Foster a child

  • What is foster care?
  • How do I become a foster parent?
  • What are the different types of foster homes?
  • How long does a placement last?
  • What support and training can foster families get?
  • Find information on fostering in Canada and in the United States

Foster parents are urgently needed. We're recruiting new families right now. Call 1-833-896-2273 for more information. A child needs you. Fostering is a great way to make a difference in your community.

  1. What is foster care?

    Fostering is a single person or family caring for children who cannot live with their own families. It typically happens on a short-term basis.

    The goal of fostering is to help children return to their own home or move to a new permanent home. Foster families help children maintain contact with their own family and culture while providing day-to-day care.

    Why do children come into care?

    Children come into care for a number of reasons, such as when a parent:

    • is unable to provide a safe home for the child;
    • is unable to provide the type of care the child needs;
    • dies without naming a guardian; or
    • decides adoption is the best option for their child.
  2. How do I become a foster parent?

    If you're 19 or older you can apply to become a foster parent.

    Children and youth in need come from all types of ethnic, cultural, religious and socio-economic backgrounds so we welcome and encourage diverse applicants. It is not necessary to own your own home. Your financial situation does not need to be a barrier.

    To be a foster parent, you need:

    • maturity;
    • a commitment to carry out the day-to-day responsibilities required to care for a child; and
    • appropriate space within your home for the child.

    The application process

    1. Contact your local office to receive information.
    2. You'll be asked to
      1. fill out an application;
      2. provide consent for child welfare and criminal records checks; and
      3. to participate in training and a home study process.
    3. Your social worker will visit you in your home and ask about:
      • your health;
      • your personal history;
      • your interests;
      • your lifestyle;
      • your child care experiences; and
      • the type of child or children you feel can best be helped in your home.

    Once the approval process is complete, we'll ask you to sign an agreement.

    How long does it take?

    The application process can take several months. We need to ensure children are placed in safe, loving and stable homes. Deciding to become a foster parent is a big commitment and you'll want to know as much as you can before you make your decision.

  3. What are the different types of foster homes?
    • General homes are:
      • recruited and approved as general caregivers;
      • available to accept any children; and
      • available to provide emergency or respite care.
    • Kinship homes are approved to care for children who:
      • are related: or
      • have a strong and close relationship with the fostering family.
    • Restricted homes are approved for the placement of a specific child only.
    • Respite care homes are approved only for the short-term placement of specfic children to provide relief for another family.
    • Emergency foster homes are trained to receive children on a short-term basis.
  4. How long does a placement last?

    An emergency placement is short and used in crisis situations.

  5. What support and training can foster families get?

    We partner with experienced foster parents to provide training for:

    • potential foster families; and
    • respite caregivers.

    We hold sessions regularly in Whitehorse and as needed in communities.

    They're designed to:

    • help potential foster parents understand the needs of children placed in foster care; and
    • help participants decide if fostering is the right fit for them and their family.

    Do foster families receive compensation?

    Yes. Foster parents are reimbursed for costs to do with raising a foster child, including:

    • a daily rate, which is:
      • intended to help cover the child’s living expenses;
      • paid each month;
      • based on the number of days the child lives in the foster home;
      • non-taxable; and
      • indexed to the consumer price index;
    • a clothing allowance;
    • the child’s medical, dental and optical expenses, including prescriptions;
    • some recreation expenses; and
    • some holiday travel.
    Special needs children and youth

    If a child is in care for more than 30 days, we'll assess them to see if they need extra funding to support any special needs.