Mi’kmaw Family and Children’s Services of Nova Scotia is committed to helping families care for their children. However when children cannot remain at home as a result of serious concerns about their safety and protection, they come into the care of our Agency and deserve a caring and supportive home. We make every effort to find a family to care for the child until the child can return home.
Where possible, our preferred option is to place our children with a member of the child’s immediate or extended family or a member of the community known to the child or youth (Kinship Care). If that is not possible, foster care may be the best alternative (Regular Foster Care).
Foster parents provide a temporary home for children who are in the care of our Agency. Children may need foster care for just a few days, a week, several months or possibly years. Regardless of the time in care, our children need the same care every child does: a safe environment with nurturing, encouraging and personalized attention.
Federation of Foster Families Nova Scotia
Kinship care is an important placement option for our children who cannot live with their parent(s) due to concerns related to their safety and well-being, such as abuse or neglect.
Kinship care is a family home that is approved to care for a child in need and the caregiver(s) has a family connection or significant relationship to the child, (e.g. grandparent, aunt, close family friend).This allows the children to continue to strengthen their ties to family, friends, culture and traditions.
The difference between Kinship care and regular Foster Care is Kinship homes ONLY provide care for a specific child or sibling group.Kinship Care providers receive the same support from the Agency that regular Foster Families with the Agency receive.
TO BE A KINSHIP FOSTER PARENT?
You are at least 19 years old You are related to the child or have a connection to the child. You can be married, single, divorced or widowed and come from all cultural backgrounds. You may rent or own their own home, be retired or employed outside the home. You are willing to participate in training and an assessment.
The decision to become a foster parent was “a personal decision for us” said this grandmother who is raising her grandson. “We are not a replacement for his mother”. Although this grandmother admits there have been challenges along the way, she said, “It has been rewarding for us … You have to be willing to sacrifice.”
FOSTER PARENTS (Regular and Kinship) PROVIDE:
- a child with love and care in a familiar setting
- parents with a sense of hope that their child will remain connected to their birth family
- families with a sense of trust, stability and comfort
- an ability to support and maintain lifelong traditions and memories
- support to a child in building healthy relationships within the family
- guidance and reinforcement of a child’s cultural identity and positive self-esteem
FOSTERING IS A TEAM APPROACH
Foster parents (Regular and Kinship) work with our social workers as part of a team to develop and support a plan for each child or youth in care. Our primary goal is to reunite a child or youth with their family. Where this is not possible, the plan may include exploring alternative permanency options such as legal custody by a family member, adoption or an independent living situation for our older youth. Foster parents provide stability and a caring home that encourages a child or youth’s growth and development. While the legal responsibility for the child or youth remains with the agency, foster parents play an important role in the young person’s daily life.
WHY DO CHILDREN NEED FOSTER CARE?
- Children come into care because there is a conflict within the family, because of a parent's illness or incapability to take care of their child/children.
- Some children may come into care because the family cannot provide adequate care of the necessities of life.
- Other children may have been neglected, abused or abandoned.
WHO ARE OUR FOSTER CHILDREN?
- Can range in age from infancy to 19 years
- Can also come from diverse cultural, religious and family backgrounds.
- Many are teenagers; some are brothers and sisters.
- Some foster children face physical, emotional and mental challenges.
- Each foster child is going through a difficult period in their family life and need the care offered by foster parents.
- Many require not only love, warmth and acceptance, but consistency, structure and guidance.
- All are unique
WHO ARE FOSTER PARENTS?
- Experienced Parents
- Young couples raising their birth children
- Single persons Couples who want to parent
- Gay / Lesbian
- People with no special background in child care
- Have a genuine love and interest in children as well as a sense of community responsibility
HOW DO I GO ABOUT BECOMING A FOSTER PARENT?
To find out about the process, evaluation and training required to become a foster parent, please contact:
INDIAN BROOK OFFICE
Phone: 902-758-3553 / 1-800-263-8686
Phone: 902-379-2443 ‘1-800-263-8300
Foster Parents provide, warmth, safety, stability and guidance for every child and youth in care.