Our History

1960-1965

Foster Parents in Victoria, Kelowna and Vancouver were meeting independently to form support groups. In 1965, existing foster parents found out they weren’t the ‘only ones’, discovering the need for bringing together people who encounter similar issues while fostering. These support groups started to meet regularly and give each other much-needed connection, support, practical advice, and encouragement. 

BCFFPA meeting circa 1970

BCFFPA meeting circa 1970

1966-1970

The first Foster Parent Conference was held in June 1966.

In 1967, the Federation was founded with 15 active locals. Purposes and Aims were set out and became our Constitution.

In 1970, 139 delegates accepted a draft Constitution and BC Federation of Foster Parent Associations (BCFFPA) was born.

1972-1979

On February 2, 1972, the Federation was officially incorporated under the BC Societies Act. Provincial funding was obtained for Foster Parent Information Kit.

In 1979, William Curtis Memorial Bursary was established.

1980-1983

A Policy Handbook for Foster Parents and Orientation Manual for Foster Parents were created. The first Knowledge Network program was developed by the Federation and aired.

1984-1986

The Foster Parent Insurance Rider was implemented. Resolution of Issues was incorporated into Ministry Policy. The Resource Catalogue was published, and the three-year Health & Welfare Grant Program for Foster Parent training began. In 1985, the Status of Fostering committee was called.

In 1986, the National Foster Parent Week was held in October for the first time.

1987-1989

BCFFPA Code of Ethics was passed by the members at the AGM.

In 1989, the Protocol for Investigation of Alleged Abuse in Foster Homes was introduced.

1990-1993

The Lieutenant Governor’s Award to foster parents was created. The toll-free Fosterline was made available to foster parents.

In 1991, BCFFPA held its 25th Annual General Conference. In the same year, the Protection Pamphlet was produced.

1994-1996

Levels of Care were implemented jointly with the Ministry. In 1995, the Federation assisted the Ministry with proposals for legislative change to the Family and Children’s Services Act (F&CS Act), and the establishment of the Advocacy Act. The 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 (CFCSA), and the new Ministry of Social Services (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 Organization (IFCO) Conference at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

In 1998, Foster Care 2000 was developed to address improvements to the system into the next century.

Working jointly with the Ministry, the Foster Family Handbook was revised and contained the Rights of Foster Parents.

Multicultural services were added to the Fosterline.

Standards for Foster Homes were completed and put into practice.

2000-2002

The BCFFPA website was built and designed. Various documents were created and completed and put into practice including: Family Care Home Agreement (Contract), Working Protocol Agreement between BCFFPA and Federation of Aboriginal Foster Parents (FAFP), Support Worker and Advocacy Program, the Draft 3rd Party Review, the Imminent Placement Termination Review, the MCFD/BCFFPA Teambuilding Agreement, Protocols for Foster Homes, Pre-Service Orientation Manual and BC Foster Care Education Program.

The Support Worker and Advocacy Program was now firmly in place and had a minimum of two support workers in each of 13 regions. The Federation developed the Strategic Shifts document, put in place to begin the process of restructuring in order to return power back to the Regional, Area and Local Associations in response to the Ministry’s move to Five Regional Governances.

2003-2006

BCFFPA restructured and downsized within the provincial office. BCFFPA continued operations through a Ministry grant to provide communication, insurance, and recruitment services. BCFFPA continued to provide other services to members through fundraising initiatives. Bursary programs continued.

The Federation provided input into the BCFD Caregiver Support Service Standards and developed and implemented www.inyourgrasp.bc.ca, a province-wide services resource database. BCFFPA developed the Grief, Loss and Transition ‘Train the Trainer’ Curriculum and facilitated 2 province-wide workshops.

BCFFPA Technical and Vocational Bursary and Special Olympics Bursary were established.

BCFFPA lobbied for an increase in mileage rates for foster parents. Foster parents were awarded a 50% increase in basic and additional mileage for transporting children and youth in care.

In 2005, the Camps for Kids program was established.

Work began on the development of the Rights of Foster Parents as well as research on how to support maintenance and service payment increases for foster parents.

The first Stand Together Conference took place. BCFFPA assisted Hollyburn Family Services and Pacific Community Resources in organizing the conference.

BCFFPA assisted MCFD in arranging the Caregiver Support Services Framework Project (Forum), a committee of representatives from many provincial services. The Caregiver Support Service Standards, with input from BCFFPA, is released in 2006.

2007-2008

Collaborative community partnerships are developed with BC Lions, Vancouver Canucks, and Science World.

BCFFPA administers grant funding on behalf of Caregiver Support Services Framework Project committees and sub-committees.

In 2007, BCFFPA’s 40th Anniversary was held in partnership with the Canadian Foster Family Association Conference.

BCFFPA advocates for kith and kin agreements to be brought on par with other foster care providers.

