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Expanding the base of foster families in Durham

Information sessions to be held in Oshawa, Ajax and Uxbridge

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

The Durham Children’s Aid Society is looking to dispel some of the myths around foster care in the hopes of expanding its database of potential foster parents for children in need.

In the coming weeks, the Durham Children’s Aid Society will be hosting a trio of information sessions across Durham in order to spread the word about the benefits and rewards of foster care.

According to Anette Fegan, the foster care services team supervisor, the goal of the sessions is also to attract a more diverse range of foster parents in order to meet the needs of the children in their care.

“We have a really diverse population of children in our care already, and we want our fostering community to be reflective of the diversity of our children, their race, their culture, their religion,” Fegan says. “We need a lot of foster parents, so we have lots of options for these children when they come into care.”

Fegan says that many families may be interested in foster care, but are either nervous or intimidated due to information that may not be totally accurate.

“Fostering has really changed and often individuals or couples, they don’t apply to foster as they have inaccurate information. So we really wanted to take the opportunity with the information sessions to dispel some of the myths so that people have accurate information,” she says.

One such myth being that once families receive a foster child, they are left to fend for themselves, when in reality, the Durham Children’s Aid Society has a wide-reaching support network and a number of resources for families who sign up to be foster families. Currently, there are approximately 110 to 120 foster homes in Durham.

“Our goal is to keep children in their own home, but sometimes, if we have to intervene and remove children temporarily we want to make sure we’re in the best match for this child or youth,” Fegan says.

The trio of upcoming sessions are scheuduled for the coming weeks, including:  Jan. 24 at 7 p.m., at the Durham CAS office (1320 Airport Boulevard, Oshawa), Jan. 31 at 7 p.m., at the McLean Community Centre (95 Magill Drive, Ajax), and Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. at Uxbridge Seniors Centre (75 Marietta Street, Uxbridge)

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