Fixed Rate for Therapeutic Foster Care Rate Increase
July 24th, 2012
Therapeutic foster care is foster care with a therapeutic component for children with mental health needs. Medicaid provides funding for the therapeutic services; however the room and board costs are provided through this rate and have been based on the foster care reimbursement rate to traditional foster parents. A rate increase has been proposed for foster parents which reimburses 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 both foster care and adoption fixed 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. Therapeutic foster parents also need this rate increase as they bear the same costs and responsibilities as traditional foster parents and neither should receive an increase in the reimbursement without a corresponding increase to the other.
Increase the therapeutic foster care rate for therapeutic foster care agencies to the same amount as the 13+ traditional foster parent reimbursement rate.
Aug. 1, 2012
New Rate Proposal:
It is recommended that the fixed rate for therapeutic foster care be increased to allow the CPAs to reimburse the foster families at the same amount as OKDHS.
The TFC rate increase will be:
The increase in resource parent’s rates will cost $342,370 total dollars with $214,856 of this amount is provided by state funding.