Foster Care Redesign Increases Support for Children, Foster Families
Foster families are a key pillar of Nova Scotia’s child welfare system. They provide love, security and a strong foundation for the province’s most vulnerable children.
To strengthen support for foster families and the children in their care, the Province will invest up to $34 million over three years in a redesign of Nova Scotia’s foster care system, creating a modern and sustainable system that provides families and children the supports they need to flourish.
“Foster parents are among Nova Scotia’s most dedicated volunteers, and we need to ensure they are well-supported,” said Karla MacFarlane, Minister of Community Services. “Right now, Nova Scotia needs more foster parents, and it is my hope that a redesigned system will encourage more people to consider this calling.”
The redesign will include new financial supports and an immediate increase in per diem rates by $15 a day. It will also include:
- engaging youth currently or formerly in care to hear their concerns and ideas
- implementing a new system model that provides for a stronger community of support for foster families and children in care
- new foster care placement types including enhanced respite care for children with specialized needs
- improving communication and enhancing supports for foster parents during child welfare investigations.
The redesigned foster care program will prioritize maintaining a child’s culture while in care. Concerns and recommendations of First Nations and African Nova Scotian communities will be prioritized to ensure the needs of all children in foster care are met. One way this will be achieved is by recruiting more diverse foster families to ensure that children in care can be placed in culturally relevant homes within their respective communities.
When the redesign is fully implemented, there will be an annual increase in the foster care system budget of $16.7 million.
Being a foster parent is both rewarding and challenging. It is encouraging and very much appreciated to see this work in support of foster families move forward.
Marina Keeping, President of the Board of Directors, Federation of Foster Families of Nova Scotia
I am so very pleased to learn that DCS is recognizing the valuable role played by foster parents within the province. Hopefully, this announcement will be a positive step towards recruitment and retention.
Gary Landry, Executive Director, Federation of Foster Families of Nova Scotia
- at any given time, there are approximately 1,000 children in care of the Province
- approximately 65 per cent of those children are in foster care
- there are currently about 630 foster families in Nova Scotia