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Federal Judge Rejects State Request For Delay in Foster Care Reimbursement Hike

Audio

Aired 6/10/11

State officials want to delay the start of higher payments to foster parents, but a judge says there are no grounds to do so.

For the second time in two weeks, a federal judge ordered California to pay more money to foster parents right away.

A federal judge on May 27 told California to increase its monthly reimbursement, by an average of $160, to foster parents. The state wanted a delay. Officials said it would be hard to raise the reimbursement immediately because checks are based on the previous month's work. Lawyer Marc Peters said the judge didn't buy that.

"So even though the state is making its reimbursement for services provided in the past, those services had a certain cost and yet the state is proposing to pay less for those costs today," Peters said. "That's where it was wrong."

Some foster parents are paying out-of-pocket to cover expenses for their foster kids because the monthly reimbursement is not enough.

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