Government of Yukon working to meet needs of foster children and foster parents
For release 16-303
Aug 30, 2016
WHITEHORSE—Foster parents in Yukon heard Sunday that they have an important role to play in helping to recruit and retain future caregivers.
That message was delivered by Child Welfare League of Canada chief executive officer Gordon Phaneuf who presented the keynote address at the Foster Parents Forum hosted by the Department of Health and Social Services.
“We know that past and present foster parents are the best spokespeople for attracting new ones, so we need to focus our work on ensuring that the fostering experience is a positive one,” Minister of Health and Social Services Mike Nixon said. “By bringing foster parents together in forums like this one, we can build a solid foundation to better support the men and women who are fostering Yukon children.”
Phaneuf presented a summary of a research project that looked at recruitment and retention of foster parents. The project was part of a three-year initiative under the Child Welfare League of Canada and the Canadian Foster Parents Association titled Every Child Matters: Strengthening Foster Families in Canada.
The project consisted of interviews with 941 foster parents from across Canada, including 23 foster parents from Yukon. One of the most important findings in that survey was that it is foster parents themselves who are the best recruitment tools. There are currently 61 foster parents in the territory.
“This report provides some useful direction on what the Government of Yukon can do to provide the best care possible for vulnerable children and adequate support for foster parents,” Nixon added.
During Sunday’s event Minister Nixon was presented with a Child Welfare League of Canada Special Recognition Award by Phaneuf for his commitment to improving fostering in Yukon.
Yukon foster parents provide a variety of care including respite care, emergency care, and long- and short-term placements.