The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) has the important responsibility of ensuring that approved foster families can provide nurturing, caring, and safe environments to children in care. As such, the assessment process is in-depth and very thorough.
STEP ONE: Gather Information about Fostering
There are a number of different people you can talk to about becoming a foster parent. Some people you might find helpful to talk to are:
- Resource Social Worker at your local MCFD office
- BC Federation of Foster Parents (BCFFPA)
- Indigenous Perspectives Society
- Delegated Aboriginal Agency
- A Regional Support Agency, such as Community Bridge
- A foster parent in your community or network
If you have specific questions, or just want to find out more information in general, any of these people would be happy to talk to you.
A Resource social worker will guide you through the application process. Types of questions they might initially ask you are: Name, age, who lives in your home, available space, ability and preference for what types of children you would like to foster.
STEP TWO: Attend an information session
STEP THREE: Submit an Application
- Three references must be supplied; one reference must be from a relative.
- Medical assessment completed by a physician
- Criminal records check (applies to anyone over 18 years old residing in the family care home)
- Criminal records review (this provincial legislation requires every person who works with children to undergo a criminal records review; this is separate from the criminal record check above)
After completing an application to become a foster parent you may be invited to complete the PRIDE pre-service orientation session. This is 30 hours of online course materials must be completed by applicants. The purpose of the pre-service orientation is to give prospective foster parents an overview of the foster care system in BC. Participants will learn what foster parenting involves, and ministry expectations.
STEP FOUR: The home study assessment & background check
After you have formally applied to become a foster parent the Resource social worker will start a home study assessment. This process includes:
- Assessment interviews. A social worker will visit your home for a series of interviews to determine if you, as a foster parent, have the ability to respond to a child’s emotional, physical, and cultural needs. The interviews will also assess your willingness to work as part of a team with the social worker, the child’s family, and where appropriate, with the child’s Aboriginal community.
STEP FIVE: The approval
Once the references, criminal record check, medical report, and assessment interviews prove satisfactory, the home is approved and a Family Care Home contract will be signed. Based on discussions and an assessment of your abilities, your resource social worker will discuss with you what children may be appropriate for you to foster.
This entire process could take up to 18 months from beginning to end.
For More Information
If you have more questions about becoming a foster parent, contact our office:
250-785-6021 ext. 235