Foster parents in Connecticut will receive a retroactive $100-a-month pay bump after the governor and the state child welfare agency decided to peel off about $1.1 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds for that purpose.
The supplemental aid from the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, the largest of the early coronavirus stimulus bills, will be distributed retroactively to foster parents who were caring for children in the months of August, September and October.
“During the pandemic, many foster parents faced additional responsibilities of caring for children, many of whom are receiving school services remotely and have been unable to access other supports,” said Gov. Ned Lamont (D), in a statement announcing the payments.. “That clearly warranted an additional reimbursement in recognition of efforts that go beyond the rigorous demands we make of foster parents on a regular basis.”
The supplemental payments will be made on a per-child basis to non-relatives, kinship caregivers and therapeutic foster homes who cared for any of the 3,697 children in foster care during the three month period from August to October, according to the state Department of Children and Families. About 40 percent of foster youth in Connecticut live with relatives, according to federal data; as of March 2020, there were 1,010 relatives with active placements of foster youth.
Among the additional financial pressures caregivers have faced: working parents who must be around the house now to help children with distance learning; increased internet expenses and lunches.