Agassiz, Hope in desperate need of foster families

Agassiz, Hope in desperate need of foster families

Current foster caregiver population aging out

Agassiz and Hope are in desperate need of foster caregivers, according to Ministry of Children and Family Development recruitment specialist Colleen Johnson.

The whole eastern Fraser Valley needs fosters families, but Johnson says Hope and Agassiz are particularly in crisis.

Current foster families are “aging out” and retiring from foster work as they get older. Johnson says Agassiz and Hope homes that are accepting kids are at maximum capacity.

“They can’t take anymore kids, they have no more room,” she says. “So we need new homes.”

In her thirty years of social work, Johnson says she has never seen such a bad need for foster caregivers.

“The homes are running out and the need for children to be in foster homes is always on the increase,” she says, adding that without local foster homes, kids may have to be relocated or stay in less-than-ideal home situations.

“We really try to keep kids in their own home community because of school, their families are there, their friends…So we don’t want to move kids from one community to another.”

According to Johnson, foster caregivers need to have the physical and emotional space for a child, along with a stable lifestyle.

“The prime reason for people to want to foster is to give back to their community in a very personal manner that they can see the results of… So they can actually feel connected to their community,” Johnson says. “Fostering is the best way to make a difference in the life of a child and their family.”

An information session is being held in Agassiz for those interested in becoming foster caregivers. The session will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Ministry of Children and Family Development building on Pioneer Ave.

To RSVP for the session or ask questions about fostering, Johnson can be reached at (604) 316-4599.