Foster parents provide temporary care to children-in-care in a family setting, where the child can grow mentally, emotionally, physically, educationally, spiritually and culturally.
In order to ensure that the highest quality of care is provided, it is critical that the responsibilities as foster parents are clearly understood. Foster parent responsibilities include:
to provide care and supervision to meet the child's needs and to cooperate with the agency and other community resources in achieving the objectives;
to respect the confidentiality of information concerning the child and his/her biological family;
to accept and support the biological parents of the child and to assist and cooperate in visits between the child and his/her family;
to share with the agency all information about the child's progress or difficulties in his/her daily living, health or adjustment to the home, school or community;
to encourage and supervise school attendance, participate in teacher conferences, and keep the child's caseworker updated regarding any special educational needs;
to attend to the regular and/or special medical, optical and dental needs of the foster child;
to encourage and promote the child's participation/involvement in his/her religious/spiritual and cultural beliefs;
to have a plan acceptable to the agency for the provision of care and supervision of the child by a competent person whenever the foster parent is absent from the home;
to keep school and achievement records of the child, including photographs, and to present this material to the agency when the child is discharged;
to recognize the agency's legal rights regarding the child and its final responsibility for placement and other major decisions affecting the child;
to encourage and support the foster child's participation in school activities, leisure time activities, community activities and his/her own interests;
to notify the agency immediately of changes in their family composition, travel plans, serious illnesses, hospitalization or in the case of an accident to the foster child or any member of the foster family;
NOTE: As of October 15, 2015, The Child and Family Services Amendment Act (Critical Incident Reporting) is in effect. Foster parents must report a critical incident to both the licensing and placing agencies within one hour of the critical incident (serious injury or death of a child). The report must include the information on the Critical Incident Report formand can be made orally by phone, or by fax.
to enhance their ability to provide quality care by participating in educational programs;
to care for the child until such time as a decision is made in consultation with the foster parents that the child will be moved, except in those cases where protection of the child is an issue. When this decision has been agreed to, reasonable time will be allowed to make the appropriate arrangements. Part of the duties of the foster parents is to prepare the child for the separation;
to attend all official case planning conferences and administrative case reviews to offer input regarding the child in your home;
to engage with the child's biological family to encourage that relationship and facilitate reunification;
to encourage frequent visitation in the least restrictive environment, e.g., the child's home, relative home, the foster home;
to assist the child in understanding the need for information sharing and the boundaries of confidentiality;
to respect the child's feelings regarding his/her parents;
to respect final decisions made by the agency or court if they can be substantiated as in the best interest of the child; and
to comply with all legislation, regulations and Provincial Standards concerning foster care and children in care.