How to Check My Foster Care Payments: Ultimate Guide

How to Check My Foster Care Payments: Ultimate Guide

How to Check My Foster Care Payments

Contact your caseworker, check your bank statements and online payment history, ask for summary reports and understand your rate level including any cost of living adjustments, know the payment schedule and how placement changes impact it, ask about reimbursements, understand dispute rights, check payments closely during transitions, and stay organized with payment records in order to check your foster care payments.

Written and updated on November 24, 2023, by Abhishek Sonkar [, B.Ed., M.Ed.]

1. Contact Your Foster Care Caseworker

Your foster care caseworker is your main point of contact for any questions related to your foster care payments. If you ever have a question about a payment you received, the amount, or if you are missing a payment, your caseworker should be the first person you reach out to. Provide your caseworker with the specific payment date and amount you are inquiring about. They will be able to look up the details on their end and clarify if there is an error or issue that needs to be addressed. Have all your payment records handy when speaking to your caseworker to make the process as efficient as possible.

2. Check Your Bank Statements

One of the easiest ways to check your foster care payments is by reviewing your bank statements. Pay close attention to the deposit dates and amounts that are listed. Compare these to the payment schedule your foster care agency provided you with at the beginning of the month or placement. Any discrepancies between what you were expecting to receive versus what shows up in your bank account should be reported to your caseworker right away. Keep digital or paper copies of your bank statements each month for your records in case you need to refer back to them later.

Here are the steps for checking your foster care payments on your state or county’s website:

Find Your State/County Foster Care Website

Each state has their own foster care payment website or system. Here are direct links for some states:

If your state is not listed, search online for “{State Name} foster care payments” to find your state or county website.

Create an Account

Most state systems require you to create an account to access foster care payment information. The account setup process varies by state but typically requires:

  • Your name, contact information
  • Foster home license ID
  • Social security number/tax ID
  • Verification via email or ID documents

Follow the steps for your state’s website to complete the account registration.

Log In to View Payments

Once your account is created, you can log in to the website with your username/email and password. Locate the foster care payment section and you should see information on:

  • Payment history and details
  • Upcoming scheduled payments
  • Payment methods (direct deposit or check)

Review this information to verify you are receiving the correct foster care reimbursements. Contact your caseworker if you have any questions.

Update Account Settings

Within your account settings you may be able to:

  • Set up direct deposit
  • Update your contact information
  • View/print monthly statements
  • Receive payment notifications

Manage these settings as needed to make checking your payments easier.


Regularly logging into your state or county website can help you stay on top of your foster care reimbursements. Reach out to your caseworker if you have any trouble accessing or using the online payment portal.

3. Review Your Payment History Online

Many foster care agencies now offer foster parents the ability to check their payment history and account details online through a secure portal on the agency’s website. To access this, you will need your foster parent ID number or login credentials provided by your caseworker. Once logged in, you should be able to view a breakdown of all payments issued to your household with dates and amounts. This is a convenient way to check for any missed or incorrect payments from the convenience of your computer or mobile device anytime.

4. Ask for a Payment Summary Report

If you don’t have online access to view your payment history, don’t hesitate to request a payment summary report from your foster care caseworker. Provide them with a specific payment date range you want covered in the report, for example, payments received in the last 6 months. The caseworker can generate a report listing all payments within that timeframe along with key details like the child’s name, placement dates, daily/monthly rates, and issuance dates. This serves as an official record you can reference to verify payments. Request an updated report periodically to check ongoing accuracy.

5. Understand Your Rate Level and Changes

Foster care payment rates vary based on the needs of the child in your care. For example, younger children typically have lower rates than teenagers, and children with special needs may qualify for higher levels of payment. It’s important to understand the rate level or tier your placement is classified under. If a child moves to a new level due to age or changing needs, your payment amount may increase or decrease on their next placement anniversary date. Discuss upcoming rate changes with your caseworker in advance.

6. Check for Cost of Living Adjustments

Most foster care agencies provide an annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) increase to foster parent payment rates. These adjustments are meant to offset rising costs of things like food, housing, and other basic necessities. COLA increases are usually implemented on July 1st each year. When reviewing your payments, look for these incremental increases to make sure you are receiving the adjusted rates. If not, follow up with your caseworker to have it corrected. Keep records of the COLA notices from previous years for reference.

7. Know When Payments are Issued

Payments are typically issued either once a month on a set date, like the 5th of the month, or split into two semi-monthly payments, for example on the 5th and 20th. Make sure you understand the payment schedule for your agency and know when to expect deposits. If a payment is late by more than a few business days, contact your caseworker as this could indicate an issue that needs attention. Also be aware of cutoff dates – your caseworker may need a few days’ notice if a child is leaving your care on a payment date to stop that deposit.

8. Review Placement Changes and End Dates

Any time a child comes into or leaves your care, double check that the payment amounts and dates align properly. When a child first arrives, their placement date should correspond with the start date of the higher level of payment you receive for their care. Similarly, when a child transitions out of your home, their last date of placement should match up with the last date you received payment for them. Report discrepancies to your caseworker right away to avoid payment errors or overpayments.

9. Ask About Reimbursements

In addition to the regular monthly payments, you may be eligible for reimbursement of certain foster child-related expenses. Common reimbursable costs include things like medical co-pays, clothing, school supplies, activities/field trips, and more. Your agency should have policies around pre-approval of reimbursable expenses and how to submit receipts for payment. Follow up with your caseworker if you have outstanding reimbursement requests to ensure prompt payment. Keep good records of all reimbursable expenses.

10. Check Your Payments During Transitions

Times of transition, like changing foster care agencies or moving to a new county, can sometimes result in delays or errors with foster care payments due to paperwork or system issues between organizations. Be extra diligent about checking that your payments continue uninterrupted during these transition periods. Have follow up conversations with your new and old caseworkers to confirm responsibilities and avoid gaps in receiving support for the children in your care.

11. Know Your Payment Dispute Rights

If after reviewing all the available records and speaking to your caseworker, you still believe there is an error with your payments, you have the right to formally dispute it. Request details on the foster care agency’s payment dispute process from your caseworker. There will be forms to fill out along with deadlines for submitting necessary documentation of the issue. The agency has a responsibility to thoroughly review disputes and work to fairly resolve discrepancies. Escalate disputes further if needed.

12. Stay Organized with Payment Records

The best way to stay on top of checking your foster care payments is to maintain organized records. Create physical or digital files labeled with months and years to store all relevant payment documentation like bank statements, payment receipts, reimbursement forms, COLA notices, and any correspondence with your caseworker. This will allow you to easily reference past payments if questions come up later on. Keep meticulous payment records for tax purposes and in case of an audit as well.

I hope this comprehensive blog post provided you with all the information and tools needed to properly check your foster care payments each month. Being proactive about verifying accuracy is important for both you and the agency. Please let me know in the comment section if you have any other questions!




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