Child, Youth and Family Services
October 16, 2009
Foster Families Week Celebrates the Work of Foster
Foster Families Week, which runs from October 18 to 24 across the
country, provides an opportunity to acknowledge the valuable
contribution that foster families make to our communities, says the
Honourable Joan Burke, Minister of Child, Youth and Family Services.
"I commend the families who open up their hearts and homes to welcome
in children," said Minister Burke. "This week is about recognizing their
dedication and commitment to our most vulnerable children. Foster
parents are the backbone of the child protection system in Newfoundland
and Labrador and they play a critical role in supporting our overall
mandate to keep children safe. Certainly, a key focus of the new
Department of Child, Youth and Family Services will be finding ways to
better support them in their work."
The week also highlights the ongoing need for more foster care
families across the province. Fostering means providing temporary care
for children who cannot live with their own families.
"We have more than 450 foster families who work day and night to
support and nurture these children," said Minister Burke. "But there are
still many children requiring temporary and emergency care in
Newfoundland and Labrador. Individuals who might be interested should
find out more about becoming a foster parent."
Regional CYFS offices and the Newfoundland and Labrador Foster
Families Association will be holding events across the province to
highlight and celebrate the work of foster families. On behalf of
Minister Burke, Bob Ridgely, MHA for St. John�s North District, will
attend the official kick-off event on Sunday, October 18, at the
Dominion Community Room on Blackmarsh Road, at 2:00 p.m.
"I am very pleased to be part of this event," said Mr. Ridgely. "The
role of foster parents is not always understood and their efforts are
not always recognized. They should be congratulated for the services
they provide to children going through a challenging time in their
Diane Molloy, Executive Director of the Newfoundland and Labrador
Foster Families Association, agrees that foster parents are often unsung
"They are key members of a team dedicated to helping children through
very difficult situations by offering support, hope and a safe
environment," said Ms. Molloy.
a foster parent is incredibly rewarding work. You can make a real
difference in a child�s life. Foster parents are ordinary people doing
extraordinary things in our communities."
Earlier this year, the Provincial Government announced a substantial
increase in foster care rates which will be phased in over a two-year
period. Budget 2009 included $1.3 million to provide rate increases for
foster families as well as infant allowances, initial placement
allowances and Christmas allowances. An additional investment of $2.4
million will be made in 2010.
In recognition of the higher cost associated with living in Labrador,
an additional 15 per cent will be added to the basic rate and the infant
allowance and 30 per cent will be added for foster families living in
Labrador�s most remote communities.
Through the new provincial Department of Child, Youth and Family
Services, the government hopes to work with the association to find new
and innovative ways to further strengthen the foster care program in
Newfoundland and Labrador.
For further information about becoming a foster parent, contact a
local CYFS office or the Newfoundland and Labrador Foster Families
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