Financial Assist

Becoming a Foster Parent

There are two options to become a foster parent.  One is through the County of San Diego and the other is through an independent agency.  The independent agency tends to focus more on children with special needs.  These children require a higher level of care.  Special Families and Olive Crest are two such agencies.  Special Families is located at 3002 Armstrong Street in San Diego.  Olive Crest is located all over the United States.  The San Diego office is located at 1081 Camino Del Rio South Suite 126.

Types of Care

There are different types of care.  Respite care is providing care on the weekends.  Short term care is usually for a period of 30 days or less.  Long term care is more than 30 days and forever families is adoption.

Financial Help

Whether you decide to become licensed through the county or through an independent agency, you will be given a stipend to cover the cost of the child’s food, clothing, transportation and shelter.  The County of San Diego pays about $800 monthly.  The independent agencies pay around $925 monthly. The foster parents would receive the stipend until the child is 18.  Under the AB12 Law, the child can continue to receive benefits if he/she is working, going to school, or participating in a job training or volunteer program. If the child is still living with the foster parents, then the foster parents would receive the stipend.  If the foster child moves out, he/she can receive the benefits if he/she is living in a court approved residence.  If the child has special needs that require more therapy because of psychological problems, the stipend might be greater because the foster parents are required to transport the child to therapy appointments.  The child’s medical benefits are covered through Medi-cal.

If the foster parents want to adopt the child the adoption fees are waived.  There is also an adoption assistance program called AAP.  Through this program the foster parents can still receive the stipend to help with the cost of taking care of the child.  The monthly stipend would stay the same and the adoptive parents do not need to qualify financially.  They can continue to receive benefits until the child is 18. Under the AB12 Law, if the child is adopted on or after his 16th birthday then he would be eligible to receive the stipend until the age of 21 as long as he is working full time, going to school or participating in a job training or volunteer program.  If he decides to move out of the house, he can still receive the benefits if the place he is living is court-approved and he is going to school, working, or participating in a job training or volunteer program.


If a child was in foster care on or after his 13th birthday, he is able to check the foster child box on the FASFA which allows him to be an independent student and receive financial aid for college. This means that the child’s expected financial contribution (EFC) toward a college education is zero! That means that colleges and universities attempt to fully fund the COA (cost of attendance) with federal, state, and institutional monies.  The FASFA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Useful Websites:

FACE: Fostering Access to College Education


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