How to Apply
If you have decided you would like to pursue being a caregiver, there are a number of steps you need to take. You will need to:
A. Choose a licensing agency.
There are several agencies in Manitoba that are looking for caregivers. As a potential caregiver, you have a right to choose which agency you wish to be licensed by. In order to do this, you will need to have some understanding of how the child and family services system is organized in Manitoba.
In Manitoba, provision of child and family services is jointly shared between four Authorities. The purpose of this sharing of responsibility is to ensure the provision of culturally-appropriate services to families in this province. The four Authorities are:
- First Nations of Northern Manitoba Child and Family Services Authority (Primarily provides services to families who are members of, or identified with, First Nation communities in northern Manitoba, or who come from another province other than Ontario).
- First Nations of Southern Manitoba Child and Family Services Authority, also known as the Southern First Nations Network of Care (Primarily provides services to families who are members of, or identified with, First Nation communities in southern Manitoba and Ontario).
- Metis Child and Family Services Authority (Primarily provides services to families of Metis or Inuit heritage).
- General Child and Family Services Authority (Provides services to all others who are not being serviced by another Authority).
Each Authority oversees two or more agencies. These agencies provide direct services to children and families throughout the province. Not all Authorities have an agency in all parts of the province. You will find a listing of the Authorities and their respective agencies that provide services in your area on this website.
Choosing which agency to license you is entirely a personal decision. Some questions you may ask yourself to help you decide are:
- Which agency is most closely aligned to my family’s cultural heritage?
- Which agency is located closest to my residence?
- Which agency requires the type of caregiving services my family wishes to provide?
- Which agency offers the type of support services my family requires?
- Which agency needs the type of caregiving services my family is interested in providing? (Please note, an agency can decline applications if they have enough caregivers.)
Please feel free to contact the agencies in your area for more information about their needs and requirements to assist you in making a decision. However, please remember that you can only be licensed by one agency. Therefore, you should make a decision about which agency you wish to license you for before completing any of the licensing/application paperwork.
B. After you have chosen a licensing agency.
The following steps are part of the process of being licensed as either a kinship or foster family. Each agency has its own way of accomplishing these steps and there may be some variation based on whether you are interested in kinship or foster care. An agency worker will guide you through this process.
- Complete an orientation which will provide you with a chance to get first-hand knowledge of caregiving. The sessions will provide information that will help you to decide if caregiving is what you think it is and if you and your family are prepared for this challenge
- Obtain an application package
- Complete a police check with a vulnerable sector search (RCMP or city police, depending on where you live) and a Child Abuse Registry check for the applicant/s and any other adult residing with the applicant (this includes adult children)
- Complete a consent form to allow a check for prior contact with the Child and Family Services system
- Complete the Application for Foster Home Licence
- Provide character references (up to four) or a recommendation from a local child care committee
- Provide a physician’s medical reference
- Have a home study completed (the home study includes an interview with all family members and an inspection to ensure that your home meets licensing requirements)
- Ensure all the necessary physical requirements are in place.
If you successfully complete the above steps, you are approved and a Foster Home Licence is issued.
C. Once You Have Been Approved as a Foster or Kinship Home
Once you have been approved, the agency that issued your license will contact you about children who need a home.
*Important* If another CFS agency wants to place a child in your home, they must first receive approval from your licensing agency.
The licensing agency has the responsibility to:
- Provide you with the required assistance and support you need to meet the needs and goals of the care plan for children placed with you;
- Ensure that you are aware of and understand agency policies and procedures that impact you;
- Respect the confidentiality of the information regarding your home and to share this information only with appropriate agency personnel or with others as authorized in writing by you;
- Share with you all available relevant information about children placed with you including background circumstances necessitating placement, any known behaviours problems, patterns of behaviour, special care needs, medical history, children’s strengths and weaknesses, the length of time the child is likely to be in care, and visitation rights of the biological family;
- Provide support and information when children are moved from your home, an allegation is made against a member of your family or your license is cancelled;
- Involve you in the development of the care plan for the child;
- Facilitate pre-placement visits for the child and you;
- Advise you of any known risk factors that the child may present to you or others in the home including, but not limited to, offending behaviours, fire settings and aggressive behaviours;
- Arrange for the child’s personal belongings to accompany the child at the time of placement;
- Have face-to-face contact at least one a month with you and the child;
- Facilitate creating and maintaining a life book for all children placed with you who are permanent wards; and
- Involve you in the quarterly review of the care plan.
