You’ve heard of foster care, but now there’s Fosterware, a cheeky new name for parties aimed at attracting potential foster parents.
“They are used quite widely in other jurisdictions, and the other jurisdictions have had quite a positive result in using this kind of approach to recruiting,” said Jay Rodgers, the CEO of the General Child and Family Services Authority in Manitoba.
Winnipeg CFS sent out flyers this summer asking foster families to hold events at their homes to try and recruit more foster parents.
A CFS worker speaks at the event and refreshments are offered. The potential foster parents are invited to ask questions about the process in an informal setting.
“It’s a chance for potential foster parents to get a realistic picture of fostering not just from the social worker but also from previous or existing foster parents,” said Rodgers.
There are currently 4,500 licensed foster homes in the province and roughly 6,000 kids in the Manitoba foster system. More foster parents are always needed, according to Candice Seymour, the executive director of the Manitoba Foster Family Network.
She said the Fosterware parties, which take their name from their better-known counterpart, Tupperware parties, are a good idea.
Though Seymour is concerned the name could take away from the serious nature of the gatherings.
“They might just want to try rewording it,” she said.
Rodgers said the authority is considering changing the name, but recruiting more families is their top concern.
Right now, the agency is looking for families willing to take siblings, adolescents and foster children who come from different cultural backgrounds.