Foster Parents - In their own words, Part 2
The Smiths tell the story of why they are foster parents for Family and Children's Services of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington.
Thank you for visiting us online. There are many opportunities for people who want to become foster parents or adopt through our Agency. We are looking for people from all walks of life to help us provide the families our kids need. There are many steps
you need to take to join us – criminal record checks, home visits, training and more. Watch the videos and download the brochures. Then contact us. We can walk you through the process and answer all your questions.
We have a new vision about what foster care and adoption is at our Agency. When children come into our care we begin a journey with them to a place called permanency. It’s a place where we will help them find a home and a family to care for them and where they belong. On this journey, foster care is a temporary stop along the way. We will try to find a way for them to return home or to live with extended family. If those aren’t options, then we will find them an adoptive family. Our new vision will see foster parents take on the role of adoptive parents if and when a child needs them. This is our vision. Our goal is to give every child the permanency they deserve.
Find out more: Vision for Fostering and Adoption
We’re urgently looking for foster homes for teens and kids with special needs. Being a foster parent isn’t for everyone. It’s challenging, but we’ll be with you every step of the way. There’s no better way to help kids in need than to be their foster parent. If you want to make a real difference in the lives of kids, and this community, than fostering is for you. And even if it is not for you, you can still help. Chances are you know someone who could be a foster parent. Help us help the kids we serve by telling those you know about fostering, and about our need for foster homes. You’ll be helping more than you think.
We’re looking for very special people. Becoming a foster parent is hard work. There’s mandatory training and a variety of checks. It will take time and commitment. We’ll support you on your journey. Just like you will be welcoming a foster child into your family we’ll be welcoming you into our family. We believe in diversity. The kids we serve come from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, creeds and orientations. That's why we are looking for diversity in the foster parents we recruit. We need foster parents who are committed to helping kids better their lives and find their futures.
The kids we serve are all different. We have a significant number of teens that need foster homes. They’ll need your guidance and experience as they begin the transition from childhood to becoming young adults. We also need homes for children with developmental disabilities. It could be kids with Autism or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or medically fragile babies. All of the kids we serve are more than the sum of the challenges they have faced. With your help they will be able to be all they can be.
The best place to start is to contact us. We have people waiting to talk to you about fostering. Or you can come to one of our regularly scheduled Open Houses. We’ll have people there you’ll want to meet – our recruitment staff, current foster parents and more. We know you have questions about fostering. We’ll have answers. And to thank you for coming, we’ll be holding a door prize draw and serving light refreshments.
Adoption is a compassionate gift of family to you and a child in need of a permanent, loving relationship. Adoption is the legal process that gives children a new family when their birth families are unable to care for them. It is intended to provide children with the stability and lifelong security that comes from a permanent home.
There are two ways in which a child can become legally free for adoption:
Many families who contact the Agency wanting to adopt a child discover that a relationship with a child may begin earlier through fostering. Some of these children become free for adoption and some do not. These foster families understand that in some cases the child may leave their care to be placed with birth family or community members. Recognizing this, they commit to caring for the child as long as needed and this may include adoption. This type of care allows children to be placed with a possible permanent family as soon as possible, which increases the child’s stability and well-being while minimizing the number of changes and transitions they have to face.
People wanting to adopt understand the importance of providing a child with a safe, loving and nurturing environment – a home where the child can reach his or her full potential. Adoptive parents can be individuals or couples, people unable to have children of their own, parents who already have children and want to add to their growing family, as well as adults whose first choice for building a family is through adoption. People from diverse cultural backgrounds, single people or same-sex couples or those who are open to parenting special needs children, sibling groups or older children are encouraged to consider adoption.
Here are some things to consider:
In general, adoptive applicants are expected to be able to financially meet the basic expenses of raising a child. In some adoption placements our Agency may approve a financial subsidy to help parents who wish to adopt a child with specific special needs or a group of siblings. This means the adoptive family can receive financial support from the agency, even after the adoption is finalized.
The length of an adoption process varies widely. That being said, there are some basic rules about adoption. Agencies must assess and prepare prospective families carefully as children and youth need stable placements with capable people who can meet their needs. For these reasons, the home study assessment, training and approval process usually takes about three to six months.
After being approved an adoptive family may wait from one month to several years for a placement. The length of time a family must wait depends on the age of the child they wish to adopt, the number of children they are prepared to welcome into their family, the special needs they feel they can cope with.
After a child has been placed with your family it will be at least six months and possibly longer until an adoption can be finalized. The length of this period depends on the individual child's circumstances and whether or not a Crown Wardship order has been obtained. Once a Crown Wardship order has been obtained, the child will be placed on "adoption probation". The period of adoption probation ranges from a few months to a year or more. This is determined by whether or not the child has already been living with the adoptive family and how family members are adjusting to each other.
Should children be told they are adopted? Yes. Children who have always known they were adopted are likely to have good feelings about it, especially if the word "adoption" has had happy associations for them from an early age.
You will need to complete a police check, medical evaluation and forward references for review. Your full participation in a training program, individual and family interviews are also required.
We use a daily rate based on the age of the child in care. We also pay a variety of expenses that the child needs for such things as clothes, recreation and more.
The kids we serve are all different. There is no one way to define who they are or what they’re like. It will depend in part on their interest, experience and skills. Obviously, our children have had to deal with issues of neglect and abuse. As well, the process of coming into care itself is often traumatic. No two children cope with this in exactly the same way. As well, some children will have medical or developmental conditions that need to be addressed.
It can take six months to one year (or longer) before placement depending on a variety of factors.
We consider the needs of the child, their age and other factors and then match on the skill, experience, nature and availability of your family to find the best match possible. We will discuss the child with you and share what information we have available so that together we can make the right decision about whether the match would be a good fit.