Foster Care: Per Diem

Foster Care Criteria: KAR Foster Care Criteria: SOP Foster Care: Per Diem FOSTER CARE PER DIEM RATES
Per Diem Rate Schedule 
Coverage or Rate 
Basic Regular Rate 
Basic Advanced Rate 
Emergency Shelter Rate 
Basic Medically Fragile Rate 
Advanced Medically Fragile Rate 
Degree Medically Fragile Rate 
Specialized Medically Fragile Rate 
Family Treatment Home Rate 
Additional Reimbursements to Meet Children's Needs 
Initial and Special Clothing Allowances
Annual Supplemental School Clothing Allowance
School Expenses
Graduation Expenses
Tuition Assistance
Education Related Services
Christmas Gifts and Birthday
Medical Expenses
Child Care
Respite Care
Other Special Expenses
Drivers License
Foster Parent Training Expenses
Foster Care Association Meetings
Foster Parent Property Damage Claims
Foster Care Recruitment Bonus
Foster Parent Tuition Assistance and Payment for GPS Services
Ownership of Equipment
Receipts, Documentation, and Monitoring for Protection and Permanency Services, P&P 110.

The foster care rate structure is designed to give foster parents flexibility and autonomy to decide how to spend money for the children in their home. Social worker approval will not be necessary for services included in the per diem. The foster parent will not need to submit receipts or other documentation except for clothing documentation.






Regular Foster Care


Birth – 11








Emergency Shelter Home




Family Treatment Home




Medically Fragile




Also, we have available a further Breakdown of Rates in MS Excel format.


These foster care rates include the costs of housing, food, clothing, incidentals, personal allowances, haircuts, respite care, routine babysitting, non-medical transportation, sports/activities, and school supplies.

The following chart shows the minimum to be spent on a monthly basis for clothing/ diapers, incidentals and allowance.


















When a child remains in a foster home less than thirty (30) days, the breakdown of the rate amount for per diem, clothing, incidentals and allowance, is prorated for the number of days the child was in the home.


This includes such costs as shelter (mortgage interest, property taxes, or rent; maintenance and repairs; and insurance), utilities (gas, electricity, fuel, telephone, and water), and house furnishings and equipment (furniture, floor coverings, major appliances, and small appliances), and children’s incidentals.

PLEASE NOTE: Incidentals include medicine chest supplies, baby oil and powder, deodorants, sanitary napkins, and other personal toiletries.


Includes food and nonalcoholic beverages purchased at grocery, convenience, and specialty stores; dining at restaurants; and household expenditures on school meals.


Clothing expenses include children’s apparel such as diapers, shirts, pants, dresses, and suits; footwear; and clothing services such as dry cleaning, alterations and repair, and storage. Foster parents maintain records on clothing expenditures. Workers are responsible for reviewing foster parent records on clothing. When a child leaves his placement, the worker obtains the child’s clothing. Unspent money is transmitted to the next placement or returned by a check made payable to the child and mailed to the Child Placement Support Section. The use of cash in these transactions shall be avoided.


Please refer to previous chart


Routine hair care is included in the per diem at an average of $12 per month. Special hair care costs should be reviewed for approval by the Service Region Administrator.

Respite Care

This reimbursement includes 1 respite day per month per child. NOTE: Medically Fragile and Family Treatment Home foster parents will receive an additional 2 days respite per month for each child placed in that home leveled as medically fragile or family treatment. That reimbursement will be processed monthly by the Regional Billing Clerk.

Routine babysitting

Routine babysitting refers to babysitting needs for one or more foster children while the foster parent is providing a required service for another foster child(ren) in the home.


Non-Medical Transportation: This reimbursement provides for mileage expenses for transportation not related to medical services i.e., school related functions, sport functions, etc. An average cost per child across all ages is $103.75 or 346 miles per month per child. This rate is reduced with the 11 and under population and is increased with the 12 and over population.

Please Note: Service Region Administrators may approve travel reimbursement to foster parents for family and sibling visitation and to attend case conference. Mileage records verifying other types of transportation are not necessary for approval of transportation for family and sibling visitation and attendance at case conferences.

Medical Transportation: For all children receiving Medicaid, the cost of non-emergency medical transportation is supported by the Department for Medicaid Services either through the regional transportation broker or managed care provider.

