What Is the Average Pay for a Foster Parent to Foster a Child in Florida?

By Mary Jane Freeman

Although the pay received by Florida foster parents can vary based on location and the individual needs of a child, some payments are standard and received by all. These include payments for daily living expenses, such as food, shelter and clothing.

Room and Board

Florida foster parents receive a monthly foster care rate payment. These monthly payments are for the foster child's room and board, and comes with an annual cost of living increase. The room and board payment is set by state law and is based on the age of the foster child. For foster children up to age five, the rate is $439.25 per month. For children between six and 12 years old, the rate increases to $450.52, while the monthly rate for children 13 to 21 is $527.31. The Department of Children and Families may increase these amounts in cooperation with the foster parent and local community-based care agency overseeing the case.

Independent Life Skills and Normalcy Support

Foster parents providing independent life skills care and normalcy support to a foster child between 13 and 17 receive an additional monthly payment. Normalcy support enables a foster child to engage in age-appropriate activities her peers likely take for granted, such as spending the night at a friend's house, driving a car and dating. Normalcy payments are 10 percent of the room and board rate set for children ages 13 to 21. For example, if a foster parent provides normalcy support to a 16-year old foster child, he will receive an additional monthly payment of $52.73 -- 10% of $527.31, which is the room and board rate for 13 to 21 year olds.

Clothing Allowance

Foster parents receive a clothing allowance for foster children. It is built into the monthly room and board payment they receive. However, when a foster child is first placed into a home, the foster parent receives an initial clothing stipend. In St. John's County, for example, this payment is $50 for children up to 12 years old and $70 for those older than 12. Foster parents also receive an annual clothing allowance near the start of a foster child's new school year. For children up to four years old, foster parents receive $200 and for those older than four, they receive $500.

Therapeutic Foster Care

Some foster parents provide specialized medical or therapeutic care to foster children, such as those who have experienced substantial trauma or have a mental disability. Specialized foster parents receive additional training and typically more pay. The payment amount is based on the level of care the child requires and often varies between locations throughout the state.

Warning

The payment rates cited in this article are valid as of publication. Keep in mind the rate of foster pay changes often, usually annually. Therefore, check with a local foster care agency to determine the current pay rates in your area.

About the Author

Based on the West Coast, Mary Jane Freeman has been writing professionally since 1994, specializing in the topics of business and law. Freeman's work has appeared in a variety of publications, including LegalZoom, Essence, Reuters and Chicago Sun-Times. Freeman holds a Master of Science in public policy and management and Juris Doctor. Freeman is self-employed and works as a policy analyst and legal consultant.