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How to Get Paid to Be a Foster Parent [9 Options for (2023)]

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Do you get paid to be a foster parent?

If you’ve had this thought, don’t worry. This is one of the most common questions when deciding to foster a child. 

In this article, we’ll provide you with detailed information on whether you get paid to be a foster parent, including the compensation you’ll receive and what you’ll need. 

Can You Get Paid to Be a Foster Parent?

Although fostering is voluntary, people who choose to do it can receive compensation for providing care to the child.

Federal, state, or private foster care agencies provide financial compensation to parents in the form of monthly stipends, subsidies, or reimbursements. The foster care rates they offer vary depending on the state and the needs of the child in your care.

This amount provided is not considered income. It’s intended to be used to cover the expenses and needs of the child in your care, such as clothing, food, and personal items.

For instance, according to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC), Nebraska compensates parents according to the child’s age and the level of care provided to them. This amount varies from $20.40 to $40.80 per day.

The Best Ways to Get Paid to Be a Foster Parent (Overview)

Full List of Ways to Get Paid to Be a Foster Parent

We’ve included an overview of our top picks above. For a full list and detailed information on each pick, scroll down.

  1. AdoptUSKids
  2. Casey Family Programs
  3. Kidsave
  4. The New York Foundling
  5. TFI
  6. Koinonia Family Services
  7. Bethany Christian Services
  8. Lutheran Social Services of Illinois
  9. Children’s Home Society of Washington

What You’ll Need to Get Paid to Be a Foster Parent

Meeting certain basic requirements is essential for fostering a child. These requirements include:

  • Training: You’ll need to go through basic training so that the state can confirm that you’re eligible to provide child care.
  • Age: According to the law, you must be at least 21 years old to be eligible for fostering.
  • Health: Both you and all members of your household must be in good physical and mental condition, free from any diseases.
  • Income: While there’s no specific income requirement, you must have financial stability. You can show this by providing proof and a source of income.
  • Ability and Motivation: The agency will ask questions about your ability and motivation, such as why you want to have a foster child. You need to ensure satisfactory answers, or you risk declining your application.

Where to Get Paid to Be a Foster Parent

If you’re ready to become a foster parent, you can apply to one of these foster care agencies:

1. AdoptUSKids

screenshot of AdoptUSKids homepage

AdoptUSKids is among the largest foster agencies in the world. It not only offers placement services but also has comprehensive resources on the child welfare system.

They receive grants from the federal agency, Children’s Bureau, which allows them to offer support and financial compensation to foster families.

How Much You Can Make

The state provides reimbursements, and each state has its own rates. And so the amount you receive depends on the location of the agency.

For example, in Texas, foster parents can receive a monthly payment ranging from $812 to $2,773 per child.

Meanwhile, Minnesota pays foster parents a monthly payment of $650 to $910.

What Makes This Option Great

AdoptUSKids has a streamlined and speedy placement process. Relatively, they allow you to have greater control over the placement process.

They give you access to their private database and records, as well as photos of children so that you can select a child best suited for your family and lifestyle.

  • Typical Fees/Commission: This agency is funded by the federal government, so its services are free.
  • Typical Payment Methods: Monthly foster care reimbursements through cash or check.

2. Casey Family Programs

homepage screenshot of Casey Famil programs

Casey Family Programs has eight locations across the US but provides its services to all 50 states.

They work with more than 1,400 children and families every year, guiding them through the fostering process.

Related: How to Start a Daycare Business

How Much You Can Make

The state provides reimbursements, and each state has its own rates. And so the amount you receive depends on the location of the agency.

For instance, Maryland pays $835 to $850 per month.

On the other hand, in Alaska, the daily rate of foster care is from $26.03 to $58.99.

Related: Get paid to live in Alaska

What Makes This Option Great

Casey Family Programs will guide you and your family through the foster care system to ensure everything’s clear.

They also provide education and mental health care resources to the children that are in their care.

