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Resource families urgently needed for babies, children and youth in the Algoma District

Information Sessions will answer questions and share information on the variety of opportunities available

Every day, Algoma CAS Child Welfare Supervisor Foster/Resource, Lee-Ann Pettenuzzo sees the demand for foster “resource” families in our community continue to grow.

“We need homes now and the more we have, the better outcome for the children,” LeeAnn explains. “Families sometimes go through adversity, and we need to be there for the children while the parents do what they need to do. Children shouldn’t be worrying about adult problems.  Kinship and foster families can soften that worry.”

Unfortunately the pool of Algoma area foster families has dwindled in recent years.

“We had many families that have provided foster care for long periods of time but they’ve aged, or their circumstances have changed, or they are full.” To help facilitate the demand and remove some of the mystery surrounding the foster family program, the Children’s Aid Society of Algoma will be holding Information Sessions on February 15 and May 10, 2023

Resource families are needed for children of all ages, with a heightened demand for families to provide care for babies and sibling groups.

“Right now we have a lot of high-risk babies that we need families for,” stresses Pettenuzzo. “We need fosters, and we need people who can support our foster families. That could mean being available to go to the hospital and snuggle those babies who need a little extra attention.” There is also an urgent need for homes that can welcome groups of siblings. “Maybe there’s someone out there who has the space and the energy to foster a group of 3 or 4 siblings. That’s a big ask and we know it – but we’re here to support.”

Resource families include Foster Families, Kinship Families and Adoptive Families, we are really trying to be inclusive; families who provide temporary or permanent care for children are valuable resources.

Ongoing support provided for Resource Families

Fosters receive pre-service and ongoing training, periodic relief, monthly support groups and a per-diem to help offset costs incurred while fostering a child. A range of therapeutic support services for children in care is also available.

“We have a dynamic team of people with years of experience who are committed to helping kids be in homes that are safe and nurturing”, LeeAnn says. “Every Foster, Adoptive or Kin family has a worker or a team of workers to absolutely provide answers and ongoing support and training needs.”

If you would like to help, it’s important to know there are different ways to be involved:

  • Foster Families: Provide protection service for children whose family problems are serious enough to require a temporary period of time out of the home.
  • Kinship Families: People known to the child, such as a relative, neighbour or teacher. “Kin families are really important because it helps the kids stay connected and grounded, and be in a place with people who they know. That is a huge support to kids during a really difficult period,” explains Pettenuzzo.
  • Respite Care: Provide care to existing foster families. “Some people want to be short-term foster parents or provide respite homes. For instance, you may be a consistent care provider for the same child, every second weekend or once a month, it really is dependent upon your availability.”
  • Adoption: A legal and social process which establishes a parent/child relationship, providing permanence, safety and security for a child or children

Fostering a child or a sibling group is not only about what you are able to give. There are immeasurable personal benefits to sharing your home and time. “We learn so much as foster families and kinship families, simply by parenting children who we never intended to parent”, says LeeAnn.

Being a resource family can be scary until you learn exactly what is involved; the rewards you gain from watching a child grow and be supported while regaining trust and building relationships are only some of those rewards. Their information sessions and direct links are available to answer and demystify foster/resource family requirements and expectations.

“We need foster families”, Pettenuzzo stresses. “We need people who can offer a day, a week or more in the life of a child. Because it really does take a village to raise a child and Algoma is a small village, with a large area.” It does not matter whether you are from East Algoma, North Algoma or somewhere in between, your willingness to help is welcomed and encouraged.

Anyone interested in learning more about the opportunities and supports available are invited to attend in-person or virtual Information Sessions on February 15 and May 10, 2023.

For more information or to register, visit or call 705-949-0162 extension 310.