When a family becomes involved with a Children’s Aid Society, every effort is made to support the family to ensure children live safely with their family. If a child cannot live safely at home, their parents are supported to seek help from extended family, kin, friends, and their community to ensure a child lives safely with people they know and trust. When this is not available, children may be brought into the temporary care of Children’s Aid Society where foster parents provide children and youth with safe, family-based care until children return home to their parents.
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 and youth.
Children may need foster care for just a few days, a week, several months, or possibly longer. Foster parents work with Children’s Aid Society staff as part of a team to develop and support a plan of care for each child or youth in their care. The preferred plan is to reunite a child or youth with their family. Sometimes the plan may include exploring alternative permanency options such as kinship care, legal custody by a family member or foster parent, an independent living situation, or adoption.
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 Society, foster parents play an important role in a child or youth’s daily life.