I drive the foster youth in my care 15 miles each way (30 miles round trip) to ensure that she can remain in her school of origin and it is becoming a financial hardship. Am I eligible for reimbursement of transportation costs?

Background: School of origin means the school that the foster child attended prior to entering foster care or the school in which the foster child was last enrolled. If the school the foster child attended prior to entering foster care is different from the school in which the foster child was last enrolled, or if there is some other school that the foster child attended with which the foster child is connected and that the foster child attended within the immediately preceding 15 months, the educational liaison, in consultation with, and with the agreement of, the foster child and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the foster child, shall determine, in the best interests of the foster child, the school that shall be deemed the school of origin. (Education Code §48853.5(g)).

A: Yes. Resource families, approved relative caregivers, non-related extended family members, and foster family homes have a right to receive reimbursement for transportation of a child to their school of origin. The California Department of Social Services (DSS) issued All County Letter (ACL) 11-51 which includes the amount of funding to be provided on a monthly basis to caregivers transporting the child in their care to their school of origin if the travel is 4 or more miles one way in the amount of $58-$443 per month, depending on the number of miles traveled per month. In this instance, a caregiver transporting a child 15 miles one way to get to their school of origin is entitled to reimbursement in the amount of $250 per month for that child.

Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008; All County Letter NO. 11-51; Education Code §48853.5(g)

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