Becoming a Foster Parent with Hull Services

About Fostering Connections

Fostering Connections (FC) has been providing care for more than 40 years to children ages birth to 17 years, who are in the care of the government and who have no immediate options to stay with family or kin. The program provides children with a safe, caring family home that can support their healthy development and meaningful connections until they are transitioned to their forever home.


 

Who Can Foster

Is fostering right for me/us?

If you are a responsible, mature and caring adult who can answer yes to the following questions, fostering may be right for you and your family:

  • I am a resident of Calgary and area
  • I have at least one spare bedroom for a child
  • I experience a stable living situation which includes my financial state
  • I have good general health and mental health
  • I have no criminal record or government intervention record
  • There is nothing in my history that would pose a risk to children
  • I have a driver’s license and reliable vehicle, or am willing to obtain these
  • My overall command of the English language is good (verbal and written)

Reasons to Foster with Us

Reputation for Providing Leading Edge Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health Services

Hull Services is a well respected organization that has been providing mental health services to children, young adults and families for over 58 years.

As an Agency we:

 

Supports and Resources for Foster Parents

Fostering Connections has been providing quality foster care services for approximately 45 years. Foster parents have access to many supports and resources:

Agency Resources 

  • Experienced, dedicated Hull staff member to support you through becoming a foster parent
  • In-home support and after hours on-call support
  • Access to supports from Hull’s Trauma Informed Services Department
  • Access to other Hull resources such as mentors for children/youth, donations, etc.
  • Networking and learning opportunities through our support meetings
  • Celebration and recognition events for foster parents /families

Cultural Resources

  • Indigenous services such as access to elders, cultural ceremonies such as smudging and sweats, and Indigenous helpers
  • Support in accessing other cultural resources

Training Resources

  • Foster parent training such as First Aid, Trauma-Informed Caregiver Training, Indigenous Teachings, etc.

Other Resources

  • Your health and wellbeing is important to us, so we provide foster families with free access to our Employee Assistance program
  • Families need to spend time together, so we purchase each of our foster families an annual membership to the Calgary Foster Parent’s Association, where they have access to recreational activities and connection with other caregivers

Steps to Becoming a Foster Parent

There are several steps to becoming a foster parent, beginning with your decision to embark on this journey: 

 

Step 1

Following the initial inquiry, program staff will  provide an information package, and then set up a virtual interview with you/you and your partner to gather and share information.

 

Step 2

A program staff person will visit your home and provide you with an application package and a list of things to complete and forward to us.  This includes your security checks. They will also assess your home environment for foster care related safety concerns.

 

Step 3

You will complete foster parent orientation training.  This is typically offered online.

 

Step 4

The program will compile your completed documents and forward the package to a home assessment writer, who will arrange to meet with you and your family to complete a written home assessment.  The government reviews this and provides their approval.

 

Step 5

A government licensing officer, a program staff and you meet in your home to do a walk through of the physical space.  The licensing office approves your license.

 

You are now ready to foster with Fostering Connections! We will work together with you to match a child/ren to your home.

Testimonials

“My foster parents have supported me by making sure I know all about my culture. They take me to powwows and Drum and Dance (which is where I learn a lot). This has a big impact on my life because if I didn’t know about my culture, I wouldn’t have learned  this much and who knows? Maybe I wouldn’t have been the same person.”

– Youth in Fostering Connections

 

“Over the 25 years since I completed my training with Hull Services, I have been privileged to be able to care for 14 amazing youth.  Their time with myself and my family has ranged from a few months to several years, but the relationships developed have endured.  As a result, our family continues to grow to this day.  Making the choice to foster has shown ALL of my children what compassion and opportunity can truly mean to a person.  These incredible experiences are why some of my children have followed a similar path by becoming relief care workers, foster parents, while others have dreams of finding their own path to helping others.

One of the most remarkable ways that our family dynamic has flourished is because the ideology at Hull has always been like my home.  In my world, relationships are foundation of success!  There is something truly special about the Fostering Connections program and how they build relationships with the entire family!  I haven’t seen this elsewhere.”

– Lynea, Foster Parent

 

“I grew up with my parents fostering. I made really amazing connections with some of my foster siblings that I still have to this day, almost 30 years later.  I got to see a different perspective as a sibling and share a unique relationship with the foster kids in our home.  After I grew up and moved out, my foster siblings would come to hang out at my place.

I loved having the kids around and continued to make good connections with foster children and their families. With the encouragement and support of Hull, I completed my training and home study and became a foster parent myself.  It was amazing to be able to help and support children and their families to get to a better place in their lives and see families reunited.

Hull has always been there to support me, guide me through challenging times, listen to me vent or help when I needed advice, keep up with paperwork, training, advocate to caseworkers, and with everything else I needed, day and night.  Fostering Connections has become a part of my family and having a good support system is everything when fostering. Like the saying goes, “it takes a village.” Hull has amazing values and morals for their foster families and the biological families we are trying to support.

I have met many families on this journey, learned a lot about life, and made some really great friends.  I have kept in contact with foster kids I grew up with and foster kids I have raised. My biological children have wonderful stories of the foster children that came and went over the years and have friendships that remain years later.

No two situations are the same and sometimes things feel tricky or challenge us, but we learn and grow as we continue through this journey.  Being a foster family is so incredibly amazing and eye-opening.  Your family grows and changes with every new placement.  The more flexible, open-minded, caring, and passionate you are, the more you can succeed at helping raise beautiful, happy, healthy children.”

– Candice, Foster Parent


FAQs

  • Can foster parents work?

    It’s preferable that at least one caregiver be at home, or that their job is flexible to accommodate the needs of a foster child.

  • Will I receive any training?

    Training starts before you become a foster parent and continues throughout your foster care journey.  All foster parents take foundational training, and your support worker will work with you to create an individualized learning plan to support your growth and help you build confidence.

  • Will I receive financial assistance to care for children?

    Foster parents receive a tax-free per diem and relief care compensation, to offset the cost of caring for the child.  It also enables you to pay for some babysitting and relief care.

  • How long is the process, from the time I apply to licensing?

    There are several steps to becoming a licensed foster parent, and the applicants, program staff and government staff have tasks to complete for this to happen.  If things are on track, it could take 6+ months.

  • How do you determine my/our suitability?

    You and program staff will evaluate this on an ongoing basis, but the initial interview should give you and us a good idea whether this is a fit.  Following the initial interview, you will need to complete an application package, attend orientation training, complete a home assessment, and meet with a government licensing officer for a walk through of your home.

    Click on the link above that provides you with the steps to becoming a licensed home.

  • How is the decision to place a child made?

    Once the license is granted, we will begin to look at matching you and a child.  The program will look at your experience level and family circumstances and the expressed preferences of the child’s family, and you will let us know what you are comfortable with.  When a child comes to our attention whom we feel would be a good match we will discuss this with you, but it will be your decision.   The child’s government case worker must provide the final approval in order for a child to be placed.

  • What is our involvement with the child’s family?

    Where possible it’s important to help the child stay connected to people, places and things they care about.  This means you may need to help support a child’s family visit schedule, honour the family wishes for the child, update parents on the child’s needs and care, and work together to support the child.  The government case worker will explain what is required, and our program staff will help you carry this out.

  • Can we remain connected to the child and their family after they leave our care?

    There are numerous examples of children who come to see their former foster parents as natural supports and connections, and they value an ongoing relationship.  With the support of the guardian, this might look like occasional phone calls, getting together with the child and their parents to celebrate a birthday-the possibilities are many.  Some foster parents continue to provide informal support and remain in a relationship with their former foster child once they become adults

For more information contact