Foster Care

Foster Care Stipend in Pennsylvania - What You Should Know

PA offers a stipend to foster parents to help with costs. However, it’s not meant to be an incentive to foster. Here’s what you should know.

Like many states, Pennsylvania urgently needs foster parents who are ready to open their homes and hearts to children in need. 

  • Currently, there are around 15,000 children in foster care in Pennsylvania looking for stable and loving homes. 
  • While fostering brings significant emotional rewards, it's important to recognize the associated costs — expenses like food, clothing, educational needs, and extracurricular activities can add up. 
  • There’s no price tag on the joy and well-being of a child, but managing a budget and expenses is a necessary part of life!

Pennsylvania offers a monthly stipend to foster parents to assist with these costs, similar to other states. 

This financial support ensures foster children can access the necessary resources for a fulfilling and healthy life. 

However, we can’t emphasize this enough: 

The stipend isn’t a form of income or employment but rather a measure to help foster parents care for the child’s needs. Prospective foster parents in Pennsylvania need a stable source of income independent of the state’s financial help. 

Here’s what you need to know about the foster care stipend in Pennsylvania:

What Factors Affect the Foster Care Stipend in Pennsylvania? 

The state of Pennsylvania determines the amount paid to foster parents using three different factors:

    • The age of the child in care - In Pennsylvania, the financial support offered to foster parents differs depending on the age of the child in care. 
      • This approach recognizes that the requirements and expenses involved in raising a child can vary significantly as they age. 
      • Younger children might need distinct types of care and resources compared to older children or teenagers, and financial assistance can accommodate these changing needs.
    • Medically complex needs - Some children in care have special medical needs that require more intensive care and resources. 
      • Foster parents in Pennsylvania who care for children with complex medical conditions may be eligible for an increased stipend. 
      • This additional support allows them to provide the necessary care and attention to enhance these children's quality of life.
      • Mentor Foster Care, one of Sevita’s companies, provides therapeutic foster care for children with additional medical needs. 
    • Location - Different regions in Pennsylvania have different rates. For example, Erie pays parents differently than foster parents located in Philadelphia. 
The primary purpose of these stipends is to enable foster parents to effectively meet the child's needs, whether basic or more specialized.

Stipend Rates in PA

In Pennsylvania, as we mentioned above, stipend rates vary within the state. 

For example, in Erie, basic foster care stipend rates range from $448.50 to $622.50 per month. For parents of children in care with medically complex needs, these rates are increased to between $673.20 and $1250.10 per month

On the other hand, Philadelphia has different rates.

For general foster care:

  • For children aged 0 to 12, the stipend is $889 per month.
  • For children aged 13 and older, the stipend is $1189 per month.

For children who require emergency care, the rates are increased:

  • The emergency care stipend for children aged 0 to 12 is $1751 per month.
  • For children aged 13 and older, the emergency care stipend is $2051 per month.

Additionally, for children with special needs, the stipends are further adjusted:

  • The stipend for special needs care for children aged 0 to 12 is $1571 per month.
  • For children aged 13 and older, the stipend for special needs care is $1871 per month.

Your best option is to consult your foster care organization. They can provide the best information about the stipend rates that apply to your location. 

Additional Support For Foster Parents in Pennsylvania

Foster parents in Pennsylvania may also have access to additional support options beyond the monthly stipend. 

For example, Medicaid provides comprehensive coverage for medical and dental needs for children in care throughout Pennsylvania. It's best to contact your partner organization, and they can provide details about the support available. 

For instance, organizations like Pennsylvania Mentor Foster Care offer essential items that are required by the state for a foster home, including:

  • Fire extinguishers
  • Lockboxes
  • CO detectors
  • The cost of home repairs (depending on the type)
  • The cost of first aid/CPR courses
  • The cost of animal vaccinations

Ready to Learn More About Becoming a Foster Parent? 

Are you looking for more information about foster care in Pennsylvania? 

By attending a Foster Parent Information Session Webinar and learning more about the fostering process, you can take the first step toward becoming a foster parent and providing a safe, loving, and supportive home for a child in need. 

Sign up for the webinar today, or contact a Mentor Foster Care location in Pennsylvania to get started.

Sign Up For The Webinar →


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