The Department of Human Services and Hawaii Appleseed have come to an agreement that provides more monetary support each month for the care of foster youth, along with a higher clothing allowance! This will also provide former foster youth in either the Imua Kakou or Higher Education programs a higher monthly stipend. Our hats go off to all who worked to make this come to be.
There still may be need of advocacy on this issue as the settlement requires court approval and funding for the settlement requires a legislative appropriation. Sign up with ITAO’s “Legislative Action” newsletter if you would like to lend a hand if the need arises.
Resource caregivers (foster parents) were reimbursed at the rate of $529 per month per foster child they cared for in Hawaii for 24 years. In 2014, the rates were adjusted into three tiers depending on the age of the child and were increased to the “Current Rates” shown below. The chart below also shows the rates increase via the lawsuit settlement, including the clothing allowance increase.
|0 to 5||$529||$576||$649||$50||$68|
|6 to 11||$529||$650||$742||$50||$69|
The settlement also calls for:
- Retroactive payments to be made. For each foster child a family each month, the family will get $35, capping out at 12 months–so max recovery per child of $420.
- DHS to request increases every time inflation rates increase by 5% since the last adjustment.
Settlement will remain in place for 10 years, over which time the cumulative benefit will amount to close to $90m for foster children and their caregivers. Click here to learn more.