Think about how much your son or daughter relies on you for guidance, a shoulder to lean on or just a hug to say everything is going to be OK. Now think about how it would be for them if those supports weren't there. More and more, Children's Aid Societies in Ontario and across the country are facing a foster parent crisis. The need for foster families to open their homes to teens, siblings and children or youth who may have special needs has never been greater.
National Foster Family Week, which this year is recognized from October 15th to 21st, highlights this need and shines a light on the critical role these families play in the safety and well-being of children. While a Society’s first preference is always for a young person to remain with their family, and in fact in 97% of CAS investigations this is the case, it is not possible in situations where a child or youth is at risk of harm. With that young person’s needs as the primary focus, Highland Shores Children’s Aid and the Kawartha Haliburton CAS continually seek additional foster parents who will provide the best possible match for them.
In honour of this special week, KHCAS will host a light lunch on October 18th for the Society's foster parents and will present service awards. HSCA will host foster parent and volunteer recognition events on October 19th and 20th.
"Providing a safe family environment at a time when a child is at their most vulnerable is a gift that can't be measured," said Jennifer Wilson, Executive Director of the Kawartha-Haliburton CAS. "We take this opportunity to thank our foster and kin families and encourage others to make that first move towards fostering by contacting our agency to get more information. It may make a world of difference for a young person," she added.
Mark Kartusch, Executive Director for Highland Shores Children’s Aid recognized that, “The face of fostering has changed over the years to keep step with our ever evolving definition of ‘family’. Whether you are a professional couple with no children, a family with your own biological children, a single person or an empty nester, fostering may be right for you.”