I ask this because my husband and I dont have a ton of extra income each month after bills and rent and such is paid. Im worried that this may prevent us from becoming foster parents.
Im just worried that this may prevent us from fostering a child. Is there an amount they require you to make each month or something?
Has this happened to anyone before?
why do people complain that the clothing allowance isnt enough? is it $125 for everyone or do some people get less?
sunnyrobins
We just have to show that we can support our current household without needing the foster stipend. The clothing allowance is 125 every 6 months and some may feel its not enough but you can buy things on clearance ahead of time and all of our children as well as myself are more than happy to shop at resale shops where our money goes even further. We also are supposed to keep receipts and proof that a designated amount of the stipend goes directly towards activites or items exclusively for the child the stipend is for.
Reading your answer sets my mind at ease. All I need to do is look at other ways to make our expendable go further. How would we do this with groceries though?
Ashley-n-D
My expendable income is very low around 300 a month but, I've made it work for years and they were impressed with how nicely D and I live on my modest income (around a thousand a month ). I was even told that its kind of a good thing because I know how to make a buck stretch so FC stipend will go farther. I Heard an FM complaining that the clothing allowance wasn't enough " for socks and underwear". I laughed and said "If you buy a season ahead (clearance) hit a few mom to mom sales you can outfit a kid completely IN BRAND NAME for around 150 " The trainer was impressed but FM didn't like getting schooled by a youngin.
D has more stuff than most kids (even the rich ones) I am thinking about making a guide: how to look like you have the big bucks when you have almost no bucks.
In any event, Low income is fine and in a way good if you thing about it. These kids usually come from low income no use in spoiling rotten so when they go home they have trouble accepting not having the finer things
foreverb18
why do people complain that the clothing allowance isnt enough? is it $125 for everyone or do some people get less?
yeah, here is 150/year. really? i can't clothe them for that in a season, much less a year.
Foreverb18- There is always clipping coupons. There is actually a group of women who clip coupons to feed women and children who are financially disadvantaged. They have gotten so good at this that they don't spend any money and when they do they get about $300 worth of groceries for less than $20. There are books about this sort of thing. I was watching an interview of one of the women a few months back. she mentioned some tips that were in her book and DW and I have been using them off and on but plan to be better about using them more often so we can save more.
I suck at the coupon thing but it does work if your good. Id go to the foster care & adoption forum and ask for coupon tips i remember a thread about it once.
I personally buy groceries in bulk non-perishables and freezables anyway. They might have a sale on a particular meat Ill buy a ton and freeze it and wont get that next trip. Ten for ten is your best friend Stock up on the sales !!!!
I'm going to be honest, we have ZERO difference in our grocery bill now with two girls than we did with just the two of us. We just don't have left overs anymore! :)
$125 for an ENTIRE year's clothing for a growing child isn't a lot of money. Even if you do second hand (which is almost a waste because you can buy new for less than that goodwill and thrift stores want). We get $300 per child in Virginia. That doesn't cover everything our girls would require. Between shoes, clothes, jackets etc.
However, they really didn't even care about what we make! All they wanted to see is the kids were taken care of.
I am not really worried about clothes if I do foster care because I've always bought clothing in lots on ebay for far less than I'd pay at thrift stores, and most of the time the clothes look like they were never worn. Last year's shoes are cheap on ebay too. Food would be harder since my kids are on a special diet and I'd like to keep everyone on it so I don't cook separate meals, but I'm sure I'd find a way. Blogs like 5dollardinners.com can help. Grocerycoupons.com costs very little and will mail you coupons that they clip. The biggest issue there is that you can't get coupons for produce and my kids eat tons of it. We make our own earthboxes to grow tons of food, but they always eat far more than we can grow.
I do make more than my expenses but part of our income may not count for foster care. For example, I get IHSS (in-home supportive services) money for caring for my autistic son, and he gets SSI. Would those be factored into our income for foster care purposes or would they think we're on public assistance and throw out our application right off? I think that my experience raising kids with autism, epilepsy, asthma, etc, etc, could be valuable in the foster care world but don't want to take on another job to raise my income to get approved and then have no time to truly care for the kids. I've also thought of fostering pregnant/parenting teens in the future since my experience getting my Master's while a single parent of disabled kids could maybe serve as a good example. That sounds like a pretty rose-colored glasses view but I do think I could at least try to help. My mom was a teenager and did a terrible job, to the point I've rarely seen her since I was 12, but I think if she'd had mentoring and guidance she could have done much better. I just don't know if we'd be approved while on these programs, but then I don't want to get off of them because they're hard to get back on and my son will really need them when he's older.
foreverb18
why do people complain that the clothing allowance isnt enough? is it $125 for everyone or do some people get less?
