Quinte Children’s Homes (QCH) currently has around 26 foster families; some are open to as many as four kids, some fewer. If you think you might be a good fit in foster care parenting with QCH – what we call Parent Therapists – we always welcome new families. But it’s important that you’re clear about what’s involved.
Being a parent as a profession
Parent Therapists receive reasonable compensation (a per deim, or an amount of money per day) to meet the youth’s needs and, as a member of the treatment team, to assist in managing the youth’s care and treatment. As explained by Terry Stevenson, corporate director of Quinte Children’s Homes, the ample compensation enables the Parent Therapist to approach the position as a profession.“People who see being a Parent Therapist as their job tend to be more tolerant and more professional – but they’re caring and compassionate enough that they do care about the child and the results,” Stevenson said.
QCH is always looking for new families
There are two main groups of Parent Therapists at QCH: young adults, and empty nesters. QCH provides whatever support is needed for these families to succeed.
“Young adults, who’ve often just graduated, have the education but lack hands-on experience,” Stevenson explained. “So we support them with a lot of parenting skills and general household skills like helping with budgets, figuring out groceries, setting up a family routine.”.
“Empty nesters have very different needs, however: They often have kids who are grown, but want to continue parenting,” he continued. “They tend to have great parenting skills as well as a good family environment, routine and dynamics. But they don’t have much – if any – experience with the more clinical pieces or how to actually work through a treatment program.”
Every moment matters
“Parent Therapists are Parent Therapists all the time,” Stevenson observed. It’s a critical piece of information to know. “If you’re doing dishes, and a youth in your care decides to open up and talk, you can’t respond by asking them to wait until their counselling session next week.“Everything a Parent Therapist does helps create a safe and secure environment, helps kids find confidence to make their own decisions, and helps develop self-esteem. It all matters.”
Be sure Foster Care Parenting is what you want
“We don’t want to discourage anybody, but we don’t want someone who’s agreed to become a Parent Therapist to feel caught off-guard,” noted Stevenson.“Many of our Parent Therapists come to us by word of mouth; they know someone who works with us, they have a pretty good understanding of the work that’s involved, and they want to take that important role in a young person’s life.”
Orientation tends to be one-on-one, where you’ll be
- introduced to other Parent Therapists
- gain some understanding of the issues you may need to address