B.C. foster parents: strengthening families, communities

This month marks the 22nd year of celebrating Foster Family Month in British Columbia

By Stephanie Cadieux

Minister of Children and Family Development

VICTORIA – Caring, committed, compassionate – these are just some of the words that describe B.C.’s amazing foster parents and the remarkable contribution they make each and every day to our children, youth and communities.

This month marks the 22nd year of celebrating Foster Family Month in British Columbia – an opportunity to publicly recognize and celebrate B.C.’s almost 3,300 foster families, as well as the organizations that support them.

I want to express my sincere gratitude for the work that foster families do throughout the year in support of our children and youth in care. You take on one of society’s most important jobs by caring for children and youth at a time when they need it the most, opening your hearts and homes to about 5,300 vulnerable children and youth.

Every child deserves a safe and nurturing home in which to live, develop, grow and play, and when their birth parents cannot provide that, you do. Your love and care give children and youth in difficult situations the support they need to develop into strong, confident adults. It is an important service that only a special person can perform.

There is always a need for more individuals and families to open their hearts and homes to help children and youth. Anyone 19 years or older can make the decision to open their home to a child or youth in need of care. The most important qualifications for a foster parent are a strong desire to make a positive difference in a child’s life, and a commitment to provide a safe, nurturing, stable home for children when they are not able to live with their family. I encourage anyone interested in becoming a foster parent to call the Foster Line at 1 800 663-9999.

I am grateful for the important work undertaken by foster families and agencies such as the B.C. Federation of Foster Parent Associations and the Federation of Aboriginal Foster Parents that support them. I hope you will join me in celebrating foster families now and throughout the year.