Foster parents offer a stable but temporary home for children whose parents cannot care for them. Like all kinds of government care, foster care is first and foremost about supporting children with the goal of reuniting with their parents. Most children and youth in foster care return home to their families eventually.

A blonde girl and a couple of African descent are seated on a sofa, sharing laughter.

When reunification isn’t possible

Sometimes, it turns out that a child or youth can’t return home to their parents. They might then wait to be adopted, or find a long-term foster family. In a long-term foster placement, the plan is for a child to stay with the same family until adulthood to create a sense of stability and continuity.

The Ministry of Children and Family Development decides this based on a number of factors including:

  • The child or youth’s age
  • The child or youth’s wishes
  • The child’s support needs

A long-term foster placement can also create permanency for a child by ensuring that they stay in their community or culture. And although foster care is usually temporary, foster parents play a big part in the adoption and permanency community. Many foster families and children keep in touch even after they return home, which is a testament to the potential of creating a sense of permanency for a child. And around half of all adoptions in BC each year are foster parents adopting their foster child.


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