Foster parents work with agency staff as part of a team to develop a plan for each child. Ideally, we hope to reunite a child with his or her family. When this is not possible, the plan may include long-term foster care, or other forms of permanence such as placement with extended family or kin, or possibly adoption or legal guardianship.
Some are experienced parents whose family has grown; some are young families still raising their own kids. We have single parents and those in partnered relationships. We have couples and individuals who work outside the home, and some who parent at home full time. If a foster family is caring for a child under school age (0-5 yrs), it is necessary for one parent to be at home during the day. The agency does not cover the cost of day care.
Foster parents must have a genuine interest in helping children, a willingness to be open and respectful of all religions, backgrounds, sexual orientations, cultures and lifestyles in our community. They must have a family lifestyle that can accommodate children – stable, active, flexible, and with a good sense of humour.
We have treatment homes for children who have more complex needs, as well as homes that are open to emergency placement (24 hours a day). Some foster parents operate group homes that provide care for more than four teenagers in a family setting. Group home foster parents are highly experienced and skilled in dealing with a variety of extremely difficult behaviours and special needs.
The age, gender, behaviour level and any challenges a child has, will be discussed with you before you agree to have them placed in your home. Together we can decide what works for you, your family, and any child we may place in your home.
FACS Niagara respects and works with many different types of families. They are diverse in age, religion, culture, ethnicity, race and sexual orientation. They have different values and ideas. Foster parents need to be respectful and sensitive to diversity in others.
We value differences in people and encourage children and youth to celebrate their own cultures, religions, sexual orientation and lifestyles. It is important for foster parents to value and accept others who may have different beliefs, while still practicing their own culture and religion.
Foster parents receive financial compensation for a child’s living expenses, as well as medical and dental coverage, clothing, school and recreation expenses.
Foster parents have the support of FACS Niagara staff, monthly foster parent support groups and other foster parents. They are eligible for respite care if they need a break or will be out of town.