Quebec foster parents of disabled children get far more benefits than birth families: study
Families that foster children with disabilities get paid 70 per cent more benefits by the government than a family that chooses to keep the kids in the home, according to a new study.
The survey by the Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton firm has gotten the attention of families of disabled kids, who are now demanding parity in benefits with foster families.
The economic analysist showed that birth families receive an average of $25,632 per year to care for a disabled child while a foster family receives $44,254.
These benefits come in the form of both cash and in various services and tax breaks, mostly from the provincial government but some from the federal level as well.
The RCGT study showed these benefits, which vary depending on the severity of a child’s disability, can vary between $14,400 and $36,863 for a birth family whole host families receive between $33,056 and $55,471 per year.
Hospitals caring for a disabled child can receive between $47,752 and $81,373, for an average of $64,563.
The study was conducted on behalf of the Pacho Star Peer Support Network of Parents of Children with Disabilities. According to network officials, there was already an idea that the disparity existed but the study showed it was much larger than previously though.
In 2016, the Couillard government created the supplement for handicapped children requiring exception care, but only a small minority of children with disabilities were eligible, due to a restrictive criteria. Of the 36,000 children recognized as disabled in Quebec, just under 4,000 parents asked for the supllmenet and only 1,634 obtained it.
The study was presented to Family Minister Luc Fortin in June. Fortin said he was sympathetic to the birth families but would not make a commitment towards parity.