I have heard from DCF workers that stipends for foster children have not increased with inflation, and this causes financial hardship for foster parents. Given the need for foster parents, especially with the strain of the opioid crisis, has there been any discussion about increasing stipends to be more in line with the current costs of raising a child? Perhaps a commission like the one which recently made recommendations for Legislative Pay Increase?
Disclosure: I am currently in the process of becoming an adoptive parent through DCF.
That sounds like a fair concern. I’m tasking Andrew Bettinelli, my chief staff, to look into that.
According to DCF:
Rates were increased in 2012, 2015, 2016 and the Governor has proposed an increase in H.1.
ACT PROTECTING CHILDREN IN THE CARE OF THE COMMONWEALTH, passed in 2008, directs the Department to “provide assistance to foster care families which includes maintenance payments at the daily rate recommended and periodically adjusted by the United States Department of Agriculture. The department shall periodically review the level of assistance including maintenance payments provided to adoptive and guardianship families and may, subject to appropriation, and consistent with federal law and policy, adjust such assistance as warranted by the financial circumstances of the family, the needs of the child or the rate of inflation.”
The rate is adjusted according to the USDA’s “Cost of Raising a Child” which tracks the regional average costs of raising a child.
Chief of Staff
Office of State Senator William N. Brownsberger
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