Foster Care FAQs
How do I apply to become a foster caregiver?
- If you think you have the special qualities and time to become a foster caregiver and would like more information,please call our Foster Care Recruitment Line at 416-395-1720.
- Our Foster Care Services staff will be pleased to assist and answer your questions, and explain the application process to you.
Why become a foster caregiver?
- There are many ways to help children and families, but none more rewarding than opening your heart and home to a child in need. Every member of a foster family learns and grows through the process of caring for a foster child. Helping a child to heal, grow and learn can be one of life's most fulfilling experiences.
Do foster caregivers receive support?
As a foster parent, you can expect to receive the following support:
- Direct support, training and consultation from a CCAS Foster Care Resource Worker
- A daily non-taxable allowance to cover costs such as food, clothing and spending money for the foster child’s recreational needs
- Mileage and relief allowance
- Medical and dental cost coverage
- Access to a range of therapeutic supports and services required by the foster child
- Participation in CCAS's network of caregivers
What qualifications are required to become a foster caregiver?
You have the qualification to become a foster family if you have:
- the compassion and nurturing to care for a foster child and make him or her feel wanted and loved;
- the ability to embrace and support children and families from diverse religious, cultural and racial backgrounds;
- a commitment to the child’s emotional and individual development needs
- team collaboration and communication skills;
- flexibility at work to be available for emergencies, school breaks, meetings, or a secondary caregiver that can provide this support;
- are committed to attend training sessions to support the foster child;
Who are the families fostering children?
- Our exceptional foster family community reflects Toronto’s diversity in language, race, culture, family constellation, and economic circumstance. They provide children with spiritual support consistent with Roman Catholic values and faith.
- Foster parents can be married or single, with or without children. Some are experienced parents with older children, while others are fostering while raising their own children.
- Some foster parents work full-time outside of the home, while others are stay-at-home caregivers. All share a genuine interest in the well-being of children, and are dedicated to the fostering community.
What do foster caregivers do?
- They provide our children with a safe and nurturing home in a family-based environment when they are not able to remain in their home because of child protection concerns or special needs.
- Foster caregivers are role models, teachers, and nurturers to children, who help them develop healthy self-esteem, values, and positive behaviours.
- Besides ensuring that a child's mental, emotional and physical needs are met, foster parents help maintain familial, cultural, social and religious ties. This includes offering support to the child’s biological family.
- Our foster families work as a team with CCAS staff, children and their parents to establish the best plan of care for the child. The initial plan is usually to reunite a child with his or her family; however, sometimes this is not possible. In these situations, CCAS foster care workers work with the child, parents, extended family, and foster families to develop a plan for them to live in the best permanent home possible — this could include living with a relative (kinship care), private guardianship, or adoption.
Who are the children needing foster care?
- Foster children come from a variety of backgrounds and can range from newborns to teenagers (0-16 years of age). Most are from Catholic families.
- Some children need emergency care for overnight or short-term care for a few weeks. Depending on the circumstances, others may need long-term care before they are ready to re-join their family or start living independently after turning 18.
- While some foster children may have been voluntarily placed in CCAS's care, the family court system may have required others to be placed in our care. Most foster children are placed in our care because they may have experienced:
- illness, death, or conflict in the family;
- neglect or abandonment;
- physical, sexual or emotional abuse
What's involved in the application process?
- Discussing your interest in becoming a foster parent with our Foster Care Staff
- Reviewing our detailed information package
- Attending our foster care information night
- Completing a home visit with a CCAS Foster Care Worker
- Submitting a completed application form
- Attending a Parent Resource for Information, Development, Education (PRIDE) training session
- Upon your application's approval, signing a service agreement with us
If my application is approved, how soon can I expect to receive a foster placement?
- How soon a child is placed with you after your application approval depends on the children you have decided to foster. For example, if you are willing or able to care for teens, siblings or children with special needs, a child will be placed with you more quickly.