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How Much Do Foster Parents Get Paid in Massachusetts?
Raising a child comes with different costs — however, the state provides foster parents with a monthly stipend to help. Here’s what you can expect.
Becoming a foster parent in Massachusetts is more than a chance to provide a nurturing space for children in need. It’s an opportunity to change the course of an entire life for a child in care.
The demand for foster families in Massachusetts is high — especially since there are only around 5,100 licensed foster homes in the state with significantly more children in care.
However, raising a child comes with different costs: healthy food, clothing, and recreational activities are all needed for their upbringing. To help with these costs, prospective foster parents in Massachusetts are eligible for a stipend which assists in managing these costs.
This financial assistance from the state of Massachusetts is intended solely for raising a child in care. Becoming a foster parent is not employment or a job — it’s an opportunity to make a difference.
This is why foster parents need to have a stable income source apart from the state-provided stipend. Having more information about the stipend can help you with your financial planning if you would like to foster a child in care, so let’s look at the numbers in more detail.
What Factors Change the Stipend in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts, just like in many other parts of the US, the amount of the foster care stipend can vary based on two key factors:
- The age of the foster child
- The child's medical care requirements
In Massachusetts, the stipend is calculated on a daily basis. As children in care get older, the amount also goes up — this is because older children often have different needs.
Unfortunately, many children in care have experienced trauma. Providing for a child who is healing from neglect or abuse may require additional, specialized support, which can be more expensive. The same goes for children with complex medical needs.
In such situations, foster parents in Massachusetts might receive a higher stipend to ensure they can offer the best care possible.
Stipend Rates in the State of Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, the DCF (Department of Children and Families) provides a daily stipend with the rates as follows, effective July 1, 2023:
- For children ages 0-5, $32.10 per day
- For children ages 6-12, $36.38 per day
- For children ages 13 and up, $38.00 per day
Aside from the base stipend, the state will also provide $50 each year to help pay for a birthday gift. When the holidays roll around, you will also receive $100 to help pay for any holiday gifting.
Additional Financial Help for Foster Parents in Massachusetts
For foster parents in Massachusetts, there are other financial support options available as well.
Here are a few to consider.
Massachusetts provides a set amount to their foster parents to help pay for clothing for a child in care. This payment comes once every three months for every child in care in your home.
The amounts are:
- For children ages 0-5, $318.74
- For children ages 6-12, $328.76
- For children ages 13 and up, $395.51
Having properly fitting clothing that is seasonally appropriate is important — especially in Massachusetts, where temperatures can drop below freezing. This additional stipend supports your ability to care for a child.
All children in foster care in Massachusetts are entitled to comprehensive health benefits through MassHealth, which includes:
- Full health insurance
- Dental care
- Mental health services
- Coverage for certain medications
Children in care under five years old also qualify for the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutrition program. This program offers several benefits to young children and their caregivers, such as:
- Guidance on nutrition
- Provision of food supplies
- Referrals for healthcare services
Adolescent Support Options
Foster parents to a teenager may have some additional benefits that they can receive. The best option is to reach out to your foster case worker, and they can tell you more about Adolescent Outreach Services you may qualify for.
Learn More About Foster Care In Our Upcoming Webinar
Looking for more information about foster care in Massachusetts? If so, our upcoming webinar can give you the answers.
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.
Mentor Foster Care has offices all over Massachusetts, including:
Sign up for our webinar today, or call our local office to get started!