Hawaii foster parents: Pay raise not enough

Hawaii foster parents: Pay raise not enough

HONOLULU (AP) - A lawsuit claiming Hawaii foster parents are underpaid is moving ahead despite a recent increase in state payments.

Foster families will receive a pay raise for the first time since 1990. The state was paying foster parents $529 per child per month. The new rate ranges from $575 to $676, depending on the child's age.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Wednesday those behind the lawsuit say the payments remain inadequate. Attorneys are expected to move soon for class-action certification representing more than 1,000 Hawaii foster parents.

Attorney Paul Alston says the way the state calculates payments fails to consider Hawaii's high cost of living.

State officials say there are other financial resources available to foster parents, including up to $570 a month for children with special needs.

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