Foster parents provide day-to-day care for children, including supervision, guidance, and affection. They must be able to provide a stable home environment and consistency of care for their foster child. In working with children and various professionals in the community, foster parents should have good communication skills, problem-solving skills, advocacy skills, child management skills, patience, compassion, sensitivity toward cultural differences, an ability to work well as part of a team and a sense of humour!
Foster parents may be single parents, married or living in a common law relationship (including same-sex couples), provided they have been living together for two years. Some may have children of their own still at home, others may have children who are grown and have left home and others may not have children. Foster parents do not have to have children of their own but it helps if they have had some experience working with children. They may have gained this experience caring for friends’ or relatives’ children or working in a professional capacity with children.
Although your heart may be in the right place, for many reasons this may not be a good time for you and your family to think about fostering. Children in care will be contending with difficulties, such as high medical needs, emotional issues and behavioural problems, to name a few. Fostering is a major commitment that will have an impact on every member of your family.
While all families experience difficulties and worries from time to time, there are some situations that can be very stressful. For example, if you and your spouse recently separated or divorced; if there has been a death in your family; if a family member is ill; if you are dealing with difficult behaviours and issues where your own children are concerned; or if your family is experiencing a particularly difficult time or major transition, we would suggest you postpone an application to foster until your family regains stability.
Given the high needs of children in care, we do not want to put your family in a situation where you may become more stressed and possibly unable to cope. That would not be fair to you, your children, or a foster child who comes to live with you. When considering whether this is a good time for you to pursue an application to foster, we urge you to consider your family situation.
You don’t have to be wealthy to be a foster parent. You can even be on social assistance. The important factor is that you are financially stable and that adding a child to your home would not cause a financial burden. If you have any worries or concerns about your present financial situation, this would not be a good time to consider fostering.
There are a number of provincial regulations and standards for foster homes. During the application process, a homestudy worker will assess your home in the following areas:
The bedroom for a foster child must meet the following criteria:
To reach a representative,
click on the map or call:
1-877-587-KIDS (5437)View Map