Did I make another wrong decision to not put my children into Foster Care? If financial support is any measure, then yes. To keep them safe …. absolutely not! In fact my children are still at risk of being betrayed by the law which is what got us into our current mess. I recommend reading the whole document because there are good parents who are being penalized by the Social Services system and its having a huge impact on our children, the most vulnerable in our society, who don’t deserve this. Do these same financial supports follow children when they are returned to their families from Foster Care? What happens then? Do they go back to financial hardship? Click here or download the pdf file to read the full report or an excerpt below.
Family care rate
The family care rate covers the regular ongoing costs of raising a child. You are expected to budget the family care payment over the year and across placements. The family care rate reimburses you for the following:
• food – the child’s share of food’ purchases including food prepared in the home, brought in or eaten out, school lunches and baby formula
• household – the child’s share of the household costs including, but not limited to, bedding, linen, household supplies and utilities as well as to provide for the increase in the normal wear and tear of furniture and soft furnishings resulting from additional children in the home
• transportation – the child’s share of family transportation costs including, but not limited to, day-to-day transportation costs, which are specific to or on behalf of the child and as outlined in the child’s Plan of Care. This includes transportation to school, to medical appointments, to recreational activities, to visit local family, and the cost of a bus pass
• health, personal care, supplies for young children – the child’s personal care costs (e.g., haircuts, shampoo, toothpaste, tooth brushes, personal hygiene) and car seats, diapers, and other supplies for young children
• family recreational outings – the child’s share of the cost of family outings
• clothing – the direct costs for the child’s replacement clothing and clothing repairs
• equipment – the costs of equipment for basic care (e.g., beds, cribs) as well as for sports, recreation, and hobbies
• personal allowance – a spending allowance intended solely for the child’s personal use
• child minding – to cover the cost of care of your children and the child-in-care while the parent is away from home on child-in-care related business (e.g., school interviews, agency conferences and local Foster Parent Association meetings), caregiver outings
• gifts and activities – the cost of gifts for the child’s birthday and Christmas, and for the costs relating to participation in ongoing activities related to the child’s creative, cultural and physical development. For example: Cub, Scout and Brownie uniforms, registration fees and tuition fees for music, arts and crafts, swimming lessons, participation in sports activities and camp fees. (The difference between the per diem camp fee and the Foster Family Care rate may be paid as a “One-Time Only payment.”)
• education – all primary and secondary school related costs. For example: costs related to physical education classes, driver’s education course fees, other course fees, school supplies, locks, locker fees, field trips; and other costs directly related to caring for a child
You may need some money at the beginning of a placement to cover food and household expenses until your first cheque arrives. In this case, you can request an advance from your resource social worker, which, if granted, will be deducted from the first month’s family care payment.
If the child has no, or inadequate clothing upon arrival, you can request a grant from the child’s social worker to bring the child’s clothing up to standard. Except for costs covered by this type of annual clothing grant, all clothing is budgeted from the monthly payment.
Payment may also be authorized for some extraordinary items necessary for the child’s care. Such items depend very much on the particular child and their circumstances but might include, for example, specialized furniture or a bicycle. These costs are not deducted from the first payment. Remember that items paid for in this way belong to the ministry.
With the exception of the child’s clothing needs, all of these start-up expenses should be discussed with your resource social worker.
Payments for supplementary supports
You should not end up out of pocket as a result of your work as a foster parent. Supplementary supports are available when the service requirements of the child in care are beyond regular expectations. Speak to your resource social worker about help with additional costs.
These payments can be made for single or ongoing expenditures, but they cannot be paid on an unlimited and ongoing basis. Payment can be made to you or to the person or agency supplying the service. One-time-only payments are considered on a case-by-case basis. Situations that might be covered include:
• exceptional transportation costs such as accompanying a child to another city for medical or family reasons
• exceptional medical requirements such as special equipment not covered by the Medical Services Plan or ministry health services
• exceptional clothing needs such as work clothing or specialized athletic wear
• insurance-deductible reimbursement for damages by the child in care
Your resource social worker assesses the request, ensuring that the item is part of the plan for the child and that it is reasonable to ask for additional funds to meet the expenditure.
Exceptional guardianship expenses
While most costs for children in care are covered by the family care rate, there are some important exceptions. Referred to as guardianship expenses, they include items such as:
• exceptional clothing
• post-secondary education or private schools
• psychological and professional services
• transportation of the child’s parents or relatives to visit the child
• medical transportation
• incidental expenses (e.g., tutors, driving lessons, some travel costs, small gifts)
The child’s social worker is responsible for assessing the need for guardianship expenditures, in discussion with you and other members of the child’s planning team.
Children in care with infants
When a child in care with an infant lives with a foster family, a number of matters should be discussed by the family and the social worker beforehand. The child in care will be expected to parent the baby, with some support from you.
You are not expected to cover the infant’s costs. The child in care’s social worker will work with the child to apply for available funding to meet the baby’s needs. You will need to be a party to any agreement about costs and living arrangements if the mother and infant are to remain in your home. In some cases, the infant may be placed in the care of the director, and family care payment procedures will then be applied.