New York City Council Header
File #: Res 0021-2018    Version: * Name: Establish and administer “Care Cards” that foster parents can use to receive, spend, and track monthly foster care stipends.
Type: Resolution Status: Committee
Committee: Committee on General Welfare
On agenda: 1/31/2018
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature and the Office of Children and Family Services to establish and administer "Care Cards" that foster parents can use to receive, spend, and track monthly foster care stipends
Sponsors: Fernando Cabrera
Council Member Sponsors: 1
Attachments: 1. January 31, 2018 - Stated Meeting Agenda

Res. No. 21

 

Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature and the Office of Children and Family Services to establish and administer “Care Cards” that foster parents can use to receive, spend, and track monthly foster care stipends

 

By Council Member Cabrera

Whereas, According to the Administration for Children’s Services (“ACS”) of New York City, as of October 2017, there were 8,917 children living in individual foster homes in New York City; and

Whereas, According to a 2015 fact sheet published by Public Advocate, Letitia James, the number of children placed in foster care in New York City at the time accounted for approximately 60% of children in the foster care system in the state of New York; and

Whereas, Currently, financial support provided by New York State and New York City for a child placed in a foster home is paid directly to the foster parent in monthly installments; and

Whereas, Unless the foster parent voluntarily terminates his or her parental rights or sends a letter to ACS relinquishing the monthly check, the parent will continue getting the monthly stipends until the child turns 21; and

Whereas, Foster parents in New York City who send their children to live elsewhere and do not voluntarily terminate their parental rights can continue to pull in monthly checks of up to $1,700 undetected by ACS for months or years, even if their children have re-entered the foster care system and reside in another foster home; and

Whereas, Such abuse by foster parents defrauds the taxpayers of New York State and New York City, deprives vulnerable children of opportunities to be placed into proper foster care, and perpetuates the notion that the foster care system prioritizes money over the child, which has collateral social consequences such as children in foster care being more susceptible to sex trafficking; and

Whereas, Instead of depositing foster care subsidies directly into foster parents’ accounts, the Office of Children and Family Services could establish a “Care Card” for each child in foster care and load the “Care Card” every month with the child’s monthly stipend; and

Whereas, Each “Care Card” would function similarly to a debit card (much like commuter cards or healthcare flexible spending cards), and would be associated with one child so that any time that child enters or leaves a foster home, the “Care Card” is activated or de-activated accordingly; and

Whereas, The “Care Card” would allow the foster parents, the Office of Children and Family Services, and ACS to track monthly costs associated with foster care, ensuring that the foster care subsidies are indeed being used for the child for whom the foster care subsidy is given; and

Whereas, The Office of Children and Family Services, working with ACS, would develop mechanisms that would account for any child who has been sent out of a foster home and would ensure that foster parents who send out a child no longer collect monthly funds associated with that child; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the New York State Legislature and the Office of Children and Family Services to establish and administer “Care Cards” that foster parents can use to receive, spend, and track monthly foster care stipends.

 

WJP/JJ

LS #2392

01/09/2018 5:25PM