Foster families saluted

Dear editor:
Oct. 20-26 has been designated as Canadian Foster Family Week.
This distinction does not come without a great deal of hard work and dedication. Foster parenting takes a great deal of energy, commitment, and compassion, yet it receives minimal recognition.
This week, Family and Children’s Services of the District of Rainy River honours those families in our district who give of their time and themselves to serve the children in our community. We accomplish this via events for foster parents and raising public awareness of the need for foster families.
The question, “Who are foster parents?” can be answered simply. Foster families are individuals or couples who have a genuine interest in children and a sense of community responsibility. They agree to open their home and share their family with others less fortunate, who are unable to live in their own family home.
Foster families work as a part of a foster care team to provide a nurturing home filled with love and security.
Currently, there are 25 foster homes in Rainy River District. These families open their homes and hearts to children who require substitute care. It is a fact that there are not enough foster homes available in Ontario to care for the increasing number of children coming into care.
The next question would be, “Who are foster children?” Foster children range in age from infancy to 18 years old, and come from a variety of racial, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds.
Each child or youth is going through a troubled period in his/her family life, and needs the care and protection offered by Family and Children’s Services and the foster family.
Between April 1, 2001 and March 31, 2002, there were 28,805 children in the care of Children’s Aid Societies across Ontario.
The final question would be, “How can I help?” This agency—and agencies across the province—need families and individuals who are interested in a challenging but very rewarding experience.
If you would like more information on foster care, contact Rhonda Howells, foster care co-ordinator at Family and Children’s Services of the District of Rainy River, at 274-7787 ext. 230.
The staff of Family and Children’s Services would like to extend their thanks and appreciation to the foster families throughout the district. You are a vital part of our child protection team and the children we serve.
Arlette Carrier
Manager, Children’s Services,
Family and Children’s Services
of the District of Rainy River