More than just a roof and a bed

Foster Care is an essential service for children, youth and their families, who must live apart for a period of time. When kids come into care, they need a place to call home - no matter how short or long that period of time is.

It's a crucial time in a child's life where they need to feel safe, secure, and loved in the midst of challenging circumstances.

Foster Parents have a tremendous part to play in these situations, helping kids thrive - no matter their background - and treating them like family.

Families helping families

The primary goal of foster care is to provide children with a family environment, where positive relationships are modeled and child development is encouraged.

The ultimate goal is to reunite the children with their families when it is safe to do so. This is done, in part, by promoting healthy relationships between the caregiver, the child and the child’s family. While it doesn't always mean direct contact with the child's parents, by supporting the process and children in care, foster parents can help build stronger family units.

Permanent, lasting family relationships are incredibly important to a child's development which is why we encourage as much contact between the child and his or her family as possible.

The Children

Ideally, all children would be cared for within their own family homes; but that's not always possible. Some children live in unsafe environments, and foster care is ultimately required.

There are many reasons why children need to live with foster families. They may be victims of physical or sexual abuse, neglect, abandonment, emotional mistreatment or exploitation. Other times, parents might simply be unable to care for them because of their own circumstances.

The hope is that children will require foster care for only a short period of time before returning to a safe environment with their natural family or cultural community.

The Need for Foster Families

Foster families are needed to provide care for children ranging in age from infant to 21 years of age. Placements may last from one day to several years or even a lifetime, depending on each child’s individual circumstances.

However short their time may be with a foster family, the experience will be of significant importance in a child’s development.

Foster parents provide everything for a foster child that they might for a biological child, including care, love, affection, support, and a stable home environment.

Foster families:

  • share their homes and families with children in their care;
  • help children reunite with their natural families;
  • help children move on to another permanent home when necessary;
  • help young adults move on to independent living;
  • share the parental role for a foster child along with Social Services and the natural parents; and
  • participate in the foster child’s case, planning and working as a team along with the natural parents, Social Services caseworkers and other professionals.


There is a significant need for Aboriginal and Metis families who can help children maintain their cultural identities.

Financial Support

Foster parents receive a monthly payment to cover the costs associated with raising a child.

This payment provides for physical needs including food, shelter, clothing, personal items, transportation and recreation. Additional funds may be available for expenses such as sports, music lessons, cultural activities or other special needs. Funds are based on the developmental needs of each child, and are assessed within individual case plans.

Children in foster care are entitled to supplementary medical services, which provide for most health needs including prescription medication, eye care and dental services.

Foster parents who are caring for children with significant behaviour or medical needs may require additional funds beyond the basic compensation rates. For more information, please contact the SFFA.