Secwépemc Child and Family Services Agency
Caregivers extend their hearts and homes to Aboriginal children in the community. They provide a safe and loving place to live for youth or children while away from their parents.
Caregivers provide a safe and loving home for children who, for one reason or another, cannot live with their families. Caregiver families receive financial support to assist in the provision of quality care to children and youth. The goal of caregiving is for children to return home once their parents are able to care for them again.
There are many Aboriginal children in care. They are not only separated from their families, but many times are also separated from their community. In ideal situations, we would like to place them in Aboriginal homes, preferably people from the same community or family members. Keeping the children in a familiar environment often makes their transition easier.
To become a caregiver, you must be over the age of 19 and have the maturity to provide care and guidance to children and youth. Single people, couples, and families – with or without children can become caregivers. Your financial situation should not prevent you from applying. You do not need to own a home, but you should have additional rooms available to respect the privacy of the children and youth that will be staying with you.
Yes. When you apply to become a caregiver you can specify age, special needs and gender preference. We will ask you about your skills and will also take great care in making sure the child is suitable for your family. If a child comes into your home who makes you or your family feel uncomfortable, or surpasses your skill level, notify your social worker. They will make alternative arrangements.
How to Become a Caregiver
It’s important to remember that caregiving is a temporary arrangement. Our goal is to return the child to their family when the necessary physical, mental, social and spiritual supports have been established.
STEP ONE: If you feel this is right for you, you can start the process by filling in the application [link to application] here. Please call Gail Peterson at the SCFS office, at 250-314-9669, to discuss next steps. The application form will include a criminal record check that looks at ensuring a safe home for children.
Please note: if you have a prior criminal record, do not be discouraged from applying to become a caregiver. This can be discussed and decided on an individual basis.
You will also need a medical assessment completed by your doctor to verify that you are in good health, along with providing three references, one of whom is a relative. Forms will be provided for the references.
STEP TWO: An orientation course will be provided to caregivers to help prepare you for the challenges of caregiving.
STEP THREE: Your resource or social worker will conduct a home study, where they visit you in your home to discuss personal history, family interests, lifestyle, child care experience and the type of child you feel can best be helped in your home.
STEP FOUR: Once the approval process is complete, you will be asked to sign an agreement that outlines your obligations and those of the Agency – a Family Care Home Agreement. The length of time you wait for a child depends on the age and type of the child you want to provide care to and the needs of the community.