Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities

Disclaimer

 

 

Uniform Foster Care Rate For Workers

All licensed foster parents receive a foster care payment to reimburse for the care of a foster child, called the Uniform Foster Care Rate. The Uniform Foster Care rate is determined for all foster children whose foster care rate is paid directly to foster parents by:

  • A County Department of Social or Human Services
  • The Department of Children and Families
  • A private Child Placing Agency under contract with a public agency.

The foster care licensing agency will provide foster parents with information explaining the Uniform Foster Care Rate, reimbursement amounts, clothing allowances, and how to appeal the foster care rate.

What is the Uniform Foster Care Rate?

The Uniform Foster Care Rate (UFCR) is a non-taxable payment given to foster parents to pay for the cost of caring for a foster child. More information about the Uniform Foster Care Rate can be found in the:

There are four parts of the Uniform Foster Care Rate:

  • Basic maintenance rate
  • Supplemental Rate
  • Exceptional Rate
  • Initial Clothing Allowance. 

All of the components of the Uniform Foster Care Rate are designed to maintain the child in the foster home.

What is the Basic Maintenance Rate?

A statutorily set dollar amount by the Legislature and published by the department. The current basic maintenance rates described in the Understanding the Uniform Foster Care Rate brochure (DCF-P-PFS0142).

Based on the age of the foster child:

  • Birth to 4 years
  • 5-11 years
  • 12-14 years
  • 15 years and older

Used to reimburse foster parents for the basic expenses of caring for a foster child:

  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Housing
  • Basic transportation
  • Personal care
  • Other expenses

All licensed foster parents are eligible for the Basic Maintenance Rate.

What is the Supplemental Rate?

Additional monthly payment based on the emotional, behavioral, and physical needs of the foster child that exceed normal child development and expectations.

Determined on a case-by-case basis by:

Only licensed foster parents certified as a level 2 or higher are eligible for the supplemental payments.

What is the Exceptional Rate?

Additional monthly payment to support the care of a foster child whose level of needs are above and beyond what is covered by the Basic and Supplemental portions of the foster care rate.

Foster parents who get an Exceptional Rate payment are providing care for children who are at-risk of placement in higher level out-of-home care settings.

The Exceptional Rate may reimburse foster parents for the following:

  • To enable the child to be placed or remain in a foster home instead of being placed or remaining in a more restrictive setting
  • To enable the placement of siblings or minor parent and minor children together
  • To assist with transportation to the school the child was attending prior to placement in out-of-home care
  • To replace a child’s basic wardrobe that has been lost or destroyed in a manner other than normal wear and tear
  • For a child placed in a foster home before February 21, 2011, and who remains placed in that foster home, to equalize the total payment amount lost by the child’s foster parent due to the implementation of the method of determining supplemental payments as described above

Only licensed foster parents certified as a level 2 or higher are eligible for the exceptional payments.

What is the Initial Clothing Allowance?

Foster parents may also get an Initial Clothing Allowance when a child first enters foster care to help pay for the child’s clothing needs. The Initial Clothing Allowance is a one-time reimbursement and is a set dollar amount based upon the child’s age:

  • Birth to 4 years
  • 5-11 years
  • 12-14 years
  • 15 years and older

Foster parents may receive an Initial Clothing Allowance when:

  • A child first enters foster care.
  • A child is placed in foster care 120 days or more after a previous foster care placement episode was terminated.

All licensed foster parents are eligible for the Initial Clothing Allowance.

How is the Uniform Foster Care Rate determined?

The Basic Maintenance Rate is a set dollar amount based on the age of the foster child and is set by the State Legislature. Either the child’s caseworker or the foster home licensor will meet with the foster parents to discuss the needs of the child and recommend whether or not the foster child qualifies for a Supplemental Rate or Exceptional Rate and the amount of that additional reimbursement.

This recommendation should be made within:

  • 30 days after the child’s placement in the foster home; and
  • no less than every 6 months after. 

No monthly payment for the combined Basic Maintenance Rate, Supplemental Rate, and Exceptional Rate may be above $2,000.00.

Can the Supplemental Rate or Exceptional Rate be changed?

Foster parents may request a redetermination of the rate at any time. Specific information must be submitted to the agency for approval. The specific information should include:

  • A description of the child’s needs or condition.
  • An explanation of the request for additional reimbursement
  • The recommended additional dollar amount.

A rate setter within the agency will determine the final reimbursement amount.

What if foster parents do not agree with the rate?

Foster parents may ask that the rate be re-determined. Foster parents may talk about their concerns with the rate setter and the agency director.

If the foster parents still disagree with the rate, they have the right to appeal the foster care rate through the fair hearing process.

More questions?

Contact Information

Out-of-Home Care Specialist
Bureau of Permanence and Out-of-Home Care
Division of Safety and Permanence
Telephone:  (608) 422-6937
Fax:  (608) 422-7157