1. What is specialized care?
Specialized care provides a supplemental payment to the family home provider, in addition to the family home basic rate, for the cost of supervision (and the cost of providing that supervision) to meet the additional daily care needs of an Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care (AFDC-FC) child who has a health and/or behavior problem. Placement of children who need specialized care in family homes complies with State and federal requirements that a child is entitled to placement in a family environment, in close proximity to the parent's home, and consistent with the best interest and special needs of the child. California's specialized care rate setting system promotes these concepts. The Specialized Care Increment (SCI) is the supplemental payment added to the foster care basic rate for children with health and/or behavioral problems. Click onto a county’s name posted below to view the county’s Specialized Care Increment rates. A county’s Specialized Care Increment rate is the current foster care basic rate + the county’s specialized care increment = the county’s specialized care rate. For additional information regarding Specialized Care Increment determination documents see ACL 10-62.
2. Can any AFDC-FC child with a health and/or behavior problem receive a specialized care increment?
Children who are placed under the authority of a court order, either as a dependent or ward of the Juvenile Court, relinquishment, voluntary placement agreement or guardianship may be eligible to receive a specialized care rate if the county has a specialized care system. Not all counties in California have a specialized care system.
3. Are there any restrictions on the type of facility in which the child must be placed to receive a specialized care rate?
Children placed in a licensed or approved family home, licensed small family home, the certified home of a Foster Family Agency nontreatment program or the home of a relative or nonrelated legal guardian may be eligible to receive a specialized care rate.
4. Who is responsible for the development, maintenance, and administration of the specialized care rate setting system in California?
The Specialized Care Increments for each county are posted below. The last requested Specialized Care Increment rate change occurred in 2008. The Specialized Care Increment does not receive a cost-of-living adjustment. Many of the counties Specialized Care Rate Programs listed below have foster care basic rates that do not include recent cost of living increases. You can go to ACL 16-57 to see the current foster care basic rates. The Specialized Care Rate is calculated by taking the current foster care basic rate and adding the Specialized Care Increment of the county to determine that county’s current Specialized Care Rate.
Please contact the local Child Welfare Agency Representative for questions pertaining to the specialized care rates.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
Foster Care Rates Bureau
Foster Care Audits and Rates Branch
California Department of Social Services
744 P Street, MS 8-11-38
Sacramento, CA 95814