Your First Step

Chances are you have a lot of questions about the role of the foster family, the children needing foster families, the application process, and whether you would meet eligibility requirements. Our Homes for Kids Coordinator, Rachel Threlkeld, is happy to answer all your questions. Please contact her directly by calling Homes for Kids, 905-546-KIDS (5437) or email rthrelkeld@hamiltoncas.cm.

Rachel will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the foster care program, answer your questions, and explain details about the application process. An information package will then be mailed to you, including an invitation to an upcoming Foster Care Information Night.

The Information Night provides an opportunity for prospective applicants to hear directly from one of our agency’s foster parents, ask questions, and discuss concerns. Also at the Information Night, the application forms will be reviewed and further details about the application process will be provided.

Rachel is also happy to meet with groups, large or small, who would like more information about fostering. Please feel free to contact her for details and scheduling.

For more information about fostering, please be sure to visit our Homes for Kids website www.homesforkids.com.

The Application Process

The application process takes about six to nine months and involves two major components: S.A.F.E. (Structured Analysis and Family Evaluation) Home Study and P.R.I.D.E. (Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education) Pre-service Training. All foster parent applicants in Ontario must participate in both the home study and the training before they can be approved to foster and a child can be placed in their home. There is no cost to applicants to participate in the application process.

P.R.I.D.E. Pre-Service Training

This is Ontario’s standardized curriculum for foster, kin, and adoptive applicants. The 30-hour session usually runs one evening a week for ten weeks. All applicants, including both partners if a couple is applying, are required to complete the training program.

S.A.F.E. Home Study

This is Ontario’s standardized home study format for all foster, kin, and adoptive applicants. All applicants, including all family members living in the home, are required to participate in the home study, which consists of a series of interviews between a social worker and members of the prospective foster family, usually held in the applicant’s home. The purpose of the home study is for the agency to get to know the prospective foster family and to provide a forum for the family to find out more about fostering. It also enables a family to take what they learn in the P.R.I.D.E. training program and see how it applies to their family.

The Steps Involved in the Process