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How Much Does Foster Care Pay in Florida

Title: How Much Does Foster Care Pay in Florida: Facts and FAQs


Foster care plays a vital role in providing a safe and nurturing environment for children who cannot live with their birth families. In Florida, foster care is overseen by the Department of Children and Families (DCF), which ensures that foster parents receive financial support to cover the cost of caring for these children. This article aims to shed light on the question: “How much does foster care pay in Florida?” Additionally, we will address frequently asked questions regarding the financial aspects of fostering.

Understanding Foster Care Payments in Florida:

1. Basic Board Rates:
Foster care payments in Florida are determined by the child’s age and the level of care required. The basic board rates, which cover the child’s daily needs such as food, clothing, and personal items, are as follows:
– Ages 0-5: $429 per month
– Ages 6-12: $455 per month
– Ages 13+: $475 per month

2. Level of Care Supplements:
Foster parents may also receive additional financial support if they care for children with special needs or challenging behaviors. These supplements are based on an assessment of the child’s needs and range from $50 to $1,200 per month.

3. Medical and Dental Coverage:
Children in foster care are eligible for Medicaid, which covers their medical and dental expenses. Foster parents do not bear the financial burden of providing healthcare for the child.

4. Clothing Allowance:
Foster parents receive a clothing allowance of $200 per year per child to assist with purchasing clothing and shoes.

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5. Foster Parenting Licensing Costs:
Florida provides reimbursement for some of the costs associated with becoming a licensed foster parent. This may include background checks, training, and home inspections.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q1: Can I work full-time and still become a foster parent in Florida?
A: Yes, foster parents in Florida can work full-time jobs. However, it is essential to ensure that you can provide adequate care for the child outside of working hours.

Q2: Are there additional financial resources available for foster parents in Florida?
A: Yes, foster parents may be eligible for other financial resources such as the Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) program, which provides assistance to families with low incomes.

Q3: Can I claim a foster child as a dependent on my taxes?
A: Foster children are not considered dependents for tax purposes. However, foster parents may be eligible for certain tax credits, such as the Child and Dependent Care Credit.

Q4: How long does it take to receive foster care payments in Florida?
A: Once a child is placed in a foster home, foster parents can expect to receive their first payment within 30 days. Subsequent payments are typically made monthly.

Q5: Can foster parents receive reimbursement for childcare expenses?
A: Yes, foster parents may be eligible for childcare reimbursement if they require childcare services due to work or other obligations.

Q6: Can foster parents receive financial support after the child returns to their birth family?
A: If a child is reunified with their birth family, foster parents may be eligible for a transition assistance payment, which provides financial assistance for a limited period to help ease the transition.

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Foster care payments in Florida aim to provide financial support to foster parents who open their homes and hearts to children in need. While the basic board rates provide a foundation, additional supplements and benefits cater to the unique needs of each child. Becoming a foster parent is a rewarding experience, and understanding the financial aspects of fostering can help individuals make an informed decision and embark on this noble journey.

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