Issued Statement re Recent News Coverage
HAMILTON, ON - In the last two days, there has been significant media attention regarding a former foster family and their home’s closure with The Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton. It is alleged that a foster home was closed and children were promptly removed from the foster family’s care simply because they would not tell the children the Easter bunny was real.
There are always two sides to a story. Decisions to close a foster home are never arbitrary and are the result of the agency’s due process to remedy a situation. At a time when the number of foster families across the province are dwindling, it is never an easy decision to close a home, but as always, the Society places its focus on what is best for the children and families we serve.
The Society is extremely grateful to the foster families who open their homes and their hearts to children during a very difficult time in their lives.
Our screening is an in-depth process that requires applicants to undergo PRIDE training, interviews and home studies to ensure they can provide appropriate care that abides by our agency’s Anti-Oppressive Practices in a suitable environment. The opportunity to provide foster care is not discriminatory against any culture, religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity, but does require that foster parents do not impose their own personal values and beliefs onto any children that come into their care. As an organization, we aim to be cognizant and respectful of the beliefs of both foster parents and biological families which at times, can be a difficult balance. Nonetheless, it is an expectation of our foster parents that they are respectful of the biological families working with the agency, and serve to maintain the customary traditions of families, always keeping in mind that placement may be temporary.
The foster family has filed a court application against the Society and the agency will not be making any further comments at this time.