Frequently Asked Questions - Alberta Human Services - Government of Alberta

Frequently Asked Questions

Foster care is the full-time, temporary care of a child in your home. It is challenging and very rewarding.

Ideally, a child is returned home to their own family as soon as possible. When this is not possible, alternate care plans are made for the child. These could include placement with a relative or community member in kinship care, private guardianship or adoption.

Show Answer Who are Foster Parents?

Foster parents are people like you; they come from all walks of life and all parts of society.

Foster parents are mentors, caregivers, role models and support systems who will provide a temporary family environment for a child. Foster parents are part of a team to support the best interests of the child.

Show Answer Can I be a foster parent?

If you meet the following criteria, you can apply be a foster parent:

  • You must be a resident of Alberta.
  • Cohabitating applicants must have been in a stable relationship for at least 12 months prior to applying.
  • You must be at least 18 years old. The maximum age will be determined by the best interests of the child.
  • You have not had an additional child in the past 12 months and/or are not currently expecting an additional child thorough pregnancy or adoption.
  • You must be physically and mentally capable of meeting the child’s needs with no major illness or trauma in the past 12 months.
  • You need to have your own residence (with your own address) separate and apart from other caregivers.

Show Answer Who will I be caring for?

A foster child can be of any age or gender. Some children need longer term placements (especially teenagers) and others need short term placements. Foster children may:

  • have experienced abuse or neglect;
  • be part of a sibling group that is to be kept intact;
  • need assistance with keeping connections to their biological family, community, cultural background and heritage;
  • require help in preparing for adulthood

Foster children, just like other children, require love, comfort, security and stability.

Show Answer What do Foster Parents do?

  • They take care for the day-to-day needs of their foster child, including the child’s, including physical, spiritual and cultural needs.
  • They work as a team member with their foster child, the foster child’s family, the foster child’s caseworker, and other professionals.
  • They complete foster care training that enhances and develops their parenting skills to a professional level

Alberta’s foster care program is based on the belief that a family and community is the most beneficial and desirable environment for raising a child. Foster parents make this possible.

Show Answer How are Foster Parents compensated?

Basic Maintenance Rate – This is a per diem based on the child’s age that covers the day-to-day costs of caring for a child. Basic maintenance rates are intended to cover the cost of food, clothing, personal care items and general household costs.

Skill Fees – This is intended to compensate foster parents for their level of expertise gained through training and experience.

Show Answer What support is available to foster families?

Supports are provided through Alberta Human Services foster care support workers, agency foster care support workers, other foster parents and the Alberta Foster Parent Association.

Supports include, but are not limited to, ongoing contacts and visits from the foster care support worker and the child’s caseworker, training, resources for respite and child care, peer support, support groups, and recognition events.

Current Compensation Rates

Show Answer Who are the foster children?

A foster child can be of any gender, age or cultural background and may be part of a sibling group.

Show Answer What is it like to be a foster family?

Foster parents care about children and are committed to working with others to meet children’s needs. As fostering effects all the members of your family, it is important that the whole family share an interest in fostering.

Modified: 2017-09-05
PID: 15435