Foster Care Board Rates FAQ

What are foster care board rates?

Foster care board rates are monthly payments to resource parents from DCF to help them provide for children in care with things like:

  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Transportation
  • Entertainment

Do foster care board rates differ from one child to another?

Yes, foster care board rates differ based on three factors relating to the child in question:

  • Age
  • Emotional Needs
  • Medical/physical needs

Resource parents of older children will receiver more than those of younger children, just as parents of children with special needs will receive more than those of children without.  The exact rate will be determined following a Resource Family Rate Assessment.

How are foster care board rates determined?

Foster care board rates are determined through the following process:

  1. Caseworker visits home to conduct RFRA
  2. Caseworker will ask questions to determine the degree to which the family needs assistance with their child’s needs
  3. The caseworker convenes with CP&P staff to determine what board rate level the parent will receive, then enters the findings into the NJ Spirit system to solidify the rate and enter it into CP&P records. 

When are assessments conducted?

Assessments are conducted on a recurring basis.  New RFRAs are conducted:

  • At least every three months
  • Whenever a child moves from one home to another
  • When the child’s needs or circumstances change
  • When a child’s acuity is reassessed by a nurse

What do I need to know before an assessment is conducted?

Prior to an assessment, resource parents should gather any documentation relating to the child’s mental, physical and behavioral health. 

When time comes for the assessment, resource parents should be able to report roughly how many hours per week they spend:

  • Transporting the child
  • Providing educational support
  • Dealing with chronic health issues and destructive behavior
  • Catering to the child’s physical and behavioral issues
  • Participating in therapy with the child
  • Working with the child’s birth parents 

What are the foster care board rate levels in New Jersey?

As discussed on our website, there are  4 levels of board rate, each with a different compensation plan based on the age of a given child.  To give you an idea of the overall range, here are the Level A (least needs) and Level D (most needs) rates for each age range:

Level A:

  • 0-5 years: 763
  • 6-9 years: 845
  • 10-12: 872
  • 13+: 907
  • Minor Parent: 1,737.40

Level D:

  • 0-5 years: 913
  • 6-9 years: 995
  • 10-12: 1022
  • 13+: 1057
  • Minor Parent: 1,887.40

Can I ask for a new assessment if I feel that my child’s needs have changed? Can foster care board rates change? 

Your foster care board rate may change after each Resource Family Rate Assessment.  However, if you feel your child’s needs have changed, you can and should request a new assessment by contacting your caseworker immediately.  If, after an assessment, CP&P deems that your child’s level of need has increased based on the information the caseworker provides, your board rate will increase. 

What is the difference between a foster care board rate and a subsidy?

Board rates refer to the monthly payments received by foster parents and subsidies refer to the monthly payments received by adoptive parents.

I adopted a child from foster care.  Can I ask for my subsidy to be increased?

Yes.  After you’ve adopted a child you can request an increased subsidy just like a foster parent can ask for an increased foster care board rate.  KLG parents are the only parents who cannot receive an increased subsidy.

Author: Frank Alvarez, Digital Content Creator

Frank Alvarez is the Digital Media Coordinator at Foster and Adoptive Family Services.

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