What is Foster Care?
Foster care is one of many services the Simcoe County Children's Aid Society is mandated to provide under the Child and Family Services Act. It is a temporary protective service for children whose family problems are serious enough
to require a period of out-of-home care.
Our foster caregivers reflect the community's diversity in language, race, culture, family constellation and economic circumstance. Some are experienced parents whose family has grown. Others are fostering while still raising their
own children. Others are caregivers with professional child care skills or training in social work, psychology, education, nursing or similar fields who are now at home and would like to continue using their skills and others are partenting for the first time. All share a genuine interest in the well-being of children, respect for others and a desire to contribute to their community.
What Do Foster Caregivers Do?
Caregivers provide temporary family life in their own homes. They act as role models, teachers, and nurturers and serve as a support to the child's family as well. As part of a team, caregivers work with staff, children and parents towards establishing the best plan. The initial plan is usually to reunite a child with his or her family or kin. Where this is not possible, the plan may include adoption. Children coming into care can display challenging behaviour as a way of coping with the upheaval in their lives; foster parents need to work with other members of the fostering team to recognize the possible causes and develop strategies to help the child manage experiences and feelings.
Who Are These Children Who Need Foster Homes?
Children entering our care range from newborns to age 16. Some are voluntarily placed in care, and others are in care by Court Order. Most return home within the year while others may remain until age 18 or 21 in specific situations. The children are from various racial, cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
Why Do Children Come Into Care?
Most often, children and youth come into care as the end result of a number of stresses culminating in family breakdown.
The major reasons offered are:
• serious parental inability to meet very basic needs of the child or youth
• child abuse including physical, sexual, emotional or neglect
• parent-child conflict or child behaviour problems
• mental health problems of the parent
Can Caregivers Choose The Type Of Children They Would Like?
Many caregivers express preferences regarding a child they might foster because they feel their skills and home environment would be more suitable to children of certain ages or backgrounds.
How Long Do Families Foster?
This varies greatly. Some foster for a year or two, others for many, many years. Every contribution is important regardless of length.
What Are The Basic Requirements For Fostering?
An interest on the part of all family members, a genuine interest in the well-being of children and people in generally, a capacity for caring and a basic regard for others.
Other requirements are:
Skills or relevant experience working with children
Adequate time for an extra commitment
Adequate and safe physical space
Stable source of income
Reasonably good health
No serious criminal record
Healthy family life including availability of family/friendship/community supports
Absence of major family stresses, e.g. major financial problems, severe illness etc.
For children under the age of five - one caregiver at home full time
Willingness to participate in a pre-service training and homestudy process
What Supports Are Provided?
Each foster home receives support from a foster care support worker, training and access to a range of therapeutic supports and services that a child may require. The Society also provides daily non-taxable reimbursements
for living expenses, as well as medical, dental, clothing and school related expenses.
How Can I Find Out More About Being A Foster Caregiver?
The best way to find out more about our Foster Care Program is to call our Society's Foster Care Recruitment Team at
(705)726-6587 x 2259. We will be more than happy to answer any questions or follow up on suggestions offered.
Do children in care continue to see their families?
Many children are very close to their families and visit them regularly through access visits.
Do I need to provide the furniture and equipment to care for foster children?
Yes, foster homes are required to provide their own CSA approved furnishings and equipment such as beds, cribs, car seats, etc.
Will the foster child's family know who we are?
In most cases, the identity and location of the foster family will remain anonymous to the child's natural family but foster parents are encouraged to meet with natural families or at least have phone or communication book contact. This will be decided between the worker and the foster family.
If you have any further questions please contact the Foster Care Recruitment team at 705-726-6587 x 2259 or
1-800-461- 4236 x 2259.