Foster Child Placement with a Person Other Than the Parent in BC

If a child or teen is removed from their family home because of safety concerns, a judge could order an interim and temporary out-of-care arrangement for them to live in the custody of someone other than their parents. Caregivers may qualify for financial assistance from the provincial government.

Extended Family Program (EFP)

This program provides support for situations when it’s best for a child or teen to live with a relative or close family friend when their parents are temporarily unable to care for them.

Step 1: Call for help. Parents can ask for support. Contact a Ministry of Children and Family Development office or Delegated Aboriginal Agency for information about the Extended Family Program as well as other community services that may also help.

Step 2: Meet with a social worker. After a parent requests support, a social worker will come to meet with the family and the proposed caregiver to assess what’s best for the child or teen. The following criteria are considered:

  • Are circumstances temporarily preventing the parent from caring for their child in the home?
  • Have other services and supports have been tried to help keep the family together?
  • Is the care provider a relative or someone with a significant relationship or cultural connection to the child (and is not the child or teen’s legal guardian)?

Step 3: A background check is completed for the caregiver. The screening process includes:

  • A criminal record check
  • A prior contact check for previous involvement with the Ministry of Children and Family Development or Delegated Aboriginal Agency
  • Three written references, including two from family members and one from a non‐family member who has known the applicant for at least three years
  • A home visit – to interview the caregiver and everyone else living in the home and to ensure the environment is suitable
  • An assessment of the care provider’s readiness, capacity and commitment to care for the child

Step 4: Enter into an agreement. An agreement between the parent, the caregiver and the Ministry of Children and Family Development or Delegated Aboriginal Agency is signed.

Working as a team, the family and social worker develop a plan for the child or teen that outlines the services and supports that are needed. Parents must agree to the plan as well as the choice of caregiver – where possible, they also need to contribute financially to their child or teen’s care.

Step 5: Ongoing contact and support. The plan is reviewed by the social worker and family regularly to make sure it still meets the child or teen’s needs.

Care providers may receive monthly benefit payments.

Age 11 and under

$554.27 per child

Age 12 – 19

$625.00 per child

Additional benefits are available based on the child’s assessed needs and may include:

  • Dental and optical coverage
  • Child minding and respite
  • Counseling
  • Services for children and youth with special needs or mental health conditions
  • Training/education needs of the caregiver

The caregiver may also qualify for tax benefits: