand more about the process of becoming a foster parent. We will also look into the technicalities involved in it and will understand how much do foster parents get paid per child.
Who is a foster child?
Before we understand the process of becoming a foster parent, let us first understand who is a foster child. When a child is under the care of someone other than the family members with the intervention of the government, due to various reasons, we call him or her a foster child.
Who are foster parents?
The person who takes care of a foster child for the required duration is a foster parent. Usually, a person signs up for becoming a foster parent as per his or her wish. When there is a child who needs parental care, then this person can choose to become a foster parent for that child. Before we start looking into how much do foster parents get paid per child, we should understand more about the reasons for a child to become a foster child.
What are the various reasons for a child to become a foster child?
A foster child is not someone who a foster parent adopts permanently. There may be a number of reasons for a child to need a foster parent which may be voluntary or involuntary from the child’s perspective.
In some cases, the actual parents of the child are not able to take proper care of the child, and hence they want to surrender their child to foster. In some other cases, the government takes the child from the parents because they find that the parents are not taking proper care of the child.
Who is responsible for taking care of a foster child?
A foster child is the responsibility of the government, and it is the government that has to ensure proper treatment for the child. However, the government may not be able to take care of several foster children, so it sends these children to live with their foster parents. Once a foster child starts living with a foster parent, it is the responsibility of the foster parent to take full care of the child.
Where do the foster children go when they first come from their original home?
Initially, the foster children go to a government group home, which the government operates. Here there are many children staying together under the supervision of trained persons. These group homes have amenities that the children need and the government or some individuals run them.
Apart from group homes, there are some government-certified foster parents who use their own homes to take care of some foster children. Such parents help in providing the children with a home-like atmosphere to bridge the gap between the actual home and group homes for children. These personal homes are better for the mental health of the child when compared with group homes.
Why and how much do foster parents get paid per child – the reasons for the payment?
Let us now understand why and how much do foster parents get paid per child for taking care of them. When a child becomes a foster child because his or her parents have become homeless, he or she goes to a group home. While these government or private centers take the child’s care, the parents get the time to stabilize themselves financially.
When the government thinks that the parents cannot take care of the child, it takes the child welfare permanently in its own hands. These children remain in group homes as foster children and are ready for adoption.
Now, the individuals who want to become foster parents register themselves with the government agencies. They get the training to become good parents and are assessed to check if they can take proper care of a child. Once their training is complete, the agencies register their names, and these agencies help in getting them, foster children.
When a foster child needs a parent, the foster parents get the information, and the child can go to their home. The government then gives a small amount of money to take care of the basic necessities of the child. This amount is not huge, and we will discuss this in more detail. The parent should be able to take the responsibility of taking the financial care of the child with his or her own means.
The process and the frequency of payment to a foster parent for taking care of a child
The exact amount of money that a foster parent gets to care for a child is subject to many things. The age of the child is one of the important factors that determine how much amount a parent needs as a cost of caring. The rates vary from one state to another and from one case to the other.
The base rate that the government provides for taking care of the child to a foster parent
The government provides a base rate for taking care of the child’s necessities. There are some basic expenses present in this base rate, which include food and clothing expenses of the child. These expenses also include some personal and transportation expenses for utilization on the child. The government also sponsors the health of each foster child, which is applicable to both the physical and mental health of the child.
How much do foster parents get paid per child in different states – the pay range explained?
The exact pay that a foster parent can get varies from state to state, and it also depends on factors such as the child’s age. Some of the pay ranges are mentioned below to help you understand how the pay varies in different parts of the country.
- In the state of Alabama, the pay range is approximately 450 dollars to 500 dollars per month.
- In California, the pay ranges between 650 dollars to 850 dollars per month.
- A foster parent in New Jersey gets somewhere between 750 dollars to 900 dollars per month.
- In New York, every district can set rates of their own, and the average pay of 550 dollars is there in these districts.
- In Texas, one gets approximately 400 dollars for taking care of a foster child.
- Washington has a pay range of 550 to 700 dollars per month.
As you can see, the pay range broadly varies between 400 dollars and 900 dollars. The average payout is of 550 dollars when we look at the payouts by all the states.
Is the payment sufficient for taking care of the foster child?
Now that you have understood the average amount one gets for becoming a foster parent, the next question is that is this amount really sufficient? Well, the amount is not sufficient in the sense that kids have multiple expenses. The amount is just enough to meet the basic expenses of the child, but you cannot depend totally on this amount. You will definitely need to spend more from your own pocket when it comes to taking proper care of the child.
Why should one become a foster parent when there is very little pay?
Well, if you want to become a foster parent just because of the pay factor, I am sure you are here for disappointment. Becoming a foster parent is more of an emotional decision than a financial decision. So, if you want to earn money, you should work on something else and leave this place for those who genuinely want to help foster children.
With all this said, I would like to highlight that the amount that is for the care of a foster child is not sufficient at all. It is a very basic amount, and the government needs to ensure that the foster parents get enough funds if they expect good care of the child.
In this article, we discussed in detail what a foster child is and how a foster parent can take care of a foster child. We also discussed how much do foster parents get paid per child in order to take care of the child. As we discussed on this topic in detail, we understood that the payment that a foster parent gets is not sufficient enough. This amount is only capable of paying for the basic necessities of the child. You may have to pay from your pocket to meet all the financial expenses of the child. Finally, we understood that becoming a foster parent is not about getting paid for your job but about taking proper care of the child.
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