Can you Foster parent in Fl on a tight budget?
Hello. I am in Florida and I want to know if anyone knows the answere to my question. My question is can you be approved to become a foster parent in Fl if your income only supports your household as of now, with not much room for anything else? Another words, does the state give you enough money to support the child or does it expect you to have a portion of the money on your own? Thank you.
Well, youre dealing with the government, and any time you deal with the government, things run at a snails pace.

Usually, you need to be able to support your household, and any children that come into your care, until the stipend is set up҅which in some cases may only take a day or two, but can sometimes, depending on the worker, take a month or even more.

Also, the stipend usually covers a portion of the expenses, not all of themalthough this also varies by geographical location.

The bottom line is, if youŒre barely making it now, its not a good idea to bring another child into the home, because even with the limited assistance you will eventually receive, it most likely wont be enough.
you need to be able to support the child on your own
you do get money, but it takes awhile at first im told, so the judge all on if you could support the child from the start
BrandyH--"The bottom line is, if youre barely making it now, its not a good idea to bring another child into the home, because even with the limited assistance you will eventually receive, it most likely wont be enough."

Great answer!!!

Alot of children that are in the foster system now are from families of low/poverty level incomes so DHS made the decision that they were being neglected.

To take in a FC, when you don't have the means to provide for them would be considered neglectful as well. Not to mention selfish.
You don't have to be rich to be a good foster parent. Being poor is not neglect, not caring for your children is neglect. I haven't ever heard of a child being removed because their bfamily was poor. I don't know any rich foster parents. The behaviors that alot of foster children display would not fit into most upper class families. Good Luck!
if you really are committed...
The truth is you don't have to have a lot of money to become a foster parent.You need a lot of love and patient ,so don't let anyone talk you out of it and belittle you,There is such a need for good foster parents,while you must be able to provide a good stable home and take care of your own household with your own money(which I assume you are already doing) being on a tight income should not stop or discourage you,yes you do get a small income for the child,but its not about the money,who isn't struggling financially at some point in life.I am on disability and in the process myself,I was told they can not discriminate against you for being on disability(I worked all my life) and you don't have to be rich.Remember you can't buy love!:o
The stipend from the state is expected to cover the "average" monthly needs of a child "that age" that has been placed in a particular "needs category".

The stipend is expected to cover the child's food consumption, clothing needs, transportation costs, utilities usage, school supplies, toys, and prescribed medical needs.

It will NOT cover the start-up costs of: a room in your house, a bed, a closet, changes to your house that may include adding stair railings or fire extinguishers or cabinet locks, any licencing or training costs not given free (like getting CPR on your own or ordering your birth certificate from out of state), a few emergency outfits for a child who arrives in nothing but PJs, etc.

Some states and agencies reimburse the foster parents for the cost of daycare, the extra cost of getting a child who came with nothing set up with a starter wardrobe, and the transportation costs of getting a child to special school or doctors' appointments. And others don't cover those.

And, the state is *rarely* sympathetic or helpful if you overspend the amount you are going to receive for the child. If the state offers $75 for clothes to start school in, and you insist the most basic wardrobe at the cheapest place would cost $100, you have to provide that extra $25 or give your foster child less than you think he/she should have. If the state offers $200 per month for the child's subsidy, and diapers alone cost $220, you either have to come up with the extra $20 for diapers, deal with cheaper ones that leak, or hope and pray your state offers an extra diaper subsidy if you can figure out the right words to use to ask for it.

And, dont forget everything is done on a "reimbursement" schedule. You'll spend money from the 1st of August to the 31st of August, and if your state is one of the quick ones, you'll get your check from the state on the 15th of September. So you definately have to have enough money to start with.

All that together means... Maybe. How's that for helpful? If you're able to afford all the startup costs, and afford the costs of training, and afford to pay for things a full month or more before you get reimbursed by the state, then yes it's possible to foster a child on a very limited income. But if you're a bad money manager, or unable to scrape up enough money to set up a child's room, or couldn't wait 6 weeks for a reimbursal check, etc, then it probably would not be possible to foster a child.

If you can figure out the actual numbers you're dealing with - your monthly income, how much is left over each month, what percentage of the poverty level your family lives at, etc, then you can probably call your local DSS office and get a straight answer. Most have a standard they go by, and they may be able to explain how they arrive at that over the telephone so you can see if you fit in it or not.

Good luck!
Thanks for your info...
Thank you for all your information,Some of it I already knew,but you are so right,You must be able to manage your money right on a tight income,which I do already.I don't know anything about the scale they use concerning proverty level,I was told by my DYFACS foster care director that you had to have your own income,and that disability income was exceptable,So I am still praying because this is something I always wanted to do,being in foster care myself foe a short time when I wa a child.If this is Gods will for me then he can make it happen.Thanks.
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