by Morinville News Staff
The third week in October is Foster and Kinship Caregiver Week in Alberta, a weeklong initiative acknowledging caregivers who provide safe and healthy homes for children in need.
Foster and kinship caregivers are recognized this week for their role in connecting children in need to their families, communities, and cultures. Events will take place across the province all month, but mostly from Oct.15 to 21.
“Foster and kinship caregivers make a real difference in the lives of children, especially when they are at their most vulnerable,” said Danielle Larivee, Minister of Children’s Services, in a release Sunday. “We recognize the selflessness caregivers demonstrate to help children maintain their identity through connections to family, community, and culture.”
There are approximately 1,800 foster homes and 1,900 kinship homes in Alberta where children are cared for by extended family or someone the child knows well. The province says approximately 3,500 children live in foster care and 2,100 are in kinship care.
More caregivers—especially Indigenous caregivers and those willing to care for older children, infants or children with complex needs are needed.
Foster and kinship caregivers receive training and support to help children maintain connections with their families, communities and cultures, transition to lifelong families or adulthood and achieve success in school. Caregivers also support and mentor birth parents.
“Foster and kinship caregivers help keep children safe, help families through tough times and help children stay connected to their family, communities and culture,” said Katherine Jones, executive director, Alberta Foster Parent Association. “We are extremely proud of the work caregivers do and the Alberta Foster Parent Association is committed to supporting caregivers.”