Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Money.

In early September, back when Sabrina was living with us, her worker told me that they were changing her status from a level one to a level two because she was now in counseling.  I almost cried as I signed the papers because to me that meant that she was now considered more "damaged" and I was just so sad to see it even if it was just on paper.

When a child goes from level one to level two you are supposed to get more money for taking care of them.  I didn't know how much, I had never had more than a level one child.  Well, Sabrina was here and left and I never saw an extra penny, but I decided not to worry about it because it didn't really matter to me.

One and a half months AFTER she has left I get a check in the mail for 50 days worth of the addition level two payment.  When I saw her name on the check it just, yet again, made me sad.  And annoyed that the money didn't come until after she was already gone.

On another note, I was surprised to see that it was a bigger "jump" money wise than I thought it would be. I get $300 per month per child for level one that is "my" money.  If you have a level two child you get $450 per month per child that is "your" money.  I found this very interesting because it didn't really take me any more money to take care of her besides the gas money for her weekly counseling.

I have ALWAYS been curious how anyone could live off of foster care but I guess if you are willing to go into the higher levels and have 5 kids I guess it would be doable.

Sad sad sad.

12 comments:

Kylee said...

Now I'm curious how it works with us. I have never heard the terms "level 1" and "level 2". I know we have "basic" and "therapeutic", but we are not licensed for therapeutic, only basic care. BUT, we have basic care kids in counseling too...it surprises me the differences that take place in the foster care system throughout the nation.

MamaFoster said...

it does seem like every state, if not every county!, does something different money wise.

i find this extremely odd to tell you the truth.

Lynn said...

We have three levels of care where I'm at: basic, moderate & specialized. Our agency required that we be trained for all three levels (though the training was pretty brief concerning the moderate & specialized levels).

Now you've got me curious. The girls we had came to us as "basic" care because they originally had no record of them ever being in the system. However, as soon as we finished up their psychological evaluations and I turned in a month's worth of daily evaluations, they were bumped up to "moderate". (To me it felt like we were always only one incident away from "specialized".)

Not that we're in it for the money, but I wonder if we'll be reimbursed for the difference after the fact.

I couldn't imagine doing foster care "for the money". But I had a CPS worker tell me horror stories of a family that was. Not only did they take in many, many children - but they rationed off household items. For example, teenage girls were allowed two tampons a day during their period. The group of 3? 5? (I don't remember the exact number) of kids was allowed one roll of toilet paper a week. The foster parents were doing whatever they could to keep as much of that per diam for themselves. Needless to say, that foster home was shut down.

Makes me sick!

Jen said...

it is so sad. we were considering a little girl being placed with us that was in critical health, after losing Ella, we sadly declined after speaking to our son about it. The guy on the other end said 'the reimbursement for her level of care is much higher if that makes a difference' WHAT?!? No, that absolutley did not make a difference to us at all.. I can honest to goodness say, that I would do this for free, if I could sign a waiver I would, let the money go to places its so badly needed. SO when money is brought up, it makes me sad..the kids that are just 'meal tickets'.. I wandered if that was also the pitch the worker used to place her in the different home..sickening.

Leah W said...

lynn and jen- there is no shortage of horror stories is there? those both made me want to scream.

lynn, if they didn't have you sign a paper for the new amount of money I have a feeling it isn't coming :/

Beck G. said...

Here in Canada, in my province atleast, the family is in a level. You start off in level 1, and after taking a bunch of courses you can go up to a level 2. A level 1 home can only have 2 children without being an "overload" and getting special permission. And Level 2 you can have 3. The pay is also quite a big difference. That is the part I hate about foster care. People here do do it just for the money and the kids suffer! The little guy we are trying to take is being affected by this and my parents are currently trying to become a level 2 so that we can take him! It is so sad that people do it for selfish reasons like that.

Carol said...

Leah I am not sure what you mean by your money. Do you get a separate amount of money that is the child"s money. This is confusing to me. The amounts you are quoting are considerably less than the amounts we know about working directly with DHS.

There are lots of horror stories about bad foster homes. We have a girl (she is now 4 1/2, miraculously healthy and adopted) in our home who was badly abused in a foster home when she was an 8 lb three month old (she was a preemie) . She was so badly beaten and shaken that she had to be air lifted to a pediatric trauma center 50 miles away. It was thought that she would not survive that helicopter trip.

There are stories of foster homes making foster kids eat at a different table from the rest of the family and being fed lesser quality food. It is very very sad. These kids have already been through enough trauma without their foster home adding to it.

Rebecca said...

Now I'm curious! What do you mean by "your" money? In Texas, we are told that ALL of the money is to be spent on the kids. None of the money is meant to be payment for services (meaning payment for your time). The majority of the money goes to food, clothing, and toys. It can also be applied to gas money to get to and from doctor's visits, therapy appointments, family visits, etc. Just curious how your state defines things. :)

Faith said...

Hmm...I'm curious, too, about the your money/child's money. In our state, it's at the foster parents discretion, however the money needs to be spent...but even at that, I still don't know how people can do it for the money. Granted, it helps in taking care of the child not to have everything coming out of your own pocket, but as to making a "profit" from it, I don't see how. Oh and here we have level 1 and level 2 (which is therapeutic). we are licensed for level one, but here I don't think you get additional money for leveled children unless you are with a private agency. It's very interesting how the different states work...

Carol said...

My "your" money question was one of wondering if you get two separate amounts or if the amount you quoted was the total amount you get.

Rebecca, does your state actually require you to keep receipts and records to show where the money you receive goes?

mamamargie said...

When I first started as a foster parent I was so thrilled with the opportunity to be able to do what I was doing, to be able to help a child who needed it at that time in their life. When I started meeting foster parents who were telling me how to "work the system" and make a living at it, I was literally sick to my stomach. I talked to our social worker about it and she told us that there is such a need for foster parents that a lot of people who work the system remain as foster parents when they really should be removed. Such a travesty for the children!

bobbie shell said...

kinda makes me sick when people do foster care just for the money and not the kids when you could prob make more money as a waitress. makes no sense