Application process for becoming a foster Family
After showing interest in becoming a foster family, a Resource Social Worker will provide you more detailed information but here is a general idea of what will be required:
Phase 1 - Gathering of Information
- You will be asked to complete the Foster Care Application and the attached Child Protection Record Check Consent and return it to your local Child and Family Services office.
- You are required to have a Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Check completed by your local law enforcement agency on any one 18 years of age and older living in your home. There may be a cost for requesting the check. Submit the results of Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Check to your local Child and Family Services office.
- RCMP and local law enforcement may require documentation from Child and Family Services to process this request, this letter will be provided to the applicant.
Phase 2 - Non-negotiable Eligibility Criteria
- Your application will be reviewed to determine if your family meets the non-negotiable eligibility criteria set. The criteria will include your results of the child protection record check, criminal record checks, and family living arrangements. If eligibility criteria is not met the application process would not proceed.
Phase 3 – Pre-Service Training
- Both parents or adults who have responsibility for the home are required to participate in the PRIDE (Parent Resource, Information, Development and Education) pre-service online training. This program is offered to families interested in fostering and adoption. The intent of the program is to provide your family with enough information to help you decide if fostering or adoption is right for you. You will be sent the training link with your login information to your email address submitted on your application.
Phase 4 – “SAFE” Family Assessment
- Our department conducts a Structured Analysis Family Evaluation (SAFE) home studies to ensure all homes are safe for children in foster care to move into SAFE is a structured, evidence-based methodology used to get to know you and your family.
- The home study process is very personal and will require you to share information about yourself. The more we learn about you, your family history, your relationships, and your current circumstances; the better we can prepare and support you, your family, and any children/youth placed in your home. You will be required to complete two questionnaires that provide information about your childhood, adolescent, and adult experiences and will work with a social worker through the process.
- We do not expect anyone to be perfect, as perfect people do not exist. People who have experienced challenges often develop strengths and understanding that will assist them in supporting children/youth who have also experienced challenges and trauma. Your open and honest participation in the home study process is essential for you, your family, and any child/youth placed in your home to have a positive experience. All information you provide (including any documents obtained through background checks and interviews with any family members and references), will be completely confidential.
- The information gathered creates a picture of your family for a "match" in terms of children who may be placed with you. The information also helps to determine if in fact fostering would be a good choice for your family at this particular time in your lives.
At any time during the pre-service process, either during the PRIDE training or SAFE Assessment, three decisions can be made:
- The applicant decides to select-out of the process because they no longer wish to continue.
- The applicant does not meet the requirements to become a foster family and the Resource Social Worker provides support while exiting the process.
- The applicant demonstrates the competencies required to become a foster family and the Resource Social Worker helps to further develop the competencies to complete the process.
Following the completion of the pre-service PRIDE program and SAFE Assessment, the Resource Social Worker will make a recommendation to the Resource Supervisor whether to approve your family as a foster family.