After ACLU suit, Indiana changes pay rate for foster parents - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Indiana changes pay rate for foster parents

Posted: Updated:

On Friday, Indiana Department of Child Services released a new foster care per diem rate schedule.

The reimbursements become effective January 1, 2012.

With the new rates, the needs of the child and their age, rather than the licensing level of the foster home, will determine the rate at which foster parents are reimbursed.

Back in 2009, DCS announced that they planned to drop the amount foster parents got daily per child from $25 to $22.50.

Foster parents contacted the ACLU, who filed a lawsuit.

As a part of a legal settlement, there has been a new rate setting method developed that brought into account the reasonable costs of caring for a foster child including, but not limited to, food, clothing, shelter, daily supervision, a child's personal incidentals and travel for visitation and school.

Beginning January 1, in addition to new rates seen in the chart below, foster parents may receive additional payments to help purchase items to help kids participate in activities such as sports, band or scouts, attend events such as a prom, or provide for other extracurricular fees.

"The special allowances of $50 for the child's birthday and $50 during the December holiday season will help foster parents see the child receives things during these gift-giving occasions," said James W. Payne, DCS Director. "While a child is in out-of-home care, it is important the child receive the level of supervision necessary but also for the child to celebrate a birthday or remain involved in extracurricular activities. Foster children are no different than any other child." 

There are 4,900 foster homes in Indiana.

The standard per diem payments effective January 1, 2012 are:

Category of Supervision

Infant – 4 years

5 – 13 years

14 – 18 years

Foster Care




Foster Care with Services




Therapeutic Foster Care




Therapeutic Plus




In addition to the above described per diem payment, foster parents may receive the following payments to purchase items for the benefit of the child:

  1. Initial Clothing Allowance - DCS may provide the foster family with an initial clothing and personal items allotment at the time of placement of up to $200 based on the child's need.
  2. Liability Insurance – DCS will provide foster care liability insurance for foster parents through a contract with the Indiana Foster Care and Adoption Association (IFCAA). Foster parents no longer need to be members of IFCAA to obtain the insurance.
  3. Personal Allowance – DCS will reimburse foster parents up to $300 annually for each child in placement. Foster parents may request reimbursement for personal allowance items once the child has been in placement for at least 8 days. The items that fall within the personal allowance will be defined in DCS Policy.
  4. Special Occasion Allowance – DCS will provide a $50 special occasion allowance on the child's birthday and a $50 special occasion allowance during the December holidays.  
  5. Travel Reimbursement – DCS will reimburse foster parents for travel in excess of 162 miles if the travel is for visitation, school, physical/behavioral health appointment or other DCS required travel which will be set out in the Indiana Foster Parent Resource Guide.

Copyright 2011 WFIE. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow