AUSTIN (AP) - Foster parents in Texas will receive a slight raise beginning next week.
It's one strategy in the state's plan to expand capacity in the foster care system.
The 4.3 percent raises means the amount the state spends on residential reimbursements will increase from $21.4 million in 2006 and 2007 to $38.9 million in the coming two years.
The state has more than 18,000 children in the foster care system. Officials were criticized earlier this year by Travis County judges for having foster children sleep in state offices when there's nowhere else to place them.
Foster care advocates praised the raise as one tool that could attract additional parents to take in children. Texas Foster Family Association President Roy Block called the raise a step in the right direction.