MANITOULIN—Kina Gbezhgomi Child and Family Services has launched a campaign to fill in the ranks of those willing to provide foster care to First Nations youth throughout the organization’s territory.
“Have you ever considered becoming a foster parent?” asks a news release from the organization. “Kina Gbezhgomi Child and Family Services is asking our community members and families to give this further thought. We are currently seeking up to 20 foster homes throughout our service area.”
According to the release, the foster care department is prepared to deliver community and inter-agency presentations in order to “bring awareness and information about being a foster parent. We hope to bring a better understanding about the foster care program and the home assessment process, answering common questions our community members may have about fostering.”
“Kina Gbezhgomi Child and Family Services foster care is striving to meet the children’s needs,” continues the release. “Our vision is to honour and support our family’s and community’s inherent authority to for their children based on unity, traditions, values, beliefs and customs.”
The release notes that in 2001 Kina Gbezhgomi Child and Family Services received a licence from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services under the provincial Child and Family Services Act to “recruit, assess and service a network of foster homes within the service area.”
“In the first year of operations, there was a compliment of three foster homes,” notes the release. “Today the program operates with 46 foster homes. Kina Gbezhgomi Child and Family Services continue recruitment efforts to meet the needs of every child requiring an alternative care arrangement.”
There are different types of foster homes according to the release, including regular, relief, specialized, therapeutic and customary care.
“Children between the ages of newborn to 16-years-old need a loving, safe Anishinaaabe caregiver,” continues the release. “Many of these children are your neighbours, cousins, nieces, nephew, grandchildren and community members. Our communities have the knowledge, skills and family networks to take care of our children. We need Anishinaabe people like you to become foster caregivers.”
For more information on becoming a foster family, please contact the Foster Care Recruitment Coordinator at our Wikwemikong office 705-859-1010 or visit www.kgcfs.org.