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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.


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.


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.