Collaborative Partnerships with Foster Caregivers: Understanding the Important Relationship between Foster Caregivers and MCFD/DAA Staff
This webinar was developed in partnership with MCFD’s Child Welfare Policy Team, as part of the implementation of the recent changes to Children and Youth in Care Policies and Resource Work Policies. It is a new orientation webinar intended for front-line ministry and DAA staff who work closely with foster caregivers.
The goals of the webinar session are:
- To provide foster caregivers and front-line staff with a better understanding of the additions made to the Children and Youth in Care and Resource Work Policies
- To help strengthen the critically important relationship between foster caregivers and ministry/DAA staff
- To help to better understand each others’ roles and most importantly
- To improve the outcomes for children and youth in care through collaborative practice, information sharing and modelling problem-solving skills
The webinar will help to develop skills in collaborative relationship building, communication and problem-solving.
How was the webinar developed?
The development of Foster Parent Rights was initiated by the BCFFPA, following up on Motions passed by the membership at provincial Annual General Meetings to provide additional clarity to the role of Foster Caregivers and strengthen their relationship with MCFD and DAA staff. The Rights were jointly developed between MCFD and BCFFPA over several years and completed in 2009 signed by Minister Mary Polack. The Foster Parent Rights are consistent with expectations outlined in the Family Care Home Agreement, ministry policies and Standards for Foster homes. The Rights were subsequently included the Foster Family Handbook in 2013 to help inform all new and current foster families and staff.
There continues to be some lack of clarity among and between foster caregivers and MCFD and DAA staff of their respective critical roles and responsibilities in their working relationships, including a continued lack of awareness of foster parent rights and how to put them into action. Following meetings with the Deputy Minister and several Assistant Deputy Ministers, it was agreed that the BCFFPA would join the ministry in a working group focused on integrating the intention of Foster Parent rights into the relevant Children & Youth in Care and Resource Work Policies, while also ensuring greater consistency in messaging, information and role expectations across two sets of policies that guide the work with foster families.
The overall goal being to further strengthen our working relationships between MCFD/DAA staff and foster caregivers. The revised policies developed through this partnership working group demonstrate what can be achieved when working together.
The joint working group completed the policy updates and enhancements that were released in May 2021. While staff had time to review the revised policies, the working group developed this webinar to highlight the key changes that continue to strengthen working relationships. Through better informing staff and foster caregivers of the key policy changes and how they can support their working relationships, MCFD and BCFPA are now looking to build on good teamwork taking place and to further enhance professional relationships to the benefit of children and youth in care.