FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 29, 2016) – Residential child-caring facilities in Kentucky that care for foster children with elevated needs are getting a rate increase to better support those children.
Governor Matt Bevin and Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson signed an emergency regulation amending the state’s existing regulation guiding private child-caring facilities. The change takes effect Oct. 1 and increases the payment rates for children assessed at the highest level of care – Levels IV and V.
CHFS’ Department for Community Based Services is the state agency that oversees the public foster care system and determines payment rates for levels of care.
Glisson said the increase better reflects the actual costs of caring for children with advanced needs.
“We are pleased to adjust these rates to a more appropriate level for residential providers who care for special-needs children in foster care,” she said. “A fair rate assures quality care for these children who need and deserve individualized support as they grow, heal and achieve permanency.”
DCBS Commissioner Adria Johnson said the rate increase should also build provider capacity, meaning better placement options and a lesser chance that children will be placed in more restrictive settings or in settings that do not meet the needs of the children.
“This rate increase shows how this administration values our partners in child welfare,” she said. “It will considerably benefit our entire foster care program by helping to build capacity around our most difficult to place children and youth in private child caring agencies.”
With the change, Level IV rates in private child-caring agencies are increasing from $175.87 per day to $183. Level V rates are increasing from $218.99 per day to $236.60.
Children who have experienced severe trauma or have intensive needs because of extreme behaviors can get more adequate supervision and appropriate care in a private residential child-caring facility.
CHFS maintains a monthly average of 1,100 children who are assessed as needing care at Levels IV and V in residential child-caring facility placements. As of Aug. 9, there are 46 licensed child-caring facilities in Kentucky.
Johnson said Kentucky’s reimbursement to private child care providers was substantially lower than surrounding states before the increase.
“This is just one step in improving our permanency efforts,” Johnson said. “Our collaborations with child-caring providers and parents who foster in their homes are at the root of our success. Listening to the needs of advocates like these will help us better shape the support we provide our children in foster care, and give them a better future.”
To learn more about DCBS’ foster care services, including how to become a certified DCBS foster family, log on to http://chfs.ky.gov/dcbs/dpp/outofhomecare.htm.