I am doing a college paper, and I am looking for the 2012 foster care reimbursement rate for children age 5 years & under in Florida.
My paper is on the moral/ethical responsibility of the states to adequately provide financially for the care of these little ones. Some points I plan to address are as follows...
Are foster parents financially reimbursed realistically to meet the true life cost of providing for these children? Or are the children simply being moved from an unacceptable household with the hope that somehow the foster parent(s) will make due?
Why do the authorities believe $440.00 (...or whatever the 2012 rate is) is adequate to provide for the needs of infants/toddlers/preschoolers?
How did they arrive at that figure? What are they using as the measuring stick? The poverty line? $5,280.00 a year would barely cover diapers/pull-ups, clothing (which they out grow almost immediately), OTC medication (baby Ora-gel, children's Tylenol, etc.) not to mention birthdays and holidays (Christmas, Easter, etc.).
I have a good friend who's 4 year old cousin was placed in foster care last year and he has not received a single Birthday or Christmas gift since. No Birthday party - but he did get "A Cupcake." When questioned, the foster mother said "The State doesn't provide me with enough funds for even the basics and it just wasn't in my budget." However, she would not divulge the amount she receives monthly.
Is this an accurate statement, or Is the state reimbursement adequate?
Perhaps I will have to adjust my first research paper to present what a terrific moral/ethical job the state is doing and how well these children are provided for financially. I would be happy to discover this is the case.
I know there are foster homes in Florida where the children receive nice things, have big parties, and receive terrific gifts. In April my final paper will be on those foster situations as the positive humanistic/emotional aspect of the first paper is supposed to be the focus. For right now I am restricted to a narrow issue "State funding for young foster children - Morally & Ethically Just or Bankrupt?"
Please provide the reimbursement information so I will have the current figures when I interview officials. Any additional information you feel comfortable sharing would be greatly appreciated.
**All sources (other than the officials I interview) will only be referenced to as Anonymous Source #1 Clearwater, Anonymous Source #2 Palm Harbor, Anonymous Source #3 St Petersburg, etc.**
Thank you in advance for any assistance.