New York Governor Kathy Hochul today signed a law requiring local social service districts to pay, “at least 100%” of the New York’s Office of Children and Family Services (OFCS) published foster rates, which OCFS agreed to calculate using a methodology that complies with federal Child Welfare Act under a landmark settlement agreement that Morrison & Foerster secured in December 2021 on behalf of the Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition of New York (AFFCNY) after the firm filed suit 11 years ago. That settlement also required OCFS to introduce the legislation Governor Hochul signed into law today. Other key provisions of the settlement included:
An initial increase of more than 46% in the monthly reimbursement of expenses for children in foster care in the New York City area.
An increase of 20%–40% in the monthly reimbursement of expenses for children in foster care in the rest of the state, depending on the child’s age.
An increase of, on average, 25% in support for the care of children with special needs, and implementation of a new “extraordinary” rate for children who require full-time care, such as those with the most serious medical conditions.
Annual adjustment of all rates to keep them in line with inflation.
A meeting between OCFS and plaintiffs one year before the agreement expires to discuss continued use of the new rate-setting methodology.