Who We Are
We are a diverse group of Caregivers. Our goal is to raise awareness of the poor working conditions that we find ourselves in year after year and to give our youth in care a voice.
Our commitment to our children and youth never waivers but our patience with a dysfunctional system does. Even if we were offered an increase in monthly maintenance amounts at this point, we have to ask ourselves if it is enough? We have not seen an increase in several years. Every other profession receives a cost of living increase. How do we, as committed individuals who care for the children and youth who are our most vulnerable citizens, maintain our commitments in these unaffordable circumstances?
We offer a contracted service to the provincial government. We are not volunteers.
Are you tired of working day and night with little relief from the tremendous responsibility of being a caregiver to our most marginalized and hurt children and youth? Are you tired of accessing your meager savings in order to support the service you provide to the young people you care deeply about? Regular foster parents receive a monthly maintenance allowance that does not include funds for payment. The maintenance is insufficient for monthly costs. Where a service payment is also provided, the compensation is a fraction of the current legal minimum wage and the expectations and responsibility far greater.
Have you asked yourself what will happen when you get sick? Or maybe you've been sick and been unable to take a break for your health or pay for the necessary medications. Are you able to retire? There are no pensions for foster parents and many foster long after they should retire because they can't afford to stop.
Caregivers give selflessly. They put the children first. They are on shift 24/7, year after year. Foster parents are not offered affordable health insurance programs through the provincial government. We put ourselves at risk without health insurance coverage for dental care, optical and medication and we cannot afford the very coverage that would keep us healthy.
Are you living in fear that should you step forward and be counted you will lose the children in your care or your home will be closed? We will step forward with you and stand together.
We believe the time has come for caregivers to rise up and take back the right to live without fear, the right to be respected in our own homes, the right to a day off and the right to health and wellbeing. There are 2500 foster caregivers in this province and yet we are silent and have no voice about how our own homes operate. Why do we allow this?
Do you need health benefits, a pension, a wage and fair processes? Other professionals in child welfare receive these things as part of their employment. We need to change the system. As contractors we aren't entitled to the same things as employees. The current child welfare system is built off the backs of hard working foster caregivers. Caregivers must unite and show our strength.
Please lend your voice, together we can make a change.