Top Ten Questions about Fostering
We answer the top questions we get about becoming a fostering parent in this recorded Livestream from Facebook. Find out more at our website: www.BeTheHelpKidsNeed.ca
Our goal is to keep families together whenever possible. If that can’t happen, we turn first to extended family or someone who has an existing relationship with the child or youth. When families and their networks are not able to care for a child, foster parents play a crucial role in caring for and nurturing them until they can safely return home.
We currently have a drastic shortage of foster placements. Children and youth in foster care can range in age from 0-18 and may have siblings. Just like in our community, some children who need foster care have different abilities or accessibility needs. They come from all ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds and may identify as LGBTQ2S+ and we are looking for foster parents to embrace and even reflect this diversity. As an agency we acknowledge that racism, anti-black and anti-Indigenous racism, and social inequality negatively impact outcomes for children and youth. We are refocusing our work so that we see and serve every child in the context of their connections to family, culture, and community. Our goal is to offer culturally appropriate placements to the children in our community who need out of home care, and as such we will be especially pleased to accept applications from individuals who identify as Black, First Nations, Inuit or Metis due to the over-representation of Black and Indigenous children in the child welfare sector.
At this time, we are accepting foster applications for children of all ages, and our greatest need is for school age children and teenagers. We currently only have a waitlist for people interested in fostering-to-adopt a child between 0-2.
COVID-19 UPDATE: Our offices remain open to the community and we are taking inquiries and applications from people who want to learn more about becoming foster parents. The next Foster Parent training session will begin in October. Please reach out for more information!
Remember when you were a youth and someone helped you through a difficult time? Your parents, an aunt or uncle, a coach or a teacher. They helped you make it through. That’s exactly the person we’re looking for to help the kids we serve. Being a foster parent is a chance to pay it forward.
Fostering isn’t easy. You need to be patient. You need to be flexible. You’ll have to have time to devote to the kids we’ll send you. The process of becoming a foster parent is also long and challenging. What we’re offering isn’t for everyone. We’re looking for some very special people. It’s like planting a tree. It’ll take hard work to plant it and then care for it as it grows. But one day you know that tree will bloom. And it’ll be because of your hard work. It’s the same thing with fostering. The rewards of being a foster parent is a feeling like no other. We’ll be with you every step of the way. You won’t be alone. And getting started is easier then you think.
We’ve learned some hard lessons in the last 125 years about culture and community. In the past, we have failed to keep children and youth connected to where they come from and who they and their family really are. Our new Vision and Strategic Plan commits us to preserve and protect the bonds of culture and community in adoption and foster care. That’s why we’ve started matching foster and adoption recruits to the culture and community needs of children and youth in our care. If we have kids who are Indigenous we will try to find them a foster family who are also Indigenous or who can ensure their Indigenous heritage is supported. Likewise, for African-Canadians, 2SLGBTQ+ kids and so on. This is a new process that will take time to implement, and sometimes a culture or community match is not possible. Nevertheless, culture and community matching will be our priority in recruitment decisions. The best way to understand this process and where you fit is to contact us. Use the Contact Us form on this page to get in touch with us to find out more
We’re looking for very special people. Becoming a foster parent is hard work. There’s mandatory training and a variety of checks. Being a foster parent isn’t easy, either. You’ll need to find quality time to spend with the kids you care for. You’ll need to be patient and flexible. And you’ll need an unending supply of compassion. You’ll also have to work as a team with staff, outside professionals and volunteers. We’ll support you on your journey. Just like you will be welcoming a foster child into your family we’ll be welcoming you into our family. We need foster parents who are committed to helping kids better their lives and find their futures. The children and youth we serve are all different. We have a significant number of teens that need foster homes. They’ll need your guidance and experience as they begin the transition from childhood to becoming young adults. We also need homes for children with developmental disabilities. It could be kids with Autism or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or medically fragile babies. All of the children and youth we serve are more than the sum of the challenges they have faced. With your help they will be able to be all they can be.