In my area you only get $200 for a child first time entering care...and that is at the county director's discretion. I was told it is not often approved. And if a child is moved from another foster home, no new allowance (even if they come with nothing, even if they were only in the other foster home for a week...). We were told they almost never approve the allowance for infants ("because who doesn't want to buy clothes for babies, your friends should help you out").
So yes, others do get quite a bit less. We had to appeal because our newborn FD didn't get approved the 1st time around because FDs CW didn't get it turned in within 60 days of placement (btw, permanent CW wasn't assigned until day 45 and didn't visit until day 53 and placement workers are not allowed to submit it, only permanent workers :rolleyes: ).
RhondaBear
I do make more than my expenses but part of our income may not count for foster care. For example, I get IHSS (in-home supportive services) money for caring for my autistic son, and he gets SSI. Would those be factored into our income for foster care purposes or would they think we're on public assistance and throw out our application right off?
No mam I AM on SSI until my bachelors is finished. I had a stroke as a baby and it messes with my fine motor, and ability to stand for long periods. The only thing they wanted was a statement that clearly stated that my reasons for being on SSI weren' t mental along with the regular physical. For you they probably will want a statement that says your son isn't violent. I get a straight out cash Assistance for D too ( they don't have guardianship grants in MI). They didn't care a bit.
Thanks. I'm glad my son's SSI shouldn't be a problem though I wonder about the violence issue since he is rather unpredictable. He has only hurt me while I was trying to restrain him and he's never hurt his sister. Recently he has had some issues with how he treats animals, but he doesn't seem to be trying to hurt them so much as unaware that what he's doing is a really bad idea. I think I need to make more progress with him before jumping into foster care, but want to learn all I can in the meantime.
RhondaBear
Thanks. I'm glad my son's SSI shouldn't be a problem though I wonder about the violence issue since he is rather unpredictable. He has only hurt me while I was trying to restrain him and he's never hurt his sister. Recently he has had some issues with how he treats animals, but he doesn't seem to be trying to hurt them so much as unaware that what he's doing is a really bad idea. I think I need to make more progress with him before jumping into foster care, but want to learn all I can in the meantime.
Maybe foster older kids then?? or other autistic/ mentally handicapped kids
Where I am, our kids only get a clothing allowance the first time they enter care. For FS3 (then 2) his was $150, and FD6 (then 5) was $225 because of school uniforms. You can bet I had my calculator out while shopping to make sure I got what they needed! Of course, this was about 3 weeks after we got them that I met our CW to go shopping.
After that initial allowance, everything the kids need comes from the per diem.
I dont think anyone would be turned away as long as you can pay your bills without the children's per diem.
foreverb18
why do people complain that the clothing allowance isnt enough? is it $125 for everyone or do some people get less?
Are you kidding me? Some people -- namely me -- get NO clothing allowence. Or milage. Or transportation help. I hate when I see foster parents complaining about any of those things because... well... I am jealous!
I would check out Penny Lane Centers for anyone living in Los Angeles. They can work with you and your financial budget. They also provide a very reasonable living stipend to cover your foster child's expenses and a clothing allowance. They also have monthly events so that all the Foster Parents can bring their kids, mingle, enjoy a meal, and have fun! -- Great for staying connected and gaining support from other Foster Parents. I highly recommend Penny Lane Centers (headquartered in the San Fernando Valley, but services all over LA). They offer all types of family services but Ive heard great things about their Adoption and Foster Care programs. They are extremely caring and welcoming, and they really want to help you start your family. Because they are a smaller company, they can offer more individual attention and one on one time. They offer certification training for little to no cost.
where can i find out info about this? and whats her book called?
Prettyboicris
Foreverb18- There is always clipping coupons. There is actually a group of women who clip coupons to feed women and children who are financially disadvantaged. They have gotten so good at this that they don't spend any money and when they do they get about $300 worth of groceries for less than $20. There are books about this sort of thing. I was watching an interview of one of the women a few months back. she mentioned some tips that were in her book and DW and I have been using them off and on but plan to be better about using them more often so we can save more.