Foster Care

Foster Parents' Rights

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Basic to the following statement of Foster Parents' Rights is the understanding that foster children become a part of a foster family for the length of placement, and that what happens to any one member of that family invariably affects all members. Foster children need to feel that they are valued members of their foster families; care plans and contact from staff of agencies should include recognition of these issues, and an effort to provide support to all members of the foster family.
Woman and girl
To help ensure that foster children receive the best possible care, foster parents have the right to:
  1. a clear understanding of their role as foster parents with respect to the:
    • agency for whom they foster
    • individual child placed in their home
    • tasks the agency expects them to perform with biological family/guardians and other persons significant to the child (including foster, adoptive, step or grandparents);
  2. make the decision as to whom to parent, in consultation with the placing agency. This includes the right to apply to adopt a child who has been placed as a foster child in their home and who, in the opinion of the agency having permanent guardianship, should be placed for adoption;
  3. appeal a termination or suspension of their foster home licence;
  4. access to information about themselves and their family from the records maintained by an agency, regarding their foster home;
  5. supervision and support from the child's caseworker and the foster home worker so that the foster family can better meet the needs of the foster child. This includes:
    • disclosure of information regarding a foster child, to assist the foster parents in providing appropriate care and to ensure the well-being of each foster family member,
    • help in locating and using appropriate resources to meet the child's needs,
    • information concerning interviews between the child's caseworker and foster child, so that foster parents may assist in the practical implementation of the care plan, and
    • consultation regarding specific problems of the child;
  6. respect, consideration, trust and acceptance of their status as colleagues in the provision of services to children. This is based on the awareness that foster parents have specific, important information about the children who are in their care. This information must be available to agency staff and collateral services when decisions about the children are made. Foster parents should have the opportunity to participate in these decisions regarding the foster child. For example, their participation could be facilitated by their attendance at case conferences and involvement in contacts with collateral agencies;
  7. educational opportunities to enhance their skill in caring for foster children through:
    • access to the provincial training program,
    • access to other courses as identified by the foster parent and agency, that are necessary for their work with the children who have been placed with them, and
    • support for attendance at these courses
  8. state complaints and grievances against agency practices or procedures with regard to a child in their care, or the service they receive by contacting the following:
    • the child's caseworker and/or foster home worker,
    • the worker's supervisor,
    • the executive/regional director,
    • the board of the agency,
    • the Director of Child and Family Services,
    • the Office of the Children's Advocate, and
    • the Ombudsman