Training & Support
Once you have completed and submitted your application package, a worker will schedule you into the PRIDE (Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education) pre-service training program. This is a mandatory, standardized competency-based training offered to all prospective foster parents throughout the province of Ontario.
The PRIDE curriculum provides an informative, thought-provoking look at fostering. A variety of subjects are covered during this training including:
- placement planning
- the significance of continuity in a child’s life
- connections to the child’s birth family and kin
- how children attach and experience loss
All foster home studies use a format called SAFE (Structured Analysis Family Evaluation). The SAFE HomeStudy is a mutual process that assesses your willingness and capabilities to become a fostering family and relate these to the needs of children placed in your home. The study is designed to evaluate families for foster care approval. SAFE stresses the importance of respectfully engaging families in a strength-based, mutual evaluation process.
It involves the discussion of important issues pertaining to parenting and invites applicants to examine their own beliefs, values and feelings. The home study process includes several interviews focusing on:
- family backgrounds
- motivation for fostering
- family relationships and dynamics
- financial circumstances
- experience with children
The process also assists the applicants to become aware of what fostering involves. A home safety checklist will also be completed and you’ll be asked to provide several character references as well as undergo current medical, child welfare and police checks on all adults in your home.
As a valued member of a professional team upon approval, you will be supported and guided as you integrate the child/children into your family.
A variety of support opportunities are offered to foster families, such as:
- a foster care worker
- 24-hour on-call child and youth counsellor support
- peer mentoring support
- built-in relief
- on-going training
In addition, financial reimbursement to help cover the cost of each child’s care and sustenance, clothing and other needs such as recreation costs is also available to foster families. Foster parents do not receive a salary, therefore are not required to pay income tax on the compensation received.