Becoming a Foster Caregiver
Right now, there are close to 4,000 children and youth across BC who need temporary foster families when they can’t live at home.
Many of these children and teens come from hard places; however, fostering can have a huge positive impact on their lives.
Our foster families come from a variety of backgrounds, each with different life experiences, skills, and qualities. They do, however, share a few things in common:
- All are residents of BC who are (at least) 19 years of age
- Their homes are safe and nurturing
- Each is comfortable in providing guidance and supervision that meets the child’s needs and cultural heritage
- They are active members of the child’s care team
Steps to Becoming a Foster Caregiver
Step One | Call Us
Step Two | Complete and Send Intake Form
Once you have read through the information package, you can fill out the online Foster Caregiver Applicant Intake Form, which we will then forward to the Ministry office or Indigenous Child and Family Service Agency in your area. If you’d rather, you can also download the intake form as a PDF and mail it to us.
Step Three | Attend Info Session
After we’ve processed your intake form, we will give you information on the next information session in your area. Information sessions are designed to help prospective foster caregivers make the decision about fostering.
- How to become a foster caregiver
- What’s involved in being a foster caregiver
- An overview of BC’s foster care system
Step Four | Application Package
After the Info Session, prospective foster caregivers can then formally apply to become foster caregivers. Only at this step will an application be made available. If you choose to continue, complete the application package and return it to your local office.
Step Five | Assessment
The screening of your application will include:
- Four personal references – one must be from a relative
- A medical assessment completed by a physician*
- A criminal record check and/or review (anyone over 18 years old who will be living in the home must have a criminal record check done)
- A prior contact check for previous child welfare involvement
Please note that the process of becoming a foster caregiver may vary in some regions.
Step Six | Training
Once the initial screening is complete, you will be invited to take the required PRIDE pre-service training for foster caregivers. PRIDE Pre-Service training is required for all new prospective caregivers. PRIDE Pre-Service is 35 hours of online training, facilitated by a group of specialized virtual facilitators, and is completed over a 12-week period. Your social worker will register you for the training.
Ongoing training is required and expected of all foster caregivers to support professional development and to further their specialized knowledge and skills.
Step Seven |Home Study
A social worker will conduct a number of in-home interviews with prospective foster caregivers and their families to assess their:
- Home environment
- Parenting skills to meet the needs of a child or youth in care
- Willingness and ability to collaborate with social workers, a child’s family and extended family, and, where appropriate, a child’s Indigenous community
Step Eight | Placement
Once the approval process is successfully completed, you will be asked to sign an agreement outlining your responsibilities and those of MCFD or the Indigenous Child and Family Service Agency.
Once the above is complete, a child or youth may now be placed in your home. The length of time that you may wait for your first placement depends on the needs within your community.
PROVINCIAL CENTRALIZED SCREENING
Foster parents are encouraged to call this number in the event of an EMERGENCY or CRISIS occurring after regular office hours:
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.
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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