Frequently Asked Questions
What is foster care?
Foster care is one of many services the Payukotayno: James & Hudson Bay Family Services is mandated to provide under the Child and Family Services Act. It is a temporary protective service for children whose family problems are serious enough to require a period of out-of-home care.
What do foster caregivers do?
Caregivers provide temporary family life in their own homes. They act as role models, teachers, and nurturers and serve as a support to the child’s family as well. As part of a team, caregivers work with staff, children and parents towards establishing the best plan. The initial plan is usually to reunite a child with his or her family or kin. Where this is not possible, the plan may include permanency services, such as adoption or legal custody.
Children coming into care can display challenging behaviour as a way of coping with the upheaval in their lives; foster parents need to work with other members of the fostering team to recognize the possible causes and develop strategies to help the child manage experiences and feelings.
Who are these children who need foster homes?
Children entering our care range from newborns to age 16. Some are voluntarily placed in care, and others are in care by Court Order. Most return home within the year while others may remain until age 18 or 21 in specific situations.
Why do children come into care?
Most often, children and youth come into care as the end result of a number of stresses culminating in family breakdown.
Can caregivers choose the type of children they would like?
Many caregivers express preferences regarding a child they might foster because they feel their skills and home environment would be more suitable to children of certain ages or backgrounds.
How long do families foster?
This varies greatly. Some foster for a year or two, others for many, many years. Every contribution is important regardless of length.
What are the basic requirements for fostering?
An interest on the part of all family members, a genuine interest in the well-being of children and people in generally, a capacity for caring and a basic regard for others. Other requirements are:
- Understand the developmental needs of children; and
- Skills or relevant experience working with children adequate time for an extra commitment
- Are willing to support children’s religious, cultural, racial and ethnic backgrounds;
- Adequate and safe physical living space
- Stable source of income
- Reasonably good health
- Smoke-free environment
- No serious criminal record
- Healthy family life including availability of family, friendship, community supports, etc.
- Absence of major family stresses, e.g. major financial problems, severe illness etc.
- Willingness to participate in a pre-service training as it becomes available and home study process
- Are willing to work as part of a team (agency staff, primary family, community professionals) in the best interests of the children
- A willingness to work with the guidelines, Mission, Vision and Values of Payukotayno: James & Hudson Bay Family Services
What supports are provided?
Each foster home receives support from a Foster Care Worker, training when available and access to a range of supports and services that a child may require. Payukotayno: James & Hudson Bay Family Services also provides daily non-taxable reimbursements for living expenses, as well as medical, dental, clothing and school related expenses.
How can I find out more about being a foster caregiver?
The best way to find out more about our Foster Care Program is to call our agency’s Foster Care Team at (705) 336-2229 or 1-888-298-2916, press ‘0’ and request to speak with an on duty Foster Care Worker. We will be more than happy to answer any questions or follow up on suggestions offered.
Do children in care continue to see their families?
Many children are very close to their families and visit them regularly through access visits.
Will the foster child’s family know who we are?
In most cases, the identity and location of the foster family will remain anonymous to the child’s natural family and foster parents are encouraged to meet with natural families or at least have phone or communication book contact. At the same time, our communities are quite small and the likelihood of the child’s family knowing who you are is likely. This will be decided between the Foster Care Worker and the foster family.
If you have any further questions please contact the Foster Care team at 1-888-298-2916 or 705-336-2229 and request to speak with an on duty Foster Care Worker or firstname.lastname@example.org