Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Money. again

I guess I will define what I was saying.  On my checks I have 4 categories that the total of the check I get is defined under.

I get around $300 that is defined as room and board.  That I do not have to turn in receipts for and it is for the addition costs of the children being in my home (electrical, water, ect.) also is to "cover" tooth brushes, toilet paper, diapers, wipes, food, ect.

I get around $30 a month that is strictly for clothes and I have to turn in receipts for the clothes I buy.

I get around $22 a month that is strictly for a child's allowance.  When I have children that are not old enough to choose what they want to use their allowance on I get to spend it for them on toys, special outing, ect.  I have to turn in receipts for the things I buy in this category as well.

I get around $30 that is strictly defined as special needs.  This has been explained to me as  being money for if the child needs a special kind of shampoo that no one else in the family uses, perhaps if the child is on a special diet it could be used for that, if the child is school age you would use this money to pay for school pictures, field trip, sports teams, ect.  I have to turn in receipts for this category as well.

I have to keep receipts for the last ones but as far as the $300 a month, I don't have to account for that.  That is why I am calling it "my" money-because I don't have to answer for it.

I should also mention that we are required to open up savings accounts for each child in their name.  The clothing money, special needs money and allowance goes into this account.  Obviously you take it out if you spend it.   After a child is returned to their family or if they move to another foster or adoptive home the money that is left over in their account is supposed to go with them.  When Sabrina went home I gave the agency several hundred dollars that was left over from her "special needs" category that I hadn't spent.  I checked with her mom and she did receive ALL of the money I gave the agency.

I haven't seen too many foster moms break it down like this and it is obvious that every where does it differently.  I was just talking to Joseph's foster mom about this today and being that she works directly with DHS it is slightly different that for me working with a private agency.  It sounds like we get the same amount but that they don't categorize her check like they do mine.  At least that is the impression I was under.


Carol said...

Interesting. When working directly for DHS, there are far fewer restrictions on the money. No receipts required. No savings account. No restrictions. Your figures added together is still a bit less than DHS. In addition to the monthly subsidy there is a biannual clothing allowance of $100 (aprox). At Christmas there is a $25 gift allowance. Again no receipts required.

In addition when working through DHS, the foster parent is not required to take kids for visits or supervise visits.

Interesting the huge differences in the same state between working through an agency and working through DHS.

MamaFoster said...

yes, it is interesting :)

i forgot to mention that our kids also get $107 biannually for seasonal clothing, $25 for their birthday & $25 for them for Christmas

Glenda said...

When we were going through DSH in ID we got payed 200.00 total a month and 25.00 for B-day and 25.00 for Christmas.

Crayon said...

This is all very interesting... thanks for explaining it. I was confused about the "your/my" money thing too.

In my county, we have different rates based on age and level of care. I can't share our specific rates [I don't want to give away my location], but, what I can say is that if you take a teen, your stipend is increased by a whole 50¢ a day. For special needs children [those with physical/emotional/learning problems], the daily rate increases by about $3.75 a day.

Included in the daily rate is a monthly clothing "allowance" of around $70, you do not need to provide receipts. When a child is first placed with you, there is also an initial $100 clothing allowance that you have to submit for. You are supposed to hand in receipts, but Jade's social worker just sent a check. I spent triple that and I guess she trusted me!

We do not need to return in receipts for any portion of the monthly stipend. However, to receive reimbursement for mileage to and from visits, doctor appointments, school etc, you have to keep a record and it usually needs to be accompanied by a health form that the doctor fills out. By transporting Jade back and forth to school, I got a ridiculous amount of mileage reimbursed. Basically doubling the daily "rate" I received on the days I took her to and from school. It also added nearly an extra 2 hours to my commute. I am so glad DSS is now paying for a taxi...I'm sure they get it at a discount and it hopefully saves money.

I ended up paying a couple of hundred for her school books, but I didn't ask her to pay me back because I know she needs that money for a car. Technically, she was expected to "reimburse" me with the money she received from her educational grant.

I try to spend as much of the monthly stipend on Jade as possible. She eats A LOT and the kitchen is stocked with all her favorite things and any special requests. We also go out to eat a lot. Of course my utilities have gone up and I'm filling my gas tank more driving her back and forth to friends' houses. I take her on excursions now and then that require a hotel or admission price, so money is spent there. I also love surprising her with unexpected goodies now and then. I also give her a monthly allowance of around $100. In addition, I put a little money away each month that I hope to give her when she leaves.

I've pretty much finished Christmas shopping for her. I spent as much of my monthly stipend on her as I could. I thought she deserved it and mostly asked for clothes. Expensive clothes from specific popular At least clothes are practical. I already spent at least $400 total on her Christmas presents. We do not receive any extra money from DSS for Christmas, birthdays or any other holidays.

Oh goodness...this is turning into a post in sorry. I really need to blog, however, I REALLY need to get to bed, so I'm going to cut this "short"...LOL. Thanks for your post though! It's an interesting discussion and I like to hear how everyone else's rate/stipend breaks down.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Our state must be really screwed up because I don't have to account for anything! They simply send a monthly check of about $1350.00 for the two girls. They also send clothing vouchers every 3 months that average about $75 for each child.

No wonder no one complains about how corrupt our foster care system is - everyone's getting paid and don't have to answer to anyone!

I feel for these kids, something needs to be done. I'm working on it - I've sent complaints to the Attorney General's office, letters to our congressman's office, and several advocacy groups. I hope things change for the better.

Tammy said...

We didn't have to show any receipts but I always kept them just in case. We fostered through a private agency. We did have to turn in a mileage sheet to be paid for our mileage.(which was to and from visits, doctors appointments, therapy,etc.)

Rebekah said...

I've never seen the breakdown and am pleasantly surprised that it covers so much. How in the world is it possible for a child to move to another foster or permanent home with nothing to their name???

mamamargie said...

Very interesting. I've never had to keep receipts or account for anything. Just got a check every month and no one asked if I was spending anything on the kids at all. I guess why there are people who make fostering a career here. Sad.

MamaFoster said...

bad bad bad foster parents, that's how.

Faith said...

very very very interesting. no receipts required here either (thank God...I hate extra paperwork! anyway, I've never really calculated it out but 30 days a month X 24 hours a day = 720 if the room and board is 300, then (if my math is right?) that's around $2.40 an hour. And that's BEFORE you take out all the "costs" like food and electricity and water...etc. LOL...not to be negative, but I don't understand how people make it a career...even without being accountable for where the funds are going.

Anyway, I can't fix it all, but I can sure take care of the kids that come through our place...reminds me of that story of the little boy and the starfish.

jendoop said...

I'm sorry for how little you are reimbursed/paid. Move to my state and drive a little person to preschool everyday and it's almost as much as a part time job.

Thankfully I don't have to keep track of as much as you do. Only clothing ($45 a month) and miles/parking fees for parent visits. Any mileage beyond that has to be approved before it is reimbursed.

We don't get extra for Christmas, but at the agency party they provided a few gifts. Thankfully we have enough to provide Christmas for our little guy. It is wonderful to provide the magical things of Christmas for these great kids!

Debbie said...

Wow, we don't have to turn in any receipts and after reading this I'm very glad.