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Foster Care in Ontario | Annie's Havens

A Message from William and Hilda Wilson

We have been foster parents since 1991 and have operated our foster care agency since 1996. In that time, we have seen countless children flourish under the care of our foster parents. Kids come into foster care for countless reasons and it's our job to make sure they leave care with the best chances for success. Most importantly, as we have been foster parent ourselves, we fully understand the daily lives of our foster families and how to best support them which is much appreciated.

Licensed by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, we make sure that only the best foster parents are part of our program. High quality homes not only makes for better outcomes, they also keep our kids safe.

We invite you to learn more about foster care in Ontario, our foster care programs and what it means to become a foster parent.

If you have any questions which haven't been answered here, give us a call or drop us an email.

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In Ontario today, there are well over 10,000 children in foster care or group homes. There has been a decline in recent years of people answering the call to open their homes to children in care. This is creating a tremendous strain on our child welfare system.

Current homes are taking on more children than they'd like or worse, taking on children they aren't prepared to care for due to their high needs. Other provinces have been facing this problem for far longer. They've resorted to using motels to 'warehouse' the kids until a foster home is available.

This has led to suicides and kids simply disappearing. We can't let that happen here in Ontario - consider becoming a foster parent or referring a friend.

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Ontario has over 40 Children's Aid Societies (CAS) whose job it is to respond to complaints about children being abused or neglected. Most of the time they try their best to keep kids with their families unless it is absolutely necessary to remove them from their home.

Contrary to some people's belief, CAS does not get money for kids coming into the system - their funding is NOT based on each child in care. In fact, it makes more sense financially to help maintain the biological or legal family for as long as possible.

CAS also have their own foster homes which are licensed in the exact same manner as an agency like Annie's Havens. The video on this tab gives a quick summary of the difference between CAS and agency foster care. NOTE: From the USA but same principles apply.

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Foster parents have received a bad reputation from movies, TV shows and the media in general.

"They only do it for the money...", "They treat the kids worse their own family did...", etc. These are some of the statements we often hear on social media. This is unfortunate because it could not be further from the truth. What is true is that if any CAS or agency has a low threshold for accepting foster parents then those statements can become true.

Annie's Havens goes above and beyond the requirements of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. Year-after-year we are told by all of our CAS partners and the Ministry that we have some of the very best foster homes they've come across. The video on this tab gives an overview of one foster parent's experience. Her process is slightly different than Annie's Havens so click below for the details on how it works with us.

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Foster Care Programs

happy child playing Mainstream

All kids in care come with some emotional baggage and unique challenges. After all, coming from an unstable home or situation and being placed with strangers will always cause emotional turmoil.

The term 'mainstream' used simply to classify children who do not have any known diagnosis or serious acting-out behaviours.

Fostering mainstream foster children is usually the most straightforward. However, they represent a small portion of the referrals private agencies like Annie's Havens receive.

special needs child Special Needs

Special Needs is a broad term. Foster children in Ontario often have some sort of developmental, physical, or mental health issue.

Foster parents caring for special needs children will need extra training and support.

Annie's Havens is pleased to offer one of the most highly regarded special needs foster care programs in Ontario

Our foster homes are consistently commended for their care and ability to meet the needs of their foster children.

traumatized child Trauma Focused

The needs for trauma focused foster homes in Ontario have increased dramatically over the past several years. These homes are in short supply

Children and youth in this program require a high level of understanding, patience and tolerance. Foster parents must complete a trauma focused curriculum before accepting referrals in this category.

While the challenge is great, so are the rewards. Children who have consistent foster parents who stand by them throughout their time in care can show significant improvements.

This program is provided by our sister agency, Safe Harbours Family Treatment Homes.