Foster Care

Foster Care

Come join our circle of caring and become a foster caregiver.

Although our goal is to connect children in our care with their Aboriginal roots, we welcome caregivers from all backgrounds. Information Sessions are held on the first Tuesday of each month – 6:45pm at 3284 E. Broadway

At Vancouver Aboriginal Child & Family Services Society (VACFSS), we work with families for some reason or another who require temporary or long-term care for their children. Our aim is to maintain the close connection between children and their family, community and culture. We strive to re-unite families as quickly as possible. We are seeking caring people from all ethnic background in the Greater Vancouver area who are willing to share their homes and provide foster care for Aboriginal children in need.

Vancouver Aboriginal Child & Family Services Society provides the following to support you in caring for our children in need:

  • Ongoing professional support

  • Foster parent training

  • Cultural Awareness training

  • Specialized training

+/- Expand For Steps in Becoming a Foster Caregiver

The first step requires contacting our Recruiter:

  • Contact Rusty Whitford 604-216-6114 or a Recruiter at 604 216-7447
  • The Recruiter will invite you to a monthly information session held on the first Tuesday of each month. The location of the meeting is 3284 East Broadway, Vancouver (On the corner of Broadway and Rupert near the Rupert Skytrain station.) The meeting starts at 6:45 PM.
  • At the information session, the process of becoming a Foster Parent will be described. It consists of an application, references, consents, medical assessment, criminal record checks and a home study. All details of the paperwork will be explained to help speed the process. We take time to carefully evaluate every application to ensure the safety of the vulnerable children we place in foster homes.
  • If you have specialized skills in working with children with various special needs please let the recruitment social worker know.

The second step:

  • Completing the application package you will receive at the information session and return back to the recruitment office.

The third step is the home study.

  • A Social Worker will arrange a number of visits with you to document your life skills, experiences and parenting practices so as to assist us in finding a good fit between you and our children.
  • When a home study is completed by the Social Worker and approved by the Clinical Supervisor, we will decide with you which children will be the best fit for your family.

The final step is the actual placement of a child in your home.

  • Time Frame:  The complete process may take between 2 and 3 months, and at times longer. We value your patience while the work is in progress.

Financial Supports:

  • Once a home is approved and the placement of a child is proposed, you will be asked to enter into a contract with VACFSS which outlines mutual responsibilities and financial compensation. The amount of compensation depends on the assessed skills of the Foster Parent and the level of service required by the child.

Other Supports:

  • A variety of supports are available when you become a Foster Parent. Foster Parent groups meet regularly to provide peer support and helpful tips to make fostering successful and rewarding.
  • Training is essential and is provided by VACFSS through our partner agencies. If a child’s particular needs require specialized training, such training may be made available to you.
  • Thank you for your interest in becoming a Foster Parent.

+/- Expand For Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I have to be Aboriginal to foster?

We encourage people from all ethnic backgrounds to apply as our children have diverse interests that may also match your interests.

2. Do I need to own a home?

You may still foster regardless if you rent or own your residence.

3. What are the age groups for fostering?

We require homes that will care for infants, sibling groups, and teenagers up to the age of 19 years old.

4. Do I have to reside in Vancouver?

The geographical area of our current foster parents include Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Surrey, and Delta.

5. What is foster care?

Foster care provides alternative care for children who are unable to live with their birth parents or legal guardians. We embrace the learning and teachings from our past and are committed to providing the best alternative care for Aboriginal children.

6. Who can foster Aboriginal Children?

We need people who are able to care for children with a variety of needs.  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.

7. Why do we need Aboriginal Foster Parents?

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.

8. Can I choose who I foster?

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.

9. Foster care preparation – training provided?

Training is a part of the fostering experience.  Some training is mandatory to provide you with knowledge and keep you aware of how the system of foster care works.  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.

10. Who can I contact to become a foster parent?

For people in the Greater Vancouver area call Rusty Whitford at 604-216-6114 or a Recruiter at 604 216-7447.