Protecting Children | Strengthening Families

Frequently Asked Questions about fostering

The following questions and answers may help you further understand what fostering is all about.

Can children share bedrooms?
Will the child go to the school in my neighbourhood?
Do I need to provide the furniture and equipment to care for foster children?
Will the foster child’s family know where we live?
Do I have to talk with the child’s family?
What about discipline?
Will foster children have a negative influence on my own family?
Can I adopt my foster child?
What if I want to go on vacation?
Can I take a foster child to my church?
Is there an age limit to being a foster parent?

Q: Can children share bedrooms?

A: Children of the same gender may share a room as long as there is enough personal space. Children must have their own beds.

Q: Will the child go to the school in my neighbourhood?

A: In most cases, yes. However, if a child needs to attend classes in his or her current school, the foster child’s Children’s Service Worker will make those arrangements.

Q: Do I need to provide the furniture and equipment to care for foster children?

A: Yes, foster homes are required to provide their own Canadian Standards Association (CSA)-approved furnishings and equipment such as beds, cribs, car seats, etc.

Q: Will the foster child’s family know where we live?

A: In most cases, the child’s family will not know the location of the foster family.

Q: Do I have to talk with the child’s family?

A: As a foster parent you may be required to communicate with or even meet the child’s parents. You may need to attend planning conferences for a child in your care, or help the parents with their parenting skills. Every situation is unique. You will learn how to cope with different situations through foster parent training and with the active support of your Foster Care Support Worker.

Q: What about discipline?

A: Foster children are just like any other children. They will require consistent support and guidance and this will include the need for discipline. All forms of physical discipline are against CAS policy.

Q: Will foster children have a negative influence on my own family?

A: Integrating foster children with your own children tends to be a common concern. Many foster children are fearful, angry, confused and have a sense of powerlessness because they were removed from their home. Their feelings may be reflected in their behaviour. If you are experiencing difficulty with your own children, foster parenting may not be appropriate at this time. Fostering as a family can be a wonderful, character building, life changing experience–but it will require a commitment from your whole family.

Q: Can I adopt my foster child?

A: Under the right circumstances and in the best interest of the child, foster parents may request that adoption be considered. Adoption is a child-centred process so the agency is very diligent in finding the very best “forever” home for each adoptable child.

Q: What if I want to go on vacation?

A: A few options are available. Under the right circumstances and with proper authorization, you may be able to take your foster child with you. However, if it is not possible to take the foster child on vacation with you or if you need some personal family time away from foster caring, relief arrangements can be made.

Q: Can I take a foster child to my church?

A: Yes, if there are no concerns from the child’s family, it is a reasonable length of time and the child wants to go. If a child is of a different religion, you may be required to make arrangements for the child to practice their own faith.

Q: Is there an age limit to being a foster parent?

A: Foster parents need to be financially and emotionally stable, living independently and exhibit a level of maturity that enables good parenting. They need to be physically and emotionally capable of caring for children who may require a higher energy level of parenting skills.