Getting Started

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Choosing to become a foster parent is a big decision and we want to be sure that you have all of your questions answered. Please call 519-576-0540 or email foster.adoption@facswaterloo.org to speak with a Recruitment Worker about your questions.

Once we have received your completed application form, a Recruitment Worker will schedule a meeting with you in your home to talk about next steps and answer any further questions you may have.

Getting Ready to Foster

Getting ready to foster a child in Ontario involves successfully completing 2 steps: PRIDE Training and a SAFE Homestudy. PRIDE (Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education) Training is a 9-part training session designed to provide you with the basic tools needed to successfully adopt a child. Sessions are facilitated by a Recruitment Worker and a Foster/Adoptive parent.

The SAFE (Structured Analysis Family Evaluation) homestudy will take place after your training is completed. This mutual evaluation process includes 4-6 interviews in your home and identifies your readiness, willingness, and ability to foster a child.

During the training and homestudy process, you will be provided with a package that asks for several documents to be completed, including:

  • police checks
  • child welfare checks
  • a medical form from your doctor
  • personal references

These and a few other documents help to complete the assessment of your family. Often families are curious as to what we are looking for when we are assessing families for fostering. We know that children require stability, consistency, and security in their home environments. Typically, we have found that successful foster families have:

  • realistic expectations and the ability to understand the needs of children/youth
  • patient parenting skills
  • a strong commitment to a child or youth
  • the ability to accept differences in others
  • know how to build up a child's self-esteem
  • encourage a feeling of belonging within the foster family
  • the patience to let children progress at their own pace

We know that life can bring challenges to all families at times. If your family has recently experienced a loss or is under significant stress, it would be better for you to wait for a period of time before continuing with your fostering plans. Having a stable, healthy family environment is key to a successful fostering experience.