Prince Edward Island has many caring souls.
Islanders regularly donate time and money to important cause upon important cause.
Sadly, we are falling woefully short in foster parenting – a critical area of care that is in dire need of people stepping forward.
Wayne MacFarlane, president of the P.E.I. Federation of Foster Families and a foster parent for 20 years, calls the situation a truly desperate one.
Canada is having a foster-parenting crisis with Prince Edward Island perhaps among the more critical provinces.
Consider that the province has so few people willing to serve as foster parents that cribs have been put in five provincial group homes here in case infants requiring foster care have to be housed there.
The number of foster homes in Prince Edward Island have steadily declined from as many as 95 a decade ago to only 65 or so today.
More must be done by the province both in selling the virtues of being a foster parent, as well as providing the assistance and benefits to ease the burden of an extremely demanding, albeit rewarding, role.
Maureen MacEwen, provincial co-ordinator for P.E.I. Child Protection Services, says the province’s Department of Family and Human Services is working hard to provide greater supports to foster parents.
If that means the need for increased compensation, expanded respite, and greater resources, then please do not sell foster parents, and the children they take under their caring wing, short.
Foster parents provide a necessary commitment to the community.…