Foster care benefits are paid when the child meets one of the conditions below:
- The child is a dependent or ward of the Juvenile Court who is placed and supervised by the Social Services Agency or Probation Department.
- The child is voluntarily placed by his/her parent through the Social Services Agency or Probation Department.
- The child is living with a nonrelated legal guardian and is supervised by the Social Services Agency or Probation Department.
- The child is living with a relative and the child meets certain eligibility criteria.
Foster Care payments vary with the type and location of the child’s placement, the age of the child, any specialized care which may be authorized for the child, and/or any special needs the child may have. Foster care payments are not income to the caregiver.
Payments are intended to help cover the costs of: the child’s food, clothing, personal needs, transportation, entertainment, shelter needs, and supervision/parenting needs .
Foster children can receive foster care cash assistance through:
- State Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care (State AFDC-FC) – a blend of State and County funds.
- Federal Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care (Federal AFDC-FC) – a blend of Federal, State, and County funds.
- If the child is placed with a relative, the only available foster care funding source is Federal AFDC-FC. If the child does not qualify for Federal AFDC-FC (or sometimes referred to as Yoakum*), the relative caregiver will be told to apply for California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) as a Non-Needy Relative Caretaker.
*Miller v. Yoakum is the 1979 United States Supreme Court case that directs local child welfare agencies to pay relative caregivers the same rate non-relative caregivers are given, provided the child meets Federal eligibility requirements and the caregiver’s home meets foster home licensing/approval requirements.
NOTE: The child may lose AFDC-FC eligibility if the parent moves into the home in which the foster child resides.
NOTE: A child placed with a relative specified under Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is eligible for Federal AFDC-FC or State AFDC-FC.
Chart I: A Comparison of Financial Benefits – Compares factors in regards to AAP, CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, and AFDC-FC.
Relative Caregiver’s Guide to Benefits – Steps to understanding, applying for and receiving the appropriate benefits for foster children.