1960 – 1965
Foster Parents in Victoria, Kelowna and Vancouver were meeting independently to
form self-help groups. However as a result of a provincial recruitment drive, (JEFF)
in 1965, existing Foster Parents found out they weren’t the ‘only ones’.
1966 – 1970
The first Foster Parent Conference was held in June 1966. A committee was struck to determine the purpose, structure and funding sources for a Provincial body. In 1967 the Federation was officially founded with 15 active locals. Purposes and Aims were set out and became our Constitution. In 1970 – 139 delegates accepted a DRAFT Constitution, and the “B.C. Federation of Foster Parent Associations” was chosen as our official name.
1972 – 1979
On February 2, 1972 the Federation was officially incorporated under the B.C. Societies Act as a Non-Profit Organization. At the 6th Annual Conference in 1975 those present adopted a “Procedure for Resolving Conflicts Between Foster Parents and Ministry“. Regionalization was introduced in 1978 to better meet the needs of Foster Parents in the diverse areas of the Province. Provincial funding for the Information Kit was obtained. In 1979 the William Curtis Memorial Bursary was established.
1980 – 1983
An Education and Training Coordinator was hired and work commenced on a Policy Handbook for Foster Parents, and in 1982 the first Knowledge Network program was developed by the Federation and aired. Then in 1983 an Orientation Manual for new Foster Parents was developed and a Guide to Foster Care in B.C. was also in its final edits.
1984 – 1985
The BCFFPA Foster Parent Insurance Rider was implemented in 1984; Resolution of Issues was incorporated into Ministry Policy; the Resource Catalogue was published and the 3-year Health & Welfare Grant Program for Foster Parent Training began. In 1985 the Status of Fostering committee was struck.
National Foster Parent Week was held in October for the first time.
1988 – 1989
The BCFFPA Code of Ethics was passed by the members at the AGM. The following year (1989) the Protocol for the Investigation of Alleged Abuse in Foster Homes was introduced.
1990 – 1992
The Lieutenant Governor’s Award to Foster Parents was created. Fosterline was made available to Foster Parents to call toll-free for information. In 1991, the BCFFPA held its 25th Conference and in 1992 the Federation celebrated 25 years of incorporation. The Protection Pamphlet was produced that year as well.
1993 – 1996
The Levels of Care was implemented jointly with the Ministry for Children and Families. Canada 125 Medals were awarded to Federation, Esther Lowe, Ron Halston, Georgette Poirier and Gerhard Winkler for services to children and families. The following year, (1995) the Federation assisted the Ministry with proposals for legislative change to the F&CS Act, and establishment of the Advocacy Act; Federation reviewed and made recommendations to the Protocol for Investigating Abuse and Resolution of Issues policies; and compiled a submission for presentation to the Gove Commission. In 1996 Child welfare became a community responsibility. With the implementation of the new Child, Family & Community Service Act, and new MSS policy and procedures to support the legislation, Caregivers participated in joint training events with a strong community focus.
1997 – 1999
In partnership with the Ministry and the Canadian Foster Family Association, the Federation, co-hosted the International Foster Care Conference at the University of British Columbia. In 1998 FosterCare 2000 was developed to address improvements to the Foster Care system into the next century. Working jointly with the Ministry for Children & Families, the Foster Family Handbook was revised and contains Rights of Foster Parents. MCF and Federation worked together to add Multicultural services to the provincial Fosterline. Standards for Foster Homes were completed and put into use.
Numerous documents were in the final stages of completion or were completed this fiscal year. These included the Family Care Home Contract, the Working agreement between BCFFPA and FAFP, the Support Worker and Advocacy Program, the Draft 3rd Party Review document as outlined in Foster Care 2000, the Draft Imminent Placement Dispute Resolution Process, the MCF/BCFFPA Teambuilding Agreement, Protocols for Foster Homes. The Pre-Service Orientation Manual was completed and distributed, and the British Columbia Foster Care Education Program was implemented in January of that year. The BCFFPA Web Page was designed and implemented as well.
The Working Protocol Agreement between BCFFPA and FAFP was signed, the Family Care Home Agreement was put in place, and plans were made to implement the Imminent Placement Termination Review (formerly ImminentPlacement Dispute Resolution Process) document in the 2001/2002 fiscal years. The Support Worker and Advocacy Program was now firmly in place and had a minimum of two support workers in each of the 13 regions.
The Imminent Placement Termination Review Process was put in place. Work continued on the Independent Third Party Review Process. The Federation developed the Strategic Shifts Document. This document was taken to the membership to begin the process of restructuring in order to give power back to the Regional, Area, and Local Associations. This restructuring was in response to the Ministry’s move to 5 Regional Governances.
BCFFPA restructured and downsized the board and staff within the provincial office. The structure of the board now encompassed four executive and 5 regional delegates. The provincial BCFFPA continued operations through a grant from MCFD to provide services in the areas of communication, insurance, and recruitment. The BCFFPA continued to provide many services to members through fundraising initiatives as well as administration of the Natural Child, William Curtis, Merv Davis and Gordon Menzies bursaries.
