Frequently Asked Questions
We know, there are a lot of questions that come during this process. Below are some of the common ones we get asked.
What is the process to becoming a licensed foster home?
How long do children remain in a foster home?
This may vary as the intention of foster care is to hopefully reunite the child with family if possible. Some children may remain in care for a shorter period of time, whereas others may remain in foster care for years while permanency options are explored.
Are foster children ever adopted?
It is not the intention of fostering to be able to adopt a child that you are providing care to. Reunification back to family of origin is always the preference. However, when that is not possible, to provide stability and permanence for a child private guardianship or adoption may occur. To be noted, adoption may not be granted to you as the child’s current caregiver.
How old do I have to be to become a Foster Parent?
You must be over 18 years of age. For additional eligibility requirements, refer to the attached timeline document which outlines necessary forms to be submitted.
I am single. Does that impact my ability to become a Foster Parent?
No, McMan accepts applications from single people, couples, same sex couples, persons of different ethnicities, common law relationships, and retired persons. We believe that the demographics of any family/individual providing care to a foster child is broad and may encompass many different facets.
I am unsure if I am ready to foster full time. Am I able to be a respite option to provide relief to foster families? Yes. Respite homes provide a needed service and resource to existing foster families. It is a different process from becoming a licensed foster home, but also a good lead in to determine if fostering full time may be an option for you in your future.
What are the supports available to myself/family should we encounter barriers during our fostering experience? The McMan Foster Care program provides exceptional supports. The program assigns a foster care support worker to each foster family. They support foster families with the transition of a child into your home. This worker supports your home and the child in your home to ensure/maintain stability. There is a considerable schedule in place for visits and contact with you/the child with your worker, they will advocate with you in the best interests of the child, they will support you in accessing other outside resources as necessary for the child, etc. The program provides 24/7 supports with after hours on call system. Our foster parents are also encouraged to network with each other as well as access supports/services from the Alberta Foster Parents Association.
Is there financial support and compensation provided for fostering?
Yes. For further information related to this refer to the Government of Alberta website please see section 'Schedules and guides' and click ' Current Caregiver Compensation Rate Schedule - April 1, 2018'. This is tax free renumeration. Of note, McMan has 3 different referral sources those being Children’s Services, Athabasca Tribal Council, and Kasohkowew Child Wellness Society. Financial support and compensation for ATC and KCWS differ from that of Children’s Services.
Do foster children have contact with their biological family?
Where it is safe for the child, and in their best interests, a child would be encouraged and supported to have visits/contact with their family. This is determined by many factors and foster parents will be advised by the child’s caseworker if visits are going to be in place. It is the expectation of foster parents to support such visits in a positive manner in the best interest of the child.
Do I have a say in the age, gender, and racial origin of the child placed in my home?
The McMan Foster Care program believes that families are best able to assess their own strengths and limitations with respect to foster parenting and to know the type of child that will best suit their family. During the SAFE home study process we make every attempt to help applicants determine what is the best fit for their home/family and match foster children’s needs to the foster family.
How do I know if I will make a good Foster Parent?
If you are considering taking the steps to become a foster parent, there are some of the questions you may want to ask yourself. When doing so consider your entire family and ensure that they support this new and challenging venture. Some of the questions to consider are:
What is my primary reason for wanting to foster?
Will my partner and family members share the same commitment as I do with this child?
Will I be able to change my parenting style to fit the requirements?
Will I be able to treat this child as my own while he/she is in my home?
Will I be able to emotionally cope with the loss of the child when he/she is returned home or has leave?
Will my own children be adversely affected by having a foster child in our home?
Do I have the time day to day that this child will require?
Training sessions that will help you to determine the answers to some of those questions is provided by McMan through the Orientation for Caregivers sessions. These sessions provide a more thorough insight into fostering and offer the opportunity for learning and discussion before you make a final decision. This training is also a mandatory training as required by Children’s Services for any family wishing to become a licensed foster home.
If you have further questions, please contact McMan Youth, Family, and Community Services Association and the Foster Care Recruiter will get in touch with you.
Phone: (403) 227-5580