“What are the incentives for interested Oregonians to take in a foster child?” —Vanessa Holmgren
We’re digging into Vanessa’s question for our series on foster care, and if you are or have been a foster parent, we’d love to know: What convinced you to take the leap?
One thing we learned this week is that the incentives for becoming a foster parent are definitely not about money. According to the latest federal data, it costs more than $13,000/year — or $1,100/month — to raise a child in a major city like Portland.
By comparison, the base stipend that foster families receive from the state ranges from $693/month for a young child to $795/month for a teenager. Oregon does offer some additional funding for professional childcare expenses, but most families aren’t eligible for it, and the reimbursements are capped at $375/month.
When you crunch those numbers, it becomes clear that fostering is at best a break-even proposition — so what exactly is it that brings people into the fold? Share your take here, and subscribe to the Bridgeliner newsletter for updates on what we learn.