Question about fostering

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by sancraft, Dec 31, 2006.

  1. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

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    My neice (by marriage to my nephew) is giving my custody of my great neice and nephew. A friend's sister said I should take the fostering classes and foster the children so that I could get some financial assistance from the state to help with expenses. Does anyone know how that works? I just did a mini search and there are programs for fostering a relative's children. How much will I have to allow the state in home and business? Is it enough money to bothered with the state or should I just add another cup of water to the soup and make it work. I definately am not made of money and having the children here would mean tightening the already too tight belt, but that doesn't matter. I know that I could give them a good home with little money. If the amount for fostering would really make a difference, I might consider it, but if it's just a couple hundred dollars a month, I'd rather not get DFACS involved. Has anyone here had any experience with fostering?
     
  2. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    Truth I think if you can just do an adoption you will be way better.

    With Fostering you have more Goverment sticking their nose into what your doing.And mor chance of getting you in trouble for some stupid reason and losing the Kids :shrug:

    big rockpile
     

  3. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    There are probably foster parents on the board who can give you more info, but I will tell you that the high school secretary where I worked fostered many children. They had many home visits and obligatory visits to psychologists, etc.
     
  4. ericjeeper

    ericjeeper Well-Known Member

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    Why can't you just force the PARENTS to pay for the childs support? I do not know the kids. why should I an other taxpayers have to pay the freight?
    I have three children of my own. Guberment does not give me anything.
    yes I feel the children deserve being taken care of. But it took two folks a male and a female to make these babies.. Go after them
    sorry for the rant.
     
  5. almostthere

    almostthere Well-Known Member

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    Last time I checked into foster care(I'm in IN) it was $10/day reimbursement. Older children get slightly more but not much. It depends on the County you are in and how much budget they have carved out for it. Of coarse, you wouldn't have to pay for medical/dental/vision etc. They told us that the child would not recieve food stamps/free textbooks(we have to pay in my county)/free or reduced lunches/day care or preschool reimbursement etc unless the family would qualify without the foster child. And you also could not homeschool, unless you could prove that the district is not able to handle thier "special needs".

    In the next County over, reimbursement is higher. I remember working at a bank with a woman who did FC, and she had 4 foster children. She told us, if she had one more FC, she would be able to quit her job, because she would be bringing in more doing that then having a job.
     
  6. KCM

    KCM Well-Known Member

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    If it were me, if I couldn't afford the responsibility then I'd have to either not accept it or I'd have to find a way to afford it. If I needed to bring more money into the household, I'd consider a student loan and go to school to earn a better paying job. Later I'd pay the loan back with interest. I wouldn't expect the taxpayers to support my household.

    ericjeeper's suggestion sounds good to me too.
     
  7. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

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    I don't think I'll go that route. I just don't like the idea of the government having the right to stick their noses into my life any time they want to do so. We'll just make it work. The parents will be paying some child support.
     
  8. Shygal

    Shygal Unreality star Supporter

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    I think you made a wise choice.
     
  9. limhyl

    limhyl Well-Known Member

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    I would have two questions. Is she giving you legal custody, like through a lawyer? Or is it a verbal agreement? Secondly, is she a reasonable person? Often if a person is willing to give custody of their children to another, there are some issues present. Both of these factors could prove disruptive and heartbreaking down the line for you and the children. I was a foster parent through the state of WA and found them to be reasonable. The payment for one child was $400/month but that was several years ago. Good luck. Theresa.
     
  10. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There are different types of fostercare--regular (which I assume the kids are fairly normal and where you would be) therapeutic and group homes and institutional.

    We did therapeutic at double regular pay rate but 3 times as many appts. and training requrements...

    Not only with you be forced with appts/training mom and dad will be given just 24 months to get it together...or rights could be terminated and the kids freed for adoption....if mom or dad have anything "not nice" in their past they will be hounded...and the same goes for you. The state may even ask to interview your daughters concerning their and your relationship w/ dad/ex-husband.....tey are VERY nosey and judgemental and quick to make false assumptions.

