October is Foster Family Appreciation Month. This special month celebrates the extraordinary work of our foster families who provide stable, secure and nurturing homes for children and youth unable to live with their own families.
In the Province of British Columbia, 3,239 foster families provide care to children who cannot reside with their own families. In all, 5,864 children are cared for in foster homes, all for a variety of reasons. On the North Island, 38 foster families provide care to 105 children in care from our communities.
There is always a need for more individuals and families to become foster parents. Foster parents play an invaluable role in the lives of thousands of children and youth offering love, stability and a safe place to call home. The main qualifications needed are a desire to provide a supportive and caring environment and make a positive difference in a child’s life.
There are many ways to make a difference to support foster families and the children they care for. Consider fostering. Provide a child with a safe, nurturing and supportive home when they need it the most. Consider providing respite care for other foster families, instead of fostering full time. Respite caregivers typically have a child in their home anywhere from 24 hours up to two weeks.
Attend an information session to determine if fostering is right for you! A brown-bag lunch information session is being held at the Ministry of Children and Family Development office at 8755 Gray Street in Port Hardy on Monday, Oct. 27, from noon-1 p.m. Call Nicki Therrien at 250-949-8011 or the Provincial Foster Line at 1-800-663-9999 for more information. You may also check out the Ministry’s website at www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/foster for additional information about fostering.
Do you know a foster family in our community? Acknowledge and appreciate the hard work and commitment they show our community’s children and youth every day.