Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Can We Talk About The Money Part Of Foster Care Again?

The whole money part of foster care is just weird to me.

About the WIC/food stamps card...
I feel for people who are on WIC or food stamps for real and the judgment they must perceive, whether it's real or not, in the grocery store line.   When I'm running my separate transactions for each individual kid's card and items covered, the whole time I'm thinking "Argh, this is taking longer since I have to split it up...can't this machine think faster...I'll just stare at it to avoid eye contact....omg, how ridiculous does it look to pull a WIC card out of a Coach wallet for crying out loud...they probably think I'm abusing the system since they don't know I'm a foster parent...maybe I can somehow work into conversation with the cashier that I'm using this for foster kids in my care...crap, there's a bottle of wine in my purchase...they probably think I'm using state benefits to buy alcohol...someone should tell them that is entirely impossible...the only things I can get are formula, baby food, cheese, eggs, milk, bread and fruit...healthy stuff ok? and only certain specifically delineated brands, types and quantities...gah, I'm sorry ok!  Oh good, the card is done and run."

Meanwhile, the people behind me in line are probably actually just thinking "Oh Prince George looks cute on that magazine cover...the Kardashians did what??...hmmm, do I want to impulse buy some gum?..."


About the monthly reimbursement...
People say a lot of foster parents do it for the money.   Actual foster parents tell you that's not possible because the money you get is not nearly enough to profit on.  I'm here to tell you that any day a $1,432.20 check arrives in our mailbox is an eye popping, out of the ordinary day, fo sho.   We've gotten two reimbursement checks for the kids so far, one for the partial month of February ("only" $1,108), then the above referenced amount for all of March. much money...

If we hadn't had so much generous help at the onset of this placement from people in our life, we would need every bit of it to cover our start up costs for car seats and all the other stuff we bought right at the start.  But thanks to the giant  gift card from my office, gift cards from other folks, some money from parents, etc, we were not out of pocket much at all.

Due to a slip-up by the original social worker who removed the kids from their mom, our paperwork for the daycare subsidy took a month and a half to process instead of the typical two weeks, so we are out of pocket about $1,500 for that first chunk of daycare.  We bought a real crib for Brother so he wouldn't have to sleep in a Pack N Play anymore. We bought them clothing.  We want to get him a cute little kid chair to sit in to watch tv so that maybe he won't stand 3 inches from the screen.   Besides that stuff? We'll just have our ongoing food and diaper expenses, clothes here and there.

What are we supposed to do with the rest of the money???  Are there some kind of giant kid raising expenses out there that we are withholding from our children?

In the meantime, we have a separate bank account for the reimbursement money and we'll transfer out of it to ourselves as needed for their expenses.  If we end up with a surplus, we will save it.  If the kids end up staying with us forever, we'll have it available to benefit them later as well.  If they go home to their mom, we'll use the money for start up costs for the next foster placement we get, since we could be buying school supplies and soccer cleats next time instead of car seats, who knows.  

No comments:

Post a Comment