Following a lawsuit filed by foster parents after the Indiana Department of Child Services announced in 2009 that it was going to decrease the foster care per diem by 10 percent, the department announced Friday that it has come up with new reimbursement rates beginning Jan. 1, 2012.
The DCS wanted to cut daily rates foster parents and guardians receive from $25 to $22.50; several foster parents sued and U.S. Judge Sarah Evans Barker froze the rates at the 2009 level. The parents and the DCS settled the dispute, leading to the new rates for 2012.
DCS developed a rate-setting method to determine foster-care rates after holding public hearings and having Ball State University Center for Business and Economic Research survey foster parents to understand the actual costs incurred by households. Beginning next year, the standard per diem rates for foster care will be from $18.28 to $22.90, depending on the age of the child. For those children whose foster care requires services, reimbursement rates will be from $26.05 to $30.67. Those whose foster child falls under therapeutic foster care will receive between $38.19 and $42.81 per day; and those who are in the category of therapeutic plus will receive between $61.94 and $66.56.
In addition to those rates, foster parents may receive payments for clothing, liability insurance, personal allowance, special-occasions allowance, and travel reimbursement. Parents will now be able to receive up to $300 annually for the personal allowance and receive $50 for the child’s birthday and $50 in December, according to the DCS release.