Licensed foster parents in Massachusetts are reimbursed on a biweekly basis. Foster parents are paid in arrears, so your check will cover the two weeks that have just passed. The amount depends on the number of children being cared for, the ages of the children, any special service needs and, sometimes, extraordinary expenses the foster parents incur in the course of taking care of their charges.
Age is Primary Factor
The basic allowance paid to foster parents in Massachusetts is based on the age of the children in care:
- $14.92 per day for children 5 years old and younger
- $15.75 per day for children between 6 and 12 years of age
- $17.16 per day for children age 13 and older
In addition to the basic allowance, which is designed to cover basic needs, foster parents receive a quarterly clothing allowance, birthday allowance and holiday allowance. These allowances must be spent to provide the child with clothes and presents for birthdays and holidays. The birthday allowance is $50 and the holiday allowance is $100, regardless of the child's age. The clothing allowance is based on age:
- $107 per quarter for children 5 years old and younger
- $181 per quarter for children between 6 and 12 years of age
- $282 per quarter for children age 13 and older
Quarterly clothing allowances are paid out in August, November, February and May.
If you have exceptional expenses above and beyond the normal care of foster children, you may be eligible for supplemental reimbursement. Funds may be issued through the Receiptable Reimbursement Program or the Parents and Children Together Program.
If you have had exceptional expenses in the care of your foster child, or if you anticipate having them, contact your foster child's worker, as she will need to get approval from the Area Director to approve reimbursements. Approval is contingent on whether the area office has funds available within their budget.
The PACT program reimburses $7.50 per hour for a set number of hours per week for foster parents who are required to perform specialized services above and beyond typical child care that relate to their foster children's service plan goals. If you are eligible for additional compensation through either PACT or Receiptable Reimbursements, you will have to fill out appropriate paperwork.