Uniform Foster Care Rate Policy
Below is a very basic outline of the funding structure for foster care parents and families. All cases require an extensive review to establish both eligibility and rate structure.
For more information concerning foster care funding please contact the Florence County Foster Care Program at (715) 528-3296. Thank you!
The Uniform Foster Care Rate for Wisconsin’s foster care programs was established in accordance with s. 48.62(4) Stats., to provide consistency in foster care payments. The basic maintenance rates are designed to meet the maintenance needs of the child and are intended to provide for the basic costs of raising a foster child (i.e., food, shelter, basic transportation, personal and recreational needs, clothing). Foster children who require more than the usual care and supervision may receive a supplemental or exceptional rate payment based on the needs of the child.
For purposes of this policy, the terms “foster child,” “foster home,” “foster parent,” and “foster care” relate to licensed family foster homes and family-operated group homes.
This policy applies to children in foster care placed by agencies who have “Placement and Care Responsibility.” The agency refers to either a county agency or the department.
This does not apply to a child placed or to be placed into a foster home that is licensed solely for the purpose of adoption of a domestic infant under s. 48.837, Stats., or a foreign child under s. 48.839 or 48.97, Stats.
Agencies must assure all actions of either agency or contracted provider staff comply with this policy.
The four components of the Uniform Foster Care Rate are defined as follows:
Initial Clothing Allowance: an allowance for the actual cost of clothing needed by a child upon initial entry into foster care. The allowance may not exceed the maximum amount specified for the child’s age. The placement of a child in foster care 120 days or more after the child has been removed from out-of-home care shall be considered to be an initial placement. The maximum rates are established by the Department by this policy.
Basic Maintenance Rate: a fixed monthly payment for the usual and customary costs incurred in caring for a foster child (including food, clothing, shelter, personal care, transportation, recreation) as determined for Level 1 foster parents by the certification of the provider or by the age of the child. These rates are established biennially by the Wisconsin Legislature.
Supplemental Rate: an additional monthly payment intended to cover the costs of caring for a child whose needs exceed normal limits of care and supervision for that child’s age. The descriptors (i.e., criteria) are established by the Department by administrative rule. The funding levels associated with these descriptors are established by the Department by this policy.
Exceptional Rate: an additional monthly payment for caring for a child whose needs may be so extreme that the basic maintenance and supplemental payments do not provide sufficient funding to ensure the child’s care in the foster home and to prevent placement in a more restrictive setting. The criteria are established by the Department by administrative rule. The funding level associated with these criteria are indirectly established by the Department by this policy through the establishment of a maximum monthly foster care payment.