The Foster Parent Support Services Society is looking for homes willing to take in foster kids. (Photo courtesy of Prairie Child Photography)

High cost of living means fewer foster families

More than 1,000 children are in desperate need of foster families on Vancouver Island

The high cost of living is taking its toll on some of society’s most vulnerable members.

More than 1,000 children and youth on Vancouver Island are in desperate need of foster homes. But with the cost of homes going up across the region, the Foster Parent Support Services Society is having a hard time finding foster families.

“I think there’s a lot of pressures to work outside the home,” said Dan Malone, executive director of the society. Traditionally, he said, they would see a lot of families take in foster children while one parents is already home with kids.

Eva Vowles, education co-ordinator, added “we’ve had foster families sell their homes to buy bigger homes to take in more kids.”

But that’s not something they’re seeing much of lately.

With expenses forcing both parents to work, Malone thought that factor could be contributing to a shortage of homes. “There’s [also] less and less people having extra rooms in their homes,” he added.

And as a safety requirement, he noted families do need to have an extra bedroom for foster children they bring into their home.

Another reason people may not be signing up is the common misconception that to be a foster parent you need to be a stereotypical family in a large home. But that’s not the case assured Vowles, adding they look at all sorts of diverse situations.

The provincial ministry of children and family development places foster children in the best homes based on that child’s or children’s specific needs. That’s why is so important to have a diverse range of options, Vowles said, adding it will increase the chances of finding that “best fit.”

“If we can find the right home the first time it can help the child,” she explained, noting it’s important to remember that while all stays vary in length, they are meant to be temporary and it is not the roadway to adoption. “The idea is to return them to a safe and healthy home … often it works but sometimes it doesn’t.”

Malone noted to be a foster parent you need to be 19 years of age or older and able to provide a safe environment. But the most important factor is just being able to commit the time.

That time factor may be why the Foster Parent Support Services Society is also finding a desperate need for homes willing to take in babies.

While Malone noted they are always in need of homes for children of all ages, especially teens, he said there is an exceptional need for homes for babies. “It’s more than usual … it’s across the board right now,” he added.

“Sometimes people are intimidated … you just have to offer a warm, safe place,” Vowles said. “A lot of people think about it for a long time … [but] now’s the time.”

She added you just have to help one. “If you’re not ready or the timing’s not quite right for you, just spread the word.”

Malone added it’s also important to remember that foster parents are not alone as there are lots of support networks in place. “Contact us and we’ll get you out to an information session.”

Information sessions are scheduled for June 6 from noon until 1 p.m. and June 20 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. To learn more go to fosterhope.ca or fpss.com. Or you can contact the Langford office directly by calling 778-430-5459.

Find the entire summer edition of West Shore Family online.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

 

The Foster Parent Support Services Society is looking for homes willing to take in foster kids. (Photo courtesy of Prairie Child Photography)

Just Posted

UPDATED: Bail conditions released for Esquimalt man facing multiple sexual assault charges

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Victoria police seize over one kilo of fentanyl, guns and cars

Andrew Ritch is facing charges of drug trafficking and firearm offences

UPDATE: Missing Langford teen found safe

The 13-year-old Langford boy reported missing Wednesday has been found

Tour de Victoria rolls through the region Saturday

Expect traffic delays across Greater Victoria on Aug. 18

Fire chief stops driving lesson to fight fire

Sooke fire concerned over second suspicious bin fire this year

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

UPDATED: Vancouver Island community under evacuation alert due to wildfire

BC Wildfire Service says steep terrain near Zeballos poses challenge as “out of control” wildfire approaches homes

Most Read