What does it take to become a foster caregiver? Close to 3,000 individuals and families provincewide open their homes and their hearts to foster children in B.C. every day. As Foster Family Month, October is a time to find out more about the remarkable work these caregivers do and to ask yourself if fostering might be right for you.
Foster caregivers come from all walks of life and reflect the diverse cultural, social and ethnic backgrounds of British Columbians, yet there is always a need for new hearts and homes. That need is particularly acute in many Aboriginal communities. While around a tenth of caregivers in B.C. are Aboriginal, more than 60% of B.C.’s children in care are Aboriginal. There’s always a need for caregivers who can help connect Aboriginal children and youth with their culture and traditions.
Every one of the more than 7,000 children and youth in government care in B.C deserves a stable, loving and supportive home. Foster families offer that and more by helping to guide these young people through some of the most difficult and formative years of their life.
Together with the Adoptive Families Association of BC, government has launched Fostering Connections, an awareness campaign to highlight the incredible service that foster caregivers perform for children and youth in the province. The BC Federation of Foster Parent Associations and Indigenous Perspectives Society were key partners in the design and rollout of the campaign, which also includes a targeted recruitment drive in areas of the province where the need for new caregivers is greatest.
Running from October to December 2016, the campaign includes radio and social media ads that highlight inspirational stories from current and former foster caregivers and youth in care. Those stories, videos, an interactive quiz and further information about the challenges and rewards of fostering are available online at: http://fosteringconnections.ca/.
If you want to make a lasting difference for a child in need, please visit: http://fosteringconnections.ca/ or call the BC Federation of Foster Parent Associations Foster Line toll-free at 1-800-663-9999.
To read about how a foster mom made a difference in Guy’s life, please visit: http://ow.ly/D7Vv304Ka79
What does it take to become a foster caregiver in B.C.?
B.C.’s foster caregivers come from a variety of backgrounds, each with different life experiences, skills, and qualities. There are no restrictions on income, sexual orientation or relationship status. They do, however, share a few things in common:
- All are residents of B.C. who are (at least) 19 years of age.
- Their homes are safe and nurturing.
- They are in good physical and mental health, and able to cope with the demands of looking after a foster child.
- They have completed the 53-hour B.C. Foster Care Education Program.
- Each is comfortable in providing guidance and supervision that meets the child’s needs and their cultural heritage.
- They are active members of the child’s care team.