Foster Families are needed throughout Newfoundland and Labrador
If you would like to make a difference in the life of a child, please contact the Newfoundland and Labrador Foster Families Association.
Tel: 754-0213 Toll Free: 1-877-754-0218
Interested in becoming a foster family?
Foster Families provide a nurturing, supportive home environment for children who are temporarily unable to live with their biological parents. While children enter the care of the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development for a variety of reasons, the case plan is almost always reunification with the biological family. Being a foster parent means working as part of a team to ensure the best interests of children are met. The team includes the foster family, birth parents, child, social worker and any other person significant to the child.
What current foster parents would say to those considering fostering:
"It is one of the most rewarding, fulfilling experience you could ever have. It's not an easy job but it is making a difference. It's not about changing the world but about helping one child at a time."
~ Fronie Blake, Hants Harbour
"At the end of the day when I lay my head on my pillow, I feel blessed. The children that have been in my home are the most precious. Each day their eyes would get brighter and their smile would get bigger. They have opened up their hearts to a new family and we have made them welcome in our home".
~ Joy, Foster Parent
There are four types of care provided by foster families;
- Relative/Significant Other (It is important to note that not all the criteria listed below is required for child-specific homes).
**There is also a Level System based on the training, skills and expereince of the foster parent. This will be discussed during the assessment. Additional supports including childcare costs may be provided when required.
In order to become a foster parent you must be at least 25 years old (if a couple is applying together, then at least one of the individuals must be 25). You must be able to provide a certificate of conduct for yourself and any other persons aged 12 or over in the home. You will need three references (non-relative) and will also have to have medicals completed.
You must complete a 27 hour training package called PRIDE (Parents' Resources for Information, Development and Education) which is usually offered over eight weeks. This training gives you an understanding of the role of a foster parent so that you can make an informed decision and gives the social worker an opportunity to assess your suitability to be a foster family. If you in a cohabitating relationship, your spouse also has to complete this course.
Who can foster?
There are many different people that make great foster parents.
- Foster parents can be of any gender, single, married, or living in a common-law relationship.
- They come from various cultural, racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds.
- They may be young families with or without children.
- Foster parents may own their own home or be renters.
- They may be stay-at-home parents, work outsdie the home, or be retired.
***The goal is to match the diverse group of children and youth in care with foster families that can best meet the needs of the child or youth.
The goals of the Pride Program are to:
- Meet the protective, developmental, cultural and permanency needs of children placed with foster families and adoptive families.
- Strengthen families, whether they are families of origin, blended families, extended or kinship families, foster families, adoptive families or members of a tribe or clan.
- Strengthen the quality of foster and adoptive services by providing a standardized, structured framework or pre-service training and mutual assessment for foster parent in-service training; and for ongoing professional development.
- Share resources among public and voluntary child welfare agencies, colleges and universities, foster parent and adoptive parent associations, and national child welfare organizations.
PRIDE is based on specific competencies (knowledge and skills) needed to perform successfully the tasks of fostering. The PRIDE Program has established the following five essential competency categories:
- protecting and nurturing children
- meeting children's developmental needs and addressing developmental delays
- supporting relationships between children and their families
- connecting children to safe, nurturing relationships intended to last a lifetime, and
- working as a member of a professional team.
Comments from young people who have lived in foster homes;
- "Foster parents are people, strangers really, who care enough about you as an individual to take you into their homes.... I feel that living with foster families has helped me become a stronger person."
- "What I have learned is that family isn't just the blood that runs in your veins but also the love running in your heart"
- "I just want to say to all foster parents, be consistent. These children have been let down in their lives, if not they wouldn't be in care. They need you to stick it out with them, more than you'll ever know. And always remember, even if the young people in your home push you away they are still learning good things from you and they will take those good things with them.....My experiences have shown me that foster homes are safe and positive places to live. I think it takes a very special person to do the things it takes to be a foster parent."
If you have made a decision that you want to take the first step to becoming a foster family, contact the provincial inquiries line at 1-855-683-8111. For further information, you can also contact the Newfoundland and Labrador Foster Families Association at 754-0213 or toll free 1-877-754-0218