**** COMMUNITY SERVICES Media Release
New Initiative Supports Foster Families
The Rankin government announced today, March 18, full-time foster families will receive a one-time payment of $5,000 under the Because You Care Foster Family initiative. The initiative is in recognition of the fact that foster families incur expenses for which they often do not submit a claim.
“Foster parents provide love and security to vulnerable children across Nova Scotia. They’re among our most dedicated volunteers in the province,” said Kelly Regan, Minister of Community Services. “Anyone who is a parent recognizes there are many costs, both big and small, raising a child. We want to ensure that foster families receive payment for those expenses, and hope they understand how deeply we appreciate all they do.”
Ms. Regan also announced that government is committed to redesigning the province’s foster care system to better support both children in care and foster families.
Part of reforming foster care includes the recruitment of nearly 500 more full-time foster families. Recognizing that changing the system will take time, and in recognition that these new families will incur similar costs, government will provide the one-time funding to approved new families until the goal of 1,000 full-time foster families is reached. This is the number of foster families Nova Scotia needs to ensure a loving and safe home is available for vulnerable children in their own communities, when they need it.
Further details about foster care system redesign are being finalized and will be shared at a later date.
“Today’s announcement by our government shows they value the efforts of our foster families of Nova Scotia, especially during this past year with the pandemic. I am sure all foster families will appreciate this acknowledgment. The government also realizes we need more foster families recruited and we need to retain homes we now have. They have announced steps to help this happen and I am sure we will have positive results. Department of Community Services staff have worked extremely hard to enhance our foster care system and these announcements will help ensure we have family-based homes for the children in care.”
– Wendell Fraser, chair of the board, Federation of Foster Families of Nova Scotia
— Nova Scotia has approximately 520 full-time foster parents
— funding for Because You Care Foster Family initiative totals about $5 million
— there are approximately 1,000 children in care at any given time in the province
Foster care in Nova Scotia: http://fostercare.novascotia.ca/