The BCFFPA Provincial Office moved and co-located with the Adoptive Families Association of BC. The Board and Staff continued to improve information flown and provision of services to foster parents. The Provincial Board provided input into the MCFD Caregiver Support Service Standards; Developed and implemented a Provincial Database of available resources for foster parents www.inyourgrasp.bc.ca which launched in October; Continued to lobby the Ministry of Children and Family Development as necessary; continued to address issues around the FCH Agreement Notice; Designed a Grief, Loss, and Transition “Train the Trainer Curriculum” and facilitated 2 province wide workshops.
2005 – 2006
In the spring of 2005 a Grief Loss and Transitions workshop was developed for direct delivery to foster parents. The Board established the BCFFPA Technical and Vocational Bursary and the Special Olympics Bursary to assist members. The BCFFPA continued working closely with MCFD at the Provincial level in various capacities. A survey looking at ways for the Federation to better serve foster parents was sent out and a final report was included in the 2004/05 Annual Report. This report brought forward many issues which need addressing. The BCFFPA also lobbied MCFD for an increase in mileage rates for foster parents, and was successful in gaining a 50% increase in both the basic and additional mileage provided for caregivers in transporting children and youth. The Camps for Kids Program began and 20 kids went to camp each of these two years, and work began on the development of the Rights of Foster Parents, as well as the gathering of information to support a maintenance and service payment increase for foster parents. In April 2006, the BCFFPA assisted Hollyburn Family Services, and Pacific Community Resources in the delivery of the first two-day Stand Together Conference. In early May 2006 the BCFFPA assisted MCFD Division in arranging the Caregiver Support System Framework Provincial Forum, whereby foster parents, MCFD staff, Delegated Agency representatives, Foster Parent Support Agency Representatives, Representatives from CLBC, Youth Justice, Mental Health, the Federation of Aboriginal Foster Parents, and the BC Youth in Care Network met to discuss various issues in relation to supports and safety for children and youth receiving services from government. Melanie Filiatrault was voted President and Willy Neal was voted Vice President of the Federation at the May 2006 AGM.
2006 – 2007
The Board continues to meet regularly with the Minister of Children and Family Development around issues related to the strengthening of the Foster Care System. As a result of these meetings, the Federation has developed collaborative relationships with various community groups including the BC Lions, Vancouver Canucks, and Science World. Both the Lions and the Canucks will be working with the BCFFPA to develop Public Service Announcements and short videos to aid in retention and recruitment of Foster Parents. There is discussion taking place around the Duke of Edinburgh awards and various provincial discounts for foster parents, which may be brought about by MCFD.
21 children and youth in care went to camp and three Educational Bursaries were awarded!
The Provincial Education, Recruitment, and Retention Committees were developed out of the Caregiver Support System Framework Provincial Forum held in May, with several meetings taking place since August. The BCFFPA administers grant funding for this committee on behalf of the Ministry of Children and Family Development and continues to work closely with MCFD and agencies to address the issues that arose out of the original forum as well as working with these same agencies and the Provincial Ministry on revisions and upgrades to the Caregiver Support Service Standards.
The BCFFPA 40th anniversary was held in May of 2007. BCFFPA hosted the Canadian Foster Family Association Annual General Meeting jointly with our anniversary celebration. Several members of the BCFFPA Board were involved in the World Forum.
The Caregiver Support Service Standards has been worked on jointly with MCFD and was released in the fall of 2006. The BCFFPA provided input into this document in the areas of Insurance deductibles, FCHA 60 notification, Cultural requirements and other significant portions of this document.
2007 – 2008
In 2007/08, the BCFFPA began holding Idea Forums throughout BC in response to the issue of low graduation rate and homelessness among former youth in care. To date 13 Idea Forums have been held in the North, Interior, Vancouver Coastal and Vancouver Island Regions. The website www.fosterchildren.ca was developed to act as a communication centre regarding the outcomes of these forums. It was launched February 2008. The Idea Forums have also resulted in joint collaboration between other provincial groups serving children, the business community, and counselling services.
The Federation continues to work on justification for increases in maintenance and the Rights of Foster Parents.
BCFFPA has representation on CLBC, the Youth Transitioning Committee, Connections, an new ministry initiative that keeps youth connected to caring adults once they leave care, and the LEAP BC Provincial Working Group which has come out of the Legacies Now Funding as a result of the 2010 Olympics.
Ministry of Children and Family Development and BC Federation of Foster Parent Associations sign the Foster Parent Rights document.
2010 – 2012
Reorganization and restructuring of BCFFPA’s Provincial Office.
BCFFPA is involved in Provincial Legislature Events to celebrate Foster Family Monthin October and the first BC Child and Youth In Care Week in May.
BCFFPA is included in the Residential Review process headed by the Ministry to review practice change across the sector.
The Education Subcommittee (part of CSSFP Project) is revitalized, bringing together provincial and regional agencies with the common goal of creating a new foster parent education program.
The Maurice Graydon Bursaries are created.
BCFFPA and MCFD work together to establish a regional communication process to efficiently work through regional issues.
