Become a Foster Caregiver
What is Foster Caregiving?
Foster caregivers provide a safe, temporary home for children and youth during a time of crisis. We believe that all children and youth deserve to grow up in a nurturing and secure environment where they feel they belong.
Our goal is to keep families together and reunite them whenever possible.
Children and youth needing foster care are diverse and may identify as part of the Black, Indigenous, 2SLGBTQ+, Muslim, and other equity-deserving communities. Being placed with a caregiver that can support their individual needs and provide identity-affirming care helps minimize disruptions, creates a sense of belonging, and helps children and youth feel safe.
Foster placements are temporary and can last for a matter of days — or up to several weeks, months, and sometimes longer. Foster caregivers provide safe, nurturing, and stable homes with a bed and suitable space for all children and youth in their care.
Foster caregivers are optimistic, accepting, patient and dependable. They understand the needs of children and youth, have empathy for their family, and a willingness to learn and help those who have experienced trauma.
What Can I Expect from the Application Process?
All Foster Caregivers go through an approval and training process to get them ready to support children and youth. This includes:
Inquiring About Fostering
If you have questions or are interested in learning more, please fill out the application form below.
Initial Home Visit
We will assess the physical space with you and discuss how you can care for children and youth.
Submit Required Documents
We will need to collect police background checks, child welfare checks, personal references, and other necessary documentation.
Mutual Decision to Proceed
Once your application has been received we will make a mutual decision if we will proceed with your application to foster.
Attend PRIDE Training
PRIDE (Parent Resources for Information, Development, and Education) training is Ontario’s 27-hour mandatory training curriculum for foster, kinship-in-care, and adoptive applicants.
SAFE Home Study
The SAFE (Structured Analysis Family Evaluation) home study is a comprehensive assessment to determine eligibility, suitability, and readiness to become a foster caregiver or adoptive parent. This process typically takes between 4-6 months.
NEW as of July 1, 2023, foster caregivers must complete additional training courses including CPR/First Aid-Level C AED, and 3 courses related to Trauma, First Nations, Inuit and Metis, and Anti-Black Racism.
- Individuals, married couples, common-law couples
- Residents of York Region, aged 21 year +
- Stay-at-home caregiver, employed in or out of the home
- Empty nesters, experienced parents, or people who have never had children
- Applicants from all religions, races, cultures, genders, ethnicities, and sexual orientations
- Has experience working with children and youth and a willingness to learn and grow
- Provide temporary support to children and youth while their caregivers work to resolve concerns at home.
- Help children and youth maintain a connection and relationship with their caregivers and siblings.
- Support children and youth to maintain connections with their community, school, and family. Children and youth who identify with their foster caregivers are more likely to feel a sense of belonging to their communities, which minimizes disruptions to their lives.
- Participate in planning, treatment and supports for their care.
- YRCAS is committed to meeting the diverse needs of the children and youth we serve.
- We consider all aspects of children and youth’s identities when matching them with foster caregivers, including race, religion, ethnicity, gender identity, age, abilities and health.
- Our first priority is matching children and youth with foster caregivers who understand, accept, and can meet their individual needs.
- We encourage all interested applicants to connect with us, especially those from 2SLGBTQ+ communities, Muslim communities, and African-Caribbean communities.
Watch True Stories
Witness experiences from other caregivers.
Where Can I Get More Information?
If you are interested in becoming a foster caregiver or would like to learn more about fostering, please let us know how we can best reach you by filling in your contact information below:
- Foster caregiving is temporary support that does NOT lead to adoption.
- Our goal is to reunite families once parents have resolved any ongoing concerns.
- Peer Supports: Foster Parent Association will help you connect with other Foster Caregivers.
- Daily, non-taxable reimbursement: goes towards food, shelter, and other living expenses of foster children & youth in your care.
- Health & Dental coverage provided by Children’s Aid Society, for the foster children and youth in your care.
- A CAS support worker assigned to you, as a foster caregiver.
- Relief & Respite coverage.
- Access to wellness and self care supports such as the EAP (Employee Assistance Programming) provided by CAS.
- Canadian citizenship is not required.
- If you are not a Canadian Citizen, you are required to have Permanent Resident (PR) status at the time of your application.
- Travel is encouraged, if possible, to create positive memories for children and youth in your care.
- Your CAS Foster Care Support Worker and the children and youth’s worker will advise you on the process.
The children and youth we serve range from 0 to 18 years of age.
- You will need to provide proof of up to date vaccinations where applicable.
- CAS will need to interact with your pet to ensure they are safe for children and youth.