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Bachmanns were paid for foster care services

Dear Answer Man, Rep. Michele Bachmann has gotten a lot of attention for having provided foster care for children, but I've never seen it reported whether she was compensated. It's my understanding that if you're a licensed foster care home that there's some financial compensation. If true, how much were they paid?

This question came from my boss' Facebook page Wednesday, so I'll tread gingerly here.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Bachmann and her husband Marcus were licensed by the state to provide foster care in their Stillwater home from 1992 to 2000. Bachmann said in campaign material in 2000 that they provided a home for 20 foster children. Since then, she's referred to 23 foster children .

The Bachmanns were licensed by the state to take in up to three foster children at a time, and many were short-term placements for girls dealing with eating disorders who were being treated at the University of Minnesota.

Their residence was defined as a treatment home, and according to a June 21 story in the New York Times, that "offered a higher level of reimbursement." Though it wasn't reported how much the Bachmanns were paid in the 1990s, the current reimbursement rate is $47 per day, according to the Times story. That information came from George Hendrickson, the head of PATH Minnesota , the private agency that handled the Bachmanns' placements.


"Minnesota law permits foster care records to be destroyed after seven years, and the Bachmanns’ files are gone, so Mr. Hendrickson could not say how many children they took in," the Times reported. "Some stayed a few months, others more than a year."

So were they compensated? Apparently yes. That doesn't take anything away from the important part they played in the lives of those young people.

For information on becoming a foster parent , call the state Department of Human Services at (651) 431-2000.

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