FOSTER A FUTURE
Foster care should be a temporary stop on the road to PERMANENCY.
It is the place where a child or youth’s journey begins – whether it leads back home, to kin or adoption.
Provide a safe and nurturing home environment
Every child/youth deserves to live in a family
Realistic expectations of the challenges ahead
Maintaining family connections
Assessment, support and working as a member of a professional team
Needs – meeting the child/youth’s social, emotional, physical, developmental and spiritual well-being
Ensuring culture and heritage are preserved
Navigating the child welfare system and your role within it
Caring for children and youth of all ages/stages – babies, school aged, teens and sibling groups
You could be the right person/family for this…
Could YOU be a Resource Parent?:
Being a Resource parent isn’t for everyone. It can be a challenging role at times. It also takes time to go through the approval process. But if you want to make a difference in lives of deserving children/youth, there’s no better way to get involved. The benefits of helping children in need speak for themselves.
Resource parents come from diverse cultural, ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds. If you are a family with children at home, adult children or no children, a single parent or couple, retired or stay at home parent, or both parents working outside the home, you can apply to become a Resource parent.
You must be a resident of Renfrew County and either a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident.
Who are the CHILDREN/YOUTH your family will care for?
The kids we serve are all different. They come from diverse ethnic, cultural and religious family backgrounds. There is no one way to define who they are or what they’re like; each child/youth is a unique individual with a unique set of needs. Children and youth can come in to care because of physical, sexual or emotional abuse, neglect or abandonment, or because of parental capacity issues. As well, the process of coming into care itself is often traumatic. No two children/youth cope with this in exactly the same way. Some children will also have medical or developmental conditions that need to be addressed
What are the different TYPES OF CARE?:
All types of care require PRIDE training and a SAFE assessment.
Children/youth usually enter our care through foster care. Foster care involves providing a caring and supportive home environment for children/youth for a period of a few days, weeks, months, a year or more. Foster care helps keep kids safe. The fostering experience is all about creating a family experience that recognizes each child’s needs and allows them to feel like their peers. Ideally, sibling groups should be placed together, if possible.
Kin Care occurs when children/youth are cared for by members of their immediate or extended family, family friend or someone in their community. The care provided is similar to regular foster care.
Customary Care relates to the care of First Nations/Aboriginal children. Customary care is alternate care provided to Aboriginal children by the Aboriginal community. These arrangements allow children/youth to keep important cultural and family ties.
FOSTER TO ADOPT:
It is essential that children in care experience the least amount of disruption possible and the Foster to Adopt model supports this. In this model, a child’s placement begins as foster care. This model also impacts parents seeking to adopt because the road to adoption will now flow through foster care.
It calls for Resource parents to take on the role of adoptive parents if and when a child becomes legally available for adoption. At its core, the emotional risk lies with the Resource parents, not the child/youth.
If a child/youth becomes eligible for adoption, the shift begins to you being their full legal parent when the Adoption Probation period begins. An adoption worker will meet with your family on a regular basis to provide support, to gather information for your ROACH (Report On the Adjustment of the Child to the Home), and assist you in completing all the necessary legal documentation. This process can take upwards of one year.
How are FAMILY CONNECTIONS maintained?:
Throughout a child/youth’s time in care, there is regularly scheduled access with significant members of their family. This can vary in both frequency and duration. Your role will be to support a child/youth prior to and after these visits. You are a conduit between a child/youth and their family.
If a child/youth’s legal status supports a move to adoption probation, maintaining family relationships will shift from access to openness. Openness can either be through an Order or an Agreement and could range from an annual photo, a letter or face to face contact between birth families and children/youth. This connection helps adoptive parents be better parents and helps reduce the trauma of separation and loss for children and youth. The degree of openness a child needs, a birth parent wishes, or what an adoptive family can accept, is carefully considered early in the adoption process.
We are committed to finding children and youth the PERMANENCY they deserve
What are the next STEPS to becoming a Resource Parent?:
Contact us: We’ll gather some basic information.
We contact you: Your inquiry is assigned to a resource worker. They will arrange a meeting with you to collect more detailed information and explain the application and approval process, answer any questions you might have and determine your fit and readiness for this process.
Training and Assessment: You take PRIDE: PRIDE (Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education) is Ontario’s mandatory, standardized curriculum for Foster/Kin/Customary Care and Adoptive applicants and consists of a minimum of 27 hours of training.
We conduct a SAFE Assessment: SAFE (Structured Analysis Family Evaluation) is Ontario’s standardized home study format for all Foster/Kin/Customary Care and Adoptive applicants. This process combines interviews (approx.. 4 to 6) and assessment tools to determine your further eligibility, suitability and readiness to become a Resource parent.
Approval: Once you have completed PRIDE training and your SAFE assessment and have been recommended for ‘approval’, your home is open for placement. Your resource worker will support you on an on-going basis as you work with the Agency.
Placement: A placement in your home might occur quickly, or many weeks or months can go by without a match. If a placement request is viewed as a potential match to your home, you will be contacted to fully review the child/youth’s profile. Once the match is made, placement will occur.
If you want to learn more about our programme, please contact Resource Services by calling 613-735-6866 or on our website at fcsrenfrew.on.ca