SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Money is one of the reasons stopping many from becoming foster parents.
But with new legislation that would provide financial support to foster parents, many young Missourians can now expect a loving home without too much financial burden.
House Bill 429 would authorize an income tax deduction of up to $5,000 for Missourians for expenses related to being a foster parent.
“And then we have House Bill 4-30, which is benevolent tax credits at large,” said representative Hannah Kelly. “That includes adoption tax credits. The senate increased the annual maximum of tax credits from two million to six million per year.”
“I think it makes a difference. It’ll make a difference,” said Angela Thomas, a foster parent of 15 years. “A lot of people I think don’t do it because it’s a high-risk thing when you’re dealing with high-risk kids. Some are very destructive. A lot of them are angry. Most of them are. Sometimes they can wear and tear on your things, you have to replace things. They’re like that because of what they’ve been through. And so if you’ve been abused, you will respond to everybody like that.”
“It is not unusual for foster parents time and time and time again to spend well above and beyond the compensation that’s given by the state per month. It may be because there’s no child care in the area, and you have to pay straight out of your pocket,” said Kelly.
Thomas says being a foster parent isn’t easy, but patience is key.
“I’ve seen people that give up on a kid within 2 weeks, 30 days, that’s not enough time. And to be honest, six months is not enough time either.”
Thomas also says the rewards are well worth it.
“Seeing them change. Seeing them smile, seeing the before and after pictures, the skin clears up, the hair where it was thin, will start to thicken up,” said Thomas.
“I’m a believer in the community investing in these vital organizations that help those who are most in need amongst us, ” said Kelly. “And I believe it’s a great spend of the taxpayer dollars.”
Both bills are heading to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.