What financial support is available for children in Care?
It is understood that there is a financial cost associated with providing care to all children. Funds are available in the form of a basic payment to help offset some of these costs; however, it is important to note that monies provided are not meant to be an income for caregiving families.
There are two parts to the basic payment you will receive for children placed in your care. These are the basic payment and the agency allowance. The basic payment is also known as the chart of accounts.
- The basic payment is an amount that is paid to you directly and covers the additional maintenance costs of caring for a child in care. It includes:
- Household allowance
- Bedding and linen
- Repair, equipment and room maintenance
- Health and personal care
- Replacement clothing
- Personal allowance
- Babysitting / child care
- Damage / deductibles
FOSTER CARE RATE 2012/2013 (Effective October 1, 2012) PAYABLE TO FOSTER PARENTS NORTH OF 53 East of Lake Winnipeg CHART OF ACCOUNTS SOUTH OF 53 NORTH OF 53 (road access) N51 12' (no road access) 0-10 11-17 0-10 11-17 0-10 11-17 Household Allowance 0.59 0.59 0.61 0.61 0.61 0.61 Bedding and Linen 0.60 0.60 0.64 0.64 0.64 0.64 Repairs and Equipment 1.19 1.31 1.23 1.37 1.23 1.37 Utilities 1.38 1.38 1.45 1.45 1.45 1.45 Food 7.22 9.17 7.96 10.10 10.50 13.31 Health and Personal Care 0.69 1.09 0.72 1.13 0.72 1.13 Transportation 2.05 2.05 2.13 2.13 2.13 2.13 Respite 2.36 2.36 2.50 2.50 2.50 2.50 Replacement Clothing 2.43 2.99 2.52 3.17 2.52 3.17 Personal Allowance 0.85 2.01 0.92 2.10 0.92 2.10 Babysitting / Child Care 1.54 1.54 1.64 1.64 1.64 1.64 Damages / Deductibles 1.21 2.36 1.28 2.45 1.28 2.45 TOTAL TO FOSTER PARENT 22.11 27.45 23.60 29.29 26.14 32.50
- Agency allowance is an amount that is available to the agency for children’s individual needs. Each agency has its own policy on how agency allowance is used. Some provide this funding directly to caregivers to manage, while others retain this funding at the agency level. If you have children placed in your home from different agencies, it will be important to be clear about the policies of each child’s agency in the following areas:
- Gifts for children on their birthdays and Christmas (or equivalent)
- School-related costs (e.g. physical education classes, driver’s education course fees, other course fees, tutoring, school supplies, locker fees, field trips and clothing for graduation)
- Costs of participating in sports and other extra-curricular activities (e.g. uniforms and equipment, bicycles, hobbies, arts and crafts, summer camp fees)
- Gifts for the child to give to members of her/his biological family and caregiving family
Should your child require supports and services beyond that which would normally be provided in a caregiving situation, agencies will determine what the level of need is and provide funding and services to cover these needs (e.g., specialized services such as psychological therapy, a child support worker, specialized equipment, or specialized diet).
What about health costs?
When a child is placed in your home, you will be provided with the child’s Personal Health Insurance Number (PHIN). If you are caring for a child with Registered Indian Status, request the Indian Status Number from the caseworker. Items such as health, dental, and optical are covered under the registered status number.
If the agency is paying, the caseworker will provide you with a social allowance number which covers prescriptions, dental and optometrist services.