Resource Parenting through Fostering or Adoption

Making A Difference Click to Expand Click to Collapse

Our mandate and philosophy is to build on a family’s strengths in promoting a safe and stable home environment for children and youth to grow up in. At times, families struggle with issues that make it difficult to offer their children/youth this setting. The Family and Children’s Service workers assist the family to look to other such options for their child. This could include relatives or friends of the family/child/youth or when that is not available, foster homes are then utilized for a temporary solution. This allows the parent’s time to focus on their own needs or the child/youth to receive any appropriate informal or formal intervention services. When a situation does not improve then adoptive families are sought to provider permanence for children and youth in homes with a new family.

Foster parents are there to provide a safe and nurturing home environment for as long as the child needs. We desire foster families whom have had some success in establishing their home and/or children in a structured, stable and positive environment where they feel secure. All children and youth have various needs and areas of physical, emotional, intellectual, and social development are promoted.

We remain attentive to our goal of reunification of children and youth with their families as soon as possible, but when this cannot occur we look to adoptive parents. Children and youth in care can range in age from 0-18 years and may have siblings.

We desire Resource families of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds as our children come from a range of heritages as well. We desire to maintain children and youth in their culture as well as meet any and all of their religious, educational and social identity. We welcome and value a variety of families to foster and adopt as are reflective of our community today.

Getting Started Click to Expand Click to Collapse

There are many things to consider before deciding to become a foster or adoptive parent and we want to ensure you are making an informed decision by providing you the necessary information.

Please call 519-352-0440 or email foster.adoption@ckcs.on.ca to speak with a Recruitment Worker.

When your initial questions have been answered and you are ready to proceed, you will be invited to attend the office to receive the application package and sign a CPIN (Child Protection Information Network) record check consent form. The application package includes a demographic, financial, reference contact and social history questionnaire.

Once we have received your completed application, a Recruitment Worker will assign you to a PRIDE training course and may schedule a meeting with you in your home to talk about next steps and answer any further questions you may have.

After the PRIDE classes, you will complete a SAFE home assessment.

Questions about Fostering Click to Expand Click to Collapse

Video provided by Waterloo CAS

 

We thank the Family and Children’s Services of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo for use of their video on the Approval process.

If you have an interest or any questions about fostering or adoption, please call 519-352-0440 ext. 4558.

Myths and Realities about Fostering Click to Expand Click to Collapse
Myths Reality
People who are single can’t become foster parents.

We have welcomed single foster parents for several years. As with any type of parenting, a strong support network helps make parenting more successful.

If parents are both working, they can’t become foster parents.

We do have working foster parents and stay at home foster parents. The reality is for pre-school children or some children with extensive needs the preference is for a more available foster parent to meet their needs. This is where matching would occur.

If you have a history of mental health problems, such as depression, you can’t become a foster parent.

Every person and family is assessed during the inquiry, application and home assessment process. People with a history of mental health problems are not ruled out just because of that – other factors come into consideration. Impact and stability are two areas reviewed among others.

If you’ve had any contact with the child welfare system – even if you were yourself previously in foster care – you can’t be a foster parent.

Each situation is assessed during the application process. Even if you were previously investigated by the agency, depending on the circumstances, you may still be able to become a foster parent.

If you’ve never had children of your own, you can’t become a foster parent.

Having prior experience in many situations is a benefit. However, it is not a must have. The ability to communicate and learn are what we look for in all parents.

All the children who are placed with foster parents are very difficult and disruptive.

The experience of loss and trauma have an impact on children and this can be expressed in behaviours. Training is provided to Foster parents as a support to assist them with the needs of children in their home.

If you are LGBTQ+, you can’t be a foster parent.

Our world is diverse and our agency is inclusive, therefore we value many styles of families. LGBTQ foster parents are welcome.

Once you are a foster parent, there is little or no support for you.

Everyone has a worker within our agency model of Child Welfare, so you have access to a Children’s Worker whom assists with direct needs of the child, while a Resource Worker helps to support your family’s needs.

If you are Aboriginal or from a culture or background that makes you a minority in Canada, you can’t become a foster parent.

When removing children and placing them in homes, it is always great to match children to foster homes with similar backgrounds. As our community grows and changes, our foster homes need to reflect this.

Most of the children coming into foster care are babies.

Children come into foster care at all ages, and the numbers are constantly fluctuating. Sometimes we do have many babies, other times we have more teens than any other age group.

Being a foster parent is very expensive, you have to pay for a lot of things out of your own pocket.

Foster parents are paid a daily board rate and funding for items such as clothing, school supplies and some recreational activities.

 

Some things that are TRUE:

  • You do need to be able to speak and write English well enough to communicate with Family and Children’s Services worker as well as maintain daily logs while the children are in your home.
  • Most children who come into foster care return to their families after a brief or longer period of time; it can be tough to say good-bye to a child you have been caring for. Your Resource Worker will support you and your family during this transition.
  • If you are going through some challenging times in your family life, we’d encourage you to wait until things settle down before applying to foster.
The Approval Process Click to Expand Click to Collapse

Foster and adoptive families are approved to have children come to their home only after they have successfully completed PRIDE Training and SAFE Home study.