The General Scholarship Fund (bursary) is created through an initial donation from the estate of Myra McLean.
2012 – 2013
BCFFPA receives a grant to produce a short recruitment video. A new logo and website are unveiled. The Support and Advocacy Program is revitalized and restructured as a volunteer peer support program. An initial two trainings are held in the lower mainland and interior regions.
BCFFPA joins with MCFD to review the Provincial Protocol document, the Foster Family Handbook and the CPOC process.
The Residential Review preliminary work has been completed. BCFFPA participates in consultation groups with numerous other community organizations. BCFFPA meets with the Provincial Director of Child Welfare at two Board of Directors’ meetings regarding ongoing challenging issues across the province.
2013 – 2014
Foster Family Handbook (5th Edition) is released. Work continues on Provincial Protocol documents. Work continues on creation of Caregiver Support Network (part of the Residential Redesign process)—BCFFPA participates on Stakeholder Advisory committee and Retention and Recruitment advisory committee. BCFFPA receives an additional MCFD contract to produce a video series based on the Foster Family Handbook. BCFFPA provincial office relocates to the center of New Westminster, closer to provincial partners.
2014 – 2015
BC Foster Basics Video Series is produced resulting in 25 YouTube informative videos for foster parents and stakeholders. BCFFPA continues to participate on the Residential Redesign Retention and Recruitment Committee and the Steering Committee. BCFFPA hosts contracted service agency partners for 2-day partnership and education discussion.
2015 – 2016
BCFFPA is awarded a contract to review and revise the BC Caregiver Education Program for BC’s foster parents and to create a training for Resource Social Workers with the goal of creating online training for both. Funding is made available for focused services on support and advocacy, specifically for BCFFPA to increase mediation activities during investigations and protocols.
The first recruitment and awareness campaign in a decade is being created this year in partnership with the Ministry, provincial and regional agencies. This is BC’s first social media campaign with a focus on provincial foster parent recruitment.
MCFD provides bursary funding for foster parents to attend the AGM and Conference event.
In partnership with agencies and MCFD, BCFFPA announces PRIDE online training and practice model for BC’s foster parents. Pre-service training was launched in the summer. Development continues on in-service training. MCFD front line workers and management will be required to review the PRIDE pre-service training. Resource worker training is under development. Kinship caregiver training is being sourced.
Resource Work Policies are released in 2017, replacing the Caregiver Support Service Standards and incorporating investigations and quality of care reviews within the document.
BCFFPA is awarded a limited contract to conduct fostering home studies on behalf of MCFD. MCFD provides bursary funds for foster parents to attend the AGM and conference event.
BCFFPA secures affordable extended health benefits program for foster parents. Community members can now sign up and renew memberships online through the website.
BCFFPA celebrates 50 years of service to BC’s Fostering sector by hosting the Canadian Foster Family Association Annual General Meeting in Whistler.
The JCW Excellence in Wring bursary is created. Two donations are received for a grant program to assist foster parents with the costs of travel for CIC medical appointments.
BCFFPA submits a proposal to MCFD to provide enhanced services in response to recommendations from the Residential Redesign Report (2012), the Multi-Year Action Plan (2016) and Grand Chief Ed John’s report: Indigenous Resilience, Connectedness and Reunification – From Root Causes to Root Solutions.
MCFD agrees to provide addional funding for 2018-2019 for 2 new core positions at BCFFPA.
BCFFPA relocates to a larger office in downtown Langley to accommodate a larger team.
BCFFPA’s home studies project continues with the completion of SAFE home studies for prospective foster parents in the province.
A Solutions Program Manager is hired along with a part-time assistant. Training is redesigned and launched within the lower mainland. Foster parents from across BC who are interested in becoming BCFFPA Solutions Volunteers (offering peer support) are trained. Direct advocacy takes place. MCFD promotes BCFFPA’s Solutions Program.
A Communications Coordinator is hired. Partnership expands between BCFFPA and Strategic Priorities division with the distribution of a survey about the fostering environment. The survey is very successful, receiving over 700 responses.
BC’s foster parents receive the first lift to maintenance rates in 10 years. MCFD clears the way for foster parents to sign school (and other) permission slips so that less children miss school related and important extracurricular activities.
BCFFPA continues to advocate for accountability to the Foster Parent Rights and explores with MCFD avenues that may have an impact. Policy revision seems the most obvious and impactful route to achieve the desired outcome. BCFFPA partners with MCFD’s Policy Division to review and provide recommended additions and changes to policy wording.
BCFFPA collaborates with MCFD’s Operations Centre to strategize and resolve issues emerging in the sector related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Solutions Program online database is developed and now gathering comprehensive statistics regarding support trends across the province.
BCFFPA hosts the first hybrid virtual AGM in response to public health guidelines. Virtual workshops are popular with community members.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, BCFFPA implements new ways to celebrate Foster Family Month remotely by providing a series of free online hosted live workshops for foster parents.
BCFFPA and MCFD successfully revise child welfare policy to incorporate the intention of each of the Foster Parent Rights.
Six new BC Foster Basics videos are produced and hosted on BCFFPA’s YouTube channel.