Foster Family Appreciation Week, Op-ed
NOTE: The following is an op-ed from Karla MacFarlane, Minister of Community Services.
Foster caregivers are a pillar of the child welfare system – they give children and youth in care a foundation, a sense of security and love during a potentially turbulent time in their lives.
Being a foster caregiver isn’t just a volunteer role. It is a calling that reaches out to people with big hearts who open their homes to those in need. It’s my Department’s goal to ensure foster families feel supported and heard.
During Foster Family Appreciation Week – October 16 to 22 – I want to take the time to both acknowledge the incredible work of our foster families and to look to the future and how we are working to improve the system.
We heard from both children and youth in care, as well as foster caregivers, that change was needed. Last fall, we announced a redesign of foster care – with a goal of creating a system where both foster families and the children and youth in their care can thrive.
We are working to create a system that will support foster caregivers and help them provide the most supportive environments for children and youth.
Redesigning foster care means modernizing so that our system reflects and supports today’s reality. It must be sustainable so that it will continue to grow stronger and evolve as our province grows. The redesigned foster care program will also prioritize maintaining a child’s culture while in care.
This work is in progress, and Department staff recently embarked on a series of information sessions to talk directly with foster caregivers about their concerns and ideas and discuss upcoming changes.
I look forward to sharing more about the redesign in the coming weeks.
I want to thank our foster families for all they do and for coming on this journey with us. I know, with their help, we will create a brighter future for all children and youth in care.