Throughout the month of May, in celebration of foster families and in recognition of National Foster Family Appreciation Day on May 31, CHAMPS has been highlighting stories of amazing foster families from around the country. CHAMPS will continue to highlight stories throughout the year and will also highlight others who play a huge part in supporting foster families, including employers, community and faith-based organizations, schools and educators, and health professionals.

We’re proud to feature the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), an organization of 67,000 pediatricians committed to the optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. We are thankful to AAP for its policies that support its employees who are foster parents. Employees of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are eligible to use up to 16 weeks of Family Medical Leave for the placement of a child with the employee for foster care or adoption and are eligible for Parental Benefits as a form of pay while they are out caring for the child. This time off can be critical for ensuring a smooth transition for the child and the foster family!

Specifically, AAP employees may opt to request to use their Family Medical Leave on a full-time or intermittent basis. While Family Medical Leave is an unpaid leave, employees who foster or adopt a child are eligible for Parental Benefits as a form of pay while they are out of the office caring for the child. After an employee has satisfied the eligibility requirements (6 months of continuous AAP employment working at least 20 hours per week), they may request to use Parental Benefits. Under the Parental Benefit Program, eligible employees will be provided with up to 12 weeks of consecutive paid parental time. Salary continuation payments under this program provide 6 weeks of consecutive pay at 100% of their base salary, followed by an additional 6 weeks of consecutive pay at 50% of their base salary. After paid parental leave has concluded, the balance of the employee’s protected Family Medical Leave is unpaid unless the employee has available sick or vacation time. An employee may request one Parental Leave Benefit every 12 month rolling period and may use it consecutively if they are out of the office on a full-time basis, or they may request to use it intermittently.

Thanks again, AAP, for your support of foster families and the children and youth in their care!

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