    We got done because of all the crap regulation and having social workers that never had their own kids telling us how to parent....my husband suggested to one that she not have kids as she would be raising criminals....
     
  11. SherryR

    SherryR Well-Known Member

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    Sancraft, I dont know if fostering relatives regulations are same in each state. . . I know you can get a stipend depending on each child. (probably also depending on your wage.) might be worth checking out. . .
    Sherry,
    who adopted thru foster parenting, & knew lots of folks who did what you're doing. (and maybe I'm getting ready to go thru f.p. training again! ! !)
     
  12. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    When I adopted, I qualified as a foster parent first.

    Before you do ANYTHING about signing up, find out what the regulations are regarding housing. My house needed few modifications, but does the new mobile home?
     
  13. cowgirlracer

    cowgirlracer Well-Known Member

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    Ok my 0.02 cents here - for what it's worth. Foster care laws vary from state to state. I can only speak for what I was involved in, with an Oregon child placed in a Wyoming home. While Clinton was President he passed some new legislation governing the foster/adopt programs nationwide. Now to adopt a child in any state you must be a "foster" parent for 6 months before the adoption can be finalized. Adoptive parents must take classes in foster care prior to placement.

    As for financial assitance - I would reccomend that you take it (either from the parents directly or thru the state) as you must provide everything for these children - food, clothing, doctor, dentist, vision care, counseling, in addition to things like sports shoes, fees, school lunches & pictures, birthday gifts when they are invited to parties, a movie, a 4H project, etc., etc. This list could go on for miles. Additionally, if you go thru the state you would get Title 19 insurance, which for us is secondary, but it should cover anything that is not covered by our insurance (deductibles and out of pocket - very handy when ds lost his brand new glasses).

    It sounds as tho you are not going to go thru the state, but do this privately. Do yourself a favor and visit an attorney and have a custody agreement written up. This would allow them to pay child support thru the state agency (they can't be late or miss a payment) and you could also get them to cover insurance costs.

    The various people we came into contact with from the state were very friendly and kind. They were a great source of help to us. I can say from personal observation that they seem way too overworked to just drop in. My DH practiced law for 30 plus years and his comment to me while I am typing this is "They aren't going to her house unless there is a complaint." Yes, they will have scheduled visits, but these are typically made long in advance, and are usually breif, and they are their to "take a pulse" and ensure that you still want to do this, and that the children are healthy and well cared for. Something I am sure you would have no problem with. My SIL is a social worker in KY and she NEVER goes to a home lloking for fault, she goes to see the children.

    As for Mr. Jeepers comment about the "guberment does not give me anything" to raise his three children, I beg to differ. If he claims married and 3 or 4 on his W-4 ha pays far less in taxes than someone who claims married and zero and way less in taxes than somebody who claims single. It is not that the government is giving him this money, however they are not taking it from him. Same thing really.

    My last comment on this is: Protect yourself and those children, see a laywer.

    Anne
    Cowgirlracer
    :hobbyhors
     
  14. SherryR

    SherryR Well-Known Member

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    Good post, Anne! When I fostered, it was as you said . . . they weren't looking for faults, just to see the child, make sure all was going ok, or if you needed help with anything, or whatever. Over the years, I only had 1 scary social worker, who right after coming into my home, informed me that children were safer and better off at a daycare (!) than at home with mom, because SAHM's were usually 'abusers'. Turns out, her daughter was raised in one; she was a divorced single mom. Boy was I glad when my 'regular' social worker came back from medical leave!
    Sherry
     
  15. Madame

    Madame Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Either she doesn't make much or she's a whole lot better at managing money than I am. My experience has been that I sometimes lose money, sometimes I make a little, and consider myself well off if I break even.

