News Release Archive

Several hundred foster parents throughout Nova Scotia who have
opened their homes to children in need will be recognized and
honoured during National Foster Family Week, Oct. 15 - 21.

Special events such as banquets, recognition nights, community
displays and local media campaigns will be held to observe the
week, which will again use its theme in Nova Scotia, "Foster Care
- A Growing Commitment."

Community Services Minister Dr. Jim Smith said foster parents are
special people because they willingly accept the challenge of
foster parenting and generously open their hearts to the plight
of children in need.

Some families have been involved with the department's foster
parent program for more than 25 years and not only provided a
home but gave many children a new start in life.

"As Minister of Community Services I congratulate and thank all
the foster parents in the province for their kindness, love, and
patience," said Dr. Smith.

At present there are 1,476 children in foster care throughout the

Coordinator of Children in Care for the Department of Community
Services, Veronica Marsman, said the makeup of foster families
has changed considerably in recent years. It is no longer
necessary to be a married couple with one parent in the home.
Single parents, divorced people, and working couples, have
accepted the challenge of foster parenting.

Ms. Marsman said foster parents receive financial assistance from
the department to help cover the cost of board, clothing, and
other expenses. If a child has special needs a family will be
eligible for additional funding.

Earlier this year, the joint committee on foster care change,
consisting of foster parents, case workers and representatives of
the Foster Family Federation, and the Department of Community
Services released a report offering a vision of what foster
parenting should be by the year 2000.

Ms. Marsman said the objective of the report is to strengthen the
foster care system with a professional standard of practice,
training programs, support mechanisms and team work strategies.

The report also identified a need for better communications,
coordination, and collaboration among the various program areas,
she said.

A toll free number, 1-800-565-1884 to the Foster Family
Federation, is now available to provide additional information on
foster parenting.


EDITORS: A foster family fact sheet is available by calling

Contact: Harry Chapman

trp                          Oct. 10, 1995