The following information is based on the DHS Procedures Manual, Part V, Section 2 and Section 4. This article has been reviewed by the DHS Program Development Office.
School related payments:
Q: My foster child catches the city bus to and from school. Can I receive reimbursement for the bus pass?
A: If free public transportation is not available (i.e. school bus), DHS will reimburse for the cost of a bus pass for months school is in session. Submit the receipt to the child’s social worker for reimbursement (keep a copy for your files). It is a good practice to obtain and provide receipts for all services. This provides documentation of the purchase and supports claims for reimbursement.
Q: I drive my foster child to and from school and to various school activities (i.e. band practice, student government or sports). Can I receive payment for mileage expenses?
A: Resource caregivers can receive actual car mileage reimbursement for transportation to and from school or various school activities at the current state rate of $.50 cents per mile. Provide the following to the social worker when submitting your request: name of child, date of transportation, reason for trip, origin & destination, and total mileage for that trip. Be sure to include your name and date on the form. Also, write legibly. To insure timely reimbursement, it is a good idea to submit your requests on a monthly basis. And remember to always keep a copy for your files.
Example of a mileage reimbursement request by foster parent:
Submitted by Suzie Resource Caregiver
Child’s name: Kalani DaKine
|10/4/12||Visit w/ parents||Resource Home (RH)||WBC||Resource Home||26|
|10/15/12||Therapist||RH||Dr. Know @10013 King Street, HNL||Resource Home||26|
|School||RH||School (location)(miles per trip-5total trips-20)||Resource Home…………20
|Total mileage for October, 2012||152|
Q: I drive two children to the elementary school. Do I receive mileage reimbursement for each of them, even though I drive them at the same time and really only make one trip?
A:No. If you are driving two (or more) children to the same school (or two schools near each other), you claim for one trip, not two. If you perform one service, then no matter how many people benefit from the service, i.e. one physical trip with two or more children, then you can only claim for one trip. To do otherwise is dishonest. You can process the claim through either child’s social worker. For example, you can bill the morning trip on behalf of one child and the afternoon trip on behalf of the other child, but you cannot claim for both as though you made the trip twice.
Q: Do resource caregivers receive mileage reimbursement for attending school functions/meetings?
A: You may submit for mileage reimbursement for attendance at meetings that will enhance your care of the children, such as PTA, Open House, IEP or parent/teacher meetings.
Q: My foster child is interested in joining various school clubs/sports. Can I receive assistance to help pay for uniform, membership fee or other cost related expenses?
A: Yes, you may request reimbursement for uniforms, membership fees or other related expenses for sports and other group activities. The social worker may issue a purchase order to the vendor for the uniform or you may submit the receipt for reimbursement.
Q: Do resource caregivers receive financial assistance for school related activities (i.e. prom, field trips, or various school activities)?
A: The resource caregiver may request assistance for up to $125.00 per child annually for clothes for events such as the prom or sports uniforms. Costs for regular school activities such as field trips are covered by the foster board payments. For costs related to special events not covered by DHS, funding may be requested through private sources such as Family Programs Hawai`i or Children’s Alliance of Hawai`i. Contact your child’s social worker to process the request.
Q: My foster child sees her/his medical doctor, psychiatrist, or therapist. I also take him to visit his biological parents/relatives. Can I get mileage reimbursement?
A: Yes, you may request reimbursement for local bus fare, private car mileage or taxi fare. Follow the same procedure used for mileage in school reimbursement.
Q: I attend various workshops sponsored by different groups. Can I get mileage reimbursement and financial assistance to attend these workshops and conferences?
A: According to the Procedures Manual Part V 4.4.4, resource caregivers may request reimbursement for workshops that will enhance their ability to care for the children. If a child is currently in your home, the child’s social worker can reimburse the mileage for the training you attended. (Follow the same procedure used for mileage in school reimbursement). If there is not a child currently in your home during the time you attend a workshop, then you submit your request to the licensing worker. Most workshops and conferences are free or you are notified of the procedure for requesting a scholarship.