I Foster For the Money


19 Feb 2015

If you want to evoke the passion of a quality foster parent, please spew the phrase, “Foster parents are only in it for the money.”

This short phrase will no doubt be reciprocated with a smile, a deep breath and silence as they work to channel Jesus and try hard not to unleash the whirlwind of emotions and fury this statement conjures.

If that statement was even worth arguing, this is what you might hear in response from a quality foster parent.

 

That $1.05 an hour makes it all worth it…

-When I pick children up at midnight and have to take them to the hospital for sexual assault exams

-When a child comes to my home with lice and I have to spend 4 hours treating, combing and picking nits all while trying to be silly and laugh so she doesn’t feel ashamed

-When I am awakened in the night by the shrill screams of a traumatized child who relives abuse night after night in her dreams

-When I have to explain to my bio children at 3 AM that she was just dreaming. No one is in her bedroom hurting her

-When I have to train that eight-year-old night after night to get up at 1AM to use the bathroom rather than poop in his bed

-When I have to be taught by a nurse how to clean and care for a little girl’s rape wounds

-When I am called a bitch and screamed at because of all the bottled up anger that teen girl has toward her mother. But I am the only mother still standing who will bear it

-When I have to teach that 11-year-old how to properly shower because we are on day 5 of the fake showers and I can’t stand the smell any longer

-When I have to tell that raging 13-year-old girl, no, she isn’t allowed to have a boyfriend, regardless of the fact that her mom let her have her first real boyfriend and become sexually active at age 11

-When a child tells me how her previous foster mother threatened to cut her fingers off if she stole her lipstick from her purse again.

-When I have to tell a teen that no, her father will not be prosecuted for the years of sexual abuse because of lack of physical evidence

-When I have to appear in court, stand beside that vile monster of a father and maintain my professionalism when I really just want to carry out one of the many glorious scenarios that run through my head

-When I get an unexpected email or call from the bio family

-When I wonder how they ^^^ got my personal email address and what other personal information do they have?

-When I worry about whether that bio parent will show up at my door

-When I argue with the school to change the bus stop to my front door so I know this child won’t be intercepted by a vindictive bio dad at the bus stop

-When a dear friend sincerely shares the stigma of foster parents being “a step above welfare recipients”

-When I am in public with my kids and an adult mentions to them that they look nothing like me

-When I am in public with my teen foster children, have my 1-year-old bio son on my hip and the comments flow about how I am crazy for “starting over again”

-When I have to look into the eyes of this child whom I love with every ounce of my being and give them back to the parent they don’t want to go home to

-When others do the math and judge me with their assumption that I must have been a very young teen mother, when in fact, I birthed my first child at age 30

-When I write my phone number in their shoes, inside the arm of their jacket and on other sneaky places with Sharpie marker so if they are ever being sexually abuse or beaten again, they can call me for help

-When I catch grief from those I love because their life is inconvenienced because I foster

-Five children, five weeks of colds only to then repeat

-The gut wrenching pain I feel when they go home

-The images I can never un-see

-The many appointments

-The running here, there and everywhere

-The constant listening ear

-The same conversations 100 times over

-The tantrums

-The stress

-The time away from my own children

 

So, yes, you got me.  I only foster for the money.

Why do you foster?

Oh wait…you don’t?

 

 

Thank a Foster Parent HERE

Thank a DCS Professional HERE

Follow me on FACEBOOK: THE FOSTER LIFE and TWITTER

 

Read More:

THE $100 VACATION PLAN

THE ANXIETY-FREE VACATION

THOSE FRIGHTENING TEEN FOSTER GIRLS

FOSTER CARE: THE FIRST 30 DAYS

YOU SHOULD JUST STOP FOSTERING

I COULD NEVER BE A FOSTER PARENT

FOSTER PARENTS CAN BE CRAPPY TOO

FOSTER FEARS: WHAT ABOUT MY OWN CHILDREN?

