If you have concerns about a child, please call your local CAS immediately. All CASs have emergency service 24 hours a day, so you can call anytime.
Ontario’s Children Aid Societies work very hard to help children remain in their families. However when children cannot remain at home because of serious concerns about their safety and protection, they come into the care of a child welfare agency that makes every effort to give a child a family and a home.
Where possible, the preferred option is to place the child with a member of the immediate or extended family or a member of the community. If that is not possible, foster care may be the best alternative.
Foster care is the first choice because most children’s needs are best met in a family environment. Foster parents provide a temporary home for children who are in the care of a Children’s Aid Society. Children may need foster care for just a few days, a week, several months or possibly years.
Foster parents work with CAS staff as part of a team to develop a plan for each child in care. The ideal plan is usually to reunite a child with their family. Where this is not possible, the plan may include adoption or long-term foster care. Foster parents provide stability and a caring home that encourages a child’s growth and development. While the legal responsibility for the child remains with the agency, foster parents play an important role in the child’s daily life.
Who are Foster Children?
- Each foster child is unique.
- There is no typical foster child.
- Children come into care because there is a conflict within the family, because of a parent’s illness or incapacity to take care of their child/children.
- Some children may come into care because the family cannot provide adequate care or the necessities of life.
- Other children may have been neglected, abused or abandoned.
- Foster children range in age from infancy to 18 years and come from diverse cultural, religious and family backgrounds.
- Many foster children are teenagers; some are brothers and sisters.
- Some foster children face physical, emotional and mental challenges.
- Each foster child is going through a troubled period in his family life and needs the care offered by foster parents.
- Many require not only warmth and acceptance but consistency, structure and guidance.