Foster a Child
What is Foster Care?
What is Foster Care?
Children’s Aid Societies strive to keep children living with their families whenever possible. Unfortunately, even after receiving counselling and help, some parents cannot provide their children with adequate care. In situations like these, children may be brought into the care of a CAS. Reunification is the primary goal even when a child is in care.
Foster Families Provide a Temporary Home
The length of stay in a foster home may vary depending on the children’s natural family’s circumstances. A placement in foster care may last for a few days to several years. Foster families work together with CAS staff to develop a plan for each child in care. When a reunion is not possible, the plan may include adoption or long-term foster care. Foster families play an essential role in the child’s daily life. The stable and caring home environment that foster families provide, helps encourage healthy growth and development.
Each Foster Child is Different
Foster children range in age from infants to 18 years, and come from a variety of cultural, racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Some children are in foster care voluntarily, while others are in care by court order. There are many reasons why a child may come into care. Some of the reasons might be due to family conflict, physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect or emotional harm. Each foster child is experiencing a difficult time in his or her life, and needs the warmth, acceptance, consistency and structure a foster family can provide. Most foster children have visits and telephone calls with their own families and need support from foster families while they deal with feelings of loss through separation, which causes confusion.
Children in Foster Care
Children in CAS Care
Children come into the care of Children’s Aid Societies (CASs) for various reasons.
Some children are placed with CAS voluntarily by their parents, while others are placed by a court order from the Family Court Judge. You should talk to your CAS worker about your child’s personal situation or if you don’t have a worker, ask to speak with an Intake worker.
Children who come into care on a short term or voluntary basis, do so with the consent of the parent and the child if over the age of twelve (12), for a defined period of time. If a child comes into our care in a different way, the Family Court Judge will decide what needs to happen.
Length of Care
Children can be in the care of CAS for short or long periods of time depending on individual family’s circumstances. This could mean one day or as long as up to the time they are able to live on their own.
Providing a Home for a Child
We offer several types of placements for children in CAS care. This includes foster homes and group homes. We will place a child in the best available home to meet his or her needs.
Caring for a Child
Most children in our care live with foster families. The family caring for a child will have been carefully selected using a rigorous approval and training process, and ongoing training and evaluation. The child will be assigned to their own worker, called a Children’s Services Worker. This worker will support, guide and advocate for the child. A parent will continue to be involved in important decisions.
Visiting a Child
A child in care may have visits with their mother, father and siblings and other important people in their lives unless a Family Court Judge has decided otherwise.
Problem Resolution While a Child is in Care
We want to provide services that are helpful to the family and the child. We must also comply with the laws governing children in CAS care. If there’s a problem, we will do our best to resolve it. Speak with your worker regarding any issues.
If you and your CAS worker can’t sort it out, ask to speak to the CAS worker’s supervisor. If you, the worker and the supervisor can’t resolve the problem, the CAS has a formal complaint procedure that will be explained to you. You can ask for a written copy of this procedure at any time.
While a child is in the care of the CAS, he or she has several important rights, including:
- The right to participate in the important decisions that are made about his or her life in a way that’s appropriate to his or her age and ability
- The right to privacy
- The right to visit with parents, unless a Family Court Judge decides, or a court order provides for the CAS to decide, it is not in a child’s best interests
- The right to receive appropriate care, including nutritious meals, education that suits his or her abilities, regular medical and dental care, age-appropriate clothing and participation in after-school recreational activities
- The right to freedom from physical abuse or punishment, and from emotional, sexual and verbal abuse
- The right to practice his or her religion, and to receive religious instruction
- The right to participate in activities that are important to his or her culture and heritage
- The right to have his or her individuality respected, including ability, sexual orientation and gender identification
The CAS must make a reasonable effort to notify a parent of all matters involving court. If the Family Court Judge decides that your child must remain in our care, the CAS must notify and allow you to take part in important decisions affecting your child. A plan will be created to outline
what everyone must do to ensure the best outcome for a child, whether that is remaining in our care for a period of time, or returning home.
CAS Records are Confidential
The CAS must keep accurate records of all contacts with children and their families to document our activity, and collect important information to help a family. All records are confidential and disclosure of their contents is strictly regulated.
You have the right to:
- review and understand your record
- have the record explained to you
- seek corrections
Disagreements with a Judge’s Decision
A parent has the right to retain a lawyer at any time, if a parent cannot afford one, assistance will be given through the Legal Aid Office.
If your child is in care you should speak to your CAS worker about anything you don’t understand, or if you have any questions or concerns. If you don’t have a child in care, but have questions about what we do and how we do it, please telephone our office and ask to speak with our Intake Department.
Becoming a Foster Family
Becoming a Foster Family
The Huron-Perth Children’s Aid Society needs foster families from all walks of life to meet the diverse needs of children requiring the care of the CAS. We need foster families who will foster in a variety of situations. Examples are: emergency placements, relief or weekend placements, short term or long term and treatment home placements for children with special needs. We welcome couples, families and single people. It is suggested that only one parent work out of the house when small children are being fostered. For foster homes with older foster children, both foster parents can maintain employment outside their home.
Experience is an Asset, but not Required
You can apply to foster even if you have no specific background in childcare. Love of young people,
optimism, patience and consistency are essential qualities of successful foster families. A willingness to learn and take training courses offered is essential. If you are an experienced foster parent, or have specialized training and skills in child management, you may wish to inquire about fostering opportunities consistent with your experience and career goals.
Applying to become a foster family If you are interested in becoming a foster parent please call the CAS for more information. There are a number of steps to becoming a foster family:
- A two hour initial meeting at your home will assist you in acquiring more details about fostering and will aide in determining whether fostering is a fit for your family.
- Your family will then be asked to complete the application forms, which include: references, police checks and a letter from your doctor as well as other basic information.
- The adults in the home will be invited to begin a 9-week pre-service training that prepares your family to foster.
- While Pride pre-service training is occurring your family will also be involved in individual interviews with the purpose of completing a home study which will include homework assignments that are mandatory. For Further information please call the Huron-Perth CAS
Training & Support
Support for Foster Families
The foster family receives a 9-week orientation about many aspects of fostering, as well as ongoing training
and other educational opportunities. A CAS Resource Worker will be assigned to each foster family to offer support during the fostering experience. A CAS Children Services Worker will also lend support and guidance to help plan together to meet the child’s needs. There is a 24-hour access to emergency CAS support. There is also mutual support and networking between foster families.
Foster families receive daily, non-taxable compensation for the living expenses of each foster child in their home. Many other expenses are also covered, such as clothing, medical and dental costs, school supplies, recreation expenses, and transit fares.