Ontario foster families play a critical role in their communities. Although Children’s Aid Societies work hard, in partnership with families, to keep children and youth in their homes, this is not always possible. When children cannot remain with their primary caregivers and kin placements are not available, foster families provide children and youth with a safe family setting during a difficult and confusing time.
During National Foster Family Appreciation Week, Ontario’s child welfare sector recognizes the invaluable contributions of foster families across the province. Foster caregivers form part of the team that supports young people in care, not only by providing a stable and caring home, but also by facilitating pathways to lifelong connections with family and community. They provide essential care and support to the children and youth in their homes, and we are grateful for their unwavering dedication.
Children’s Aid Societies recognize that children and youth do better when they are placed in homes that are connected to their family, community, and identity. That’s why they do their best to find potential foster families that reflect the diversity of their communities, so they can place children and youth in homes that reflect their race, ethnicity, faith, sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression.
In most situations, children placed in foster care are reunified with their families, once their primary caregivers’ parenting skills have been strengthened with support from Children’s Aid Societies and the community. 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.
Most Children’s Aid Societies are currently accepting applications for new foster families. Many need foster caregivers from particular racial, religious, sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression backgrounds. To learn more about fostering in general, visit our website. To learn more about fostering in your local community, contact your local Children’s Aid Society. Caring for children is our collective responsibility.
To all of the existing and potential foster families in Ontario, thank you. This week, we celebrate and honour you.