Q: Who are the children?
Foster children come from many types of homes and backgrounds — from low income to wealthy, they could live next door, attend your place of worship or play on your child’s hockey team.
Children entering foster care range in age from newborn babies up to sixteen years of age. You can select the age, gender and level of difficulty of the children you care for in your home. When brothers and sisters are admitted into care, it is our aim to keep them together.
Foster care is a temporary arrangement that allows us to work with the child’s parents to plan for the child to return home or, if that is not possible, plan for adoption. The length of time a child remains with a foster family varies, depending on the circumstances.
Q: Can children share bedrooms?
A: Children of the same gender may share a room as long as there is enough personal space. Children must have their own beds. Basement bedrooms are not acceptable.
Q: Will the child go to the school in my neighbourhood?
A: In most cases, yes. However, if a child needs to attend classes in his or her current school, the foster child’s worker will make those arrangements.
Q: Do I need to provide the furniture and equipment to care for foster children?
A: Yes, foster homes are required to provide their own Canadian Standards Association (CSA)-approved furnishings and equipment such as beds, cribs, car seats, etc.
Q: Will the foster child’s family know where we live?
A: In most cases, the child’s family will not know the location of the foster family.
Q: Do I have to talk with the child’s family?
A: Sometimes as a foster parent you may be required to communicate with or even meet the child’s parents. You may need to attend ‘planning conferences’ for a child in your care, or help the parents with their parenting skills. Every situation is unique. You will learn how to cope with different situations through foster parent training.
Q: What about discipline?
A: Foster children are just like any other kids. They will require consistent support and guidance and sometimes this may include the need for discipline. No form of physical discipline is permitted.
Q: Will foster children have a negative influence on my own family?
A: Integrating foster children with your own children tends to be a common concern. Many foster children are fearful, angry, confused and have a sense of powerlessness because they were removed from their home. Their feelings may be reflected in their behaviour. If you are experiencing difficulty with your own children, foster parenting may not be appropriate at this time. However, fostering as a family can be a wonderful, character building, life changing experience but will require a commitment from your whole family.
Q: Can I adopt my foster child?
A: Under the right circumstances and if it is in the best interest of the child, foster parents may request to be considered. It’s important to let us know of your potential interest in adoption at the start of your fostering career.
Q: What if I want to go on vacation?
A: A few options are available. Under the right circumstances and with proper authorization, you may be able to take your foster child with you. However, if it is not possible to take the foster child on vacation with you, or if you need some personal family time away from foster caring, relief arrangements can be made.
Q: Can I take a foster child to my church?
A: Yes, if there are no concerns from the child’s family, it is a reasonable length of time and the child wants to go. If a child is of a different religion, you may be required to make arrangements for the child to practice their own faith.
Q: Is there an age limit to being a foster parent?
A: Foster parents need to be financially and emotionally stable, living independently and exhibit a level of maturity that enables good parenting. They need to be physically and emotionally capable of caring for children who may require a higher energy level of parenting skills.
Want to learn more about the fostering experience from someone who knows?
Submit your questions by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.