Emily Rice Published

Foster Care Payments Delayed, Advocates React

A pen and glasses rest on a spreadsheet of finances.
Payments due to caregivers of 2,300 West Virginia foster children will be delayed in the month of February.

Updated on Friday, Feb. 10, 2023 at 4:53 p.m.

Payments due to caregivers of 2,300 West Virginia foster children will be delayed in the month of February.

According to a release from the state Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), the delay was caused by the department’s conversion from the Families and Children Tracking System (FACTS) to the West Virginia People’s Access to Help (WV PATH).

The information had to be manually entered and appropriate payments are being processed now. Payments are usually issued the second week of the month and will return to their normal schedule in March.

Adoption subsidy payments will be made the week of Feb. 13.

Foster families experiencing issues with payments may contact DHHR Client Services at 1-800-642-8589.

Those with emergency needs may contact their local DHHR office and families may also dial 211 for assistance with locating local resources.

Advocacy Group Responds

The WV Foster Adoptive and Kinship Parents Network, an advocacy organization supporting those caring for the state’s most vulnerable children, released a statement Friday afternoon in response to the DHHR’s announcement regarding delayed payments to foster care parents.

The Network’s statement claimed that caregivers and foster parents throughout the state learned of the payment delay via automated phone calls just before the DHHR released their statement.

Marissa Sanders, Executive Director of the WV Foster Adoptive and Kinship Parents Network noted in the statement that many kinship and relative families are led by grandparents who live on a fixed income.

According to the statement, one caregiver who may be impacted said, “If there is a delay in receiving my stipend, it would impact a lot of my bills. I have to make arrangements to pay things on certain dates and when I have to break that arrangement because the funds aren’t coming when they’re supposed to then it’s hard and I take a chance on getting things shut off.”