Internationally, the term ‘foster parenting’ is referenced in a number of different ways. Instead of using the term ‘foster parenting’ or ‘foster parent’, the role of the primary caregiver is often referred to as the ‘foster carer’.
Key Assets Fostering is part of worldwide brand of fostering providers called Fostering First International. The terminology referring to foster parenting often differs depending upon local and regional discrepancies across the group.
We share our unique approach to foster care – Team Parenting™ – with our sister fostering agencies across the world. Across Europe, Australasia and North America, ‘foster carer’ is the more commonly used term.
Replacing foster parenting with foster care
The term ‘foster carer’ is utilized by Key Assets Fostering and Fostering First International to protect the role of biological families in the life of a child or youth in foster care.
Almost all children and youth in foster care have birth parents. Regardless of whether or not these parents are actively involved in the lives of their children, they still hold the official title of ‘parent’ in the child’s life.
By replacing the term foster parenting with foster care, we are removing the connection between fostering and the role of the birth parent, and being sure to accurately specify the role of the foster carer.
The legal role of the foster parent
When a child comes into foster care, legal responsibility passes to the child and family service providers for their province. In Ontario, this is the local Children’s Aid Societies.
Legal responsibility remains with these authorities throughout a fostering placement until birth parents, or adoptive parents are deemed suitable to take on the responsibility, or until a child or youth reaches the age of independence. In this respect, the role of the foster carer is very different to that of a biological or adoptive parent.
To find out more about foster parenting and the role of the foster carer with Key Assets Fostering contact your local office today.