Lawmakers eye relief for foster parents

A stipend to help foster parents afford day care recently passes a Senate committee.
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Finding a quality day care to watch over your kids while you may be at work or busy is quite the task. As the quality of care goes up, so does the price per week. For foster parents that feat can be even more difficult than you would think. The Florida Legislature may be able to help that. 

A $300 stipend to assist foster parents with their kids’ day care services has passed one Senate committee. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, is giving hope to foster parents and children across the state. 

Ingram, a foster parent who later adopted her two kids, thinks this is would help foster parents tremendously, especially those who have younger children. 

“This is a good thing that is needed and I think if it does pass it would be a great help to those who may be fostering young kids and trying to give kids a better environment to live in for the time that we have them,” said Ingram.  

Those parents who foster young children and work as well have the financial responsibility to pay for a day care service. Instead of coming directly out of their pocket this stipend would be added onto what the state gives them monthly. 

Jacari Harris is a young adult who was raised in Tallahassee by his foster parent and is now touring the country advocating for fostering and adoption. He says this adds to the appeal of fostering. 

“Lots of people who I come in contact with that are considering fostering are worried about financial assistance and if they can afford child care such as this and I pray this will pass. We need more foster parents but we also need to do our best to help the ones we have to make it too,” said Harris. 

Cassandra Scott, a retired teacher who has seen and interacted with many foster parents and their children, says she has so much respect for foster parents. This stipend would be great for the sacrifices they make at times coming from their personal pockets, she said. 

“You have to be a loving, willing and patient person to foster because although funds come from the state it takes time and effort. This stipend I feel would relieve that added amount of stress of having to dig deep in their reserve to come up with money to ensure they have a place to send their younger ones while they are working,” said Scott.