In it for the money

Ever been accused of that?

Or asked if that’s why you foster?

Do you just smile politely?

Do you roll on the floor laughing in reply?

Do you bother to give them an answer?

Anyone who fosters knows it’s not about the money. It can’t be. Because there isn’t any!

What do we get?

We get a carers allowance, and it’s not a lot.

For babies, from this allowance comes formula, nappies, the extra costs involved in the washing, clothes, baby food, did I mention all the extra washing – which no one warns you about, and seriously it should be right up there with the sleepless nights!

For school aged children the allowance is $2.40 a day more than babies/preschool age, and considering for an older child there’s the costs of taking them school, the massive amounts of food they eat (I haven’t met a child in care that couldn’t out eat me, and I’ve got a healthy appetite!) and while there’s no nappies for an older girl there are the personal hygiene products, hair accessories, and the water bill for the excessively long showers!

The biggest problem we’ve had is Kelly telling us we do it for the money. That when we had Harry and Jade at the same time it was for more money. Never mind the fact that the first few nights was almost zero sleep and me going crazy and ready to give it all up, and the amount we get ‘paid’ sure as heck doesn’t make up for you losing our mind with sleep deprivation. It was clearly a view expressed to her by her foster dad (oddly, he gets paid to look after her why would he have a go at us over caring for children?) We’re constantly explaining to her that it’s not about the money, where the money gets spent and reminding her that we also don’t look after her “just for the money”.

How awful that she thinks we care for children because of the money.
How awful that her foster dad, or someone else close to her, has filled her head full of this rubbish.
Does she think the same about her foster dad?
That the people caring for her only do it for money?
What a horrible way to be thinking about yourself…you’re not loved for who you are but because someone is paid to.

What are some responses you’ve given people who ask or tell you that you just do it for the money?


6 thoughts on “In it for the money

  1. Could you draw up a simple budget and show her exactly (without dollar values) how fostering actually costs you money? That’s what I did with my autistic son when he failed to understand exactly why we don’t buy him whatever he wants when he feels he deserves it. The visual helped bring it home.

    Just a thought.

    I’ve known a few caregivers who were in it for the wrong reasons but I’m quite sure money wasn’t ever one of them.

  2. I explain it that all of the tax payers believe that my foster care are special and deserve to be taken care of. So the State pays for their food and clothes. Just think of all of the millions of people who are helping to pay for one child’s dinner. It’s powerful imagery for a child to think that there are all these strangers out there who are helping them out!

    • We’ve explained that all the taxpayers support her, including paying for her glasses, and psychologist etc etc but instead of appreciating what strangers are doing for her, the mentality is more like, she expects it because something bad happened to her. She’s sadly being raised by a carer who is always looking for what they are entitled to and handing that down to her, so we’re constantly battling to change her ‘victim’ mentality.

      • We give her money when we’re out shopping for charities that might be collecting at the shopping centre. We see what charity it is and explain what they do and how they will use that money to help other people.
        Maybe we could find an activity she could do to give her time to help out

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