TRAINING & SUPPORT
Training is a requirement of the application and approval process for all prospective foster parents, and includes:
PRIDE: Parent Resources Information Development and Education Pre-Service Training
PRIDE is a competency-based model for the development and support of foster parents. It strengthens the quality of foster care by providing a structured framework for recruiting, preparing, assessing and approving foster parents. It is designed to help potential foster families make an informed decision about whether they can realistically provide care for a foster child and fulfill all the legal requirements.
SAFE: Structured Analysis Family Evaluation
SAFE, which is used in conjunction with PRIDE, is a standardized home study assessment tool designed to evaluate families for adoption, kinship care, customary care and foster care. SAFE is used across Ontario and is a policy requirement of the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services.
SAFE is built on solid social work practice values that stress the importance of respectfully engaging families in a strength based, mutual evaluation process. In addition to providing factual and descriptive family information, it provides a psychosocial evaluation that results in a home study report that objectively reflects the family’s readiness and ability to provide children/youth with a safe, stable and loving home. It also enhances the child placement matching process in that it reflects the family’s competencies, limitations and resources.
Ongoing training opportunities for foster parents
In addition to the training that foster parents receive as part of the application and approval process, we provide ongoing training and support to all of our foster families.
Foster parents attend evening training sessions in the fall and spring to reinforce the pre-service training they received and to help them develop and enhance the skills they need to care for foster children.
Foster parent cluster meetings
NCFST provides foster parents with monthly meetings to offer support and education. These cluster meetings are held ten times a year, in addition to the ongoing competency based training mentioned above. Foster parents learn and share child management strategies, receive training in new areas, listen to guest speakers and hear news from NCFST.
It is important for NCFST foster parents to embrace the values, beliefs, traditions, customs and parenting styles of our Aboriginal community. Cultural training helps foster parents assist children and youth in preserving their unique cultural identity, maintaining positive contact, involvement and participation with their Aboriginal community. NCFST provides cultural training to our foster parents on an ongoing basis utilizing a range of facilitators, including elders and traditional healers from the agency and the community.
Networking with other foster families
NCFST encourages mutual support and networking among our foster families through formal training and our foster parents' association, as well as informal venues such as cultural programs for children, youth and families.
Foster families receive non-taxable compensation, calculated on a per diem (daily) basis, for the living expenses of each foster child in their home. Many other expenses are also covered, such as clothing, medical and dental costs, school supplies, recreation expenses and transit fares.