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How much do foster parents get paid in Washington State?

It’s a fair question. Raising a child is expensive. Especially so for children in foster care who often have physical (especially dental) and mental health challenges. Becoming a foster parent means that you are volunteering to meet a child’s needs, however and whenever they arise. So, how much help is available for you? Here’s the breakdown.

Foster Care Reimbursement

Sometimes called “foster care maintenance payments” or “reimbursement” is a check sent to a foster parent every month in an attempt to cover costs related to food, clothing, shelter, and personal incidentals.

This money is paid for each child placed in a foster home and only for the period of time which they are in the home. It’s a monthly rate, so when a child spends a partial month in a particular home, the amount is prorated by the number of nights a child slept there.

The amount is dependent on the child’s age. Additional money is available when a child has physical, emotional, or behavioral needs that demand extra time and attention from foster parents. A questionnaire about the child is used to determine which level payment is most appropriate. About 80 percent of the children in foster care are assessed to be at the “basic” rate.

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While that is helpful, it certainly doesn’t cover the full cost of caring for a child. Thankfully, there are several other sources of support. And two of the largest expense categories are accounted for another way.

Child Care

If all of the parents in a household are working during the day and unable to care for the child, child care is paid for in full. This is a huge help to foster parents especially considering the cost of child care these days.

Medical & Dental

Kids in foster care receive medical and dental coverage while in foster care, so foster parents never pay out of pocket for treatment or medication.

So there you have it, these three sources of support go a long way to defraying the cost of caring for children in foster care.

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