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.