Saturday, August 20, 2011

DCS unveils change to foster care reimbursement rates - Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS | The Indiana Department of Child Services announced Friday a new set of foster care reimbursement rates.

DCS officials now will use a foster child's age and level of need to determine how much his or her foster parent will receive in reimbursement, the department said. In the past, almost all foster parents received $25 per child, per day -- regardless of the child's age or circumstances.

The rates are intended to cover the reasonable costs of caring for a foster child including food, clothing, shelter, daily supervision and travel for visitation and school.

The rate change will affect all of the roughly 4,900 foster homes in Indiana -- 911 of which are located in Lake County, DCS records show. Porter County has 53 foster homes.

The change also will affect reimbursement rates for foster children who are living with relatives -- if the relatives are licensed foster parents.

Some foster parents will see an increase in reimbursement under the new rate system while others will see a decrease.

Foster parents housing a child with basic needs will receive between $18.28 and $22.90 per day under the new rate system, depending on the child's age. Those caring for children requiring more supervision will receive between $26.05 and $66.56, depending on the child's age and level of need.

The new rate system goes into effect Jan. 1.

It was developed as the result of a settlement in a federal lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2009.

In the settlement, DCS agreed to develop a rate-setting method to determine foster care rates.


Foster care reimbursement rates per child, per day

Foster care
Infant - 4 years $18.28
5 to 13 years $19.85
14 to 18 years $22.90

Foster care with services
Infant - 4 years $26.05
5 to 13 years $27.62
14 to 18 years $30.67

Therapeutic foster care
Infant - 4 years $38.19
5 to 13 years $39.76
14 to 18 years $42.81

Therapeutic plus
Infant - 4 years $61.94
5 to 13 years $63.51
14 to 18 years $66.56

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.

The foster care per diem covers 162 miles per month for travel as determined by the Ball State Study. If foster parents travel in excess of 162 miles for the reasons cited in 5 above, foster parents can invoice DCS for the additional travel.

Rates are effective Jan. 1.

Source: Indiana Department of Child Services


No comments:

Post a Comment