Fostering in Ontario FAQ
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What is the process for becoming a foster parent in Ontario?
The first step in becoming a foster parent with Nairn Family Homes is to contact us!
We will then collect some basic information about your family demographics. The basic information is then passed on to the Director for your region, who will contact you to set up an initial interview.
If, after this initial meeting both the prospective foster parents and the Nairn Family Homes representative agree that fostering is a good fit for them, a full home study will be completed.
The home study involves a number of meetings with our representative and many administrative documents, such as personality tests of both parents, police checks and a fire inspection.
When the home study is complete, the prospective foster parents are ready for orientation. Our orientation takes the form of both self-study and in-person attendance at our In-Service Training Meetings. In-service Training Meetings take place twice monthly on a weekday.
How long does it take to become a foster parent?
At Nairn Family Homes the recruitment process is personalized to each individual family.
When a prospective foster parent completes each step of the process without delay, the process can take about 2-3 months however, the process may take longer depending on the availability of the foster parents for meetings and providing documentation that we request.
Do I have to be a stay-at-home parent in order to foster with Nairn Family Homes?
It is not necessarily required for a foster parent to be a stay-at-home parent however, foster parents do need to have flexibility in their working arrangements in order to accommodate the needs of a foster child.
Medical appointments, meetings with CAS workers, and monthly training all tend to happen during daytime hours, which may not work for people who have very strict working hours.
Also, a call to receive a child can come at any time - often during the day- and a prospective foster parent needs to have the flexibility to accept that child into their home when the call comes in.
Can a foster child share a bedroom with my own children?
Nairn Family Homes requires that each foster home have one designated bedroom for a foster child. In cases where multiple children are being placed or the needs of a child are unique, room sharing can be a possibility.
Do foster parents get paid in Ontario?
It is important to know that foster parents are not paid in the traditional sense of the word.
Foster parents receive a non-taxable daily amount that is meant cover expenses related to having children in the home.
In addition to this daily payment amount, Nairn Family Homes provides an additional allowance for clothing needs.
While the daily pay rate should not be considered a replacement of a steady income, some families find the money helps support their current lifestyle (e.g. stay at home parent, homeschooling family etc).
How many children can we foster?
The maximum number of children placed in a home is four. This is regulated by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.
Other factors include: number of children already in the home, house and bedroom space, availability of primary caregiver and other family characteristics.
What training is provided to foster parents?
Foster parents are trained extensively in caring for children from difficult places. Some of this training occurs in the recruitment process, but much of it takes place in our monthly, ongoing training.
There is a self-study portion of training that is completed during the home study process.
How often do I need to attend foster parent training?
Foster parents meet with supervisors twice a month on a weekday. The first meeting is In-Service training where we cover many topics related to caring for children in care.
The second meeting is a “cluster” meeting where foster parents and supervisors can discuss specific issues related to children in their care and brainstorm ways to best serve the child and the foster family.
Does Nairn Family Homes offer support to foster parents after the training is complete?
Yes, at Nairn Family Homes we continuously support the needs of our foster parents throughout the fostering journey. We offer 24/7 on-call support and a relief program to help foster parents during tough times or simply if they have any questions or concerns.
We also surround our families with a support network of families and professionals to guide them through any challenges that come up.