    I've fostered, on and off, for about 15 years. Usually you start off with monthly visits from caseworkers. All they really want is to be sure the kids are okay and being taken care of properly. Once they are sure you are a good caretaker, they ease off. I have found most caseworkers to be very useful resources (though there have been a very few that were absolutely horrendous). They know the system and what resources are available for the kids. Most states require an annual physical, annual dental plan, and various others things that you'd most likely do anyways. Your situation is somewhat different since the kids are family members.

    The biggest drawback is that they could yank the kids if they were concerned about whether you were doing an adequate job.

    Will the birth parents relinquish their parental rights so that you can adopt? If so, it's something to consider.
     
  16. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    That is a very understandable position for sure with plenty of merit. Normally I would agree and most others would as well.
    I'm one of six kids. My parents adopted my youngest sister. Her mother was 13 when she was born. She also had Rubella during her pregnancy. As a result my sister is totally deaf. She had two more kids before she turned sixteen. We had her as a foster child since she was 3 days old. We couldn't let her go back into foster care when she turned a year old. She was/is our family.
    My parents had 38 different foster children in total while raising six of us.
    All of them came to us as infants about three days old. My parents never made money from it even with a stipend. Out of pocket costs are expected.
    Most of them were unadoptable for various reasons. Fathers were killed in Vietnam or marriages broke up and people disappeared. Some had terminal illnesses and many others were born addicted to heroine and other drugs. Some were mixed blood racially and the parents just couldn't deal with the reality of keeping them. Each and every one of them was born. They didn't have any choices. Each and everyone of them were born with terrible circumstances for them to have to bear. We didn't say, can they come after the weekend or the holidays? They didn't come to us with bottles and formula or medicine or clothes. They just came. Eventually they went but we never knew when or why or what happened to them when they left.
    I guess that someone has to pay for them. I don't think foster parents and foster families really care about the politics or the burden to the state that these little helpless souls create by being born. They are usually too busy keeping them alive and healthy. Trying to make a difference to those that need it most in the world.
     
  17. Tonya

    Tonya Guest

    I fostered for 5 years and we never had an allegation against us and we agreedd with where all 30+ kids ended up.

    I would go through the foster care system IF you needed the following:
    -INSURANCE. You can get medicade ont he kids that way.
    -IF you think the parents are unstable and would either leave the kids for a few years without contact or if they would threaten to yank the kids over stupid stuff. A social worker would be able to regulate that and would be a 'go-between' for you.

    Please be aware that right now you are a babysitter. You can't get food stamps, WIC or insurance on them. You can't register them in school unless the parents have legally signed them over to you. Same thing with medical care.


    As bad as fostering's rap is, I've actually seen it work. I personally think that those who haven't been in it shouldn't register their uneducated OPINIOINS on the system. It works if it's properly funded, staffed and ego's don't get in the way.
     
  18. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    To be able to enroll them, make sure you have written permission (by a parent) for the children to *LIVE* with you at your address. Find out from the school district if it has to be notarized.

    You need another one allowing the children to receive medical treatrment at your request.
     
  19. Wolf mom

    Wolf mom Well-Known Member

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    You do not have to be a foster parent in order to adopt. There are relative adoptions, but the parent MUST relinquish his/her rights!
    Every state is a little different, but federal laws unify most.
    Call your state agency & they'll give you options.
    If you need $$ get to be a licensed foster care home. You have to figure out your bottom line.
    If the children have problems, physical or emotional, there is a subsidy that can be applied for that you can get monthly until they're 18 if you choose to adopt. You must have documentation though, so that's why it's best to be a foster parent first for the insurance.
     
  20. Ann-NWIowa

    Ann-NWIowa Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you have legal custody and by income qualify for food stamps, WIC, medicaid etc. by all means sign up for them. However, I would not under any circumstances involve DHS in the whole process unless absolutely unavoidable. You NEVER know who you'll get for a social worker. Some are wonderful, some are awful but the worst are those with an axe to grind. We were foster parents for 15 years and had workers of each kind. Personally I would not risk my future and the childrens on the wildcard of DHS. Don't forget DHS involvement puts you, your girls, the babies and your home under their microscope. This is not something I would risk and I have nothing to hide.