Emergency Care: Emergency care is a licensing category and is applied to either General or Specialized care license. Within the first year of your General license or later, you may enroll in the 6 hour Emergency Foster Care course offered through CLL. If you agree to the conditions of emergency care, you are eligible to have Emergency Care Provider added to your license credentials. The Emergency care provider is reimbursed $31.50 per day for up to 10 days when DCYF takes custody and places a child in foster family care with little or no notice. Typically these children are experiencing their first placement with DCYF and little is known about these children. If the child continues to remain in the foster home on the 11th day, the daily rate is converted to the Specialized or General rate, depending on your license credential. Emergency providers should inform the caseworker of this credential when an emergency placement s made in your home.
Specialized Care: Specialized care is a licensing category for foster parents who have at least one year’s fostering experience, and comes with very specific responsibilities. Any time after you have received a General Foster Care license you are eligible to take the Specialized Foster Care series offered through CLL. When you have fostered for 1 year, completed all the Specialized Core modules and submitted 2 references (one of which must be by a caseworker), you may request approval as a Specialized Foster Parent. Rates will range from $18 to $23 per day. To renew this license you must take 24 hours of training during the time your license is valid or two years. This rate applies to all placements made in your home after approval is given. Specialized providers are required to complete a monthly report for each child in your home and submit a copy to the child’s caseworker.
Respite Care: Respite Care is a service, not a licensing category. It is a service provided by licensed foster parents. Its purpose is to allow the current foster parent to renew their energy and resources so that the child can return to their home. It is used for existing placements and not for new children entering foster care or transitioning from residential care. You may want to provide Respite care if you have an available bed within the licensed capacity of your home to accommodate another child. Ask your foster care worker to add this credential to your license. If you provide respite care, you will want to ask for a copy of the child’s medical authorization, and other information included but not limited to his or her likes and dislikes, behaviors and special diets. The daily rate is given for each night the child remains in your home. For example, if the child arrives late Friday afternoon and returns on Sunday afternoon, two respite days are used. Your child’s caseworker initiates the paperwork in the office. You receive a form to complete. If you disagree with the dates of service, you must call the worker to discuss. Do not change the form you received – this will delay reimbursement. You must submit a simple bill with this form. It is returned to the District Office. At that point it is sent to the County Office prior to going to State Office. Reimbursement can take up to 4 weeks. All foster parents are eligible for 14 days of respite a year per child in their care. A typical respite placement is usually two days to one week of care.
Supplemental Foster Care: This is a service and payment rate above the general or specialized daily rate and for very limited population of children. There are five levels of supplemental care starting at $6 per day. Guidelines have been developed to warrant specific levels based on medical and behavioral needs of the child and the expectations of the foster parent. The level four would be given to children that need residential or nursing home care while level five is a new level for foster homes for adolescents with challenging behaviors The Supplemental rate is approved for 3 months and is then reviewed by the District Office supervisor. It is the hope that the medical or behavioral needs will decrease as the placement continues, which means the level may be reduced or eliminated. To receive supplemental care, the foster parent and caseworker discuss the needs of the child and document the medical or behavioral issues that justify the level requested. When supplement care is approved, the foster parent receives a form in the mail authorizing payment for the next 3 month time period. The foster parent makes copies of this form. The foster parent can submit a form once or twice a month. They need to multiply the number of days by the daily rate and put a total on the form. The form is sent to the caseworker who obtains the District Office Supervisor’s approval prior to sending to State Office for processing.
Credits: By Ann Abram, Foster Care Worker at Large