Foster Care Program
Ultimately, the goal of this program is to have children return to their parental homes, or depending on the situation, to arrange a permanent home or prepare them to live independently.
Foster Parents are seen as para-professional parents, they are part of the team along with workers, teachers and other professionals.
Foster parents are at least 18 years old, and of any gender. They are married, single, divorced or widowed and come from all cultural backgrounds. They may rent or own their own home, be retired or employed outside the home.
Specifically, people who meet the following criteria may apply:
|Residence||Resident of Alberta at time of application, home assessment, and placement.|
|Marital Status||Any adult regardless of marital status may apply. Cohabitating applicants must be in a stable relationship for at least 12 months prior to applying.|
|Age||Minimum age: 18. Maximum age: determined by the best interests of the child.|
|Health||Physically and mentally capable of meeting the child's needs, with no major illness or trauma in the past 12 months.|
|Financial Circumstances||Applicants should be living within their means. Foster parents receive payments for the care of the foster child, though they are insufficient to be relied upon as regular family income.|
This session provides a basic introduction to the Foster Care Program and gives you an opportunity to ask questions regarding fostering and becoming a foster family. Support, training requirements, and reimbursements are discussed. Awareness evenings are held generally the first Monday of each month. To register, please call Susan O'Keeffe at (403) 297-5957.
Following the awareness evening, the Foster Care Screener will visit your home, discuss any questions you may have and ensure that you meet the basic eligibility requirements. You will be given registration information for Caregiver Orientation Training. A Child Welfare records check will be completed at this time.
Caregiver Orientation Training
The course consists of 24 hours of specialized training around relevant issues in fostering. Training includes eight sessions that may be completed:
- Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday or
- Two full weekends, Saturday and Sunday
Your application will consist of references, medicals, criminal record check and information about you, your family and why you are applying to be a foster family. Once the application is received in full, an Assessment Worker will be assigned to you. Application packages are given out at the training session.
The Assessment Worker will arrange three or four appointments to meet with you and your family. These meetings make up the home study and will include a discussion of your family's history, family relationships, significant events and how your family works together.
After your home study has been completed your Foster Care Worker will tour your home in preparation for licensing. Together you will ensure that provincial safety standards are met for the children you will foster.
At the conclusion of the home study, a decision is made regarding acceptance of your application. This is a joint decision made by you and your Assessment Worker.
Your Support and Training Worker or Placement Services Officer will approach you about a specific child. The decision for the child to be placed with you will be a mutual decision between your Support and Training Worker, the child's worker and yourself.
Calgary and Area Child and Family Services Authority
Foster Parent Program
#80 - 3915 - 51 Street SW Calgary, AB T3E 6N1 Phone (403) 297-5957
Fax (403) 297-7535
For more information, or to register for the Foster Care Awareness Evening, please call Susan O'Keeffe at (403) 297-5957.
To submit questions or request information by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How are foster parents compensated?
A: There are a number of approved methods for financially compensating foster parents:
- Basic Maintenance Rate - Reimburses foster parents for expenses incurred meeting day-to-day needs of foster children, and is set based on the age of the child.
- Skill Fees - Compensate foster parents for their time and expertise, and are paid based on the foster parent's training, experience and skills.
A: Calgary and Area Child and Family Services provides ongoing training and support through a Foster Family Support and Training Worker and the Calgary and Area Child and Family Services Foster Care Training Program. Two groups, The Calgary and District Foster Parent Association and the Four Directions Foster Parent Association of Calgary also provide ongoing support for foster families through general meetings, social gatherings, and training. As a foster family, you will have access to all available support resources. New fostering families are matched with a Mentor for the first year through the Calgary Foster Parent Association.
Q: Who are the foster children?
A: A foster child can of any gender or age. They have special needs that may include behavioural, emotional or learning disabilities, or may be physically handicapped. They require care, nurturing, comfort, security and stability. Often they come with siblings.
Q: I have a previous criminal record -- am I ineligible?
A: Please discuss your criminal record with your Assessment Worker. Any positive results of the criminal record check will be evaluated as part of the home assessment in order to determine the suitability of your home as a Foster Care placement.
Foster Care Awareness Evening - held the first Monday of every month. Call Susan O'Keeffe at (403) 297-5957 for information or registration.
Aboriginal Foster Parent Program
Foster - to - Adopt Program