A Letter from DCF Commissioner Linda Spears 3/26/2021
Dear DCF Foster Parents,
It’s amazing to me that it’s been a year since COVID-19 transformed our lives. I may have told you this before, but I maintain, Massachusetts has the best foster parents in the nation. You’ve stood with us as we learned everything we never thought we’d need to know about PPE, quarantining, and test results. You’ve impressed us with the new ways you’ve found to keep children learning and connected to their parents and their communities. Your steadfastness in the face of so much uncertainty has been remarkable and, because of your dedication, our children have safe, supportive homes despite the added stress of the pandemic and we cannot thank you enough for that.
It is my pleasure to share with you that the Department of Children and Families (DCF) will again be able to help off-set some of the additional costs you’re experiencing simply by being home more often. For the months of March, April, May, and June, kinship and unrestricted foster parents will receive an additional $100 per month to cover expenses for foster children in your care.
The first checks should arrive early next week. Depending on the age of the children you’re caring for, the $100 payment represents a 10-12% monthly increase to your normal reimbursement from the Department (your stipend and your child’s clothing allowance).
A $100 payment will generate for each child who is in placement with you on the 15th of the month (3/15, 4/15, 5/15, 6/15).
I was pleased to see many of you at February’s virtual townhall and hear more about your experiences and concerns during this difficult time. I hope you found the information from Secretary Sudders and the physicians insightful and reassuring.
As you may be aware, anyone who is 60 and older is eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. On April 5, that will expand to people age 55 and older and people with one certain medical condition. On April 19, all residents of the Commonwealth will be eligible for vaccination. Due to very high demand and limited supply at this time, it may take several weeks to get an appointment but anyone, whether you are currently eligible for the vaccine or not, can pre-register to be vaccinated at one of the Commonwealth’s mass vaccination sites by visiting https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine. You can also check your eligibility and find other vaccine locations on that page.
Thank you again for being a part of our team and everything you’re doing to support children. Spring’s arrival feels more like a new beginning than it ever has, as we can now imagine a time when this pandemic is in the rear view mirror.
Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Children and Families
Please reach out to your Kid’s Net Director with any questions. Contact information can be found here.