P.R.I.D.E. (Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education) Training is a 9-part training session designed to provide you with the basic tools needed to successfully foster or adopt a child. Sessions are facilitated by a Recruitment Worker and a Foster/Adoptive parent. Topics include Attachment; Loss; Strengthening Family Relationship; Discipline and Change. It provides a greater understanding of the Resource Parents role in both fostering and adoption.

The S.A.F.E. (Structured Analysis Family Evaluation) home study will take place after your training is completed. This mutual evaluation process includes 4-6 interviews in your home.

During this approval process, you will be required to complete two more external clearances, including:

  • police checks
  • a medical form by your doctor

All of this collected information about your family allows the agency assessor to determine if your family is a good fit for the extraordinary expectations of this fostering program. We are looking for families that have knowledge and skills as well as the willingness and ability to foster a child by meeting the six competencies as follows:

  1. Protecting and Nurturing Children
  2. Meeting Children’s Developmental Needs and Addressing Developmental Delays
  3. Supporting Relationships between Children and their Families
  4. Connecting Children to Safe, Nurturing Relationships Intended to Last a Lifetime
  5. Participating as a Member of a Professional Team
  6. Reinforcing a Child’s Heritage and Cultural Identity

Other aspects families will need to bring to the role for success include:

  • being strength based or focused when viewing what a child/youth can bring to your family
  • celebrating little changes or improvements, as children in Care face such unique challenges
  • showing perseverance and patience through the difficult times
  • setting achievable goals and expectations for children/youth given their individual circumstances
  • know how to help a child with loss of people, self-esteem, and change
  • respecting the child’s connects to their family while helping them feel a part of yours

We need families who are at a stage of life where they are not dealing with their own stressors or recent changes. Having a stable and positive environment can bring about such change to a child’s/youth’s life. Every day, foster and adoptive families make a difference in some subtle way to a life.

Support for Foster Families Click to Expand Click to Collapse

Co-parenting with Workers

As stated before, there are various workers assigned to tasks of case management/court, to child’s needs, to supporting the foster home. You are not alone in this endeavour to meet the needs of this child you have welcomed into your home. Workers can assist with directing you to community services, identifying any developmental needs the child maybe displaying or problem-solving how to effectively deal with a behaviour. Communication and contact with the Workers can assist you in all aspects of this role.

Financial Assistance

A per diem of $31/day is paid per child to help offset the costs of food, hygiene products and extra use of utilities that come from having another person in the home. Apart from this there is funding for recreational activities for the child, clothing, and spending allowance for the child. There are often a lot of appointments or visits for a child that can be reimbursed with a mileage benefit as well.

Training Opportunities and Networking

With the growing needs of children entering Care in the areas of trauma, loss, as well as developmental delays and mental health there is a requirement for our foster parents to be highly skilled at managing these needs. Therefore, ongoing training in a variety of areas will be offered to allow foster parents to feel knowledgeable and capable from installing a car seat to dealing with self-abuse.

As well, it will be important to make contact with fellow foster parents as this role and its realities are unique to the Child Welfare system. Sharing experiences, socializing and receiving support are all benefits to this population of people who have a similar perspective of life in the care of another family’s children.

Foster Parent Association

As a foster parent, you will automatically be a member of this Association and can be a part of the electing of or acting on the Executive Board. The Board works with the agency in identifying any negative themes being encountered by foster families, as well as advocating for any needed services. There are also social events like the annual summer BBQ and Christmas party that are organized by this group.

Extended Health Care coverage for foster children

The agency elevates the responsibility for extended health care off of the foster parents and provides Green Shield coverage for all children in Care. This includes eye glass wear, prescription medications, dental care, etc. Cards will be provided to the Foster parents shortly after the child arrives into care.

Green Shield coverage for all children in Care. This includes eye glass wear, prescription medications, dental care, etc. Cards will be provided to the Foster parents shortly after the child arrives into care.

Fostering Adolescents Click to Expand Click to Collapse

Teen youth are often avoided when it comes to homes looking to foster, however, they should be considered for so many reasons.

  • They are navigating a world they are still unable to manage with limited assistance to do it successfully.
  • They are worth the time and effort
  • The results can be so impactful for our community at large (they are our immediate future)
  • They are dealing with many hardships in life and have made it this far due to resilience
  • They teach us how to be persuasive in our expectations and perspective
  • They need someone to be patient, understanding, kind and empathetic.
  • They need someone to share their achievements, holidays and hardships with.
  • There have limited resources for themselves in our community.
  • They are deserving of your support, love and encouragement.
  • They need to know someone believes in them and they can reach great goals.
  • They need someone who is still willing to learn as they teach.
  • They need someone who knows they were not perfect themselves, nor are they now.
  • They need someone to see beyond their circumstances to what they can be.
  • They need someone to accept them for who they are culturally.
  • They need someone not looking for gratitude or payback, but makes it about them.

With Chatham-Kent Children's Services being a multi-service agency, it is helpful in connecting to mental health services. Community collaterals also are called upon in the support of our teen youth in Care.