In 2007, BCFFPA began holding Idea Forums throughout BC in response to the low graduation rates and homelessness among former youth in care. A total of 13 Idea Forums were held. The outcomes were posted and shared on fosterchildren.ca which became the communication centre for the research. Development of the Safeguarding Foster Families program. BCFFPA has representation on the CLBC—Youth Transitioning Committee, Connections— a new Ministry initiative that keeps youth connected to caring adults.

The Rider Insurance for Foster Parents coverage is increased from $300,000 to $500,000.

Work began on the development of the Rights of Foster Parents as well as research on how to support maintenance and service payment increases for foster parents.

The first Stand Together Conference took place. BCFFPA assisted Hollyburn Family Services and Pacific Community Resources in organizing the conference.

BCFFPA assisted MCFD in arranging the Caregiver Support Services Framework Project (Forum), a committee of representatives from many provincial services. The Caregiver Support Service Standards, with input from BCFFPA, is released in 2006.

2009-2010

MCFD and BCFFPA sign the Foster Parents Rights.

Author and former BC foster child, Maurice Graydon, establishes four bursaries.

2011-2012

Reorganization and restructuring of the BCFFPA provincial office.

BCFPA is involved in Provincial Legislature Events to celebrate Foster Family Month in 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 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 recruitment video. A new logo and website are unveiled. The Support and Advocacy Program is revitalized and restructured as a ‘peer support program’ to answer the demand in the community. An initial two training events are held in the lower mainland and interior regions.

BCFFPA joins with MCFD to review a Provincial Protocol document, the Foster Family Handbook and the Child’s Plan of Care (CPOC) process.

The Residential Review preliminary work has been completed. BCFFPA participates in consultation groups with numerous other community organizations.

The General Scholarship Fund is established with an initial donation from the estate of Myra McLean.

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. BCFFPA receives an additional MCFD contract to produce a video series based on the Foster Family Handbook.

Work continues on new Provincial Protocol documents as well as the creation of the Caregiver Support Network (part of the Residential Redesign process). BCFFPA participates in Stakeholder Advisory Committee and Retention and Recruitment Advisory Committee.

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 in the Residential Redesign Retention and Recruitment Committee and the Steering Committee.

BCFFPA hosts contracted service agency partners for a 2-day partnership and education discussion.

MCFD provides bursary funding for foster parents to attend the AGM and Conference event.

Foster parents receive a 41% increase to mileage rates.

BCFFPA AGM 2016

BCFFPA AGM 2016

2015-2016

BCFFPA is awarded a contract to review and develop 3 online trainings: one for BC’s foster parents, new provincial training for Resource Workers and training for kinship caregivers. Funding is made available for focused services on support and advocacy and for BCFFPA to increase mediation activities during investigations and protocols.

The first recruitment and awareness campaign in a decade is created 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. BCFFPA launches a redesigned website.

MCFD provides bursary funding for foster parents to attend the AGM and Conference event.

2016-2017

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 frontline 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.

2017-2018

BCFFPA celebrates 50 years of service to BC’s Fostering sector by hosting the Canadian Foster Family Association Annual General Meeting in Whistler.

The Jayne Cotter Wilson Excellence in Writing 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 additional funding for 2018-2019 for 2 new core positions at BCFFPA.

2018-2019

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 fewer children miss school-related and important extracurricular activities.

2019-2020

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 the 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.

2020-2021

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.

Through a Special Resolute vote, BCFFPA changes its name from ‘B.C. Federation of Foster Parent Associations’ to ‘BC Foster Parents Association’. This is to align our Society’s name to accurately reflect our main function as provincial advocates and representatives for foster parents across the Province of BC. Our Branches will continue to operate under BCFPA’s governance.

Phone

Main:
604-544-1110

Toll-Free Foster Parent Line:
1-800-663-9999

Foster Parent Support Line (MCFD)​:
1-888-495-4440

Accessible weekdays from 4:00pm to 12:45am
Statutory Holidays & Weekends: 8:00am to 12:45am

EMERGENCY AFTER HOURS

Foster parents are encouraged to call this number in the event of an EMERGENCY or CRISIS occurring after regular office hours:

1-800-663-9122

REPORT CHILD ABUSE

If you think a child or youth under 19 years of age is being abused or neglected, you have the legal duty to report your concern to a child welfare worker. Phone 1 800 663-9122 at any time of the day or night. Visit the Government of BC website for more info.

address

BCFPA Provincial Office
Suite 208 - 20641 Logan Avenue
Langley, BC V3A 7R3

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Our work takes place on the traditional and unceded Coast Salish territories of the Kwantlen, Katzie, Matsqui and Semiahmoo First Nations. BCFPA is committed to reconciliation with all Indigenous communities, and creating a space where we listen, learn and grow together.

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