1. If I have children of my own, can I still become a foster parent?
It depends. It is very common for foster parents to have their own children living at home along with the young person they are fostering. The suitability of this arrangement often depends on how many children there are and their ages. Given the demands of the young people referred to our program, parents of very young children are encouraged to wait until their children are older before taking on fostering.
2. What are Marymound’s expectations of foster parents?
We ask and expect that you will:
- Provide care and supervision for the young person placed in your home.
- Maintain records according to the Provincial Foster Home Licensing Requirements.
- Submit regular reports to your Clinical Case Manager including Monthly Reports, Incident Reports, and ensure that Respite Reports are accurately completed.
- Actively participate in team meetings including conferences and bi-weekly supervision with the Clinical Case Manager.
- Attend Marymound-sponsored training events.
- Ensure that the appropriate team members are apprised of any significant changes, concerns, or accomplishments of the young people in your care.
3. Can I keep my full-time job while fostering?
That depends on your situation. In two-parent homes, at least one parent is usually home full-time once a young person is placed with them. However, if you have a paid position that allows you to be flexible enough to accommodate the demands of the young person this would be considered.
4. How readily available/accessible do I need to be for the young person?
Young people demand different levels of attention from their caregivers, depending on their needs. The child welfare agencies who contract services from our program expect foster parents to be available to the young person 24 hours per day, seven days a week. In consideration of the high needs of the young people in our program, we have various supports for foster parents in place, including financial compensation for respite and 24-hour on-call availability from one of the Clinical Case Managers.
5. Do I need to find my own respite or are respite providers available to me?
Many foster parents prefer to seek out their own people to provide respite. However, the Treatment Foster Care program tries to maintain a roster of other respite providers available to anyone in the program. Some of these respite providers will take the young person into their homes while others will come to your home while you take time away.
6. What support can I expect from the Treatment Foster Care Program?
Marymound supports its foster parents well. We know that when a foster parent takes on the responsibility of care for a young person with high needs, support services are vital. The Clinical Case Manager will visit your home at least twice a month to address any questions or concerns you have. You can also contact your Clinical Case Manager any time with questions or concerns. If the call is urgent and the Clinical Case Manager is not readily available, you will be redirected to a covering Clinical Case Manager. If you need to speak with someone outside office hours, you can speak with the Clinical Case Manager who is on call at that time.
At Marymound North (Thompson), a skilled youth care worker is available 24 hours a day for urgent matters when the Clinical Case Manager is not available.
- Caregivers are entitled to receive respite, which is a break from the day-to-day demands of foster care.
- Treatment Foster Parents receive monthly training that is relevant to the young people involved in our program. In addition to regular training, other special events are scheduled, including a Foster Parent Appreciation night in October and a Training Wind-Up in June.
- Marymound has other services that foster families might want to access such as spiritual and cultural care services or psychiatric assessment and consultation services.
7. What topics are covered during training?
The topics covered vary from year to year. The program selects topics that have been identified by foster parents or that reflect current trends and issues. Some topics covered in the past include Nutrition, Suicide Awareness, Non-Violent Crisis Intervention, Cultural Awareness, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Attachment, Separation, and Loss and Soul Pain.
8. What is the process to become a Treatment Foster Parent?
Preliminary Screening: From the moment you express an interest in becoming a Treatment Foster Parent with our program, a screening process begins. At the time of your inquiry, we will ask you about your present family make-up, experience, strengths, and motivation to foster.
Consultation: We will then discuss your inquiry at the Clinical Case Managers’ weekly staff meeting. At this meeting we will look at the availability of space on existing caseloads and whether it would be appropriate to schedule a screening interview based on our preliminary information about your family.
Meeting/Assessment: Once a screening interview is scheduled, two Clinical Case Managers will come to your home to meet with you. The purpose of this interview is to ensure that all parties understand what is expected of a Treatment Foster Parent and to assess the appropriateness of moving on to the next stage.
Home Study/Record Checks: After the screening interview is completed and everyone is comfortable with proceeding, we will complete a home study. This is an in-depth assessment of the family’s attributes and the physical environment. This includes completion of an autobiography of each caregiver, an assessment of strengths and abilities, as well as Criminal Record Checks, Child Welfare Prior Contact Checks/Child Abuse Registry Checks, and personal reference checks.
Licensing: Once we complete all the requirements of the home study, we submit this information to the appropriate Licensing Authority.
Orientation: Prospective foster parents are then required to attend an Orientation to Foster Care session.
Placement: Once you receive a “License to Operate an Approved Foster Home,” we will then proceed to place a suitable child into your home.
9. What is the role of the Clinical Case Manager?
The Clinical Case Manager is your support, your supervisor, and your advocate. He/she is there to coordinate the treatment process while ensuring you are receiving sufficient support to continue caring for the challenging young people entrusted into your care.
10. How many children can be placed into my home?
This depends on the skills, abilities, wishes and availability of the caregivers, as well as the needs and demands of the young people already placed in a home. Generally not more than two young people will be placed. However, we may consider exceptional circumstances that would allow more than two young people in a home, such as keeping siblings together.
11. How are children referred to the Marymound Treatment Foster Care Program?
Referrals to the program come from child welfare agencies. All referrals to the TFC Program go through the Provincial Placement Desk and must include the submission of a detailed social history of the child.
If you would like to discuss a potential referral to our program, please call 336-5514 or 336-5519.