Pre-Approval Funding

If you are currently caring for a child in foster care who was placed through an emergency placement or placement on a compelling, you are entitled to receive emergency caregiver funding at the basic foster care rate ($960/month per child as of July 1, 2018). In most cases, you will continue to receive that funding until you complete RFA.

It is very important that you sign and submit your RFA application as soon as possible. You will not receive any emergency funding until the signed application form is received.

Emergency caregiver funding is paid retroactively. This means that you will receive the funding for the month you provide care for the child after that month has ended. For example, if you had a child placed in your home during the month of April, you would receive emergency caregiver funding for the month of April in May.

Emergency caregiver funding first took effect on March 30, 2018. Your eligibility for emergency caregiver funding depends on when the placement occurred and when you started the RFA process.

 

RFA Completed Before March 30, 2018

If a child in foster care was placed with prior to March 30, 2018 and you completed the RFA process prior to March 30, 2018, you are not eligible for emergency caregiver funding. You should be receiving regular foster care funding. Families approved prior to March 30, 2018 are not eligible for emergency caregiver funding to cover the period that they were caring for a child prior to approval.

 

RFA Application Pending On or After March 30, 2018

If you submitted a RFA application and your RFA application was pending on or after March 30, 2018, you are eligible for emergency caregiver funding for each child placed in your home for the period between March 30, 2018 and the completion of RFA. This funding is only available back to March 30, 2018 or the date your RFA application was completed and submitted, whichever is later. The amount of funding you may receive is: (1) $923/month for the period March 30, 2018 through June 30, 2018 and (2) $960/month from July 1, 2018 onwards if your RFA application is still pending.

 

Child Placement On or After July 1, 2018

If a child in foster care was placed with you on or after July 1, 2018, and you have not completed the RFA process, you are eligible or emergency caregiver funding of $960/month per child as of the date of placement. For that funding to begin, you must submit the RFA application.

Approved Resource Family Funding

Once you are approved as a resource family and a child in foster care is placed with you, you will receive foster care funding of at least $960 a month per child.

Foster care funding is paid retroactively, which means you will receive the funding for the month you provide care for the child after that month has ended. You will receive an amount that is at least equal to the rate increase slightly every July, based on the cost of living.

Additional Funding

Once you complete the RFA process, in addition to the basic rate, you may be eligible for one or more sources of increased funding, including the following:

 

Intensive Services Foster Care Funding

Intensive Services Foster Care (ISFC) families are specially trained to care for children and young adults with intensive needs. These include, but are not limited to, medical, therapeutic or behavioral needs. The purpose of ISFC is to keep children with high needs in a family home. The monthly financial support that ISFC families receive on behalf of an eligible child is $2,505 a month.

In some cases, you may receive ISFC funding before you complete ISFC training. To qualify for ISFC funding, the child must need specialized programs that serve children with specific needs. If you believe a child in your care is eligible for ISFC funding and services and you are denied this support, you may request a reassessment and/or an administrative fair hearing. Eligible needs may include:

  • Adjudicated violent offenses
  • History of significant property damage
  • History of sex offenses
  • Aggressive and assaultive
  • History of animal cruelty
  • History of commercial sexual exploitation
  • History of eating disorder
  • History of fire setting
  • Gang activity
  • Habitual truancy
  • History of psychiatric hospitalization(s)
  • Runaway
  • Severe mental health issues, including suicidal ideation and/or self-harm
  • Substance use/abuse
  • Three or more placement changes due to behavior
  • Score of 7 on the Level of Care protocol in either the health domain OR the behavioral/emotional domain

Specialized Care Increments (SCIs)

Children who do not qualify for ISFC may still qualify for additional funding through the county. Most counties provide additional financial support to families caring for a child with special medical, behavioral, developmental, and/or emotional needs. This kind of funding is called a specialized care increment (SCI).

 

Dual Agency Rates

Children who are in foster care and are also clients of a Regional Center are eligible for a monthly payment referred to as the “dual agency rate,” even if they are not currently receiving services directly from a Regional Center. The only requirement is that they have been found eligible for services by a Regional Center. Regional centers serve young people with developmental disabilities, including intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and autism.

