Fostering is caring for children who cannot live with their families. The goal is for the children to return home when their parents are able to care safely for them.
FOSTER CARE NEEDS YOU!
Foster Care is in urgent need of families who can care for infants. Infants require a stay at home parent.
Fostering is a person or a family opening their home and sharing their love, nurturing and caring for children who temporarily cannot live with their own families. It is community members helping their neighbors, typically on a short term basis. Primarily it is about helping children return to their own home or move to a new permanent home when needed. Foster families help children maintain contact with their own family and culture while providing day-to-day care of one or more children.
Children come into care for a number of reasons such as:
- A parent is unable to provide a safe home for the child
- A parent is unable to provide the type of care the child needs
- A parent dies without naming a guardian
- A parent decides adoption is the best option for his or her child
Foster parents are urgently needed to ensure that when children, youth and their families are in need of support our child welfare system can respond and uphold the rights of the child and family as outlined in Yukon’s Child and Family Services Act.
What are the different types of foster care?
These foster families are generally recruited, and approved as general caregivers from the community. They are available to accept any children who require a foster placement and can act as emergency or respite care providers as well.
These foster families are approved to care for specific children who are related to or have a strong and close relationship with a particular family.
These foster families are approved only for the placement of a specific child.
These foster families are approved only for the short term placement of a specific child(ren) in order to provide relief for another family. The respite may occur within the foster family home or in certain circumstances the respite foster parent may provide these services in another home or location.
Emergency Foster Home
These are general foster homes that are experienced and/or trained to receive children on a short term basis.
How long do placements last?
A regular foster home that is available on a 24 hour emergency basis and in crisis situations.
A planned foster placement for a period of less than one year.
A planned foster placement that will provide care for children until they reach adulthood and/or until other transition plans are completed.
A planned short term placement that provides occasional days or weekends to support birth families or foster families whenever they need a break from caring for a child.
What supports and training are available to foster families?
What supports and training are available to foster families?
Department of Health and Social Services staff together with experienced foster parents provide training for potential foster families and respite caregivers. The sessions are held regularly in Whitehorse and as needed in communities and are designed to help potential foster parents understand the needs of children placed in foster care. The training helps participants decide if fostering will be the right fit for them and their family.
Do foster families receive compensation?
Foster parents are reimbursed for costs associated with raising a foster child. What follows is a listing of the types of financial supports available through the program:
There is a child-in-care, non-taxable, daily rate issued monthly to foster parents for the number of days a child was in a foster home to help cover cost of the child’s living expenses. The daily rate is indexed to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
There are bi-annual child-in-care clothing allowances paid to the foster parent for the child or youth’s use. The child’s medical, dental and optical expenses, including prescriptions, are covered by Health and Social Services. Additional allowances are available to support the child or youth with recreation and holiday travel.
Special Needs Children/Youth
If a child is in care for more than 30 days they will be assessed to determine if additional funding is required to support any special needs.
Who can apply to foster?
Anyone 19 or older who wants to share their home with a child or youth in need can apply. Single people, couples, same-sex couples and families, with or without children, can all apply to become foster parents.
Children and youth in need come from all types of ethnic, cultural, religious and socio-economic backgrounds so a diversity of applicants is welcome and encouraged. It is not necessary to own your own home and your financial situation need not be a barrier. What foster parents need is maturity and commitment to carry out the day-to-day responsibilities required to care for a child. And of course, foster families need to have some appropriate extra space within their home to house a child.
How do I Become a Foster Parent?
The approval process starts with receiving information about becoming a foster parent from a Social Worker at your local office. You will be asked to fill out an application, provide consent for child welfare and criminal records checks and to participate in training and a home study process.
The department of Health and Social Services has to take the time and go through due process to ensure that children are placed in a safe, loving and stable home. Your Social Worker will visit with you in your home and ask you about your health, personal history, interests, lifestyle, child care experiences and the type of child or children you feel can best be helped in your home. Deciding to become a foster parent is a big commitment and you will want to know as much as you can before you make your decision. As such, the process can take several months to complete. Once you make the decision to become a foster parent and the approval process is complete, you will be asked to sign an agreement outlining your responsibilities and those of our department.
Who do I contact?
For information on fostering, or becoming a foster parent, please contact the office in your region. For Whitehorse, please contact (867) 667-3002 and ask to speak with a foster care social worker.
National Foster Families Week 2017
To highlight National Foster Families Week , a new foster care awareness and recruitment campaign entitled: Fostering is inclusive was launched on October 22,2015. We need new foster homes that will offer a variety of skills and perspectives to better match children's specific needs and characteristics. The campaign dispels misconceptions about who is qualified to be a foster parent. A foster parent can be from many culturally diverse backgrounds, single or married, same-sex, a home owner or home renter.
An inclusive foster care force is key to a healthy foster care system in Yukon. Fostering is a great way to make a difference in your community.
- Canadian Foster Family Association
- Child Welfare Information Gateway (US)
- Child Welfare League of Canada
- Foster Parent Community (US)
- Safe Kids Canada
For information on fostering, or becoming a foster parent, please contact the office in your region. For Whitehorse, please contact 867-667-3002 and ask to speak with a foster care social worker.
Ask your Foster Care Social Worker for details
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