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 foster 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 to help make coming into care less frightening is 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.
Fostering is intended to be a temporary arrangement for the child. We do everything we can to work with the child's parents and extended family members to create a safe environment for the child to return home to. In cases where that is not possible, alternative options will be considered to help the child achieve a sense of permanency. Adoption may be one of those options.
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 ability to care for children with more complex needs, sibling groups and teens.