School supplies

This reimbursement relates to the purchase of school supplies, school fees, etc. For those pre-school age children, these dollars can be used to assist in meeting other needs of the child.

Sports/Social/Recreational Activities

This reimbursement relates to all social, and/or school activity expenses i.e. clubs, ballgames, participation in dance class, gymnastics, karate, church, team sports, etc. This allows all foster children to participate in normal activities and empowers the foster parent to make these decisions.


Two basic rates are established according to the age of the child (0 – 11 and 12 +). The basic rate is applicable to all children in DCBS foster homes that do not meet the criteria for emergency shelter, medically fragile, or family treatment home placement.


The Basic Advanced rate is paid to foster parents who have completed twenty-four (24) hours of initial Advanced Foster Parent training and who complete 12 hours ongoing training each year. The R&C Family Service’s Office Supervisor authorizes payment of the Basic Advanced rate by their signature on the OOHC-111A until such time that the approval is recorded in TWIST.



The emergency shelter rate is a flat rate that may be paid to foster families approved by the Service Region Administrator as Emergency Shelter foster homes for children age 12 and above who are in need of immediate, unplanned placement for less than thirty (30) days and for whom no other appropriate resources are available. The rate for Emergency Shelter is $30.00 and requires prior approval of the foster family’s eligibility for the rate in addition to approval for placement of the child. There is no Basic Advanced Rate for emergency shelter foster homes. One thirty (30 )day extension may be approved by the Service Region Administrator when all other placement resources have been exhausted. In no instance may a child be moved from one emergency shelter home to another emergency shelter home unless that move is determined to be necessary because of circumstances related to the child or the placement.

A letter of approval as an Emergency Shelter home shall accompany the first Foster Parent Invoice/ Billing Statement requesting payment of those rates with OOHC-111A’s approving rates for individual children.


The Basic Medically Fragile rate may be paid to foster parents approved to care for children who are identified as medically fragile. The rate for medically fragile is $37.00 and requires prior approval of the foster family’s eligibility for the rate in addition to approval for the specific placement of the child by the Quality Central Medical Staff. Approval of the Service Region Administrator is required for placement of each child and is available only to foster homes approved as medically fragile. This rate is available only while the child meets the agency’s definition of medically fragile. A letter of approval as a medically fragile child and as a medically fragile foster home shall accompany the first Foster Parent Invoice/Billing Statement.



The Advanced Medically Fragile rate of $42.00 per day may be paid for those children who meet the definition of specialized medically fragile, require physician or licensed nurse supervision, 24 hour monitoring, and close proximity to a regional medical center. The $42.00 per diem rate covers the following services:

Care supervision by a licensed nurse;
24 hr/day staffing, including night time monitoring;
Medication administration and medical care as ordered by the physician;
Care of medical equipment needs.


The Degreed Medically Fragile rate of $45.00 per diem, based on the child’s medical acuity level, may be paid for those children who meet the definition of specialized medically fragile, require physician or R.N. supervision, 24 hour awake monitoring, and close proximity to a regional medical center. This per diem rate includes any services and procedures listed in the $42 per diem rate as required by the child.


Quality Central Medical Staff may recommend specialized medically fragile rates based on the medical acuity of a child. Dependent on the acuity level, the rate may be $55.00, $70.95, or $88.55. All requests for these rates shall be reviewed by the Quality Central Medical Staff. Approval by the Service Region Administrator is required following recommendation of Quality Central.

The Basic, Advance, Degree, and Specialized Medically Fragile rates also cover all basic services/expenditures as identified in the "Coverage of Rate".



The Family Treatment Home Rate is a flat rate that is paid to foster parents who have completed the twenty four (24) hour initial Family Treatment Home training and who complete twenty four (24) hours ongoing training each year and who provide care for a Family Treatment Home child. The rate for family treatment homes is $37.00 during the first year’s participation. Upon completion of a positive annual re-evaluation, the per diem shall be increased to $42.00 The rate shall remain $42.00 contingent on a positive annual re-evaluation henceforth. The rate for family treatment homes requires approval of the foster family’s eligibility in addition to approval for placement of the child.


Payments are made by check from the Office of the Finance Cabinet to the foster parents following submission of the Foster Parent Invoice/Billing Statement.

Payment is made for the first day of placement but is not paid on the day the child leaves, except for emergency shelter homes which are paid for the first day of placement as well as the day the child leaves.

