Becoming a certified foster parent is actually quite affordable. The required preplacement training is free, and there are no fees for working with an agency. Some agencies pay all the costs of getting certified. However, your agency may require you to cover a few costs associated with the licensing process, such as:
- Criminal background checks
- Medical forms signed by a doctor for the entire family
- Any furniture or equipment needed for the children who may be placed in your home, such as a bed, crib, car seat or storage for their belongings.
- Transportation to get to appointments and training
You will receive a daily per diem (paid monthly) to cover the costs of living expenses such as food, diapers, transportation and new clothes. In Ohio, the daily rate is different for each agency, and additional money is available for special circumstances. The state covers health insurance for foster children − including doctor visits, counseling, therapy and prescription medications—through Medicaid.
If you’re doing it right, foster parenting shouldn’t be a way to make extra money each month. The stipends should go toward caring for the children, including their basic needs and activities.