FPSO Prsentation to Standing Committee on Bill 89

The Foster Parents Society of Ontario (FPSO) has been established as the dedicated voice of foster parents for over forty years. As the provincial foster parent leadership body, we endeavour to maintain a continued focus on the interests, concerns and realities of our members, the foster parents. Considering the primary focus for our members is the children in their care, and considering that there are no foster parents without foster children; the children’s best interest is continually at the center of our focus.
We do not believe it is possible to isolate the best interest of the children from the advocacy for foster parents, as they only exist in relationship with each other. Furthermore; if we cease to take care of the caregivers of the children, it will be the children who suffer.
We are pleased to have been invited to make a presentation to the legislature on behalf of the foster parents in the Province regarding Bill 89. We do have some perspectives that we would like considered as the Bill is slated to be debated in committee.

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September 22 2016 Response from Ministry of Community and Social Services’ (MCSS) on new Policy Directives for Service Aqencies Regarding the Host Family Program.

The ministry understands that families come in many forms and sizes, and the establishment of a cap on the number of placements in a host family home aims to promote and maintain a feeling of family, and to distinguish host family residences from other types of residential supports funded by MCSS, such as group homes.

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Stay Home for School Policy

The intent of the Stay Home For School Policy is to extend funding to caregivers so that they can continue providing a stable home to youth aged 18 to 21 who need additional time to complete high school. This policy came into effect on June 15, 2016. This will help to normalize a youth’s high school experience and also increase their likelihood of graduating from high school and building supportive and lifelong relationship with caring adults in their lives.

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Foster Parents Society of Ontario Annual Board Report -September 2016

The FPSO has worked on behalf of the foster parents of Ontario for over four decades. As the
field of Child Welfare continues to change and evolve in order to ensure the vulnerable children of
Ontario are well supported, served and protected. The FPSO Board has also continued to change and
evolve in order to represent and meet the needs of the foster parents of Ontario;
while the foster parents seek to best meet the needs of the children and youth in their care.

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FPSO Strategic Year Plan with Five-Year Financial Plan (2016)

FPSO will continue in providing a vision and advocate for systemic changes that will result in a more caring system that firstly benefits the children we care for and secondly the foster parents in the Province of Ontario that care for these most vulnerable children. FPSO will produce a five-year organizational strategic plan that to be reviewed with our FPA Presidents at least once a year for their input. FPSO will issue regular corporate updates to the Board of Directors between meetings to support and inform the board of the ongoing work that transpires between Director’s sessions. Following each Directors session a session report will be published to aid the FPSO Directors with informing the local FPA/FFA’s of board business and initiatives. FPSO will ensure the goals and objectives are achievable, measurable and quantifiable.

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NEW Policy Directives for Service Agencies Regarding the Host Family Program (effective April 1, 2016)

The Host Family Program is one option within a range of MCSS-funded residential service models for adults with developmental disabilities. The setting of a Host Family placement is located in a private family home. Care, support, and supervision are provided to the individual by identified caregivers from the Host Family. The key goals of the Host Family Program are: • To provide a safe and secure place to live in a family home setting; • To promote a high quality of life; and • To support community involvement, social inclusion, individual choice, independence and rights.

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