CDC (care for dependent children) from dhhs

One of the most helpful forms of financial assistance available to licensed foster parents is CDC (Care for Dependent Children) childcare assistance. This assistance is provided by DHHS directly to the childcare provider or the foster families. Foster families seeking this benefit must apply directly to DHHS and work directly with DHHS to address any questions or resolve any issues with any part of the process. Neither licensing workers nor caseworkers from private agencies (including Fostering Futures) can offer any assistance with the application or approval process.

The information presented here has been gathered from our foster families, for the purpose of helping our families as much as possible. You should carefully read the DHHS CDC documentation, application, and instructions for details on exactly how to apply, what is covered, and how to follow-up on an open application.  Fostering Futures staff can not help you with this process beyond what is presented on this page...  Families must contact DHHS directly with any questions about the application process, the approval process, delays in getting approved, etc.

IF YOU HAVE ANY HELPFUL TIPS, CONTACT INFO, INSTRUCTIONS, CORRECTIONS, OR ANYTHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH FOSTER FAMILIES ABOUT CDC FROM DHHS, Please contact Tammy to add it to this page. Call 734-481-8999 or email ttalvitie@ffkids.org.

Following are some tips our foster families would like to share about CDC from DHHS:

  1. CDC generally helps with traditional licensed day care and preschool programs, before and after school (latchkey) programs, and some summer day camp programs.
  2. Regardless of income, licensed foster parents who work and/or attend school full time automatically qualify for 100% of the CDC hourly rate for the FOSTER children in their care. Note that for couples, BOTH co-parents must work and/or attend school full time to automatically qualify. Full or partial coverage for adopted or biological children is based on financial need, as is coverage for foster children if all parents in the family are not occupied full time with a combination of work and school.
  3. Even at 100% of the pre-approved hourly rate, CDC assistance may be less than the rate charged by your childcare provider. If so, you are responsible for paying the difference. Generally, the childcare provider will bill DHHS directly for the pre-approved hourly rate, and bill the foster family for any remaining balance.
  4. BE SURE TO APPLY ASAP!  While it can take some time for DHHS to process your CDC application, most families tell us that once it finally is processed, coverage will be retroactive to the DATE YOU APPLY (meaning, the date your completed application is submitted online at Michigan Bridges, or when your paper application is received by the DHHS office). If your foster child starts childcare, then you later apply for CDC, they will NOT cover the days the child was in care prior to your application.
  5. Families may be able to utilize a Flexible Spending Program offered by their employer to pay for remaining childcare costs with pre-tax income. While your company may have a specific annual "enrollment period" for joinging their Flexible Spending Program, the placement of a foster child in your home is a "qualifying event" that should allow you to sign up outside of the annual enrollment period (usually must be done within 30 or 60 days of placement). Likewise, you should be able to dis-enroll any child any child who leaves your care if needed. Consult your company's Human Resources Department for details on any such programs that may be available to you.
  6. You may be able to claim any out-of-pocket childcare expenses (paid using post-tax money) as a deduction on your income tax return. Consult your tax preparation expert for more information. 

Below is a flow chart that outlines the steps to applying, and you can click here if you have trouble finding that application form (DHS-4583) on the DHHS website.