I FOSTER FOR THE MONEY

THOSE POOR FOSTER KIDS

THOSE CRAPPY DCS CASE WORKERS

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Jill Rippy

Being a foster mom is one of the biggest blessings of my life. Bio mom of two and foster mom to many, I count myself lucky to be on this foster journey. My mission is to change the lives of children who enter the foster care system and to recruit quality foster parents to join in this life changing work. I consider it a blessing to be a mother, foster mother, teacher, author and inspirer.

Comments

  1. Foster parents are amazing and such a blessing to the children who spend time in their care. For myself and those that can’t say it…thank you for opening up your heart and home to these children.

  2. You said it PERFECTLY! We apparently share not only the same views but the same website names:-) keep up the great work!

  3. Well said! Sharing this! Blessings!

  4. I am humbled. We are (fairly new) foster parents, and I’ll be honest I struggle with being prideful about it on the inside at times. I have experienced nearly none of these scenarios, YET. You have reminded me what serving looks like.

  5. I love the way you ended this. “Oh wait, you don’t?” It’s the same thing I want to say to people when they say “why adopt internationally?” Or “why adopt children with special needs?” Um excuse me, when you have adopted children of your own, THEN you and I can have a discussion about your thoughts on who should and shouldn’t be adopted!

  6. Sherrybreeden Says: February 21, 2015 at 3:58 am

    thank you for this post we’ll said. Because you also get puke all in your floors and kids that want to poop on floor and mouth at you and bedidtrucive d . This is just a few other things but foster parenting is rewarding because you are helping some sweet child that needs extra love. And help I love mynfosterçchnjju

  7. Wilbert Lowe Says: February 21, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Have been foster parent,s fourty three year,s.Had many children, adopted three, still at it. For money perish the thought, it is for the thought of making a difference in a child,s life. When first started in fostering did not get a penny for taking care of children. Still today we dont live in a mansion or drive the best car,s, But we still have and enjoy our children. If anyone is doing this for money shame on you, do it for love of children

  8. We have a daughter who is a foster parent and has worked through all the scenarios that have been mentioned. We are so proud of her giving of herself to these children who are so needy. We pray that we will never be a part of those who feel inconvenienced by our daughter’s foster relationships. We love and admire her for the scarifice she makes daily.

    • Tracey Hughes Says: May 5, 2016 at 4:22 pm

      That’s the nicest thing ever to hear about your daughter well done u for raising such a amazing big hearted Foster parent xxxx

  9. Jimmy Duncan Says: February 21, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    My wife and I have been foster parents for over 10 years, fostering over 75 children. We have encountered almost every scenario you have listed and then some… A few things I would like to add- you didn’t mention the stress added to your life, or the complications to your marriage as you can never have time with just your spouse… Having a romantic evening is almost impossible. And to top it off…. That $1 and change has to pay for a lot of things…. Food, clothing, the increase in utilities, laundry detergent, shampoo, gas to transport the children to appointments or visits, and every other financial need that comes with having a child. Yeah… We are in it for the money.

    People who don’t foster children, don’t understand. I recall a time that we were in line at Walmart, with our foster placement of six siblings. We overheard the people behind us in line talking about us… They said “obviously someone doesn’t know how to use birth control”. My wife and I just looked at each other and smiled. It makes it all the more funny that both my wife and I are Caucasian, and the children were mixed. I’m not sure how those people thought they could possibly be biologically ours.

    • Try being a bio parent of 6 mixed children and putting up with those comments about the babies you birthed (and are actually raising and caring for) yourself. It’s hurtful!

  10. wow you get paid GOOD 1.05 per hr I get less then 17 dollars a day so since I’m on 24 because I do new born babies I’m below you

    • Really Tanya? That’s what you got from this? Every foster parent is on 24-7, get over yourself.

    • Your right, she is rolling in the dough! :) We need to foster where she is, I would see my hourly ‘wage’ double. Then I could finally retire and buy that new sports car. I’m thinking red. 😉

  11. barb freeman Says: February 21, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Right on the money. We have fostered over 45 years.
    adopted 3. Thank you!