  • Typical Fees/Commission: This agency provides its services free of cost.
  • Typical Payment Methods: Reimbursements may be through cash or check.

3. Kidsave

screenshot of kidsave homepage

Finding an agency that provides such a service may be challenging if you’re interested in fostering an older child or a child from a different country. Fortunately, Kidsave does exactly that.

The agency understands the importance of fostering children living abroad and works to build trust between the foster family and the child.

Apart from the US, you can choose to foster kids from Colombia, Ukraine, and Russia.

Related: 9 Uncommon Side Hustles That Allow You to Work From Anywhere

How Much You Can Make

Kidsave gives eligible parents $20,000 in grants per year for financial support.

What Makes This Option Great

Kidsave’s unique hosting program enables families to host children over the weekend or the summer to decide if fostering suits them.

This program also helps children waiting for adoption to meet and interact with potential families.

They facilitate these meetings and mentor both parties.

  • Typical Fees/Commission: It costs $275 to fill out their hosting application.
  • Typical Payment Methods: Cash or check.

4. The New York Foundling

screenshot of the New York Foundling homepage

If you live in New York City, The New York Foundling is a great option to consider.

They have one of the largest resources for fostering, and the agency serves over a thousand children each year by placing them with caring foster families.

How Much You Can Make

The amount of financial compensation you receive from The New York Foundling will depend on your location and the age of the child you’re fostering. This amount can range from $10.73 to $848 per day. 

What Makes This Option Great

The New York Foundling provides financial subsidies to parents and 24-hour emergency services.

They offer ongoing training, counseling, mental health sessions, and additional resources to ensure the families have the support they require to care for their children.

Related: How to Become a Health Coach: 5 Programs for Certification

  • Typical Fees/Commission: None.
  • Typical Payment Methods: Monthly subsidies.

5. TFI

screenshot of the TFI homepage

TFI is a nonprofit organization that helps children connect with foster families in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

The organization aims to ensure every child in its care is placed in a safe and supportive home. That’s why they offer placement services, ongoing support, and fostering resources to the children and the foster families.

Related: How to Start a Nonprofit: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide

How Much You Can Make

The compensation you receive will depend on how many children you have in your care. And if there are any special needs, a higher amount will be provided. 

The compensation is a monthly stipend given by the state, so the amount also depends on your location.

Foster parents in Nebraska are compensated between $22.26 to $51.68 per day, depending on the child’s age and level of responsibility. Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, reimbursements range from $17.72 to $22.62 per day.

What Makes This Option Great

In addition to providing financial assistance to the parents, the agency will provide full medical care to the children and cover the costs of their care. This includes any emergency fees that may be associated with taking care of the child.

Related: How to Start a Medical Transportation Business

  • Typical Fees/Commission: None.
  • Typical Payment Methods: Monthly stipend.

6.Koinonia Family Services

screenshot of koinonia family services homepage

Operating in California and Nevada, Koinonia Family Services is a nonprofit, state-funded organization that matches foster families with children they will care for.

How Much You Can Make

The amount you can earn depends on the age and needs of the child, as well as your location.

In California, the average rate ranges from $1,000 to $2,609 per month, while in Nevada, it’s around $700 per month.

What Makes This Option Great

Koinonia provides foster parents with extensive training, 18 hours for California and 30 hours for Nevada, which prepares them for fostering.

They also provide reimbursements to cover all expenses for each foster child in your care, ensuring you have the necessary resources to support them.

Additionally, the children will receive medical expenses covering medical or dental care costs.

  • Typical Fees/Commission: None.
  • Typical Payment Methods: Koinonia Family Services will give you a monthly reimbursement. 

7. Bethany Christian Services

screenshot of Bethany Christian services homepage

Bethany Christian Services is a global nonprofit organization that provides adoption and foster care services worldwide.

How Much You Can Make

You’ll receive a monthly, tax-free stipend. The amount you receive will depend on state laws; however, it will be enough to cover the child’s expenses.

