Foster/Kinship Care

Alternative care or foster/kinship care can mean may things.  It can be a grandparent caring for a grandchild , an aunt or uncle caring for a niece or nephew, or a community member caring for a child they  are familiar with. These homes are referred to as Kinship homes.  Alternative care or foster care can also be a person or family that is not familiar with a child but would like to open their heart and home to a child in need.

What is foster/kinship care?

Foster/kinship care is a service provided to families who, for a variety of reasons, cannot assure the safety of their children or parent them in a way that will promote health physical, social, and emotional development. Children live with Agency approved families until they can return to their own bio-families, or until some other permanent arrangement can be made.

Why are children placed in foster/kinship care?

Children are placed outside of their families either involuntary or voluntary. The court (involuntary) orders the child removed from the home and determines the length of the placement. A voluntary placement occurs when parents decide that they are temporarily unable to care for their child for reasons other than abuse or neglect.

What are the requirements to be a foster/kinship parent?

You must be:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Free from communicable disease or health problems that impair your ability to care for children
  • Mentally and emotionally stable
  • Able to meet your financial obligations and have a consistent source of income
  • Complete an orientation
  • Complete a home study with the Agency and receive a favorable recommendation

What do foster/kinship parents do?

Foster/kinship parents play a vital role in the lives of foster children and their families. They do a lot, including:

  • Providing for the basic daily needs of foster children, such as food, clothing, shelter, and supervision
  • Transporting foster children to and from appointments, court hearings, and visits with family
  • Arranging medical and dental care for foster children
  • Role modeling positive parenting to the foster child’s birth family

Could you be a foster parent?

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you have a strong support system of friends and/or family?
  • Are you a patient person? Are you willing to continually give and very rarely get anything in return, except for the knowledge that you are helping a family?
  • Many people enter into foster care thinking that they are rescuing a poor child from an abusive parent. These foster parents believe that the child will be grateful and relieved to be out of their home situation. This is rarely the case. The child’s bad situation is his/her “normal.” Be prepared for the child to be anything but happy about being in your home. In other words, examine your expectations.
  • Kids in care have sometimes been neglected or physically, sexually, or mentally abused. These children can be angry, resentful, and sad. They may take it out on their foster parents. Are you willing and able to deal with what the children may put on you and not take it personally?
  • Are you willing to have social workers in your home? Can you work in a partnership with a team of professionals to help the child either get back home or to another permanent placement, such as adoption? This requires excellent communication skills on your part and a commitment to follow the plan set forth by the social workers.
  • Can you say goodbye? Foster care is not a permanent arrangement. However, you and your family will attach to this child, so don’t be fooled into thinking otherwise.
  • If you have children of your own, how do they feel about having a child come live with them? Your children will have to share their home, room, toys, and parents. They sacrifice a lot in becoming part of a foster family.
  • What type of children can you parent at this time? Consider the age and gender of a child. You will also be given choices on what behaviors and special needs you feel that you can and cannot parent at this time. Be aware, however, that the Agency is not always aware of a child’s behavior or special needs at the time of placement.
  • Do you have a lot to give? Are you ready to throw a child his/her first birthday party? Can you help him/her decorate a first Christmas tree or carve a first pumpkin? Help the child to see that families are a great place to grow up and show him/her an excellent role model of healthy family relationships? Give him/her an opportunity to heal and grow?

What kind of people are foster/kinship parents?

All kinds of people are foster/kinship parents. They may be younger or older; have young children, adult children, or no biological children at all. They may be bio grandparents, auntie or uncles. They may own their own home or rent; be a one or two-income family, or even retired. Foster parents are regular people. They just care about kids, are committed to ‘family,” and want to help others through a rough time.

What is a typical foster child like?

There are no "typical" foster children. They can be any age, from birth to 17. Foster children may be individuals or part of a sibling group to be placed together. They all have unique personalities and come from a variety of home situations.

Orientation

According to Foster Care Regulations, an agency must provide an orientation to foster care applicants. The agency will ensure that foster care orientations are held at least once every six months for all new applicants and foster care providers.

How can I apply to be a foster parent?

If you believe you have the time, the love and the commitment to become a foster parent, please contact our Foster/Kinship Care Program at our Head Office in Pinaymootang First Nation or at our Winnipeg Outreach office.

Head Office-Pinaymootang

Fairford, MB
Tel:      (204) 659-4546
Fax:      (204) 659-5877

Anishinaabe CFS Outreach Office

56-1313 Border Street
Winnipeg, MB
Tel:      (204) 942-0788
Fax:      (204) 957-1734

Philosophy of ACFS

The child is a precious gift from the Creator who has entrusted the family of the child with the sacred duty to love, protect and nurture this child in the ways of the First Nations people.

In the tradition, the family if the child includes the parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. Beyond the extended family the community of that child has a duty to provide for the Spiritual, Emotional, Intellectual and Physical needs.