The dual agency rate for children who are eligible for lifetime Regional Center services is $2,510 per month and may be as much as $3,510, depending on the child’s level of self care and other factors. If you are caring for a child who has one of the qualifying conditions to a be a lifetime Regional Center client, ask the county worker to initiate an assessment for the supplement to the dual agency rate. Regional Centers also serve children aged 0-3 who qualify for early intervention services prior to an official diagnosis. These children qualify for the early Intervention rate. The current early Intervention rate is $1,123 per month.

 

Infant Supplement

Resource Families may receive an infant supplement if a young person in foster care who has been placed with them gives birth to a baby. The supplement is intended to cover the additional cost of providing food, clothing, and shelter for an infant.

The infant supplement is $900 per month and is paid in addition to the basic rate that you receive to support the foster youth who is the parent of the infant. In most counties, the infant supplement is not paid until the child is born. However, in Los Angeles County, a supplement of $440 per month is available during the last three months of the pregnancy to help prepare for the baby’s arrival. Parents in foster care who are caring for their own biological children can also qualify to receive the infant supplement directly. In other words, the Resource Family caring for the parent of the baby may receive the supplement, or the parent of the baby may receive the supplement, but both parties may not receive the supplement. Learn more about Teen Parenting.

 

Educational Travel Reimbursement

You may be eligible for special funding (known as the educational travel reimbursement, or school of origin funding) if you are transporting a child to a school more than three miles away from your home. A child’s “school of origin” is, in most cases, the school that he or she was attending before they were placed in your home. Funding may be available to transport the child to their school of origin in order to maintain stability and continuity in their education. You may also be eligible for other transportation support. Learn more about the role you play as a foster parent in Foster Youth Education.

Relative Caregiver Funding

As a relative caregiver or non-related extended family member, you are eligible for all of the funding opportunities outlined on this page. You may also be eligible to receive additional assistance from the programs below:

Kin-GAP

The Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment program (Kin-GAP) is available to eligible children who are permanently placed with a relative legal guardian upon the closing of their dependency case.

Movement to Kin-GAP is not automatic. The court, with a recommendation from the county social worker or probation officer, has discretion regarding whether termination of court involvement is in the child’s best interest. Relative caregiver’s participation in Kin-GAP is strictly voluntary, and not mandated by any regulations or statutes.

To learn more about Kin-GAP, call the Resource Family Hotline at 1 (800) 697-4444.

Kin-GAP Program

 

Approved Relative Caregiver Program

The Approved Relative Caregiver program (ARC) extends cash aid benefits to relative caregivers who care for children who are ineligible to receive federal Foster Care benefits, otherwise known as Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care (AFDC-FC). If eligible, you can receive an ARC payment on behalf of the child which is equal to the current foster care rate.

To find out if you are eligible to begin receiving ARC payments, call the Resource Family Hotline at 1 (800) 697-4444.

Approved Relative Caregiver Program

Adoption Assistance Program

Because a foster child doesn’t stop having needs simply as the result of leaving foster care via adoption, the Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) benefit is given to adoptive families to facilitate providing for the needs of the child after the adoption.

Adopted youth are eligible to receive AAP benefits from the date of adoptive placement through age 18, with the benefit amount eligible for reassessment at minimum every 2 years or sooner upon the family’s request. Some may qualify for an extension under AB12, which extends foster care to age 21.

AAP funding mirrors that of Approved Resource Family Funding. Similarly, if the child has special needs beyond basic care, the child’s Social Worker will work with the family to determine the maximum AAP Benefit Amount or any additional funding for which that child is eligible and negotiate that benefit amount with the family.

Families can choose to receive their monthly benefit immediately or enter into a deferred agreement, which allows them to request their benefit any before the child 18.

Funding Issues

If you are not receiving funding or the wrong amount of funding, please call the Resource Family Helpline at (800) 697-4444 or email FCHL@dcfs.lacounty.gov and eligibility workers will be able to look up your case and payment status.

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Child Protection Hotline

24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Toll Free within California

(800) 540-4000

Outside of California

(213) 639-4500

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(800) 272-6699