  12. Our daughter has been a foster mum for about 20yrs now, she had four children of her own,she adopted three of the foster children,she had them from being babies, the eldest now being sixteen yrs old, they all have a very happy family active life, we are so proud of our daughter, and her husband,and what they have achieved by fostering those children in the first place, and as grandparents, those little ones have enriched our lives so much, we love them all as our own. So to all foster mum’s where ever you are, i say a big thank you, for all you do to make little children’s lives a lot happier, and to make them know, they belong to someone who really loves them.God Bless you all. Mary Chaffey.

  13. After fostering three years, adopting three and fostering fifteen, I would do more if I could afford it. But fact is the little bit we get doesn’t really cover the cost and we are very grateful for the assistance of family, friends, and other foster parents. Being a foster parent takes skills like budgeting, buying in bulk, preplanning, and patience to a whole new level. It’s honestly not possible to do this for the money. Unless of course your plan is to have less of it!

  14. Anthony frazier Says: February 24, 2015 at 10:12 am

    We have been a resource home for 3 years and most of my issues ARE with DCS. Just another worthless inept gov agency.

    I read your story above and while touching, I was a little perturbed that you are insinuating that a man is always the cause of kids in foster care for sexual assault. While I know this is a huge problem, in my research both parents are to blame and is usually the result of drugs.

    Here’s a novile idea – start rounding up the drug pushers and executing them.

    I strongly dislike government, but would support a 3 strikes and your done reproducing law. If you bring a child into the world 3 times and your previous two children have already been taken into custody because of abuse and neglect, then its either 20 years in prision or sterilization – Both men and women.

    I do agree resouce parents are needed. State agencies and governments will never fix any problem.

    But that’s just my politically incorrect opinion.

    • You are really on point with what you think. I recall a news report afew years back regarding a mom and aunt who got a hotel room in downtown OKC and long story short, they let two heroine dealers rape and sodomize her two year old boy in exchange, which led to the dealers pouring bleach into the boy’s body both ways. He survived but personally, I wouldn’t call that lucky. Sterilization would be the best course of action fer countless people in this country and we should find a politician to write up a bill pertaining to this issue.

  15. gosh, this has made me re-think my desire to foster. Not sure I want to now….

  16. This was a nice article… Although, not all foster parents are like that.and some do take advantage of the funding. I was in 5 or 6 foster homes inside of a year and a half, maybe.. While the last couple that I was placed with were amazing Parents and we Loved each other dearly, I’ve also had some bad ones and not so nice ones. My brain actually blocked out some of the memories that I couldn’t bear to remember.. And even now it seems more like a pic.. But I do remember SOME things that I wish that I hadn’t.
    And I ABSOLUTELY have to say this… Not all bio parents are bad, awful people… Sometimes life is a lot more blood, sweat, and tears for one family and is kind to another…

  17. I think your saying all this just to make it sound like no one fosters for the money, to cover for those who really are fostering for the money. In Michigan, one child can be a $130 to $400 a DAY paychec, according to MicMichigan’s DHS page.

    http://michigan.gov/dhs/0,4562,7-124-60126_7117_7658-14898–,00.html

    During a divorce, my wife got temporary sole custody of my daughter and proved to be such an unfit mother that my daughter and her two siblings who have their own bio dads, were placed with a family who does play the game fer the money yet brags out every orifice how they are doing god’s work.
    Tell me how or why they brainwashed my daughter and my daughter’s older brother into saying I touched them when in fact I was never around her older brother since he was two years old which was over three years ago. Tell me why my daughter begged me to take her home every visit until six months after being with the foster family. Tell me why my daughter thought the world of me from the start but showed more & more resentment every time I had to tell her I couldn’t take her home with me everytime she begged me.

    Some foster families are a shining example of the best kinda people, but a LOT of y’all are in it for the money and you know it, and y’all are going straight to hell fer such a perverse lie in the name of God!

    • Jill Rippy Says: March 11, 2015 at 7:03 pm

      Jim,
      Thank you for your reply. I know there are foster parents that put the money in their pockets and treat their kids like garbage. In fact, I reference these types of parents in my article FOSTER PARENTS CAN BE CRAPPY TOO. If you look at my word choice, I specifically reference “quality foster parents” often because I know there are foster homes that are lacking.

