How Much do Foster Parents Get Paid in Virginia?

Parents in Virginia are issued a maintenance payment and not paid!

How much do Foster parents get paid?

Parents in Virginia are issued a maintenance payment and not paid!

How much money a month do foster parents make?

When looking into becoming a foster parent, we are sometimes asked how much we get paid for a child in our care or do we get paid as a foster parent, all very reasonable questions. Becoming a foster parent is not about looking to get rich quickly because that will not happen. It's due to the practicality of raising a child. A teen boy can eat! Your family should not be put under financial hardship, trying to keep up with the food bills of a child you have taken on to help a family in need of support. Every child in foster care is evaluated, and a determination is made on many factors see below. What is excellent for you and your family about not being given money for being paid is you do not have to report your income to the IRS as income, and as such, you do not have to pay taxes on the stipend. 

Foster Parents in Virginia are issued a maintenance payment and not paid

VEMAT was created by the Department of social service (DSS) for children in care, every child is unique, so this system is not perfect. With excellent support from your Child Placing Agency CPA, we can help you make sure your community supports you while the child is with you. 

VEMAT stands for "Virginia Enhanced Maintenance Assessment Tool," which is how DSS and your City or county who has custody for your child. VEMAT allows DSS to assess how much of an allowance that child is allowed due to his or her age and other factors to include behaviors, social and emotional needs. This review has to take place upon the child entering care and take up to 30 days, so the child's VEMAT score (see attachment) should be known to you at the time of placement. If a child is new to care, the DSS Placing agency will get that reimbursement rate for you ASAP, usually 30 days.

As of August 2020 in the Commonwealth of Virginia have a simple breakdown. 


  • 0 -thru 4 $486
  • 5 thru 12 $568
  • 13 and over $721

With a supplemental Clothing Allowance per year of:

  • 0 thru 4 $315
  • 5 thru 12 $394
  • 13 and over $473

Think of this as sessional expenses that a growing child may need from one year to the next winter coats boats etc.

Virginia's definition of maintenance

Maintenance means payments made on behalf of a child in foster care to cover the cost of (and the cost of providing) food, clothing, shelter, daily supervision, school supplies, a child's personal incidentals, liability insurance with respect to a child, and reasonable travel for the child to visit with family or other caretakers and to remain in his or her previous school placement. 

When looking at this legal definition, you can see it is vast, so always check with the guardian if you feel you are not sure about an expense. With any allowance from the State government or Federal government, a review is mandatory every year; it is customary if a child score is above 28 points, an evaluation will take place every 90 days. As a Foster Parent and you can document the increased need for a child over 30 days, you should request a review of the VEMAT from the Department of Social Services or through you Child Placing Agency (CPA). Everyone in foster care wants you to be successful, and agencies like Extra Special Parents will help organise a review with you with the relevant parties.   

I will write a further post on your tax implications with regards to being a foster parent in Virginia.

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