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Resources for foster parents

Licensed approved foster parents are eligible for the following supportive services.

Overview

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) offers a range of support services to foster parents and the children they look after. These services include support groups and parenting advice for foster parents. DCF also provides health care coverage for foster children and a stipend to foster parents to cover the cost of providing daily care to the foster children residing in their home.

When you’re a foster parent, you’ll work with a family resource worker who visits your home every other month or as needed. Your foster child will also have a social worker assigned to them through DCF. These 2 contacts can help you navigate the services available and get support when you need it.

Financial support

DCF provides a daily stipend and a clothing allowance every 3 months for each foster child in your home. The amount is determined by their ages.

Child's age Daily stipend Clothing allowance
0-5 $22.47 $200.74
6-12 $25.32 $203.26
13 or older $26.75 $282

You’ll also receive $50 to help pay for a birthday gift and $100 for holiday gifts for each foster child each year.

You may also be reimbursed for other expenses in special circumstances depending on your foster child’s needs. Contact your foster care social worker for more information.

If you’re having issues with receiving payments, call the Payment Assistance Line at (800) 632-8218 or (617) 748-2442.

Health coverage

MassHealth provides all foster children with:

  • Health coverage
  • Dental coverage
  • Mental health coverage
  • Payment for some medications

Your foster child’s biological parents should continue to be involved in their medical care whenever possible.

If you’re fostering a child under the age of 5, they’re also eligible for the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutrition program.

WIC provides young children and their guardians:

  • Nutrition counseling
  • Food
  • Referrals to health services

Support for foster parents

Foster or pre-adoptive parent support groups are available across Massachusetts. These groups usually meet once a month and give parents the opportunity to get together, share their experiences, and learn.

Kid’s Net provides a range of support services to foster parents, including:

  • Kid’s Net Connection — An evening helpline at (800) 486-3730, open from 5 p.m.–9 a.m. on weekdays and 24 hours on weekends.
  • Respite — Preplanned time off from foster parenting.
  • Mentorships and support groups — Family resource liaisons, the Massachusetts Alliance for Families, and ongoing conferences help foster parents make connections in their communities.
  • Ongoing trainings on important topics for foster parents.
  • Short-term child care — Babysitting for parents to attend to foster-care-related business or meet other needs with advance notice.

Adolescent services

If you’re a foster parent to an adolescent, there are a variety of support services and scholarships available. Ask your social worker to connect you with DCF's Adolescent Outreach Services.

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