      Also, I checked out the link you sent because I have NEVER heard of foster parents getting $130-400 a day. That is for RESIDENTIAL facilities as in therapeutic group homes, inpatient treatment etc. Most foster children never experience those types if facilities. Michigan foster parents receive around $20 a day per child.

      I appreciate your email, but I assure you, I will not be going “straight to hell,” as I know my Savior well. I hope you do as well.

      Be blessed,
      Jill Rippy

  18. Any bio parent of biracial children is intimately familiar with rude observations and questions about those kids that don’t look alike/like the parent. You’re not special on that front.
    Through the years of volunteering in my kids’ classrooms I have seen the poor foster kids placed with foster parents that do it for the money. They do nothing to help them. Those kids are barely better off than with their lame bio parents. It’s heartbreaking! Those kinds of foster parents DO exist, pretending they don’t doesn’t help anything. Thankfully the good ones that care and don’t do it for the money outnumber the bad ones.
    Everything I’ve read of yours is so angry. How is that going to inspire more people to think about fostering and changing the lives of broken and battered little souls? Who wants to walk around with so much anger seeping into their words, and deeds?
    I truly hope your writing is just angry and you don’t really walk around raging all the time.

    • Big Mama,
      I’m taken back by your comment. My only question is: Do you actually read the articles on this site? Or do you just go through the motions of seeing words but never truly making connections?
      How could YOU be so angry? Is there anger seeping from your words? I believe so. If you would take the time and get to know, and I mean really know what the motives that are behind these articles, would you feel the same? How can you be content with just making assumptions? It doesn’t help your case, or your credibility for that matter. I get that life is busy and sometimes mothers don’t have time to sit down and read. I urge you however to put all six of your kids to bed and read before you post.
      It’s time for us to take a stand and no longer be content with the sly comments of others in regards to our children. It is our time. I’m choosing to not only stand up for myself and my family but also I am choosing to stand along side these foster parents in their fight to give children a better life.

    • Thank you but, I truly don’t think good foster parents out # the bad ones it’s the other way around, and it goes undetected, most of the time because the Vic is usually on the streets in distress or too afraid to talk about their problems … These type of foster parents is literally like wolfs in sheep clothing…

      Genuinely Good foster parent are unbothered by the phrase people just foster for the money. If u don’t then u don’t. But again not everybody’s jill,

      • I honestly believe if foster parents get upset at someone who says some foster parents do it for the money, that they in fact Do do it for the money because I agree with you that if a foster parent can overlook the statement and agree with the person saying it,they truly are not doing it for the money.

        The reason I believe that is because those foster parents who are religious will be overwhelmed with guilt for doing it for the money which causes them to be upset in the first place. Whereas the innocent have no emotions to overwhelm them to the point they can’t agree that there are in fact foster parents who do it for the money.

        Then again, some that are not as religious or religious at all, and those who are good at lying can agree without emotional overwhelming guilt, so it’s difficult to tell unless an investigator that’s dayumn good at their job, knows how to find out the truth.

        I believed that to be the case before my ex wife lost my daughter and my daughter’s brothers to the system. I hoped my daughter and her siblings would be with good foster parents but they were placed with some of the worst of the worst. These foster parents coached my daughter’s older brother into saying I molested him once which the investigation only determined it was possible because they opened then shut the case before I was ever aware that the investigation ever took place. The reason they did that is because the FP had an in with the people running the investigation, and had it pushed to close before contacting me about my side because they wanted to adopt all three children. Once it came out at the next court date that it had been closed with findings of “proven” allegations against me, my lawyer pushed to take it to trial but it never did because we already proved to the judge with the help of the main DHS worker that the child lied because I was never in the same town as he was during the entire time frame of when he said it happened.

        The FP also tried coaching my daughter into saying I did things to her as well but those allegations resulted in “unsubstantiated” findings because my daughter had nothing but positive actions around me during our visits and two forensic interviews proved nothing physical happened, which countered everything that my daughter was taught to say. Had she been more vocal at the time, what she said would have been exactly what her brother said to the letter and since my ex wife was trying to keep me from spending any time with my daughter prior to her being taken into foster care, the same reason I was innocent of the first allegations is the case fer the allegations against me regarding my daughter.

