Foster care provides alternative care for children who are unable to live with their birth parents or legal guardians. We acknowledge the history of foster care amongst Aboriginal people has been one that is marked with hurt and despair. We embrace the learning and teachings from our past and are committed to providing the best alternative care for Aboriginal children.
We need people who are able to care for children with a variety of needs. The care of the child, as a child, is primary. The holistic approach to childcare is a process which will develop with the experience. People who are motivated and willing to look at parenting from a unique perspective will have the best understanding of sharing their lives with Aboriginal Children and Families.
Aboriginal families who step forward to foster Aboriginal Children are honoring traditional roles. Aboriginal communities have specific methods of childcare and the members will play significant roles in a child’s life. Uncles, aunties, grandparents and cousins have as much influence to a child as birth parents. The more Aboriginal people playing roles in Aboriginal children’s lives the better the chance for healthy connection to their sense of belonging and being Aboriginal.
How children are placed with foster families depends on a number of variables. We need to know the skills, strengths and limits of each home. We assess the children’s needs and determine a plan of care.
All of the information we have about the child is shared openly with foster parents. It is essential to be true to yourself and know what your limits are. Foster parent’s voices are heard and we encourage them to advocate for themselves.
Training is a large part of the fostering experience. Some training is mandatory to keep you aware of how the system of foster care works and practical care essentials. Other training is provided throughout the year as we obtain opportunities to share the latest information about parenting. We also value cultural learning experiences and share them whenever and however we can.
For people in the Vancouver/Richmond area call 604 216-7447.
Other people can call Federation of Aboriginal Foster Parents (FAFP) 1-866-291-7091(local Lower Mainland) 604-291-7091. They will direct you to the Aboriginal representative in your area.