Saskatchewan First in Canada to Offer Prospective Foster Family Training Online
16-Nov-2016 - Regina SK
Training to become a foster parent has become a lot more convenient for interested Saskatchewan individuals and families.
The Saskatchewan Foster Families Association (SFFA) and the Government of Saskatchewan are the first in Canada to partner together to provide the 30 hours of required training for all foster families online, with video conferencing equipment donated by SaskTel Pioneers.
“This is a real game-changer for prospective foster parents, and I am very excited about what this could mean for the foster family program in Saskatchewan,” Social Services Minister Tina Beaudry-Mellor said. “There are many people who want to help children in need. They have a lot of love to give and so much to offer, but what they lack is time. This will allow us to meet them half way and still provide all of the training and support a person needs to take on the role of foster parent in a way that works for them.”
Prospective foster families will be able to access courses online, on their home computer or mobile device and will be able to complete the courses at their convenience. Prospective foster parents will connect in-person for scheduled review and discussion sessions but can also participate remotely through video conferencing and virtual classrooms.
Existing and prospective foster families can access the first half of the training program online immediately. The second half of the program will be transitioned online in spring 2017.
“The foster parent program has always been about families helping other families,” Saskatchewan Foster Families Association Executive Director Deb Davies said. “We do our best to support that by offering the best possible training and continuing education opportunities for foster parents. With providing the training in-person, we required prospective families to drop everything on multiple weekends, step away from their own families and responsibilities and travel to another community to attend classes. This was a barrier in recruiting new families. Now, the program will be accessible to more people and they will be able to complete the required training much more quickly.”
Family-based care is the best option to care for children who are unable to safely remain at home. The foster parent program is an important resource for children who do not have extended family options for care. As with almost all other jurisdictions across Canada and the United States, Saskatchewan has seen a steady decrease in the number of foster homes.
In the last four years, the number of foster homes in Saskatchewan has decreased by 35 per cent.
For more information and to learn more about foster families in Saskatchewan or what is required to become a foster parent, please call the SFFA at 1-800-667-7002 or visit their website at www.sffa.sk.ca.
For more information, contact:
Saskatchewan Foster Families Association