        I am still waiting for the court to let me press charges on the FP for teaching the kids to make those inhumane allegations, but since the FP have friends in the system from workers to lawyers to judges and doctors, it’s proving difficult.

        Overall, I refuse to let anyone tell me good foster parents outnumber the bad ones because of all the stories I’ve heard from parents in my state who lost their kids to the system, I’ve not heard a single good story.

  19. True enough there are some quality foster parents, but just because some of them put the money into their foster children doesn’t always mean they are on the level. Some of the foster parents try to force adoption because they never bother to get the full story of why the child was taken out of the home in the first place because in some very few circumstances, the law and broken system just isn’t working because it is so easy to manipulate the system that good bio parents end up losing their children over being set up by messed up exes or scorned in~laws that wish their baby never got married at all because they refuse to recognize their issues with Empty Nest Syndrome. ENS doesn’t just stop there, it goes deeper than anyone can truly understand. Parents suffering ENS raise their children in such a way that when they grow up and have children of their own, they don’t know a good parent from a bad parent, they just want to get that parent out of the picture so they can have their baby all to themselves and the now-grandparent(s) are helping the parent to exile the other parent just to keep their baby and grand babies under their roof.

    This is what I have been going through personally for the past 5 years and with less than a week away from my daughter’s 5th birthday, I have yet to see her on her birthday. The mother is so mentally messed.up that she has tried to keep all 3 of her kids from all 3 bio fathers and with the poorly constructed system of this state, she has managed to do that with my daughter and her younger child. The system caters to any sign of neglect or abuse so much that they have no way of weeding out the truth from the lies which makes it that much easier to get away with falsely accusing a good parent with a simple story of the most haneous crimes imaginable that should warrant the death penalty or at the very least, lifetime incarnation in a mental ward.

    It’s in situations like this that foster parents think it’s best to just adopt the child forever and keep them away from both bio parents instead of just keeping them away from the bio parent that claimed the false accusations in the first place because her mental disorder is ignored by the system.

    I have to believe there are a few good foster parents out there, but they are fewer and farther between than finding well preserved prehistoric DNA like that mammoth in Russia.

    Children are not paychecks, they are living beings that deserve the best that life can offer and it’s the parent’s job to ensure that happens no matter the cost. But to take a child away from a good bio parent is not the way to do it.

  20. That’s great! You play a mother role in every way possible for the unfortunate, bravo, and I’m happy for u, but when “people” say or bring up money and foster parent The foster parent usually gets up and goes into a frenzy, maybe it’s worded wrong…but it’s true “some” unfortunate adults do it for the money and it’s sad. I was fostered and later adopted . And come to find out, I was only a check in there eyes. I was fostered for money. Was treated like shit and later kick out at 17 never saw a dime, yea they got me some Payless shoes and the money went mostly to their bio kids and into redoing there home. Other than the physical and mental abuse I endured I was a just a cash check So It does happen. It happening all over NYC and in other places, please get a clue.

    http://m.nydailynews.com/new-york/discarded-children-bring-checks-adoptive-parents-gave-article-1.1862778

  21. Brian Burke Says: November 11, 2015 at 5:47 am

    I just read your blog post “I Just Foster For The Money”. Your post has brought adjustment within my heart.

    I know a family in Texas. They have 8 adopted children all over 5 years old up to 18. They receive between $750-1500 per child. Neither husband or wife works. They are coupon machines. The husband told me I believe in milking the system for all it’s worth”. Only the oldest child knows he is loved and all they do is extol his virtues. The other children confided in my children that they were aware they were being used for the money. I could go on. This husband and wife seemed illfit to parent children in the first place.

    Because of knowing them, I had put all Foster Parents in the same category. This category wasn’t positive. I have even probably had judgment in my heart over this.

    This all changed when I came across your Blog.

