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Child, Youth and Family Services
November 19, 2012

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Charlene Johnson, Minister of Child, Youth and Family Services:

More Foster Parents Needed in Newfoundland and Labrador

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, November 16, I had the pleasure of launching a new, multi-media campaign called Foster a Future…Foster a Child Today. This new campaign has been developed to address the critical shortage of foster homes throughout our province.

The launch was attended by board members and foster parents with the Newfoundland and Labrador Foster Families Association, which was so fitting given the integral role they play in the lives of our most vulnerable children and youth. I am delighted to say that we worked closely with the association to develop this campaign as well as our continuum of care strategy that was announced earlier this year. Republic of Doyle’s Allan Hawco, who is featured in both our television and radio advertisements, also joined us for the campaign launch.

Today, the Foster a Future…Foster a Child Today campaign will roll out across the province through a variety of media outlets. This is a truly outstanding initiative that not only reinforces our government’s commitment to safeguarding children and youth, but also delivers an urgent message that will resonate with all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who are well known for their generous and caring qualities.

Mr. Speaker, the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services strongly believes that this foster parent recruitment campaign will encourage Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to open their homes and their hearts to children and youth who need a safe and nurturing place to live for a week, a month, a year, or longer. To date, there are 584 foster families serving our province and we hope through this campaign to attract many more. I would like to point out that within one hour of our launch on Friday, the department received five inquiries into becoming a foster parent.

In Budget 2012: People and Prosperity, the Provincial Government introduced the new continuum of care strategy to enhance the care options for children and youth in need of out-of-home placement. This strategy will strengthen foster care by increasing funding for kinship arrangements and foster homes, and enhancing supports and training for foster parents. Improvements like the new four-level system will recognize the skills and training of foster parents, and children and youth will be matched to a foster home that best meets their needs.

I encourage all members of this Honourable House to visit www.FosteraFuture.ca and view the campaign materials, as well as information about becoming a foster parent.

Thank you Mr. Speaker.

2012 11 19             2:10 p.m.

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