Being a foster parent can be a personally enriching experience. Don’t expect to get rich by becoming a foster parent, since the stipends paid to foster parents generally only cover a foster child’s living expenses. If you’re considering becoming a foster parent in Northern California’s Placer County, you should first know what you can expect to be paid for the care of a foster child.
By the Numbers
As of the date of publication, California raised what it pays foster parents throughout the state, including those in Placer County. The pay for the youngest -- those up to the age of four -- is $621 per month. On the other end of the age spectrum, the state pays $776 per month for foster children between the ages of 15 and 19.
How It Works
Foster parents in California, as in all other states, are paid on a per-child basis. That means that a family that has three foster children between the ages of 0 and 4 would receive $1,863 per month. The money is paid out monthly in the form of a check by the California Department of Social Services, which administers the foster care program.
What Is Covered
Money paid to foster parents by the state of California is not considered a salary, per se. Rather, it’s called a board rate or stipend, and is meant to cover the costs of caring for the foster children. This includes increases in utility costs, food, clothing and transportation. In essence, the state is reimbursing foster parents for the typical costs associated with caring for and raising a child. While some foster parents find that they have a little extra money left from the board rates after paying all expenses associated with a foster child, others find that they still need to come up with money out of pocket for the care of their foster children.
Foster children are a lot of work because they are often abused and traumatized. Thus, foster parents rarely choose to get involved in the foster system because of the money, especially since the board rate sometimes doesn’t cover the full cost of raising a child. Despite that, foster parents who wish to get more money for the time and energy spent on fostering children can pursue additional training to take care of children in the foster care system with special needs.