10 Answers Every Child Welfare Agency Should Provide

Am I legally responsible for the child?

The Children’s Aid Society of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry (SDG) is the legal guardian for all children in their care, including medical decision-making. For more information, see our section About our children and youth

Are there different types of foster parents?

The agency does recruit for foster parents with different skill sets and abilities. Foster parents who are identified as caring for infants or teens are offered training specific to the age group of children placed. Some foster parents are equipped and trained to care for children with significant medical needs. Others have special skills and education in parenting children with more difficult behaviours. For more information, see our section Finding the right family

How does the Society compensate foster parents?

Caregivers participating in the foster or foster-to-adopt program are not paid a salary. At the end of the month, they receive financial compensation to cover general expenses associated with caring for a child. The money received by caregivers is non-taxable.

Subsidies for adopting parents may be available for children with special needs. Also, since June 2012, the government of Ontario provides financial subsidies to eligible parents who adopt or take legal custody of Crown wards ten years of age and over or siblings.

Is there training to be a foster parent?

Foster parents receive ten weeks of training during the home study process and additional training after being approved. For more information, see our section Training and support

Would we be considered if the child we were caring for needed a permanent home?

Priority is always given to reuniting children with family or extended family. Caregivers have the opportunity to be involved in a child’s life and may be considered for adoption, if it is in the child’s best interest. For more information, see our section Could you be a Caregiver? 

If I become a caregiver, will the child’s family know where I live?

As a foster caregiver you will be required to be actively involved, committed and supportive of contact between children and their biological families. Communication between children and their families could occur by telephone, email and visits. If there are any safety concerns, the child’s family will not know where you live.

Do I need to have my driver's license in order to be a caregiver?

One significant role of a caregiver is their commitment to support children by accompanying them to appointments, being present at their school events, and attending agency training and meetings, etc. If the caregiver does not have a license, it is their responsibility to find an adult who is available and committed to helping them in this way. This person will require a G license, the standard $1,000,000 insurance coverage, a police check and proof of insurance. This will be addressed at the beginning of the application process.

Can a child who we are caring for come with us on vacation?

The child is part of your family and should be included in your family vacations. Under the right circumstances and with the proper preparations, arrangements can be made so the child can be included in your holiday. If you are travelling outside the country, the agency will need adequate time to prepare documentation. If it is not possible to take the child on vacation, other arrangements can be made for the child’s care.

How can I keep my teen safe in an online world?

Here are some helpful tips for keeping our teens safe online:

  • Find good usernames and passwords that are hard to guess.
  • Keep your true identity secret when creating your screen name; do not include personal information like your last name or date of birth.
  • The internet has a great memory… So keep its memory of you clean!
  • Never post words, pictures, videos, emails, blogs, comments or tweets that could compromise you or loved ones in any way.
  • Be extremely careful about meeting someone in person!
  • Don’t agree to meet an online friend unless you have your parents’ permission.
  • Unfortunately, sometimes people pretend to be people they aren't.
  • Remember that not everything you read online is true.
  • Place the computer in a well-trafficked area in the home where the whole family can use it.
  • Be wary of cyber bullying. 

Are there many children waiting for foster families?

There are no waiting lists. Therefore it is essential that the Children’s Aid Society of SDG have families prepared and ready to accept children into their homes on very short notice. As every child’s ethnicity and circumstances are different, we need diverse families to help out in many different ways. This is why we constantly recruit new families to help children on a temporary basis through fostering and on a permanent basis through adoption. Being part of our team not only means physically taking children into your family but being prepared and ready to receive that ‘special’ child when they need you the most. For more information, see our section About our children and youth

Do I get to choose the gender and age of the child?

Absolutely! The matching process is essential in placement for a child to succeed. The Society considers many factors when approving a home, and matches with gender, age, language and cultural needs in mind. For more information, see our section Finding the Right Family

Is it hard to be a foster parent?

The commitment is not for everybody. Successful foster parents will tell you that it is very important to work collaboratively with the Society and to know your own abilities and limitations. In general, you get back far more than what you give. Our understanding of children is far more sophisticated than ever before. The Society provides staff support to help you work with the children to promote their natural resiliency to overcome difficulties they experienced before coming into care. Our goal is to provide permanency for children with careful planning, whether it is toward reunification with their biological families, or with adoption, legal custody or customary care. Nothing worthwhile was ever easy!

We hope that you will consider this opportunity to love and protect a child. There is no greater public service.

How do I get started?

Contact the Children’s Aid Society of SDG at 613-933-2292 and ask for the Screening department to make a foster care application.