Legislative Priorities: Increase Foster Care Rates
View the complete legislative priorities rate sheet here.
MAINTAIN SAFETY NET FOR CHILDREN: FUND ONE-HALF OF THE GAP, A 14 PERCENT RATE INCREASEHHSC Rate Increase Request:
A 14% across-the-board foster care rate increase
is the minimum amount needed to protect the foster care safety net.
General Revenue (GR): $67.8 million ; $35.2 million in federal funds, Biennial All Funds: $103 million
- Foster care rates are 28.5% under-funded.
- A 14% rate increase addresses half of the reimbursement deficit based on the HHSC FY 2014-2015 Consolidated Budget.
- In 2003 rates were reimbursed at 90% of cost and have dropped to 71% (projected 2014) because of unfunded requirements and insufficient rate increases.
ENSURE SAFETY AND FOSTER CARE REDESIGNSafety of Children:
Foster care rates fund the supervision, screening, and training necessary to keep kids safe while in care. Severe under-funding directly impacts the safety of children.
Foster Care Redesign:
Redesign depends on foster care rates as its primary source of funding. Foster Care Redesign will result in better outcomes for children, increase accountability and quality of services in a child’s home community.
FOSTER CARE REDESIGN GUIDING PRINCIPLES
- First and foremost, children are safe in their placements.
- Children are placed in their home communities.
- Children are appropriately served in the least restrictive environment that supports minimal moves.
- Connections to family and others important to the child are maintained.
- Children are placed with siblings.
- Services respect the child's culture.
- To be fully prepared for successful adulthood, children and youth are provided opportunities, experiences and activities similar to those experienced by their non-foster care peers.
- Children and youth are provided opportunities to participate in decisions that impact their lives.
TEXAS FOSTER CAREWho Are the Children in Foster Care:
Source: DFPS 2012 Data Book
- There were 16,697 children in foster care in FY 2012. These are children who have been rescued from unsafe, often abusive homes, and given shelter, treatment and care by the state of Texas, which assumes parental responsibility for each child.
- 82% of the children in foster care were placed in foster family settings. (HHSC Forecast)
- 91% of the children in foster care are cared for by private organizations, which are
- primarily non-profit. (HHSC Forecast)
- Children removed from their homes represent all ethic groups: African American, 15.8%; Hispanic, 46.7%; Anglo, 31.2%.
- 60% of confirmed abuse/neglect victims are six years old or younger.
- In 2012, 6,471 children were awaiting adoption, 445 more children than in 2010.
VALUE OF INVESTMENT: FOSTER CARE RATES FUND ENTIRE SERVICE DELIVERY STRUCTUREFood and Shelter:
Housing (foster home or residential setting), food, clothing.
Identify and deliver all services to the child, including: transportation to visit family, court appearances, therapy sessions, school and recreational activities. Case management of child’s service plan, coordination with DFPS, identification of community supports.
Safety and Protection:
24-hour supervision and support for foster families and staff; training of all families and staff; crisis intervention protocols; criminal checks for all who have contact with children; staff expertise to meet
licensing and contract standards and outcomes.
Recruitment, training, support for foster families and staff; facility expense and maintenance; new facility development; human resource, operational, and management expense; insurance and liability costs.
Quality assurance protocols; personnel costs and benefits; liability protection; IT systems to manage data and outcomes.
Legislative Forum and Membership Meeting MaterialsView the complete legislative priorities rate sheet here.
Legislative Forum presentation
Foster Care Redesign presentation