For Immediate Release
Oct. 20, 2012
Ministry of Children and Family
BC Lions team up to support Foster Family Month
VANCOUVER – Foster families were treated to some BC Lions football action last night, thanks to a partnership between the football club and the B.C. government.
Fifty foster families were in the stands at BC Place Stadium to help cheer on the Lions as they faced the Edmonton Eskimos. The foster families also got a chance to go on the field before the game to watch the Lions’ pre-game warm-up.
For many of these foster children, it was their first-ever chance to watch a professional football game. Since 2006, the BC Lions, through their Courage for Kids program, have been giving complimentary tickets to foster families.
October is Foster Family Month in British Columbia, a time to honour the care, compassion and commitment of the 3,200 foster families throughout the province who open their hearts to give children safe, nurturing and supportive homes when they are unable to be with their own families.
Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Children and Family Development –
“The Lions’ generosity is a great example of how we can give back and show our gratitude to the thousands of amazing foster families in B.C. A lot of these kids have never had the opportunity to attend a pro football game before, so it’s pretty exciting for them – and for us as well.”
Jamie Taras, director of community relations, BC Lions Football Club –
"Supporting the community we live in is an important part of what our football team stands for. So, we are delighted to host the foster families at the game, through our Courage for Kids program. Putting a smile on a young person’s face is what this is all about."
· Foster family homes are the primary placement resource for children in care. B.C. has approximately 8,100 children and youth in its care. Of these, about 5,300 children and youth are placed with approximately 3,200 foster families throughout the province.
· Thirty-two per cent of children in care who are adopted in B.C. are adopted by their foster family.
· There is always a need for more foster families of all cultural, social and ethnic backgrounds so that children in care can maintain their cultural and community connections.
· Anyone, 19 years or older, who wants to share their home with a child in need can apply to become a foster parent.
· Foster parents must be in good physical and mental health. They receive training and undergo background, criminal record and reference checks. On average, the approval process takes three months.
· Once the approval process is successfully completed, new foster parents sign an agreement outlining their responsibilities and complete the 53-hour B.C. Foster Care Education Program within two years.
· There are different types of foster homes:
o Restricted foster parents care for children they know or are related to their family.
o Regular foster parents provide care for up to six children of varying ages and needs.
o Specialized foster parents provide care for children with more challenging behaviour or developmental needs.
· To see pictures of last night’s event, go to: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bcgovphotos/sets/72157626170642161/
· For more on Foster Family Month, visit: http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/foster/ffm.htm
· Interested in fostering? Call the toll-free Foster Line at 1 800 663-9999 or visit: www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/foster
· For more information on the BC Lions Football Club, visit: http://www.bclions.com/
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Children and Family Development
250 882-8518 (cell)
Director of Communications
BC Lions Football Club
778 558-0761 (cell)
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect