Foster parent rates change
Provides more money for needed items
Foster parent rates have increased thanks to the passing of Senate Bill 1013.
“The rates have changed as of July 1, 2012,” said Kate Fuehne, an administrative specialist from the Tulare County Health and Human Services (TCHHS).
As Fuehne explained, rates for care now range from $640 to $799 per month depending on the child’s age. Previously the families received anywhere from $469 to $658. It also provides supplementation for special needs children which will add between $210 per month to $633 per month. These are flat per child rates.
As of Aug. 29, Tulare County had 988 children in foster care. Of those, 172 live in Porterville.
Currently TCHHS has 178 licensed foster homes which are able to care for foster children. It also has agreements with private, non-profit Foster Family Agencies (FFAs) which certify the parents. The time that a child is in foster care varies, but can be anywhere from one week to over 16 years.
The bill provides more funds for foster families for services like additional care and clothing allowances.
“Things come up for children, especially in high school. [The money] will get them access to participate in interests,” said Mona Chadwell the director of Family Builders Foster Care Inc, a local foster care agency in town.
For those who are 18, and are transitionion out of the system, resources are available for help under Assembly Bill 12 and AB 212 which is part of the California Fostering Connections to Success Act.
It provides additional care benefits and assistantship programs which will be implemented over a three year period starting from 2012 to 2014. This year the benefits will remain until age 19. In 2013 the age will increase to 20, and finally in 2014 it will increase to 21.
“Extending the benefits to transitional youth helps to bridge the gap in services and provides the advantage of stable housing and supportive services allowing them to pursue self-sufficiency,” said Jason Britt, the director of human services at TCHHS.
AB 12 was signed into law by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sept. 30, 2010 with the latter signed on Oct. 4, 2011.
According to the TCHHS website, to become a foster parent a person must meet some basic requirements including being 18 or older, he or she must obtain CPR and first aid certification, and he or she must not have violent crime records or records that involve crimes against children.
For more information on becoming a foster parent visit www.tularehhsa.org. To find out more about the California Fostering Connections to Success Act visit www.cafosteringconnections.org.