Foster parents are the backbone of support for children in need across the country. A good home can change a child’s life in ways they never could have imagined growing up in abusive or neglectful homes. Unfortunately, there are not nearly enough foster homes as there are children seeking stability.
The Halton Children’s Aid Society (Halton CAS) is reaching out to the community with the hope of finding families who are looking to take on the responsibility of foster parenthood.
Halton CAS sees youth come into care in need of foster homes anywhere from the ages of 0-16 with a current emphasis on infants according to Resource Worker Rosalynd Forsyth.
New foster parents are required to go through pre-service training, but CAS says that often the conversion rate is too low as time passes. "Circumstances can change quite a bit for families," Forsyth said.
"We’ve had a few cases in the time that I’ve been a resource worker where the families ended up pregnant, or illnesses, or changes in family structure, where they’ve had to pull back."
"Our last training session we had at least six very eager couples register for the training and out of that we only ended up with two couples completing the training," Forsyth continued.
Halton CAS currently has around 22 foster homes, at one point they had over 100, but those numbers haven’t been within reach since the pandemic, when so many foster families pulled back from opening their homes.
Forsyth and CAS Resource Supervisor Cecilia Devas say, "It’d be nice to be able to choose the best home as opposed to the home that just has a bed."
In their annual report, Halton CAS stated, "We are seeking people from different races, religions and cultural backgrounds who speak different languages; our foster parents come from all walks of life."
"One thing we know for successful kids is that the more stability we can create for the child, the better the outcomes," said Forsyth. "The goal is one child, one placement, and then a return to a permanency."
CAS often has to battle "myths" when it comes to the perception of what it means to care for youth in need. They’ve outlined the following as myths, facts and statistics:
Anyone who's interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent is encouraged to visit the Halton CAS website.