When a child can no longer remain with his or her family, our first step is to determine whether there are any relatives, community members, or other adults, that the child has a significant relationship with that can care for them. This is known as Kin Service. When this is not possible, children are then welcomed by caregivers to be part of their family until a permanent plan for their future can be established.
Careful planning is given to matching children with the most suitable family. Being separated from birth parents, extended family and sometimes siblings can be scary and confusing. One way in which we can make coming into care less frightening, is to be able to match a child with a family with similar ethnic, cultural and religious practices. Not only does this make a child feel more at ease, but can also be comforting to the biological family. Other factors taken into consideration are family dynamics, ages, lifestyles, and the ability of the caregiver to work with the child’s biological family.
Whether you are a foster caregiver or adopting family, there is no set waiting time before you receive placement of a child in your home. The agency’s focus is on finding the most suitable home for a child rather than finding a child for a family. The waiting time may be influenced by the applicant’s openness and ability to consider children with more complex needs, sibling groups and teens.
Usually one or two children are placed in a foster home at a time. However, some of our experienced caregivers may legally care for a maximum of four children at any given time provided they have adequate space in their home.