Grey-Bruce has a “critical” shortage of foster homes which a recruitment drive has begun to address.
Bruce Grey Child and Family Services issued a plea this week for help to establish 25 new foster homes this year. Three information nights in the southern end of the counties are scheduled in the next couple of weeks.
Children who cannot live safely at home need somewhere to live temporarily, the agency said in a news release. Children from newborns to 18 years can be placed in foster care.
“We are struggling to meet the needs of youth aged 12 to 18 who may have some behavioural challenges due to childhood experiences,” recruitment and placement co-ordinator Daria Pool said.
“Foster parents leave our service when they move out of the area, retire, or their home is filled through adoption. However, the demand for nurturing homes, especially for youth, keeps increasing.”
As well, fewer families are offering to open their doors to foster kids the way they used to, recruitment worker Sarah Freeborn said, noting there’s a shortage of foster parents across Canada.
The shortage locally is also due to a move away from the group home model about four years ago, replaced with one which places one child or set of siblings with one family, which upped demand for care.
Anticipated changes in the law which will allow child welfare agencies to place 16- to 18-year-olds into care who haven’t been in care before will also increase demand, she said.
There are 120 to 125 foster families in Grey-Bruce now but not all are active.
There are three types of foster care: permanent homes, at least…
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