Foster Care Spending
The report, called the MARC (Minimum Adequate Rates for Children) study, said Missouri needs to increase statewide foster care payments by 125%.
This finding found sympathetic ears with many Missouri foster parents.
"Common sense and experience tells me there's not enough funding," said Warrenton foster parent Cathy Pritchett. "I always wonder where does the money go? I'm not sure."
Pritchett and her husband Greg became licensed foster parents six years ago. Now, the Pritchetts are raising their first foster child's son.
After an increase earlier this year, foster parents receive between $271 and $358 per month for each child. The MARC study says that these figures are inadequate.
Celesta Hartgraves of the Missouri Department of Social Services said the report does not provide a completely accurate reflection of the state's total investment in foster care.
"The report doesn't take into account other payments that the children's division provides to foster parents. Our parents that receive our Pride training receive an additional $100 a month. That training is required." Hartgraves said.
The MARC study targets other Midwest states, calling for Nebraska, Illinois, and Kansas to raise their spending rates as well.