How Does Assistance For Fostering Compare To Adoption?
July 29th, 2015
Thank you Chantal Schwartz for the suggestion.
I thought I would have a lot more to type on this topic but the two websites I found are very through. Before getting to those I’d like to ponder the value of raising healthy children. It is more difficult to get assistance for adoption than it is for fostering. Why? Should adoption be only for someone who is more well off? Of course not; so why the difficulty?
Both adoption and foster care revolve around the Title IV-E program. It’s a Federal program that states work with. It determines eligibility for assistance.
Kerry DeVooght, Child Trends, and Dennis Blazley created a report based on a survey sent to each state in the United States. Six states did not complete the survey instrument: Hawaii, Mississippi, Montana, Puerto Rico, Vermont, and Wyoming. Therefore, the total number of states participating was 46 (includes Washington, DC). It’s 35 pages of information and explanations on how the information was compiled. It is smartly manipulated to get the best and most accurate results available. They express their limitations where ever they exist being their own best critics. Family Foster Care Reimbursement Rates in the U.S. The (USDA) United States Department of Agriculture has determined what it cost to care for a child. The authors of the report adjusted that cost to be the very basic cost without extras like transportation, medical, or education (page 27). The reimbursement rate is what percentage of that cost a state will cover. The state with the highest coverage is not a state at all. It’s the District of Columbia at 145% coverage or $30.66 per/day or per diem. The lowest rate is 37% being $8.09 per diem and it goes to Nebraska. These rates are from 2012 and may have changed by now. Also these rates are for 0-2 years old. In most cases they do change with age.
I’m going to use Connecticut as the model for my comparison because it’s where I reside. This site is a very useful and informative tool when considering adopting. I don’t have a chart for the adoption per diem but State Adoption Subsidy Profiles has a profile for each state by clicking on the Adoption Subsidy button then from the state profiles option at the left choose the desired state. The adoption information is provided by the Association of Administrators of the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance. (AAICAMA). Connecticut allows an adoption per diem of $25.99 for 0-5 years old and $28.52 for 12-18. The fostering per diem is $25.73 for 0-2 years old and $28.24 for 15-17. Seems to pretty even until we look at the criteria for Title IV-E eligibility. The child must be a child with special needs which is actually very broad. Everything from age, ethnicity, medical or psychiatric conditions to being siblings or a multiple child adoption. The child has to have been removed from the birth parents by other than a voluntary placement agreement and the child must be coming from the foster care system unless the child qualifies for Title XVI Supplemental Security Income. So special needs and mode of placement are just two stumbling stones in the route to adoption assistance.
Medical coverage for foster care in Connecticut is the Husky Program and I assume it is the same for an adopted child. I was unable to reach the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) to confirm but I will do so when possible and update this post. Medical coverage for adoption is provided by the state as part of the adoption assistance agreement when finalizing the adoption.
Daycare? State won’t provide it for adopted children but it will for foster children.
Wouldn’t it be nice if assistance for adopting (tends to be more permanent) a child was as accessible to the provider as it is to foster (tends to be more temporary) a child? The result would be more adoptions. I think both fostering and adopting is a foot in the door for Occupational Parenting though it may seem the opposite. Until next week; keep your homes well.