When a child’s age qualifies him for a higher rate, the foster care rate is increased on the first day of the child’s birth month. Section A of the OOHC-111A is completed at this time with the new rate.

Foster parents are paid the usual foster care payment when the child is temporarily away from home for a period not to exceed fourteen (14) days, and the plan is for the child’s return to the same foster home. Service Region Administrators may approve continued payments when foster parents are staying with a hospitalized child.



The Kentucky Tax Exempt Number for the cabinet CANNOT be used by foster parents or agency staff to purchase items or services on behalf of families served by the cabinet.

Foster children will continue to receive services with separate reimbursement for the following categories:


An initial clothing allowance may be provided to children for whom the Cabinet is legally responsible and who are being placed in any out of home care setting. The initial clothing allowance shall not exceed the following amounts:

Child’s Age


Birth to l year


1 through 2 years


3 through 4 years


5 through 11 years


12 years and over


Special purchases above and beyond the per diem and initial clothing allowance may be authorized up to $100.00 by the Family Service’s Office Supervisor or up to $250.00 by the Service Region Administrator.



An annual supplemental school clothing allowance may be provided to children ages 3 and above who have been in care more than six months, have used the amount allotted for initial clothing allowance and are enrolled in school. The allowance for children ages 3 - 10 is $50 and for children ages 11 and above is $100. The allotment is to assist in the purchase of clothing necessary for school.


All foster children are eligible for free lunch programs and may participate upon completion of appropriate school forms.

Private child care agencies may be reimbursed for ordinary school supplies at a maximum of $35 per school year for the child 5 to 10 years old and $60 for the child age 11+. Receipts are not required for school expenses.

Bus fares for school transportation may be reimbursed upon the approval of the Family Service’s Office Supervisor.

Note: School expenses are included in the foster care per diem.


An amount not to exceed $500 may be reimbursed without prior approval for the senior class ring, cap and gown rental, senior pictures, yearbook, prom ticket, graduation invitations and name cards. Other items require prior written approval. Total reimbursable graduation expenses may not exceed $500, but the $60 school expense allowance could be used in addition to the $500.

Some of these expenses could actually be incurred during the child’s Junior year.



Financial assistance is available, for children for whom the Cabinet is legally responsible, who plan to attend post-high school educational institutions. Enrollment in a state supported school is encouraged; however, private school enrollments may be considered, provided the cost to the Department is not greater than the cost at the most expensive state supported school. Tuition assistance is not approved for students in out-of-state schools unless extenuating circumstances exist.

To be eligible for tuition assistance for college or post-secondary educational or vocational expenses, a child shall:

  1. Maintain at least a 2.0 grade point, on a 4.0 system, standing;
  2. Utilize all available financial aid resources to meet educational costs; House Bill 62 (LRC Site)
  3. Obtain summer employment or participate in work-study programs when possible.

A child 18 or over shall have extended his commitment to be eligible for Tuition Assistance.

The worker assists the child in applying for all financial assistance for which he may be eligible. The worker shall insure that this is done prior to approval of tuition assistance. However, requests for tuition assistance are not held until grant awards or other similar information is received.

The worker completes and submits through supervisory channels, the OOHC-103, Application for Tuition Assistance, at least four weeks before any funds are needed. Requests for tuition assistance are made each semester.

Tuition assistance for direct school expenses, tuition, room, books, fees, etc., not covered by other resources is paid through TWIST. Expenses are itemized and submitted to the regional billing clerk with a copy of the OOHC-103 showing the SRA’s approval.

All other approved expenses, i.e., clothing and incidentals, may be divided into a number of payments to be made during the semester. These payments may be made to the foster child or foster parents and are submitted with attached OOHC-103 showing the SRA’s approval.

When the approved tuition assistance is less than $150.00 it may be given to the student in one lump sum. The payments may be made payable to the student or the foster parents, dependent upon the student’s maturity, as determined by the caseworker.

When the student is planning to attend school outside his home county, the worker is responsible for referring the student to the Family Service’s Office Supervisor for the county in which the student is attending school. A copy of the approved OOHC-103 is attached to the referral. This notice may be referred to the district Independent Living Coordinator by the Service Region Administrator.

