Sandy Case, a Colwood foster mom, holds an imprint of one of her foster kid’s hands. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

‘Our goal is to heal families’: Colwood woman shares why she’s been a foster parent for 25 years

One woman has taken care of 125 foster children with her husband

One Colwood couple has cared for 125 kids in care since they first became foster parents 25 years ago.

“When they’re in my home, they’re not guests. They’re my children,” says Sandy Case, president of the Vancouver Island (South) Foster Parent Association.

“The first time saying goodbye to a kid was a shock. It was a pain I had never felt before. Some people don’t understand the ability to love another child as your own. It’s hard on your heart, but it’s rewarding.”

ALSO READ: BC youth aging out of foster care reform call for serious child welfare reform

Case first found her love of foster care when she welcomed three young kids into her home back in 1994. The arrival of the kids came as a surprise to her husband, Rob, when he arrived back from a rotation in the navy. She bundled up her own kids, six and 10 at the time, and the moment they saw each other on the dock, her kids yelled out, “Dad, look what we’ve got!’

The rest was history. Over the years, she watched many kids grow up. Some would stay for only a single weekend, and others would stay for as long as six years.

From countless nights rocking babies to sleep to getting another phone call that her kids were sent home from school, Case invested her life into her foster children.

READ MORE: B.C. paying foster parents instead of supporting struggling families, experts say

“We’re not in the business of taking kids away,” says Case while holding an 18-month old foster child. “Our goal is to heal families. There’s always a plan to send a child home and to provide support to the child’s village.”

The 18-month old is able to see their parents once a week.

According to the Ministry of Child and Family Development, there were 4,169 (2,928 Indigenous and 1,241 non-Indigenous) children and youth in foster care in B.C., as of August.

Notably, there are different types of care other than just foster care. Some children will be taken care of by Designated Aboriginal Agencies and others will be placed into group homes. The total number of BC children in care is 6,149 (4,048 Indigenous and 2, 101 non-Indigenous), as of August.

ALSO READ: Foster care is ‘superhighway to homelessness’, BC youth advocate says

The biggest struggle for foster parents is the time to take a break. For 15 years, she claims she didn’t take a break longer than a weekend to herself.

“There’s a lack of qualified people to provide adequate relief,” says Case. “Even though it’s tough, we keep going until we can’t anymore. Caregivers need a break too, and I’m lucky for my daughter because others don’t have that option.”

Sandy’s daughter, Lindsay, takes care of the kids when the couple wants to take a vacation.

“Every family is complicated,” says Case. “None of us are picture-perfect, but seeing the smiles on their faces at the end of the day makes it all worth it.”

October is Foster Family Month in B.C.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Meet Arthur Heart, Oak Bay Avenue’s resident stickman

Contest winner dubs stickman Art Heart

Victoria council keeps its catered lunches at more than $10,000 per year

Two councillors tried to eliminate the expense, with widespread rejection

All Carlton Cards stores closing in the coming weeks

Schurman Retail Group stores across North America will close, including 79 in Canada

UPDATED: 12 Wet’suwet’en supporters arrested by VicPD

Protesters rallied against Coastal GasLink pipeline

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C.-based Coulson Aviation C-130 crashes in Australia

Three people are confirmed dead in the crash in New South Wales

New nasal spray launched in Canada to combat hypoglycemic shock in diabetics

Baqsimi is a nasal spray contains three milligrams of glucagon

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Island Bakery in Cobble Hill to close

Cobble Hill store in business since 1982

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

Most Read