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The Children's Aid Society of Toronto strives to keep children in their own homes with their own families whenever possible. Unfortunately, even after receiving counseling and support, some parents are still unable to provide their children with adequate care. In situations like these, children may be brought into the care of the Society. Since a child's needs are met most fully in a family environment, foster family care is an alternative for these children.
Who Are Foster Parents?
- Single adults or couples
- Families just beginning to raise their own children, or families who have finished raising children
- Adults with special skills or special childcare training
- Same sex couples and people from the LGBTQ community
- Home owners or renters
- Stay at home adults or people who work outside of their home
- Foster parents provide temporary, safe, caring and stable homes that support the development of children. Foster parents come from diverse backgrounds that represent the cultural diversity of our community. Foster parents are an important part of the child welfare team that includes Children’s Aid Society of Toronto staff, volunteers, other professionals and the family of origin of children who are in our care.
You can be the difference for a child in need by opening your home as a foster family. Foster families provide temporary, loving care to children who cannot live safely at home. Foster parents are needed for infants, toddlers, teens, children with special needs and sibling groups.
Our foster parents are married or single, have a lot of experience with children or while having no direct experience, are interested in working with children, represent the LGBTQ community, come from a variety of cultures and ethnicities, or may decide to foster with another family member. The foster parents of the Children’s Aid Society represent the diversity of our city.
There is an extensive training program for new applicants to provide you with the tools you need to begin your role as a foster parent. There are also many other supports that are provided to help you along the way.
Some children may need foster family care for just a few days or a week. Others may need to live with a foster family for several months or, in some circumstances, several years. On average, placements last from six months to one year. At the CAS of Toronto foster parents work together with staff to develop a plan for each child in care. The ideal plan is usually to reunite a young person with his or her family. When a reunion is not possible, the plan may include kinship, adoption or an alternative permanency plan. While the legal responsibility for the young person remains with the CAS, foster families play an essential role in the child’s daily life. The stable and caring home environment that foster families provide helps encourage healthy growth and development.
To meet the needs of the diverse group of children that require the care of the CAS of Toronto, it is important that we recruit foster families who can match those needs.
Experience in caring for children is a definite advantage for a foster family, but you can apply to foster even if you have no specific background in child care. Love of young people, optimism, patience and consistency are essential qualities of successful foster families. A basic understanding of children’s needs, as well as a willingness to learn, is also required. If you’re an experienced foster parent, or have specialized training and skills in working with children, you may wish to inquire about fostering opportunities consistent with your experience and career goals. No matter what your experience or skills, by becoming a foster parent you will have the opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child, and help the young people in your community. We actively seek applications from families from different walks of life, a variety of cultural, racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds, and with a wide range of child care skills. This includes single people and members of the lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual communities.
Think about people who you believe would be an addition to our fostering community.
You will be eligible for a referral bonus of $500 once your friend, neighbour or family member becomes an approved foster home!
To make a referral, please advise the applicant to call extension 3513 and mention your name.