by Morinville News Staff

This week is National Foster Family Week in Canada and Foster and Kinship Caregiver Week in Alberta. The province is acknowledging the breadth of care to support vulnerable children receive in the province. A flag raising ceremony was held in Edmonton and Calgary Monday morning to commemorate the week and the work caregivers do.

The government says there are approximately 1,900 foster homes and 1,600 kinship homes where children are cared for by extended family or someone the child knows well in Alberta, with about 3,600 children in foster care and another 1,700 in kinship care.

“Our government is proud to support caregivers who offer safe, healthy and loving homes to children and youth in need,” said Minister of Human Services Irfan Sabir in a release. “We recognize caregivers who go to great lengths to help children maintain their identity through connections to family, community, and culture. These caregivers are key to supporting the well-being of Alberta’s children and helping families reunite. I thank them for the important role they play in our communities – helping children experience stability and belonging.”

Katherine Jones, Executive Director of the Alberta Foster Parent Association, knows the importance of caregivers.

“Foster and kinship caregivers help children feel supported at home and connected to their community and culture,” she said. “Our association commends their efforts and is committed to supporting them.”

The government says it is always looking for more caregivers, especially caregivers with Indigenous backgrounds and those willing to care for older children or children with complex needs.

Foster and kinship caregivers receive training, financial compensation and support to help children maintain connections with their families, communities, and cultures. The government says these caregivers help children transition to lifelong families or adulthood, and achieve success in school.

For information on foster and kinship caregivers visit http://www.humanservices.alberta.ca/foster-kinship-care/15440.html

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