How Much Money do You Receive as Foster Parent in Virginia?

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Understanding the benefits for Foster Children in Virginia 

The standard benefits for children in Foster care in Virginia

When you become a foster parent to a child in Virginia, understanding the financial benefits your child may be entitled to be very important to your child's welfare. When considering becoming a foster parent, you may think of this pivotal question: How much money do you receive to be a foster parent in Virginia? For starters, if fostering children is to make extra money, then that goal would likely be unattainable. The reason is that foster parents receive non-taxable subsidies from the government to help care for any children they take into their care. These stipends are meant to help offset the costs of the basics: food, clothing, transportation, and daily needs. A few of these considerations are as follows:

Standard Maintenance Payments (July 2022)

In Virginia, the monthly stipend is called a Standard Maintenance Payment. It is expected to cover some costs for caring for children in the home and is not a means of income to finance household expenses. The following basic maintenance rate applies:

  • Children 0-4 $486 per month
  • Children 5-12 $568 per month
  • Youth 13 + $721 per month
  • Independent Living Stipend $644

Enhanced Maintenance Payments

In addition to the basic monthly maintenance reimbursement, public or private agencies may determine that a child's needs require additional daily supervision by foster parents. Foster parents may also request an evaluation of the need for additional daily supervision payments. Local Departments of Socials Services (LDSS) may utilize the Virginia Enhanced Maintenance Assessment Tool (VEMAT) to decide the rate for any additional reimbursement payments to foster parents.

Clothing Allowance

Each child is provided an annual clothing allowance of approximately $315 for children through 4 years, $394 for 4-12, and $473 for children over 13. Foster parents request these funds through the LDSS or the child's Local Child Placing Agency (LCPA).

Medicaid

All children in foster care are automatically eligible for Medicaid, regardless of their placement agency or their family's financial status.

Transportation Reimbursement

All Medicaid clients, including children in foster care, are eligible for transportation or mileage reimbursement for travel to Medicaid-qualified appointments. It is imperative for parents to register Medicaid clients in their home with the transportation vendor, Logisticare. All appointments must be pre-authorized by Logisticare, or reimbursement will not be provided. 

Respite Care for Foster Parents

Respite care is a support to resource families, in which another approved provider cares for the child for a temporary, short-term period. Resource families can request respite through the agency social worker. Respite care funded through the foster care system must be with an agency-approved provider/family. Respite care is used for these purposes: to ensure that siblings who are placed separately have time together; to maintain children's connections with their extended birth family or ties to their home community; to give resource parents and children a "break" from each other when necessary to preserve the relationship/placement; to provide foster youth in group care with family experiences; and to explore the parent/child fit in a potential placement change (for example, with a pre-adoptive family).

Women, Infants, and Children

All children in foster care are automatically eligible for services from the WIC program if they meet the age requirements of 0-5 years of age. 

Free Lunch

Children in foster care are eligible for free lunches at their public schools. Each local school district manages the applications and approvals, so contact the local school division for more information. Chances are the children will also be eligible for free breakfast if it is available.

Children in foster care often need more services and supports than can be reasonably expected to be covered by the maintenance or enhanced supervision rates. Suppose a child in the home needs additional services and supports to remain safely in the home or assist them in their developmental and emotional growth. In that case, the child's worker should be contacted to ask for more assistance.

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