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How Much Does a Foster Parent Earn?

how-much-does-a-foster-parent-earnIt's About More Than Return on Investment for Some Very Special Parents

Are you wondering how much does a foster parent earn? Perhaps you are considering sharing the comfort of home and loving support already available within your family with a displaced child?  Depending on the state, financial compensation is often awarded to foster parents.  However the true rewards for being a foster parent are complex and extend far beyond how much a foster parent earns.

How Much Does A Foster Parent Earn For Foster Children?

Find out the just how much a foster parents makes caring for a foster child.  Aside from the nobility of opening your home to a foster child and giving them a place they can call home, foster parents receive financial county, state and federal compensation depending on the type of foster parent program they become involved in. The two main forms of care include Temporary foster care and Adoptive foster care.

Most foster care centers, housing and temporary foster families are overcrowded with displaced children and behaviorally challenged children whose parents can no longer care for them.  Often, children in the "foster care system" are subjected to more hardship by being shuffled around from one foster home to the next.  This is why deciding to become a foster parent to a displaced child, who may or may not have behavioral problems, is a noble and loving decision and defiantly not a decision based on how much a foster can parent earn!

Types of Foster Parents

Temporary foster parents care for children who have been taken from their parental home(s) due to parental negligence, Parental abuse, having become a runaway, or having been abandoned.  Typically these children are in the care of a foster family or a foster parent registered with that state for a short period of time, Sometimes foster parents receive foster kids through the foster care system over night or for a couple of days.  The state determines how much a foster parent makes according to that state's foster care daily allowance formula.

For example; in some states foster parent can earn as much as $40 dollars a day for the daily care of a child, while in other states, daily foster care allowances are as low as $10 dollars a day.

Most states factor in the displaced child's age and disability when determining how much a foster parent is paid for daily foster care. This is added into the overall daily allowance awarded to foster parents.  Since the foster child is part of a county and state system, their medical expenses are paid for through state and county healthy families' medicaid program, therefore foster parents do not incur debt for medical care of the children they become responsible for.

Adoptive Foster Parents' Earnings

Adoptive foster parents on the other hand receive greater rewards from adopting a foster child in terms of emotional and relational experiences.  This is when a true feeling of being wanted and being a part of a family come into play to make a real difference in a child's life.  This is far more rewarding than the daily allowances, free medical care and tax breaks combined, as almost any foster parent will attest.  This is because an adoptive parent wants to give a permanent home to a child in need.   Sadly however most adoptive parents want healthy very young babies and unfortunately 78% percent of the foster children ready for adoption are pre-teens and teenagers.

Adoptive foster parents are compensated during the adoption process and in most cases are paid as a temporary foster parent in terms of daily allowances.  Generally the process take up to 6 months before the adoption is finalized but most often the child has been in the adoptive parents home for much longer.

Once the adoption process is finalized the status of being a foster parent is changed to parental status that includes taking over the financial responsibilities for the child.   It varies from state to state, but the county, state and federal programs together sometimes can offer tax credits, medical benefit compensation and in some cases a helping hand for expenses of an extra $200 - $300 dollars a month.

Fostering for the Right Reasons

After reviewing the dollars and cents ledger side of care compensation, it's obvious being a foster parent is not about how much financial compensation foster parents receive.   Foster parents aren't paid to be foster parents. The financial compensation does not figure in for most of them.  The folks who become parents for awhile or forever with the intent of giving a child needed emotional and familial support when a child needs someone to fill those shoes, does it for the priceless purpose of love.  Nothing more and nothing less!

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