For instance, the monthly reimbursement rate in Florida ranges from $485 to $615, while in Delaware, the daily stipend ranges from $20 to $55 per child.

What Makes This Option Great

Bethany Christian Services assigns you a support team of foster care specialists, doctors, and therapists. This ensures that you and the child have access to the necessary resources and support that you require.

  • Typical Fees/Commission: None.
  • Typical Payment Methods: Monthly payments in the form of stipends.

8. Lutheran Social Services of Illinois

screenshot of the Lutheran Social Service of Illinois homepage

Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) is one of Illinois’s largest foster care agencies. They offer regular foster care programs and therapeutic care programs that enable you to provide intensive care for traumatized children.

How Much You Can Make

In Illinois, parents are paid between $418 to $511 per month for each child as financial compensation. This amount covers clothing costs and the personal expenses of the child.

What Makes This Option Great

LSSI provides parents with training, licensing, and support to ensure that they are able to take proper care of the children they choose to foster. 

Additionally, their staff guides potential families through the process to ensure everything goes smoothly.

  • Typical Fees/Commission: None.
  • Typical Payment Methods: Monthly subsidies or reimbursements in the form of cash or check.

9. Children’s Home Society of Washington

screenshot of the Childrens Home Society of Washington homepage

Children’s Home Society of Washington is a nonprofit organization that offers foster care services to families in need, including specialized care and respite care programs. 

They aim to provide children with a safe home environment while supporting their families. 

How Much You Can Make

Washington pays parents $672 to $1,612.30 per month. This amount further depends on the child’s age and how much you’re able to care for them.

The state provides a higher amount of compensation for children who have special needs or require intensive care.

What Makes This Option Great

They offer a wide range of programs so you can choose one which best suits you and your family. Additionally, they offer training and support.

  • Typical Fees/Commission: As a nonprofit organization, they have no fees.
  • Typical Payment Methods: Cash or check.

Why You Should Consider Being a Foster Parent as a Side Hustle

Fostering can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience. Here are a few reasons why you should consider being one on the side.

  • Financial Compensation: The state or private agency will provide you with financial compensation to help ease the burden on your wallet. If you live in one of the states with a high compensation rate, you’ll be able to earn additional income along with providing a loving home for a child. It’s a win-win situation.
  • Flexibility:  Fostering a child can be either short-term or long-term, giving you flexibility and allowing time for other commitments you may have.
  • Personal Growth: Fostering presents an opportunity for personal growth. Through interacting with a child, you can learn new skills, build meaningful relationships, and gain a better understanding of the child welfare system.
  • Personal Fulfillment: Taking care of a child can be fulfilling and meaningful. By creating a warm and nurturing environment and offering a loving home, you can help ease the past trauma or abuse they may have suffered and give them a place to heal.

Problems With Being a Foster Parent for Money

Fostering children is not as easy as it may seem, as you’re sure to encounter problems along the way. Here are a few common ones to be aware of.

  • Financial Issues: Even though you get compensated, in some cases, it may not be enough to provide for the child’s needs, much less allow you to earn extra income.
  • Burnout: Caring for a child who has experienced neglect, trauma, or other difficulties can be stressful and exhausting. In some cases, the financial benefits may not outweigh the challenges of providing enhanced care to the child.
  • Difficulty With Children: Some children may be difficult to deal with, showing signs of aggression and refusing to behave. This may leave an emotional toll on your well-being, and you’ll need to learn parenting and counseling skills to deal with them.
  • Little Support: Foster families may not receive ample support from agencies, including access to training, counseling, and respite care. This can leave them feeling burdened and overwhelmed.

How to Get Paid to Be a Foster Parent: Step-By-Step Instructions

Here’s how you can become a foster parent in the US:

Step 1: Contact an Agency

Many child placement agencies are available for you to reach out to, both private and state. Do your thorough research before choosing one, as you’ll want one that’s easy to work with and offers adequate compensation.