When a child lives on campus and returns to the foster parent(s) home for weekend and holiday visits, the foster parent may be reimbursed at the basic or advanced per diem rate. This must be reimbursed through TWIST – Special- Board.



Specific items needed in a classroom to enable a child to benefit from a free appropriate public education are the responsibility of the school. Such things may include, large print textbooks, teacher’s aides, or special transportation to and from school. The Director of Protection and Permanency shall be notified within three (3) working days of any request by a school for the Department to pay for such expenses.

Those items that a child needs in other areas of life, such as glasses, wheelchairs, hearing aides, etc., are the responsibility of Medicaid if the child is Medicaid eligible with the Department for Community Based Services being the last alternative for payment.


Foster parents may be reimbursed $60.00 for Christmas gifts for a child. Private child care facilities may request reimbursement when the child resides in the facility over the Christmas holidays. Foster parents may also request reimbursement of $25.00 for birthday gifts for a child. Private child care facilities may request reimbursement when the child resides in the facility over their birthday. Receipts are not required for Christmas and birthday gifts.



Medical bills for $100.00 or less do not require special approval. Medical bills over $100.00 shall be itemized and require the appropriate level of supervisory approval. All bills for medical expenses shall state whether the child was ineligible for or the service was not covered by medical assistance. Bills for over-the-counter drugs commonly maintained in households with children are not suitable for reimbursement.

The approval level for medical-related expenses (i.e., dental, office visits, laboratory tests or other expenses for children not covered by the medical card) is as follows:

  1. Amounts $100.00 - $500.00- Family Service’s Office Supervisor Approval
  2. Amounts above $500.00 – Service Region Administrator’s Approval


The full cost of child care services may be paid by the Department.

A copy of the approval memo from the SRA indicates the amount being paid for child care services and must be reviewed and re-approved every six (6) months.

For non-working Foster Parents requesting child care, a special review and approval must be conducted by Service Region Administrator every three (3) months.

It is the responsibility of the SRA to approve the total ongoing cost.



Respite care is available for every child in foster family care. The purpose of respite care is to provide relief to foster parents who are meeting the extraordinary demands of children in out-of-home care. Foster parents are eligible for one day of respite care per month per child. This day is included in the per diem. Foster parents of medically fragile and family treatment home children are eligible for two additional days of respite care per month per child.

For those high medical acuity leveled children for whom the cabinet is paying Specialized Medically Fragile rates, the foster parent is entitled to 3 days of respite per month. These days are NOT rolled into the per diem and shall be paid in addition to the per diem.

The respite care reimbursement rate for each child may not exceed the per diem of the child. Foster parents are encouraged to use respite care on a monthly basis. With the written approval of the Service Region Administrator, extended respite care for up to 14 additional days may be given when there is a family need or other emergency.

Foster parents are responsible for selecting and initially screening their respite care provider to determine that the provider is appropriate to meet the individual child’s needs, i.e., knowledgeable of the particular care needs of the child. When respite care is to be provided within the foster home, the worker shall meet the potential respite provider and document their appropriateness to provide care for the child. When respite care is to be provided outside the foster home, the worker shall meet the potential provider and visit the respite site and document their appropriateness to provide care for the child. The name, address, and telephone number shall be included in the case record. Respite care providers may include other approved resource families, extended family members or neighbors, babysitters and trained respite care providers. A criminal records check shall be completed on persons who are providing respite care. A records check is not required when the respite provider is another foster parent or a relative of the foster parent. When respite care is purchased from a licensed agency authorized to provide respite services, an evaluation, home visit and records checks are not required.

Medically fragile children may qualify for some Medicaid waiver services through local Home Health agencies which are contacted to determine eligibility criteria and procedures. Respite providers for the medically fragile child are also required to be trained in the specific care needs of the child and be currently certified in CPR and First Aid.

Family Treatment Home respite providers shall complete the Family Treatment Home training and any child-specific training that the Family Treatment Home foster family receives.

The Recruitment and Certification Supervisor shall maintain a central listing of approved respite care providers in the district.

The family, with the worker’s assistance, determines the most appropriate use of respite time which may include in home or out-of-home activities.

The provision for respite care may be included on all Case Plans.



The Service Region Administrator may, in their discretion, authorize special expenses not already specified in policy. Such requests must support the child’s goal toward permanency.


