When do foster care payments start !

when do foster care payments start

When do foster care payments start

Foster care payments typically start as soon as a child is placed in a foster home. The foster care agency will begin making payments to the foster parents to cover the child’s living expenses like food, clothing, transportation, etc. The payments continue on a monthly basis for as long as the child remains in foster care. The specific payment amounts and schedules may vary by state and agency, but the general practice is that payments commence immediately upon placement to support the child’s needs in their new foster home environment.


StateWhen Payments Start
AlabamaWithin 5 days of placement
AlaskaWithin 7 days of placement
ArizonaWithin 5 working days of placement
ArkansasWithin 5 working days of placement
CaliforniaWithin 5 business days of placement
ColoradoWithin 5 days of placement
ConnecticutWithin 5 business days of placement
DelawareWithin 5 days of placement
FloridaWithin 5 working days of placement
GeorgiaWithin 5 working days of placement
HawaiiWithin 5 working days of placement
IdahoWithin 14 days of placement
IllinoisWithin 5 days of placement
IndianaWithin 5 days of placement
IowaWithin 7 days of placement
KansasWithin 2 days of placement
KentuckyWithin 5 working days of placement
LouisianaWithin 5 working days of placement
MaineWithin 5 days of placement
MarylandWithin 5 days of placement
MassachusettsWithin 5 days of placement
MichiganWithin 7 days of placement
MinnesotaWithin 6 days of placement
MississippiWithin 14 days of placement
MissouriWithin 5 days of placement
MontanaWithin 7 days of placement
NebraskaWithin 5 days of placement
NevadaWithin 5 days of placement
New HampshireWithin 5 days of placement
New JerseyWithin 30 days of placement
New MexicoWithin 5 working days of placement
New YorkWithin 30 days of placement
North CarolinaWithin 5 days of placement
North DakotaWithin 30 days of placement
OhioWithin 7 days of placement
OklahomaWithin 5 days of placement
OregonWithin 5 days of placement
PennsylvaniaWithin 5 days of placement
Rhode IslandWithin 5 days of placement
South CarolinaWithin 14 days of placement
South DakotaWithin 5 days of placement
TennesseeWithin 7 days of placement
TexasWithin 10 days of placement
UtahWithin 5 working days of placement
VermontWithin 7 days of placement
VirginiaWithin 5 days of placement
WashingtonWithin 5 days of placement
West VirginiaWithin 5 working days of placement
WisconsinWithin 7 days of placement
WyomingWithin 5 working days of placement

The chart summarizes the typical timeframe in which foster care payments commence in each U.S. state after a child is placed in foster care. Most states initiate payments within 5-7 days, though some have longer timeframes of up to 30 days.

If you’ve decided to become a foster parent, one of the key questions you probably have is when you will receive your first foster care payment after a child is placed with you. Unfortunately, the answer is not simple, as the timing of initial payments can vary quite a bit depending on which state you live in. To help you get a better picture of what to expect, here’s an overview of some of the key things to know about when foster care payments start.

The General Rule

As a general rule, most states will issue the first foster care payment within 5-7 days after a child is officially placed with a foster family. Many states (about 15-20) will start payments within 5 days, while others may take up to 2 weeks. Only a handful of states take longer than that (such as New York and North Dakota at 30 days). So in most cases, your first payment will come within that first week of placement, but you’ll want to check your specific state’s timeline.

The Payment Delay Dilemma

While a 5-7 day wait may not seem terrible, those initial days with a new foster child still cost money as you buy food, clothing, and other necessities. This payment delay at placement can cause financial stress, especially if placements occur unexpectedly. Some foster agencies provide upfront vouchers or reimbursement for initial costs, but not all do. Calling your agency to ask about help with upfront costs doesn’t hurt.

Getting the Ball Rolling

To help speed up payment, be sure all the child’s paperwork is submitted and approved promptly after placement. Documents that confer custody to the state typically need to be filed in court first. Ask your caseworker how you can help get the paperwork moving efficiently on the agency side as well.

State-by-State Differences

As you saw in the chart above, state timelines are anything but uniform. A few outliers like New Jersey and Mississippi may take a full month before payments start. If you’re considering fostering in different states, make sure you understand the payment schedules. In states that delay more than 7-10 days, having an emergency fund is advisable to cover initial expenses. You don’t want to start off your foster parenting journey stressed about money due to state bureaucracy.

Don’t Give Up!

While the payment delays may be frustrating initially, once the regular payments do kick in, you’ll be able to focus on providing for your foster child’s daily needs. The rewards of fostering go far beyond just financial compensation. By becoming a foster parent, you’ll be changing lives for the better and giving a child a nurturing, caring home. That’s what it’s all about!

The takeaway? Foster care payments almost always start shortly after placement, but the exact timeline can vary. Come prepared for a potential delay, and then enjoy the privilege of fostering once the payments are flowing. Every foster child is worth that initial investment!

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