Who are Foster Parents?
Our foster parents are caring, child centred, and supportive people who are interested in providing a home for children who are not able to live with their parents or kin, on a short term or permanent basis if required. Our Foster Parents are committed to children and youth’s contact with their birth family and in supporting their transition back to their birth family when reunification is the plan.
Elgin CAS is dedicated to enriching our foster care team and welcome individuals from all ethnicities, cultures, socioeconomic experiences, religions, sexual orientation, and abilities. Our foster parents come with a wide range of child caring experiences. Experiences can range from minimal exposure to caring for children to a great deal of exposure and knowledge.
Training and Support
Our agency provides training and support to foster parents throughout the duration of a child being placed and specific to the child’s needs. We offer a wide variety of training opportunities through our agency training calendar and a foster support worker is available to provide direct support in the home.
What is Fostering Permanency?
Our agency believes that children need safety, security and stability. If a child is not safe to remain with their biological family, and there is no kin available, foster parents may obtain custody of the child, adopt the child, or maintain the child through customary care. We know the harmful effects on a child’s well-being when they move from home to home. The evidence linked to permanency and well-being for children through attachment theory has been very useful to understand that children’s best interests lie in the preservation of their attachment ties. Repeated ruptures may cause trauma to the child, impacting behavioural, social, educational and developmental well-being.
Most children are placed in foster homes temporarily, ranging from a few days to several months, while other services are provided to help a family through a crisis and make the home safe for the child’s return. However, some children cannot return home, and are provided with care and support until they are independent adults.
Family and Children’s Services of St. Thomas and Elgin is a leading proponent of child-centred adoptions.
While other agencies act on the behalf of parents looking to adopt children, we act on behalf of children looking to adopt suitable families. Concurrent planning minimizes change for children who become available for adoption by supporting foster parents in adopting foster children.
Since most of our adoption placements are completed in this fashion, becoming a foster parent with Family and Children’s Services of St. Thomas and Elgin is your best chance of successfully adopting a child in need.
We are committed to providing each child with long term stability, security, and continuity within a family setting.
How do I become a foster parent?
Call our agency at 519-631-1492 and request to speak to a resource worker. We can set up a visit to discuss with you, in person, our foster parenting program and provide you with an application package.
Once we have received your completed application package, we will enroll you in training called PRIDE. We offer this training three times throughout the year. This is mandatory training in Ontario for people interested in becoming foster parents. The training prepares you for various experiences you may face when children are placed into your home. The training is one evening per week for a duration of 10 weeks.
You will be assigned a worker to complete your home study called a SAFE (Structured Analysis Family Evaluation) after the completion of PRIDE training. This involves a series of interviews, questionnaires, references and background checks.
While we strive to preserve and strengthen each child’s family to the greatest extent possible, children remain the central focus of our services.