TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Westmoreland County foster parents' per-diem payment to increase

About Rich Cholodofsky

By Rich Cholodofsky

Published: Friday, June 28, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Foster parents in Westmoreland County will be getting a raise.

County commissioners on Thursday approved an increase in the per-diem payment to foster parents to keep up with increasing child care costs and dwindling participation among adults needed to care for children.

“This is an incentive for more families to get involved and care for young people,” said Commissioner Ted Kopas.

The increase, which takes effecton July 1, is the first in five years.

Per diem rates will increase to $30 for children under 12, $35 to care for those age 12 to 15, $50 for juveniles 16 through 18, and $25 for college-age foster children.

“The cost of everything is going up. It's necessary to keep this program going,” Commissioner Charles Anderson said.

The raises will be paid to foster parents who contract directly with the county. Nearly half of Westmoreland County children in foster care are in the custody of parents who work for private-service providers that have contracts with the county.

There are currently 575 children in foster care, with 291 placed in homes overseen directly by the county. Another 284 children are placed in homes overseen by 17 private-service providers.

The private foster homes negotiate separate per diem rates with the county. For instance, commissioners on Thursday approved a new contract with Adelphoi Village Inc. for a new per diem rate for foster care at nearly $81.

“There is a national crisis for foster parents. They are hard to attract,” said Dirk Matson, the county's director of human services. “The raises are incentive to attract more foster parents.”

Last year, the county spent $2.7 million for foster care, about $400,000 less than was paid in 2011.

Commissioners budgeted $2.8 million for foster care this year.

Matson said changes could be made to bring the entire foster care program under county control. “The county is exploring whether it is fiscally feasible to move kids from private to county foster care,” he said.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Westmoreland

  1. Murrysville woman sues Giant Eagle over burns
  2. Graziani hired away from Latrobe as Penn Township’s manager
  3. Bridge work a priority for PennDOT in Westmoreland
  4. Police see no sign Franklin Regional stabbing suspect was bullied
  5. Hempfield church offers rides to shut-ins for Holy Thursday service
  6. Retired postal worker picks $1M winner
  7. Judge explains why suspect in East Liberty killings was freed
  8. Hempfield Area superintendent, business manager quit
  9. St. Vincent student killed in ‘unfortunate accident’ in Erie
  10. Community turns out for Franklin Regional students’ return to class
  11. Response to Franklin Regional stabbings earns official top public safety spot
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.