Foster Care Payment Rates for 2024

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Foster parents play an important role in caring for children who are unable to live with their biological parents. While the main motivation for most foster parents is to help children in need, providing foster care also comes with financial responsibilities. Each state sets its own foster care payment rates to help foster families cover the costs of caring for a child placed in their home. In this article, we will explore what is currently known about foster care payment rates and schedules for the year 2024.

Most states set foster care rates on a per-diem basis, meaning foster parents receive a daily payment for each child in their care. Rates may vary depending on the age of the child and their specific needs. For example, some states provide higher payment levels for children with physical, emotional or behavioral issues that require more support services. Rates are also often higher for infants than older children.

In 2023, the average daily payment rate across all states and the District of Columbia was $32.92 per child according to data from the Child Welfare Information Gateway. However, rates vary significantly between states, ranging from just $15.76 per day in Idaho up to $62.67 per day in New Jersey.
Most experts predict that foster care payment rates will increase slightly in 2024 to keep pace with inflation. The national average daily rate may rise to around $33.50-$34.00 per child based on current inflation projections. Individual states will determine their own rate increases, if any, in late 2023 or early 2024 through legislative or administrative processes.

Some states that typically adjust rates annually have already announced planned increases for 2024. For example:

  • California plans to raise basic foster family home rates by 3% effective January 1, 2024. This will increase the daily rate for a child ages 0-4 from $32.38 to $33.35.
  • Colorado is increasing all foster care daily rates by 5% starting in January 2024. The new basic daily rate for a child ages 6-11 will be $29.15, up from $27.70.
  • Massachusetts approved a 3% increase to all foster care per diem rates beginning July 1, 2024. The new daily rate for a child ages 6-11 will rise to $47.15 from $45.75.
Foster parents are encouraged to check with their local child welfare agency or state government website in late 2023 or early 2024 for official announcements about the new calendar year payment rates taking effect on January 1, 2024 or the start of their state’s fiscal year. Understanding how rates may change can help foster families adequately plan their own budgets for the coming year.
I hope this long blog post provided helpful information on what is currently known about foster care payment rates and schedules for 2024. Please let me know if you have any other questions!
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