    I commend you for your heart of rescue.

    My bigger issue is in this Christian nation there are 600,000 unadopted orphans. What a mindblower!! And the Bride of Christ stands on the sideline refusing to get in the game even when the Coach is calling out their name.

    Thank you for all you do.

    • Jill Rippy Says: November 20, 2015 at 8:43 pm

      This is why I share my heart. There are so many stereotypes and stigmas associated with foster care. Thank you for your kind words, but than you mostly for being open minded and considering your position. God bless you my friend!

  22. I enjoyed your article. Because of this stigma, I am often embarrassed to let people know I am a foster parent. I hate feeling this way. My husband earns quite a substantial amount of money and we live well- yet as soon as people know we foster it is as if they somehow think our lifestyle is afforded by the fostering of one child. Foster parents who earn a good living loose a lot of money fostering; the stipend simply doesn’t cover the child living the lifestyle of the family. Foster parents make up that difference. During my training to become a foster parent the only person in the class who appeared to not be financially secure was a kinship caregiver. Everyone else looked like they were surviving just fine without an additional 400$ and an extra body. I also don’t like how people never consider the opportunity cost of being a foster parent. Some mothers stay home to foster – that is lost income they could earn at work. For high income earners – the financial loss is even greater. I have had a foster child’s parents talk to me about fostering for the money. It was bizarre because she was the one on welfare due to her child. I know that special needs foster parents are often judged more harshly because they get a larger stipend. Personally, I see no issue if such parents end up with extra money after paying for the needs of these children. This is a job that I could never do. Those foster parents who take good care of the children and have the heart and the patience for it deserve every penny. Their lives end up revolving around these children.They are judged by so many who would never even considering doing such a job. At the end of the day I don’t care why anyone fosters – so long as they take excellent care of the children and share their love with them.

    • maureen dow Says: May 7, 2016 at 11:53 pm

      Can’t believe some of the comments. Nobody’s ever given me the impression we do it for money. To be truthful when first started fostering 13 years ago we were given $115 per week and of that I spent $100 on petrol taking this child to activities after school and the weekend and trips to school (not on bus run) for school they wanted me to go to. I had no centre link payments as hubby earned too much. Having said that for about 9 years l ran even with at least 2 children sometimes out of pocket. The last 3 with money going up. in front sometimes only behind Christmas and holidays. We had all the problems mentioned plus others. So I somehow think we didn’t do it for money but only to help children doing it hard. Having said that I did have empathy for some parents others were parents from hell who hated everyone especially foster carers. I’m glad though I never came across this negativity from anyone else only praise from friends snd aquaintances

  23. Your are doing something good. Bless you.

  24. Your comments are so true and to the point. I also agree with those yiu put in for thanking, although I personally can’t thank one of them AZ DCS. Although we have out 5 because of them. We also went through hell because of them. The rest I can definitely agree to thanks and bless.
    I have heard this statment and very tactfully tell then they are ignorant of the facts and should research things before opening their mouth and displaying how stupid they actually are.

  25. To Our “ACCEPT-TIONAL” FOSTER PARENTS
    We know who you are and what you ACCEPT daily.
    YOU:
    ACCEPT and teach life will be hard, but also will be good and full of amazing people.
    ACCEPT when a child hurts your heart it is because theirs is hurting deeply.
    ACCEPT you are taking in broken spirits and giving them hope on their way to repair.
    ACCEPT a child even when they are hateful, knowing that emotion comes from despair.
    ACCEPT a child has been let down more times than we can count.
    ACCEPT that because of this, the child will fight hard not to attached.
    ACCEPT the child wants to go home no matter what.
    ACCEPT that if and when they do, your heart will break.
    ACCEPT the fact you will never understand completely on so many levels.
    ACCEPT your role in this child’s life might get a bad rap.
    ACCEPT the fact we know you will keep trying anyway.
    ACCEPT from those who know, the admiration we have for you daily.
    ACCEPT our gratefulness and love.
    ACCEPT that you are amazing people!
    ACCEPT that you are making a difference in the lives of our children, because of all you ACCEPT.

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