Fixed Rate for Contracted Foster Care Rate Increase
July 24th, 2012
Contracted foster care is a rate that was established for private foster care agencies to provide foster care services. These services include recruitment, support, and providing foster parent reimbursement. The contracted foster care rate provides funding for reimbursement of the foster parents at the same amount as OKDHS reimburses and funding to support the foster families. Foster parents are the most valuable piece to any child welfare system. In the last 30 years, foster parents in Oklahoma have received only two reimbursement increases totaling $1.50 per day, significantly below the rising increase in cost-of-living over the same time period. The foster care payment reimburses foster parents for the cost of food, clothing, shelter, school supplies, personal incidentals, and reasonable travel for a child in Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) custody. OKDHS settled a class action, civil rights lawsuit against its foster care system by agreeing to make improvements in targeted areas of the state’s Child Welfare system. As part of this settlement agreement OKDHS is developing an improvement plan, called the Oklahoma Pinnacle Plan, which will guide the agency in the years ahead as it works to make improvements in the way it cares for children in foster care. A study published in 2007 by University of Maryland, National Resource Parent Association, and Child’s Rights established the Minimum Adequate Rates for Children in foster care. One goal of the Pinnacle Plan is to reimburse resource parents at the Minimum Adequate Rates for children. To begin to reach this goal, beginning Aug. 1, 2012 a rate increase for foster care rates is needed. The full rate increase in the Pinnacle Plan has a five year implementation to fully obtain the Minimum Adequate Rates for Children in foster care and this issue brief addresses the first of the staggered increases.
Increase the contracted foster care rate for foster care agencies providing foster care services in order for the agencies to provide the quality service to foster parents and provide them with foster care reimbursement equal to the amount paid by OKDHS.
Aug. 1, 2012
New Rate Proposal:
It is recommended that the fixed rate for contracted foster care be increased to allow the agencies to reimburse the foster families at the same amount as OKDHS.
The CFC rate increase will be:
The increase in resource parent’s rates will cost $29,127 total dollars with $19,211 of this amount provided by state funding.