Foster Care

What Does South Carolina Pay For Foster Care? Our Guide

Although foster parents need to have a stable income, South Carolina provides a stipend to help with necessities. Here’s what you should know!

Becoming a foster parent in South Carolina is a way to help a child who needs a home. 

However, taking care of a child costs money — things like food, clothes, hobbies, and activities all come with costs!

In South Carolina, foster parents need to have their own stable income — but the state also gives them a stipend every month to help with the costs of caring for a foster child. It’s a little extra help to make a difference in the life of a child in care — not a form of employment.

What Influences the Stipend Amount in South Carolina?

Not every foster parent receives the same stipend for a child in care — there are two things that influence the amount:

  1. The age of the child in care
  2. Their medical care plans

In South Carolina, the base amount that foster parents are given every month by the state goes up as a child in care gets older. This is because as a child grows, they have different care needs.

A child in care may also be living with complex medical needs that call for specialized care with higher costs. In these cases, foster parents may be given a larger stipend to be able to provide the best possible care.

South Carolina’s Foster Care Stipend Rates

Starting July 1, 2023, South Carolina has new payment rates for foster parents working independently from home.

  • For kids aged 0-5 years, foster parents receive $644 every month. That's about $21.47 for each day. This amount helps cover things like baby food, diapers, and the extra care little kids need.
  • For children aged 6-12 years, foster parents will receive $752 each month, which is roughly $25.07 per day. This helps cover clothing, bedding, and other things children need as they grow.
  • For teenagers and young adults aged 13-21 years, the monthly amount is the highest at $794, or about $26.47 each day. This higher amount helps pay for things like larger shoes, school needs, and getting ready for adulthood.

This monthly stipend from the state is designed to help foster parents with the everyday costs of looking after a child. The money is for basic things like healthy food, safe housing, and clothes. The stipend is support for financially stable foster parents to help kids in care and ensure they  have what they need to live life well, just like any other kid.

Additional Financial Help for Foster Care in South Carolina

When you're a foster parent in South Carolina, you have access to additional support from the state to help with the needs of a foster child. Here's an overview of the different types of help available:

  • Medicaid - Almost every child in foster care has access to Medicaid, which is state health insurance.
    • Through Medicaid, foster parents don't have to pay for the child's medical appointments or medicines.
    • It usually covers things like counseling and mental health services too.
  • Daycare vouchers - Since 2022, all children in care in South Carolina are eligible for daycare vouchers. These vouchers help foster parents with daycare costs so they can work.
    • Even if you're getting Social Security Disability payments, you can still get these vouchers.
    • In a two-parent foster home, both parents need to receive disability income to qualify.
    • To use these vouchers, the daycare must be part of the ABC quality program.
    • If you're new to foster care, talk to your Family Licensing Support case worker or the child’s case worker to apply.
  • WIC vouchers - The WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program gives vouchers for healthy food and baby formula.
    • All children in care in South Carolina who are 0-5 years old automatically qualify.
    • You'll need to sign the child up at your local WIC office, which might need an appointment.
  • Clothing stipend - When a child in care is placed with you, you'll typically receive $100 to help buy clothes for them.
    • This is given as a paper check.
    • If the child stays with you for a longer time, you'll also get a quarterly stipend to buy new clothes or seasonal items like jackets.

These additional forms of support are designed to ease the burden on foster parents, ensuring that they can provide for a foster child’s basic needs without financial strain.

Learn More About Foster Care In Our Upcoming Webinar

Looking for more information about South Carolina foster care? 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. 

Sign up for our webinar today, or call our local office to get started!

Sign Up For The Webinar

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