Foster Care

Foster care is one option for providing homes for children and youth up to 18 who can't live safely with their own parents or caregivers. Foster parents provide the day-to-day care for a child on behalf of a children's aid society. The government licenses foster care providers, as defined in the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017.

Children can be placed in foster care by a children’s aid society for the child’s protection, voluntarily by their parents or caregivers, or by court order. Children’s aid societies work to reunite the child with their parents when it’s safe and possible. If this is not possible, other permanency options may be explored such as customary care, legal custody or adoption. Children’s aid societies will be required to pursue customary care as a culturally appropriate placement option for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children and youth who are in need of protection, where they cannot remain at home and where their community is able to provide it.

Becoming a foster parent

Foster parents provide a stable and caring home that encourages a child's growth and development.

In Ontario, foster homes can care for up to four children at a time. Foster parents are people who have a genuine desire to contribute to a child and youth’s well-being, and to their community, and come from all cultural and religious backgrounds.

To become a foster parent, the first step is to contact your local children's aid society or licensed foster care agency. The Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies provides detailed information about fostering.

Learn more

Financial assistance for family caring for children in need of protection