Secwépemc Child and Family Services Agency
“I love living with our family because we pray and do ceremonies and now we are doing the language as homework. We love each other, we help each other, we are a family.”
– Youth in care
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. Caregiving is a temporary solution until the child finds a permanent home.
Aboriginal children in care are separated from their family and often from their communities, language and culture. Ideally, Aboriginal children will reside in Aboriginal care homes to maintain their ties to family, community and culture. Having a secure cultural identity is proven to make children more resilient as they face tough times in their young lives.
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 your own home, but you should have additional rooms available to provide 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 or gender preference of the child you wish to care for. You will be asked questions about yourself and your skills, taking great care in making sure the child is well-suited for your lifestyle, home and family. If a child is placed in your home who makes you or your family feel uncomfortable, or surpasses your skill level, alternative arrangements will be made.
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.