REPORTING · 8th October 2015
Judy Bergman and Diana Falardeau, from the Ministry of Children and Family Development got up to address Council on the topic of Foster Home Recruitment on Monday, October 6th.
“We are starting recruitment of Foster Parents in the community and we would like to provide you with some information on what that looks like,” said Falardeau.
“Children come into the ministries of care for a variety of reasons,” said Bergman, “such as protection concerns, quality and voluntary care agreements, which allows the Ministry to assist families to move forward through conditions that affect their ability to provide adequately for their children.”
She stated each of the situations are unique and the Ministry works to support the families rather then put their children into care.
Falardeau stated there are 3200 foster families in BC and 8300 children in care. She stated there are not enough homes for the children they have.
Bergman told the Council they try to return the foster child to their family once they are able to return to them. However, from time to time, a child may not be able to return, and for those children, there is the potential for adoption.
Falardeau explained that foster parents have to be 19 years of age, can be single, married, widowed divorced or living in a common law relationship. The home must be safe, there must be safe in their home. In addition, the foster parent must be able to pass a criminal record check and provide three references and medical.
Councillor Larry Walker asked if parents get paid for fostering children. The response was the money was there to pay for the things a child needs. Children with challenging behaviors requires a more skilled care giver.
Walker asked if native children were allowed to be fostered outside of a native family. His response was they go to any family, although there is a program within the native communities to recruit foster children for native children. This will still fall under the Ministries policies.
Falardeau said they were short on Foster Homes across BC, more so in the North. They place children where they could find foster parents who could care for the child.
Bergman stated they have a preference to place the child with a family of the same nation, but this is not always a possibility.