Foster Care

Foster Care

Come join our circle of caring and become a foster parent: 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 who are overwhelmed by their circumstances and need 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 in the Greater Vancouver and Richmond 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 trainings

Expand for steps in becoming a Foster Parent +/-

The initial step comes from YOU. What are your reasons for wanting to become a Foster Parent?

We need people:

  • With patience, understanding, appreciation and love for children and youth, who are also knowledgeable and experienced with children’s needs and have a commitment to making a positive contribution to their lives;
  • Who will maintain a stable, structured and positive home environment;
  • Who have a willingness to participate in training opportunities to enhance and support their roles as caregivers;
  • Who are willing to take an active role as part of a professional team working with children in care;
  • Who value children’s connections with their cultural heritage and families;
    Who live within the Vancouver/Richmond geographic area and have links to their community resources and services.
  • If you have these qualities and are willing to commit your time and abilities to the lives of Aboriginal children in care, we welcome you to join our circle.

The next step requires contacting our Recruiter:

  • Contact a Recruiter at 604 216-7447
  • The Recruiter may take some initial information from you and send you a questionnaire to get started. The questionnaire is a helpful tool to assess yourself and your decision to continue the process to become a Foster Parent.
  • 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.

The third step is the Home Study.

  • A Social Worker will arrange a number of visits with you to document details of your life and how it pertains to caring for children.   The worker will interview everyone in your home and discuss how fostering will change the dynamics in your household. We will want to know about how you will react to these changes and what kind of support system you have to maintain the care of the children.
  • The Home Study may appear quite intrusive at times and will touch on sensitive subjects of your personal life. Again, this is to ensure the safety of everyone in your home. 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. The BC Federation of Foster Parents, as well as The Federation of Aboriginal Foster Parents, has many valuable resources to offer. 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 and through our partner agencies. If a child’s particular needs require specialized training, such training will be made available to you.
  • Thank you for your interest in becoming a Foster Parent.

Expand for Frequently Asked Questions +/-

1. What is foster care?

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.

2. Who can foster 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.

3. Why do we need Aboriginal Foster Parents?

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.

4. 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.  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.

5. Foster care preparation – training provided?

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.

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

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.