News Release: Caregiver Supports Increase on Jan. 1, 2024

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Dec. 29, 2023

Caregiver Supports Increase on Jan. 1, 2024

Olympia, WA – Foster parents and licensed kinship caregivers may see an increase in their monthly foster care payment rates beginning Jan. 1, 2024. 

The Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) will replace the current rate assessment system with a seven-level caregiver supports model that will be based on the needs of the child or youth in care. 

Licensed caregivers will now receive the basic maintenance foster care payment, which ranges from $722-$860 a month, based on the age of the child. That support level would increase based on additional needs of the child, including support for adolescents, chronic physical health, developmental disabilities, and mental health. 

"We know that caregivers who have children and youth with higher needs, need more support to care for them," said DCYF Secretary Ross Hunter. 

In addition, DCYF is changing its rate assessment process. DCYF will begin to use the child’s case file, information gathered from the child, parents, family, and other important individuals in the child’s life, and health history information to determine support level.

If a caregiver believes information about the child's needs was not considered in a level determination, they have the opportunity to appeal. Caregivers can request rate determination review any time there is a change in circumstances or a new diagnosis.

"The new process will help us identify a child’s needs and help us link caregivers to the supports that are best suited for the child in their care," explained Hunter. "By better preparing caregivers to support children and youth placed in their care, we should see an increase in placement stability." 

DCYF has removed barriers for kinship caregivers to become licensed to care for the children in their home. If they have an approved home study, kin most likely already meet the requirements for a kinship license. Once licensed, the children in their care are eligible to receive monthly foster care maintenance payments to assist in meeting their needs.

Lastly, caregivers licensed by child placing agencies will begin to be paid directly by DCYF. The new caregiver supports model marks the first time the rates and process have undergone major changes in over two decades. The change is part of a larger project aimed at implementing a continuum of placement resources that enable safe, stable, and supported placements for children in the care of DCYF. 

To learn more about DCYF's Caregiver Supports project, visit:


Nancy Gutierrez, Communications Administrator | | 360-742-6418