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

National championship tees off Tuesday at Oak Bay’s Victoria Golf Club

Oldest 18-hole course in Canada in its original location hosts Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship

New Victoria bus routes bound for airport, Camosun College

Bus routes and schedules are about to change this fall, and two… Continue reading

Michael Silberbauer named first coach of Pacific FC

The Island’s James Merriman named assistant coach

Police seek vehicle after early morning carjacking in Oak Bay

Stolen car is a 1999 Oldsmobile Alero, license plate FL307T

Salmon Fest serves up support for Kiwanis Pavilion

Scrumptious fundraiser enjoys success for second year

VIDEO: Car wash raises funds for Tour de Rock

Second car wash is set for Sept 15 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Oak Bay High, 2121 Cadboro Bay Rd.

Suspect in Spiderman suit steals camera on Vancouver Island

Suspect in red and blue “onesie” caught on surveillance footage breaking into truck in Nanaimo

B.C. team stays alive in Little League World Series after another nail-biter

Surrey-based squad scored a 6-4 win over Mexico reps in Williamsport on Monday

Zeballos wildfire not getting any closer to town – BC Wildfire Service

Authorities optimistic about Zeballos; choppers grounded due to heavy smoke

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

B.C. mother charged in 7-year-old daughter’s death appears in court

The 36-year-old mother, of Langley’s Aaliyah Rosa, has been charged with second-degree murder

UPDATE: Saanich Police seek to identify suspect in sexual assault

Assault occurred in broad daylight in tent near Ravine Way

VIDEO: Teen soccer phenomenon Alphonso Davies to visit B.C. kids camp

The 17-year-old Vancouver Whitecap player is one of the youngest players in MLS history

New plan to lift more than two million people past the poverty line

Anti-poverty strategy will aim for 50 per cent cut in low-income rates: source

Most Read