What Prospective Foster Parents Want to Know
These are some of the most frequently asked questions prospective foster parents ask. If there are still questions you have that we haven’t answered please call us at 905-761-0333 and a member of our Maple Star team will be happy to speak with you.
What type of children and youth are likely to be referred to Maple Star for placement?
A wide variety of children and youth who have experienced difficulties living at home or in an alternative placement will be referred to Maple Star. They can have a variety of emotional and behavioral challenges and require guidance, supervision, and direction in learning more effective ways of dealing with others. The children are typically between the ages of 0 to 16, however most referrals are for school aged children and adolescents.
Where are they coming from and how long are they in placement?
Maple Star places children and youth from several different Children’s Aid Societies (CASs). Some are referred to Maple Star while they are in transition for short term placements from between 3 and 6 months. Others may need long term foster homes, where it is anticipated they will live for several years.
What role do families play in choosing which child will come to live in their homes?
Families receive and review all information regarding all children and youth who are being considered for placement in their homes. The final decision about whether a particular youth comes to live with a family is a joint decision agreed to by the youth, the family, the referring worker, and the Maple Star Case Manager.
How long does it take to have a youth placed in the home?
There are many variables involved, however, on average, the full licensure process takes between 2 and 4 months. Once a family is fully certified and ready for placement, depending on the family’s strengths, preferences, and other youth living in the home, a family can often expect their foster child within the first month after becoming approved.
How many youth will be placed in a Maple Star foster home?
Many factors determine the number of foster children any one family is approved to take. The prospective family and Maple Star Case Manager agree upon the number of placements after examining all the variables during a thorough home study. Considerations include: number of biological children in the home, strengths and experience of family care providers, availability of the primary and/or support care provider, and house and bedroom space. Typically, families are approved for 2 to 3 youths.
Instead of growing in my belly, they grew in my heart.
What is the financial compensation foster families receive for providing care with Maple Star?
Maple Star family care providers are reimbursed at a rate of $60 per day, per child. In addition, families are provided with paid respite, amounting to one day of respite for every 15 days of care provided per month.
What kind of support is available for Maple Star families?
A Maple Star Case Manager provides biweekly monitoring and consultation services to family care providers. In addition, there is a Case Manager on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist families whenever necessary. Maple Star also provides child and youth workers and tutors to further support children’s emotional and educational needs.
As a foster parent, would I be expected to have contact with the biological family?
In general, yes. Foster families are expected to support, facilitate and, when appropriate, encourage relationships with biological families. You will be expected to bring children to their access visits, facilitate phones calls and attend meetings where birth parents are participants.
If I work full time, and the children are in school, why am I not able to foster full time?
Due to the busy and unpredictable schedules of children in foster care, we are not able to accommodate the schedules of foster parents where both individuals work full time. Foster children may have appointments, access visits and meetings during regular business hours, where foster parents would be expected to bring the children.
I’ve heard that fostering is an avenue towards adoption, is this true?
Not necessarily. The goal of fostering is for children to be in temporary care until they can be returned to their birth families. However, in some cases, children are not able to return home and they are placed for adoption. If you are fostering them, this does not guarantee that you will be able to adopt them. If you are looking to adopt, please contact your local Children’s Aid Society for further information.
Is it true that children in foster care have behaviour problems and are difficult to manage?
Every child is different. Children in foster care have experienced neglect, trauma and abuse, so you can expect to see the effects of these challenging life experiences. Maple Star is a treatment foster care agency and does work with children who display behavioural and emotional challenges. With the stability, structure and support put in place, foster children are able to lead positive and successful lives. We hope to help children develop strong coping mechanisms, positive social skills and life skills.
What are the rights of the children who are placed in foster care? How to they become aware of these rights?
Children in foster care are afforded many rights as well as many responsibilities. They have a right to be involved in decisions that affect them, as well as rights to privacy, to practice their religion and to medical care among several others. Please see attached link for a more thorough understanding of the rights of children and youth in foster care.