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Child, Youth and Family Services
June 1, 2012

Minister Outlines Progressive Enhancements to Foster Care

The Honourable Charlene Johnson, Minister of Child, Youth and Family Services, announced further details on the new continuum of care strategy, including enhancements to foster care. The announcement was made today (Friday, June 1) during the 2012 Canadian Foster Family Association Conference taking place in St. John's this week.

“This national conference brings together members of foster family organizations, foster parents, social workers, and community agencies to share ideas and learn from each other,” said Minister Johnson. “In the development of the new continuum of care strategy, our government worked closely with the Newfoundland and Labrador Foster Families Association to identify enhancements that will benefit foster care throughout our province.”

As announced in Budget 2012: People and Prosperity, the new continuum of care strategy focuses on recruiting and retaining foster families to provide supportive, nurturing care to the province's most vulnerable children and youth. With a total expenditure of $18.4 million over the next two years, this strategy aims to eliminate current Alternate Living Arrangements by implementing a new system consisting of four levels; kinship care; foster care, specialized foster care, and, staffed residential care. Alternate Living Arrangements are staffed emergency homes for children and youth who could be placed in a foster home if one was available. Details regarding each level are included in the backgrounder below.

The new system will provide compensation specific to each level by recognizing the experiences, training, and skills of foster parents and matching children and youth with a foster family who best meets their specific needs. The implementation of this level system will be supported by enhanced training that will be developed throughout 2012. In addition, a promotional campaign to inform and attract potential foster parents will be launched.

In particular, Level 1 Kinship Homes will see a significant monetary increase. They will move from the existing Child Welfare Allowance, which had one rate for the whole province, to the current basic foster care rate which is much higher and recognizes increased costs in Labrador. It is expected that many existing foster families will see increases as well as a restructuring of how compensation is provided. None of these families will see a decrease.

The strategy also provides an improved approach to funding for foster families by implementing block funding. This means foster parents will be reimbursed for certain costs, such as social recreation, transportation, and weekend respite, in the form of a block transfer of funds rather than having to submit requests individually, and wait for approval and reimbursement. Current foster parents will be given the option of receiving the block transfer or continuing with receipt-based reimbursement, while new foster parents will receive the block transfer. This new approach will not only remove the administrative burden, but will provide foster parents and social workers with more time to focus on the child or youth in-care.

“The development of these enhancements is very positive news for the foster care program in our province,” said Diane Molloy, Executive Director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Foster Families Association. “Our association is looking forward to continuing to work with the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services as the new continuum of care strategy is released.”

In addition to enhancements to foster care, Minister Johnson also released the results of the Foster Families Survey that was conducted by the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services in partnership with the Newfoundland and Labrador Foster Families Association and the Newfoundland and Labrador Statistics Agency. The Foster Families Survey Results, which informed the continuum of care strategy, is posted on the department's website at www.gov.nl.ca/cyfs

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Media contacts:

Michelle Hunt
Director of Communications
Department of Child, Youth and Family Services
709-729-5148, 725-1593
Diane Molloy
Executive Director
Newfoundland and Labrador Foster Families Association

Continuum of Care Strategy


The existing continuum of out-of-home placement options will be replaced by a new level system consisting of:

Level System

Level 1: Kinship Homes, Relative/Significant Other Foster Homes and Interim Approved Non-Relative Foster Homes

Level 2: Foster Homes

Level 3: Specialized Foster Homes

Level 4: Contracted Staffed Residential Services

Basic foster care rate

Age Current Basic Foster Care Rate Current Basic Foster Care Rate Current Basic Foster Care Rate



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2012 06 01                              10:20 a.m.

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