Becoming a foster parent is a big decision. Below you will find the answers to some frequently asked questions about fostering.
The best way to become familiar with our program is for you to attend a 90 minute Foster Parent Information Session. We generally schedule two online evening sessions a month that aim to answer any questions you may have about becoming a foster parent. If the sessions do not work for you, please let us know and we can pick a date/time that best suits you.
There is NEVER any obligation to become involved; we just want individuals to have solid information to make an informed decision.
A child is in a foster home when the child’s home situation isn’t safe, or needs are not able to be met. They are placed with a foster family who can provide them with the necessary care and supports they need.
A foster parent’s role is to provide foster children with a temporary, safe, and loving environment. In this healthy environment, they can experience stability, healthy family dynamics, and learn positive life skills.
Building these foundational elements into their lives will help them to succeed.
Fostering is one of the most varied, challenging, and rewarding experiences a parent can have. You will create relationships that can last a lifetime and make a real difference in a child’s life. Supporting and working with foster children helps the child achieve their fullest potential.
Becoming a successful foster parent involves professionally partnering with Crossroads, biofamilies, and Child and Family Services. Foster parents also require:
• A sense of humour, patience, and a genuine love for kids.
• The ability and willingness to collaborate with the service team.
• A strong support system and a willingness to ask others for support.
• Open communication strategies.
• The belief that sharing and talking about any subject is necessary for a healthy family.
• Appreciation for family time.
• A dedication to child development.
Foster care is the full-time, temporary care of a child in your home with the goal of the child returning to parental care or alternate permanency with extended family guardianship as soon as possible. Foster children are under the delegated care and supervision of the government of Alberta.
When going home is not an option for a child, alternate forms of permanency may be considered. In this case, adoption may be an option.
Adoptive parents have assumed full responsibility and become the child’s legal family. Children’s Services is no longer involved after adoption.
Foster parents must meet the following criteria:
• Be a permanent resident of Canada or Canadian citizen.
• Be a mature adult (actual age when this occurs can vary.)
• Have a stable home dynamic for the past year.
• Be able to communicate fluently in verbal and written English.
• Have a valid drivers license, vehicle, and current insurance.
• Rent or own a residence that meets the licensing standards re: cleanliness and repair.
Please contact our home study coordinator for more details.
Your home – Is it safe for a child or young person? Are there other people in your home?
Your experience – Do you have experience and strong skills with kids and teens?
Your support system – Are there people who can support you to foster?
Your health – Are you fit and able to foster now and for the foreseeable future?
Your financial security – Would fostering be your primary source of income?
Your past – Do you have previous convictions? Are there other barriers to you fostering?
1. Foster parents receive a non-taxable daily stipend for each child in their care. These stipends are set by the province.
2. The stipend covers the number of bed nights each child is in the foster home.
3. The stipend is divided into a child maintenance fee and a parent skill fee.
4. Foster parents may be entitled to reimbursement for various expenses, including:
Mileage to and from child-specific appointments
Recreation and vacation/camp costs
For foster families to provide quality care for children, quality supports must be provided by their home agency. Crossroads’ supports include:
• Regular contact (home visits, email, phone calls) by our Foster Care Support Worker.
• Access to the larger Crossroads team.
• Agency support at professional meetings.
• Specialized training.
• 24-hour crisis line and supports.
• Direction and guidance to work with the child’s services team.
• Advocacy for additional foster supports.
• Support and encouragement to help the foster child and foster family to thrive.
1. Come to one of our free information sessions.
2. Contact us for more information and to request application forms.
3. Meet with our applicant processing coordinator.
4. Fill out the application package.
5. Book Orientation for Caregiver Training (OCT) – We can assist with that.
To become a foster parent, you will have to go through an extensive screening and placement process which includes the following steps.
First Steps to Fostering:
• Application Form: fill out the application and submit it as soon as possible.
• References: each caregiver must include at least three references.
• Criminal Record Check (CRC): apply for a “Vulnerable Sector” CRC. Please note that applicants must have a current CRC and they do expire every 6 months.
• Intervention Record Check (IRC): For this step, two pieces of ID will be required.
• Orientation to Caregiver Training (OCT) Sessions.
Second Steps to Fostering:
• Emergency First Aid, Level C CPR: Register on your own or call Crossroads for locations that provide Emergency First Aid and Level C CPR.
• Drivers Documents: Provide a photocopy of Drivers License(s) and Registration for each vehicle that will be used to transport children. A copy of vehicle insurance must also be provided. A driver’s abstract may or may not be requested.
• Vehicle Insurance: Minimum vehicle insurance is $2,000,000.00.
• Home Insurance: Minimum home insurance is ______________.
• Medicals: Each caregiver must provide a completed medical from a doctor.
• SAFE Questionnaire 1: Both caregivers must separately complete all sections of SAFE Questionnaire 1.
• Financial Information: Complete the financial information form and provide a photocopy of each caregiver’s T4 slip or Notice of Assessment.
• Safety Steps: Provide a house floor plan with clearly marked exits in case of an emergency.
Third and Forth Steps:
• Home Study: A home study writer will be assigned to your family and work with you to complete this.
• Environment Safety Assessment.