Staff of the Department shall not sign applications for driver’s license for children in out-of-home care, Staff shall inform all care providers of children in out-of-home care of their legal liability if they sign this application.


Foster parents may be reimbursed mileage, babysitting for foster children, and tuition or fees to assist foster parents in complying with the on-going training requirements. The amount for tuition or fees is $50 per person per year for Basic Regular and emergency shelter foster homes and $100 per person per year for Regular Advanced, Medically Fragile foster homes. costs related to attendance at DCBS approved conferences and training sessions.



Foster parents may be reimbursed mileage and babysitting for foster children for attendance in local and state foster care association meetings/trainings.


The Department for Community Based Services shall carry liability insurance on approved foster parents. Claims for property damage perpetrated by foster children shall be submitted to the insurance company for payment.

Damages disallowed under the liability insurance policy shall be submitted to the Service Region Administrator for approval.

Documentation submitted to the Service Region Administrator to support the claim shall consist of the following:

  1. Notarized affidavit of foster parent verifying damage;
  2. Witness statements, if possible;
  3. Statement from Family Services Worker regarding incident, including the response of the child to the claim and denial of the claim by the liability insurer or other statement that the claim is not otherwise covered by insurance;
  4. Relevant police reports;
  5. Two estimates of the cost to repair damage or replacement costs if property is totally destroyed; and,
  6. Current book value of vehicle, for damage to automobile may be required.


When applicants who are approved as foster parents have named a current foster parent as their referral source, the referring foster parent may be paid a bonus. The referring foster parent shall receive a $100.00 bonus for each family that is approved for the first two new foster families, a $150.00 bonus for the third and fourth new family, and $200.00 for the fifth and sixth new foster family. After the sixth family, the bonus shall be $250.00 for each newly approved family. Families studied for a child already in their home shall not be eligible.

Payment is made by submission of a separate P&P-110 approved by the worker and Family Services Office Supervisor and signed by the foster parent receiving the bonus. The P&P-110 contains no child specific information, the "physical description" indicates "recruitment bonus" and is coded "29" (other).
Attached to the P&P-110 is a copy of the Foster and Adoptive Parent Intake Form showing the referring foster parent as referral source; and a copy of the approval letter sent to the new foster parents.
P&P-110’s, attachments and copies are submitted to the Region’s billing clerk.



Cabinet for Families and Children will provide tuition assistance for DCBS foster parents who enroll in certain classes. CFC will pay tuition costs directly to the educational institution after the foster parent has received approval from DCBS for the course(s). A foster parent must have served as a foster parent for 5 years, have a foster child currently in the home, and is working on an undergraduate degree. The degree programs must have a clear and direct relationship to the work of the agency and to the improvement of the foster parent’s effectiveness. Contact R & C staff for further details.

A procedural manual is being developed to assist CFC R & C staff in arranging for foster parents to co-lead GPS/MAPP groups for potential foster and adoptive parents. Payment of the co-leaders utilizes funds available through the Eastern Kentucky University Families and Children Training Project contract.

Questions may be addressed to Margaret Wahrer @502-564-9932 or via e-mail at The fax number is (502) 564-9940, and the address is Families and Children Training Project, 592 E. Main Street, Frankfort, KY 40601.


Purchases especially adapted for a specific child or purchased from a child’s trust fund shall remain with the child. Generic equipment no longer used by the child, and purchased by the Department, is the property of the Department and each Service region is responsible for maintaining a list of this equipment. When the equipment is not being used within the Service region , Quality Central is notified to enable statewide availability. Attached adaptive equipment such as air conditioners may be removed and stored in Frankfort. Consideration is given to expense when requesting removal of attached equipment.


Foster parents shall not be required to submit receipts for reimbursement for expenses that are $10.00 and less. Receipts for expenses over $10.00 submitted by foster parents to justify expenses shall be preprinted and be written and signed by the vendor. When unusual situations require use of a receipt that is not preprinted, it shall be clear that the vendor has been paid for the service specified. Workers and foster parents are to instruct stores to submit bills to the appropriate local office, not Quality Central.


Process Flow Map Intake Investigation Ongoing Table of Contents Feedback Updates
SOP = Standard of Practice 
= Kentucky Revised Statutes  
= Kentucky Administrative Regulations  
= Council On Accreditation          


Search Site 

Email the Website Manager
Policy questions: Content Manager