- Standard Maintenance Payments
- Enhanced Maintenance Payments
- Clothing Allowance
- Contingency Fund for Property Damage
- Transportation Reimbursement
- Respite Care for Foster Parents
- Women, Infants, and Children
- FREE Lunch
- Services and Supports
Foster parents receive a payment to cover some of the costs associated with caring for children from the foster care system. If the child is IV-e eligible, then the payment is comprised of state and federal funds. If the child is not IV-e eligible, then the payment is comprised of state and local funds. Regardless, of the funding source the following basic maintenance rate applies:
- Children 0-4 $471 per month
- Children 5-12 $552 per month
- Youth 13 + $700 per month
- Independent Living Stipend $644
Maintenance payments are expected to cover some costs for caring for children in your home. FACES encourages families to be certain they can meet their own financial obligations prior to deciding to care for children. Fostering is a volunteer effort and the reimbursement does not meet all the costs associated with caring for a child. Fostering should never be considered as a means of income for financing your household.
Foster Parents are entitled to basic monthly maintenance reimbursement. A public or private agency may also determine that a child’s needs require additional daily supervision by foster parents or a foster parent may request an agency evaluation of the need for additional daily supervision payments. Local Departments of Socials Services (LDSS) may utilize the Virginia Enhanced Maintenance Assessment Tool (VEMAT) to decide the rate for any additional reimbursement payments to foster parents. Licensed Child Placing Agencies (LCPA) are required to use the VEMAT before making any additional reimbursement payments to foster parents.
If a LDSS has opted to NOT use the VEMAT in their agency, they may have other methods for determining the enhanced maintenance rate for meeting the needs of the child. Foster parents may ask for consideration of supplemental payments beyond the basic maintenance rates, and are encouraged to document the behaviors or conditions which relate to the need for increased support of the child.
These additional maintenance payments are intended to compensate families for the additional time needed to care for the child in their home. Parents are NOT required to provide documentation on how these funds are spent by the family.
Each child is provided an annual clothing allowance of approximately $315 for children through 4 years; $394 for 4-12; and $473 for children over 13. Foster parents request these funds through the LDSS or the child’s LCPA.
All children in foster care are automatically eligible for Medicaid, regardless of their placement agency or the financial status of their family.
The Virginia Department of Social Services manages a fund for covering major property damage done by children in foster homes. This process has multiple levels for approval and requires information from and about the family’s own insurance coverage. Families can learn more about the contingency fund protocols.
All Medicaid clients, including children in foster care, are eligible for transportation or mileage reimbursement for travel to Medicaid eligible appointments. It is imperative for parents to register Medicaid clients in their home with the transportation vendor, Logisticare. This company will provide that parent with a case number. All appointments must be pre-authorized by Logisticare or reimbursement will not be provided. To learn more about accessing this mileage reimbursement, please visit this site: http://www.dmas.virginia.gov/Content_pgs/trn-home.aspx. If you are able to provide the transportation yourself for the child, you simply let the Logisticare representative know that you are requesting mileage reimbursement and not their transport.
Respite care is a support to resource families, in which another approved provider cares for the child for a temporary, short-term period of time. Respite care is used for these purposes:
- to ensure that siblings who are placed separately have time together,
- to maintain children’s connections with their extended birth family or ties to their home community,
- to give resource parents and children a “break” from each other when necessary to preserve the relationship/placement,
- to provide foster youth in group care with family experiences, and
- to explore the parent/child fit in a potential placement change (for example, with a pre-adoptive family)
Resource families can request respite through the agency social worker. Please note that respite care funded through the foster care system must be with an agency-approved provider/family. Social events and outings that are a part of the child’s normal developmental experience – for example, a sleepover at a friend’s house or a church day-trip – are not considered to be formal respite care. Families should check with the child’s worker to see if there are any local requirements.
All children in foster care are automatically eligible for services from the WIC program, if they meet the age requirements of 0-5 years of age. Check out the program: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/livewell/programs/wic/.
Children in foster care are eligible for free lunches at their public school. Each local school district manages the applications and approvals, so contact your local school for more information. Chances are the children will also be eligible for free breakfast, if it is available at your school.
Children in foster care often need more services and supports than can be reasonably expected to be covered by the maintenance or enhanced supervision rates. If a child in your home needs additional services and supports in order to remain safely in your home or to assist them in their developmental and emotional growth, you should contact your worker or the child’s worker to ask for more assistance.
When contacting the worker for additional supports and services be sure to have documentation such as a journal or clinical reports or assessments that indicate the issues facing the child. The worker may decide that the additional supports and services are necessary, but cannot be funded without additional input. In this case, they may contact their local Comprehensive Services Act (CSA) coordinator. This person will help the worker navigate the process of securing the additional services and supports needed by the child in your care. In order to get approval for any additional supports and services through CSA, the local Family Assessment Planning Team (FAPT) will meet with you to discuss the needs and the most efficient method for meeting those needs. You should be invited to participate in this process.
The child’s worker may, however, want to explore other avenues with you prior to working with the CSA Coordinator.
For assistance call FACES toll-free at 877-823-2237 or look for resources on our website.