Follow along with NewFound Families as we work to support families through respite. In this blog we seek to define and what that means and how it can change home life for families. Become part of our community and join us on Facebook.
Hi! This is Cate Hawks, your Executive Director. I am pleased to be representing all of you at the National Foster Parent Association (NFPA) meetings this week. I serve on the State Council of Affiliates representing Virginia and I am a member of the NFPA Board of Directors, as well. We have had some great coversations these past two days. I want to share with you a few really cool things for you to consider and to let you know about something we are working on for you and your families.
During the NFPA Council of State Affiliate's meeting, we had very rich discussions about the need for recreational activities for children that you are all caring for and nurturing. During that conversation, I began doing a bit of research about our national parks entrance fees. In that research, I discovered two things...one there is a national park program giving free national park passes to EVERY 4th grader in the US...AND, a national park program providing FREE lifetime park passes to persons with disabilities and this includes those receiving Social Security Disability Income checks. Many of the children in foster care are eligible for social security disability income as well as children who have been adopted or living in kinship care homes.
We have also contacted the Virginia Department of Natural Resources to rekindle our previous request for free state park passes for our families. I have not heard back from the Virginia director working on this option, but will update this article when I do hear back.
In the meantime, please be sure to apply for your FREE national park pass, if the children in your home qualify and this would be an opportunity that would assist your family.
Will post more later. Thanks for being with us!
NORMALCY, by Brenda Sayers Wilkins
In Sept. 2014, our federal government passed a bill cited as the "Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act". Within this act, subtitle B, is "Improving Opportunities for Children in Foster Care and Supporting Permanency". This fairly recent act supports a "reasonable and prudent parent standard" for children in foster care, group homes or residential settings. Prudent Parenting allows these children the right to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural and social activities, with careful and sensible parental decisions based on health, safety and best interest of the child.
For the most part, the maintenance payment received by foster parents is to help with the cost of transporting children to school. However, there are times when a decision is made that it is in the best interest of the child to continue attending the school they attended prior to entering foster care. In such cases, there are funds available to help cover the transportation cost.
Click here to learn more about the decision-making process regarding allowing children to conitnue attending their school of record prior to entering foster care.
Whether you are an adoptive, foster, or kinship parent, you are well aware of the expense associated with multiple medical and therapeutic appointments. There is some relief for you through a program called, Logisiticare. This is a Medicaid-funded program designed to offset the cost of transporting patients to Medicaid-eligible appointment. To be eligible for the mileage reimbursement or transportation program, the person being transported must be a Medicaid client and must be requesting transportation/reimbursement to a Medicaid eligible provider appointment.
TAX INFORMATION FOR ADOPTIVE, FOSTER, AND KINSHIP FAMILIES
During this past year, you may have agreed to open your home to new children…perhaps you became a foster parent or continued fosterin;, adopted a child; or took over the legal custodial care of a relative’s child. A part of that responsibility includes financial obligations. The funds provided by the local, state, and federal governments are seldom sufficient to raise the child in a manner that provides for all of their basic needs let alone special needs. Knowing that, government does provide for certain tax benefits to help you afford to continue to provide for the children in your care. In this article, we will break down some of the basics of tax benefits for foster, adoption, and kinship care.
As the new year approaches, we are not asking you to open your wallets to help fund our work. We know that every dime you have is being invested in the children you are raising. AND, that is where your money should go..we will find our own funds to continue to work for you.
We DO need your time, though.
We NEED you to be the CHANGE you want to see in Virginia.