Fostering is the act of bringing a child into your family and providing them with life
necessities as well as emotional support during a difficult and confusing time. Foster care is defined
as the placement of a child or young person in the home of someone who receives reimbursement for
expenses (i.e. food, shelter etc) to care for the child but is not the child's parent. Children Aid
Societies (CASs) work hard to keep families together and children at home. When children cannot remain
at home because of serious concerns about their safety and protection, foster families care for the
child until they can safely return home.
BENEFITS OF FOSTER CARE
Foster care provides children and youth with a safe family setting during a time of
crisis. In many situations, foster care can provide vital support that enables parents to address issues
that are putting their children's safety and well-being at risk. In most situations children placed in
foster care are reunified with their families once the issues that led to the child needing to be in
care have been resolved with the support form CASs and community partners. In other situations, foster
care can open new doors to safety, permanency, and well-being for children whose parents remain unwilling
or unable to meet their needs.
HOW DOES FOSTER CARE WORK?
Children may need foster care for just a few days, a week, several months, or possibly
even years. Foster parents work with Children's Aid staff as part of a team to develop and support a
plan of care for each child or youth in care. The preferred plan is to reunite a child or youth with their
family. When this is not possible, the plan may include exploring alternative permanency options such as
adoption, kinship care, customary care, legal custody by a family member or foster parent, or an independent
living situation. Foster parents provide stability and a caring home that encourages a child or youth's
growth and well-being. While the legal responsibility for the child or youth remains with Children's Aid,
foster parents play an important role in the young person's daily life.