One group wants to eliminate the stigma only older children are in need of foster families, when in reality, infants are in need of housing more than any age group.
The Saskatchewan Foster Family Association will bring its Foster New Beginnings campaign to the Battlefords in March. Executive Director Deb Davies said the campaign is designed to recruit new families to foster.
“Typically communities think it is all older children who need foster care,” Davies said. “But right now we are in need of homes for babies and toddlers. Most communities don’t understand that.”
Davies also said a misconception people have is fostering a child and adoption are the same, to which she added they are very different.
“I look at foster care as families helping families, while adoption is more permanent,” Davies said. “Say a single mother is going into the hospital because she has a medical emergency. Foster families would be there to help support that family through that crisis.”
Along with the Foster New Beginnings campaign, Saskatchewan Foster Families Association are the first in Canada to implement prospective foster family training online. Davies said this is a game changer because it makes becoming a foster family more efficient.
“A lot of times mom may be a stay at home mom and dad might work in Fort Mac and it stalls the process because we require both parents to take the training together,” Davies said. “Now with the online training, dad can view the training on his device and mom can do it at home instead of them both needing to come to the class.”
Davies added even when it comes to in class sessions one parent can participate through video conferencing if they can’t make it, where before both parents would have to be in attendance.
Davies described this new format as “huge” because it has never been done anywhere in Canada before. According to Davies within 24 hours of the launch of the online training on Nov. 16, 24 families inquired about becoming foster parents.
Davies felt by making the course available online this was the way of the future and not only will it attract more families in general but she hopes to attract younger families as well.
Greg Higgins is battlefordsNOW's city municipal affairs and health reporter. He can be reached at [email protected] or tweet him @realgreghiggins.
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