You can search the internet or contact your state’s Department of Child Services for more information. They’ll walk you through the process and ensure you have all the necessary information you require.

After selecting an agency, you’ll need to fill out their forms so they can consider your application.

Step 2: Complete Background Checks

After the application process, an agency member will be assigned to gather essential information.

They will require complete personal and family information. That means discussing your family’s history, lifestyle, and any childcare experience you have to determine your strengths and skills.

This information will help them match you with the most suitable child or children.

In addition, most agencies will require a fingerprint scan for the criminal background check. Note that this step might take a while, depending on how long it takes the agency to complete its process.

Step 3: Complete Home Evaluation

An agency worker will schedule a home evaluation, during which they’ll visit your house and ensure it passes all necessary health and safety inspections and is a suitable environment for children.

It might be wise to make your house a child-friendly environment before the visit, free of any potential hazards.

Related: Takl Jobs: Make Money Providing Home Services on the Side

Step 4: Receive Training

Your agency will require you to attend mandatory training sessions where they’ll teach you about the foster care system and the needs of the child, including how to deal with difficult children and medical issues.

While most of the training is at a basic level, some agencies may also require advanced training.

Step 5: Placement

After you have completed all the steps, you’ll be allowed to decide the age and behavior of the child you want to foster.

Then, once you’re approved, the agency will provide you with a foster placement. The agency will continue to provide compensation and support should the need arise. 

Things to Consider When Being a Foster Parent for Money

In addition to financial considerations, it’s also essential to take into account the following when you decide to have a foster child:

1. Motivation

Fostering can be a demanding responsibility. It requires sufficient motivation to fulfill the needs of the child under your care. That’s why it’s important to rely on your partner or other family members for support.

Additionally, ensure that the agency you select provides respite care so that, in case of an emergency, they can take care of the child if you are unable to.

2. Time Commitment

Fostering requires spending time with the child. You’ll need to provide daily supervision, particularly if the child is young.

For instance, caring for foster children involves taking them to the hospital when they’re sick, driving them to and from school, and more.

It’s important to ensure you have enough time to give them care; otherwise, they’ll end up feeling neglected, which can have a negative impact on their overall well-being.

3. Home Environment

Moving into a new home can be challenging for a child, so it’s important to ensure that your home is a warm and welcoming place for them. This includes the physical environment, your lifestyle, and how your family interacts with each other.

You’ll have to provide a safe and nurturing environment where the child feels comfortable communicating their needs with you. This will also help you in passing the home study that the agency will conduct. Failing to pass will prevent you from getting a placement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Funds the Agencies?

The federal government is responsible for providing funds to states, who then distribute them to child welfare agencies. These funds are then provided to families who are fostering children.

The funds can be in the form of reimbursements, stipends, or even vouchers, depending on the state and the agency.

Can a Single Parent Be a Foster Parent?

Yes, single parents and unmarried couples can also apply for fostering. However, all persons involved will need to go through the approval process.

Similar Ways to Get Paid

If you feel being a foster parent isn’t the right for you, here are some other options you can explore:

  • Get Paid to Be a Caregiver for Parents: If you have aged parents who struggle with their day-to-day tasks and require assistance, you can apply to be their caregiver.
  • Get Paid to Donate Eggs: Learn how and where to donate your eggs to help others start a family with this comprehensive guide.
  • Get Paid to Sleep: It sounds too good to be true, but with this guide, you’ll learn how to make money simply by sleeping. 

Wrapping It Up

Being a foster parent can be a challenging yet fulfilling opportunity. By providing neglected children with care, love, and support, you can experience personal growth and impact their lives. You’ll also be compensated for doing so.

Remember to have patience and rely on the support of your family and agency, especially when things get difficult.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this article in the comments below. Also, if you know any aspiring parents looking to foster, feel free to share this article with them.

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