How do Foster Children come to be?
As a result of social, medical and/or economic reasons, some parents are simply unable to adequately care for their children/youth. Despite their best intentions, some families may be dealing with issues related to drugs/alcohol, domestic violence or health/mental health concerns which can severely impact the level of care provided to their children.
Additionally, some children cannot live at home as a result of their own social, developmental or emotional needs. These children and youth often require special care, education or medical services. Milestone Foster Homes offers an alternative to institutions/group homes for children in need.
The Province of Ontario, through the Ministry of Children & Youth Services, has the ultimate responsibility for Child welfare. The Child & Family Services Act sets out the framework for standards of care for children in the Province of Ontario. Children's Aid Societies of Ontario investigate child welfare complaints and, when it is necessary, enforce the Child & Family Services Act.
This enforcement can sometimes involve the temporary or permanent removal of children from their family. When this happens the child or children may be placed in a foster home setting.
The Foster Home
The purpose of a foster home is to provide a child with a family atmosphere that includes a feeling of safety, nurturing, and healthy development. This could be for a period of a few days, weeks, months, years or even permanently.
A foster home creates, as much as possible, a family atmosphere which includes structured daily routines, school attendance, dental & medical appointments, recreational opportunities, and visits to their biological home when appropriate.
Milestone's homes offer the comfortable environment of a caring and supportive family setting. A variety of child-focused, in-home therapeutic components are added on an as-needed basis.
Foster Parents Are Very Special People
Foster Parenting is one of the most valued professions. Being a professional caregiver is an extremely rewarding service to provide for vulnerable children. MFH values each and every one of its foster parents and is very thankful for the amount of work and commitment they provide to children on a daily basis.
Becoming a foster parent with MFH requires a genuine and firm commitment to working with children. We make every effort to ensure that applicants understand the commitment required and to assess the suitability of the prospective foster family. As part of this assessment/application process, foster applicants are provided with comprehensive training. In addition, Milestone’s recruiting team provides support and encouragement to prospective foster parents throughout the application process.
Foster Parent Role and Support Services
As a MFH Foster Parent, you must be able to work within a multi-disciplinary team that includes Children's Aid Society workers, Milestone Resource Workers, School Officials, and Therapists. The child’s biological parents may also be part of the team when deemed appropriate. Foster Parents are professional caregivers and, as part of the team, are required to participate in regular plan of care meetings, produce written documentation, and follow all Milestone policies & procedures.
While Foster Parents do not need to have a formal education in the field, they must be willing and able to see beyond a child's behaviour and must be prepared to make every effort to use all resources available to help the child to make positive changes. By carefully examining what leads to undesirable behaviors, applying interventions developed by the multi-disciplinary team, and reporting on the effectiveness of the treatment plan, the foster parents can play a crucial role in the care of the child.
Milestone foster parents receive a great deal of support to work successfully with the children in their care. A Milestone Resource Worker is assigned to supervise/support each foster family. The Resource Worker provides regular in-home supervision, support and contact with foster parents and children. In addition, Milestone provides 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, on-call support to all foster families.