As the number of Muslims grow in the GTA so too is the number of Muslim children in need of foster care. The problem is that it is hard to find Muslim foster care in the city. Now an organisation has been launched to educate Muslim families about becoming foster parents.
Children’s Aid Society strives to ideally place kids in families sharing the same cultural background as it is less stressful for all parties involved.
It is just not Muslims who need encouragement to take in foster kids but many ethnic immigrant communities that are facing similar challenges.
The organization, called FosterLink was launched in March with support from Mercy Mission Canada, a Muslim community development group.
FosterLink hosts events at mosques to raise awareness about fostering and connect with potential caregivers.
According to the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies, between 2016 and 2017 there were almost 13,000 children and youth in care during any given month.
Fostering children involves looking after a child who is under the temporary care of Children’s Aid until their original guardians are deemed fit enough to take them back or the child is adopted.
To become a foster parent through Children’s Aid, families must complete a home study evaluation to see if their homes meet safety standards, according to the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies. Caregivers also undergo training where families learn about abuse and neglect a child may have faced.
Immigrant children who are separated from their families for a variety of reasons are already traumatized by the changes need to be with a family that they can relate to. This is not to say that Canadian foster families from other cultures cannot provide culturally and dietary appropriate care to foster children from other cultures but oftentimes a child could feel more comfortable and at ease in a family that looks, and sounds like them. -CINEWS