Mauricie Center du Quebec. “When I opened the door to my home and we welcomed a child, I knew I made the right decision,” says Marie-Pier, ambassador for the Create the spark, were host family recruitment campaign. What if that story was that of new families in the area?
This is what the Integrated Health and Social Services Center of the University of Mauricie-et-du-Centre-du-Québec (CIUSSS MCQ) proposes, which this morning launched the recruitment campaign Create the spark, were a family ambassador host families from the region.
The campaign aims to attract new families to meet the needs of the region by emphasizing the importance of the role of foster families with children.
“Currently, our utilization is between 95% and 98%. The small number of places available poses challenges when it comes to meeting the increasing need for housing across the area and ensuring the best possible match between foster family and child,” explains Gilles Hudon, Deputy Managing Director of the CIUSSS MCQ.
“Over the next few months we aim to increase the number of places available to meet the growing needs of the region’s most vulnerable children,” added Mr. Hudon.
Around 1,200 children are currently living with foster families in 620 families in Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec. Last year, 70 more children needed foster care in the area, and over the next year we expect an increase of about 10%.
Catherine Lemay, Deputy Assistant Minister at the Directorate-General for Development, Welfare and Youth Protection and National Director for Youth Protection, underlines that this campaign is of great importance in the current context.
“Foster families are essential in supporting children, young and old alike. They happen sometimes for short periods in children’s lives, sometimes for longer periods, but at a moment in their lives when there’s a big upheaval, when they’re carrying a big load on their shoulders,” she says.
“Foster families play an important role with children and young people whose safety and development are at risk. They must be housed temporarily or permanently. By providing the child with a table, a safe and caring environment, the foster family creates the spark that allows the child to thrive in the best possible environment, hence the campaign slogan! adds Mr. Hudon.
Families in the region invite you to do the same!
To encourage people to do the same and to welcome local children and young people who are in need of shelter, six local foster families have agreed to share their story on Devenirfamilledaccueil.ca and share their steps to become a foster family.
For example, Tarek and Marilène, who are already parents to three teenagers, have agreed to take in two more teenagers. “Becoming a foster family has always been a logical decision for us and a decision that respects our values. We feel blessed to have had inspirational people who guided us through our childhood and enabled us to be the people we are today. For more than 5 years, it has been a real pleasure to contribute to the development of our children and give them a second chance,” testifies Tarek.
Those interested in becoming a foster family or for more information are invited to visit the Devenirfamilledaccueil.ca platform.