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FAQ #6: Most foster parents are just in it for the money, right?

June 24, 2009

Unfortunately, this is a terribly common stereotype I hear about foster parents. My guess is that people believe this because nine out of ten times you hear about a foster parent in the news it is because of something terrible happening. Just as in anything, there are people in it for the wrong reasons.

The daily amount given by the state per foster child is about the equivalent of working two to three hours at a minimum wage job. It is not a lot of money. On top of the daily amount, there is a clothing allowance (given every six months) that must be spent on clothing for the child. The agency tracks this by having foster parents keep receipts for that money used.

To make money off of foster care would require an extreme abuse of the system. It would also require having several kids (I’m thinking five or more) and not caring for them properly. Yes, I am sure there are people who have done this but it is not a high percentage. But, if they were found out, I am sure you have heard about them on your local news channel or 20/20.

The people you will not hear about in the news are the people we have sat in class with who are there to provide a home for a child who needs one. They are caring people who despite their busy lives are taking on another challenge. They are young and old, black and white, married and single. Some of them are there specifically with the purpose of adopting a special needs child. That takes a huge heart! Some of them are there to care for a grandchild, niece, nephew or cousin. The majority of people in our classes have the right intentions and see foster care as a way to grow their family. They recognize the tragedy that is foster care and they are there to intervene and give hope to a child who may not have any left.

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